Director’s Message

Thank you for your interest in the Global Latinidades Project, an interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional research center founded in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017. The Global Latinidades Project pursues an expansive intersectional, comparative, transdisciplinary, and transhemispheric approach to the recovery and analysis of Latinidades—various paradigms of Latinx history, culture, and politics—in the interstices between Area Studies and Ethnic Studies, as well as the spaces beyond these fields in dialogue with Global Studies. Specifically, this initiative focuses on unique Latinidades that are synthesized through cross-cultural encounters, transversal dialogues, and transculturation with peoples and cultures throughout the world over time and place, including Africa and the Mediterranean, Asia and the Pacific Islands, subaltern Europe, and under-examined areas of the Americas. Essentially, we do a little bit of everything while remaining grounded in an expansive approach to Latinx Studies.

The Global Latinidades Project is supported by the Robert and Liisa Erickson Presidential Chair in English, which I hold. This endowed chair was created through a generous donation from John Arnhold and the Arnhold Foundation with matching funds from the University of California Regents, in addition to grants totaling $2.4 million secured in collaboration with multiple intersecting teams of faculty, students, and community partners. For more information about the founding of the Global Latinidades Project, please see our Vision and Mission statements, in addition to the inaugural Reflections Blog, “Why We Founded the Global Latindades Project at UCSB.”

The Global Latinidades Project partners include UCSB faculty, staff, and students across departments and disciplines: they are members of the voluntary Advisory Board and co-sponsored as Research Associates. The Global Latinidades Project also includes Students in numerous paid positions such as teaching assistants, teaching fellows, research assistants, and interns. Research Associates and Students also come from universities throughout the UC system and US, in addition to international educational institutions. Moreover, guided by the conviction that universities must be accountable to off-campus communities and especially marginalized peoples whose labor is essential to the production broader societal wealth—and the functioning of society in general—the Global Latinidades Project includes multiple Community Partners who share in the development and execution of programming activities. Please see People in the menu tab for a full list of Global Latindades Project partners.

As illustrated throughout this website, particularly the Research menu tab, the Global Latinidades Project addresses multiple issues and needs across multiple fields and areas, and also ventures off campus in local, regional, and international venues. This center is, fundamentally, committed to recovering the history and long legacy of Latinx collectivist intersectional fights for egalitarian workplaces, schools, communities, and society in general. As such, the Global Latinidades Project partners are fully engaged in contemporary scholarly debates, and collaborate on research and programming in a wide range of methodologies and intersecting fields. (For information about research grants-in-aid, program co-sponsorships, and other funding opportunities, see Funding in this website menu.) Equally as important, the Global Latinidades Project is committed to cultivating unique public facing organic intellectuals, that is, activist scholars committed to deploying their academic training, insights, and access to institutional resources in the service of people, communities, and movements that historically have been marginalized by and excluded from institutions of power.

Pursuant to the re-invigoration of Latinx Studies and continued grounding of the field in grass roots communities, and in support of broader efforts to link local thought and action to global contexts—past, present and future—the Global Latinidades Project has assembled a broad range of interlocutors and collaborators in sponsored and co-sponsored research and programming. I am especially excited about the five Research Clusters we are organizing:

  • Emerging Latinidades
  • AfroLatinidades
  • Local/Global Revolutionary Theory and Praxis
  • Art, Culture, and Revolution
  • Insurgent Teaching

All these Research Clusters seek to re-globalize Latinx Studies by exploring the interstices of disciplinary paradigms and practices. Indeed, we seek to move towards a critical global studies from and through the hyper-local Latinx Studies as a point of departure and a very busy intersection. For overviews of our Research Clusters and ongoing and planned projects and publications, please see the Research menu tab for Featured Research, Publications, Special Projects, and more.

Over the past five years the Global Latinidades Project has been very active in collaborative work with our many partners on and off campus, in the US and abroad. Past and ongoing programming and activities, as well as scheduled future activities, are listed in the News and Events menu tab. Global Latinidades Project partners have been especially energized by the incisive meta-critical insights collaboratively generated at the “Outlawed Intellectuals Conference,” which featured Black revolutionary intellectual Joy James, and also the “Critical Masculinities Conference” featuring Raza Queer of Color scholar T. Jackie Cuevas.

