Tulane has a long-standing strength in the study of Central America and Mexico. This concentration originated in a turn-of-the-century gift of a large Mesoamerican library and the university's geographic proximity to the region. As early as the 1920s the University was conducting archaeological excavations in Central America with Carnegie Institute funding. Still today, the Latin American Library's holdings of resource materials on Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico are internationally distinguished.
From its foundation in 1834, Tulane University pursued a mission of advancing research in Latin America. Our faculty of 74 core Latin Americanists, 25 affiliates, eight professional staff, and, during the last three years, 29 visiting professors, 12 fellows, and seven adjuncts represents the largest contingent of faculty associated with any department or program at the university. There is strong faculty representation in all Latin American Studies (LAS) departments. In the critical departments of Anthropology, Art History, Communication, EEB, Economics, French, History, Political Science, Sociology, and Spanish and Portuguese, Latin Americanists represent 40% of all regular faculty - 69% of whom are tenured.
The mission of the Stone Center is to insure that Latin American Studies students gain comprehensive knowledge about Latin America through a mixture of academic study, specialized training and research abroad. Our program embraces linguistic fluency, fieldwork, and direct engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean as essential to critical consciousness. The program encourages comparative studies that provide a profound understanding of differences among socio-cultural systems developed within Latin America, as well as of differences between Latin American systems and others throughout the hemisphere and globe. It grants BA, MA, MA/MBA, MA/JD, PhD, and two new doctoral degrees with Political Science and Art History. The Center also supports language instruction in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Kaqchikel Maya, Yucatec Maya, and Nahuatl.
In the 2006-2010 quaternary, Title VI funds will be used for the continued support of positions in architecture, ethnomusicology, communication, urban studies, and less commonly taught languages - Kaqchikel, Yucatec, Nahuatl, and Haitian Creole (1, 2, and 3), a full course and instructional design prospectus for a new interactive e-learning course in Kaqchikel language and culture (4), 50% salary support for a LCTL Program Coordinator and the Program Manager, Educational and Public Programs (5 & 6), the expansion of the NRC's outreach and program capacity, particularly in teacher training (7), and an impact and evaluation study of our undergraduate program. (8) Outreach initiatives include the a) Content Standards Project, b) Latin American Immersion Project, c) new high school course in Latin American Studies, d) collaborative Summer Institute with LLILAS, e) CLASP/NRC Teacher Training Network, f) Teacher Advisory Panel, g) Master Teacher Workshops, h) Latin American Environmental Film Festival, i) Latin American News/Business/Culture Report, j) The Pebbles Center, and k) support for Outreachworld.org. Finally, the NRC application addresses the NRC Absolute Priority, the NRC Competitive Priority, NRC Invitational Priorities 1, 4, 5 and FLAS Competitive Priorities 1 and 2.