UCI is Part of a New National Consortium on Latino Humanities Studies

Dear campus community,

I’m pleased to share that UC Irvine is part of a new consortium presenting a national initiative in Latino humanities studies called “Crossing Latinidades: Emerging Scholars and New Comparative Directions.” This is made possible through a three-year, $5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The consortium includes all 16 Hispanic-Serving Institutions, or HSIs, in the country, that have the R1 designation — top tier doctoral universities with very high research activity — in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The consortium focuses its efforts on increasing the number of Latino students pursuing terminal degrees and advancing to academic positions.

The multi-institutional model of research and training featured in the Crossing Latinidades initiative will expand opportunities for a growing population of Latino students and support a national cohort of doctoral students in Latino humanities studies.

A key component of the initiative is the creation of an intensive yearly summer institute on Latino studies methodologies and theories and a mentorship program that aims to enhance the rising scholars’ comparative research skills, intellectual curiosity, creativity and critical thinking. Each university will send two pre-proposal graduate students to the summer institute, and 96 students in total will benefit from the institute and from an assigned mentor.

A second part of the program is a research working group initiative that seeks to impact the field of Latino humanities studies with a new model of collaborative, comparative and cross-regional research to more accurately reflect the changing configurations of Latinos in the United States. In years two and three of the grant, 10 research working groups will be funded that will include senior and junior Latino humanities scholars as well as six graduate students.

Plans also include the creation of a web portal that will network all faculty conducting research in Latino studies at the consortium’s universities. This is the first initiative for the consortium of the 16 R1-HSI universities and additional plans are currently being developed across all fields of studies.

The grant was awarded to the University of Illinois Chicago in support of this initiative as the product of the consortium. Olga Herrera, a visiting scholar in Latin American and Latino studies at UIC, will serve as the director of the Crossing Latinidades initiative.

Along with UCI and UIC, the institutional partners in the consortium are: UC Riverside; UC Santa Barbara; UC Santa Cruz; University of Arizona; Florida International University; University of Central Florida; University of New Mexico; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of North Texas; Texas Tech University; University of Houston; University of Texas, Arlington; University of Texas, El Paso; and the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York.

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Douglas M. Haynes, Ph.D. (Pronouns: he/him/his)
Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Chief Diversity Officer
Director, ADVANCE Program
Professor of History