In addition to the very popular Raza World Visions Radio Show on KCSB 91.9 FM KCSB in Santa Barbara, select cultural arts and political programs have been produced into videos for the Global Latinidades Project’s YouTube Page. Please see the Media menu tab to access these multimedia programs.

The history and contemporary issues facing Latinx people have always been intertwined with many peoples and places in the Americas and beyond. Accordingly, the Global Latinidades Project has developed both specific and wide-ranging Institutes and Initiatives. These range from academic enterprises such as the AfroLatinidades Institute, which studies important yet chronically-neglected aspects of Latindades. We also have arts initiatives that bridge the town-gown divide, such as the Voces Nuevas Latinx Author Series, which seeks to feature new voices and visions beyond the familiar artists and groups frequently featured in Latinx and mainstream venues. Significantly, this author series partners with community organizations such as El Centro Santa Barbara to provide high quality programming for barrio youth.

The Global Latinidades Project’s Institutes and Initiatives also include grassroots projects such as the Barrio Internship Program, which is predicated on building long-term relationships with local grassroots non-profit community organizations that also involve alternative career training for students through paid service-learning internships. The Global Latinidades Project also is engaged in broad-based networking activities, and has received extramural funding for the creation of a 5-campus Global Latinidades Project Consortium that includes Co-Principal Investigators and related research and programming team members at UC Merced, UC Davis, UC Riverside, and UC Santa Cruz, all of which involve international partners. Please see the Institutes and Initiatives pages for details about these and other core activities anchoring the Global Latinidades Project.

As a student-centered space, the Global Latinidades Project also includes a full range of initiatives designed to meet interests, expectations, and needs of students. (For a list of students who have been involved in various aspects of the Global Latinidades Project, see Students in the People menu.) These include professionalization workshops such as the Proseminar on Scholarships, Fellowships, and Grants, which focuses on research project design as the basis for competitive funding and awards applications. This workshop, like other Global Latinidades Project workshops, are organized around principles of collaborative learning and solidarity, that is, non-hierarchical mutual aid. Pursuant to cultivating well-rounded, ethical, and public facing activist intellectuals, the Global Latinidades Project also has inaugurated the Conviviality Theory and Praxis Workshop for Organizers and Activist Scholars, which is facilitated by grassroots activists and includes community people as well as activist scholars from multiple universities and organizations in the US, Mexico, Germany, and Spain. An additional workshop initiative on philosophy and Marxist theory is planned for the 2022-23 academic year. For information of these initiatives, please see Local/Global Pedagogy and Praxis Workshops in the Institutes and Initiatives menu tab.

Guided by the egalitarian non-hierarchical principles discussed in the Vision and Mission statements and demonstrated by partners and programming, the Global Latinidades Project has pursued an aggressive grants campaign to ensure it has the resources available to execute the ideas and visions that drive the center. As discussed in the inaugural Reflections Blog and in News briefs, the Global Latinidades Project and its constituent institutes and initiatives have garnered $2.4 million in extramural funding in its first four years. Students are at core of the grant-writing teams that have achieved this success, and thus are the main beneficiaries of the awards as illustrated throughout the Global Latinidades Project website. The center and all its constituent parts are on a firm footing for next five years as our partners continue to operationalize our vision and mission.

The Global Latinidades Project partners look forward to partnering with you and co-sponsoring initiatives you propose as well as initiatives we develop together. Everyone involved with the Global Latinidades Project pursues an egalitarian ethos that emphasizes everyone is a teacher and simultaneous learner. There are no masters of any type in the world we envision and in the way we operate, only compañeras, compañeros, and compañerxs, that is, comrades. On behalf of the Global Latinidades Project's community of fellow travelers, we look forward to joining efforts to explore the local/global dialectic in all its complexities, and especially the transformative potential of non-hierarchical and egalitarian praxis. Please feel free to contact us anytime.

In solidarity,