The history of the Department of Latin America dates back to 2001, when the Chair in Latin American Studies was established at the Institute of Regional Studies of the Jagiellonian University with Professor Władysław Miodunka as its chairperson. Since 2004, the unit has functioned as part of the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora. In the period of 2019-2022, it was headed by Prof. Karol Derwich. The activities of the department were launched with the introduction of Latin American Studies as a new specialization in the Master of Arts in Culture Studies program in the 2002-2003 academic year. In the 2012-2013 academic year, it was transformed into a specialization in Latin America within a new program of study: American Studies. This specialization, which is devoted to the entire region of Latin America (South America, Central America, and the Caribbean) is interdisciplinary in nature. The scholarly and didactic interests of the department’s academic staff focus on social and political problems that are unique to the region as well as on diverse cultural phenomena from the pre-Columbian period to the contemporary era.
Department of Latin America
- The history and politics of Latin America
- The development and transformation of Latin American societies
- Contemporary social problems and phenomena
- The international relations of Latin America and the Caribbean
- Migrations and migration policy in the Americas
- Comparative studies of migration from Europe to the Americas
- Hispanics/Latinos in the United States
- Transculturation in Latin American literature
- Transnational problems
- Nationalism and nation-forming processes
- The transformations of Latin American identity
- Human rights
- The rights of indigenous peoples of Latin America
- Heritage studies
Our scholars’ academic interests include:
- Mexico from historical and contemporary perspectives, democratization processes, public security, organized crime;
- language-identity relations, language policies in the U.S. and Latin America, Latin America’s languages;
- hybrid and heterogenic literature created in the areas of merging of two or more languages;
- transnational issues in literature, history reconstruction and the search for identity in ethnic literature;
- national / ethnic / cultural identity;
- the immigration policy of the U.S. towards Hispanics/Latinos, American immigration law, the migration of children from Central America to the United States, and the problems of contemporary Cuban refugees;
- the Jewish Diaspora in Latin America;
- North American integration;
- cultural policy and cultural pluralism in Latin America: the rights of indigenous peoples; the political, social, and legal aspects of the protection of Latin America’s cultural heritage; religious diversity and processes of syncretism in past and present-day Latin America.
The organization of the highly-respected Krakow Conferences of Latin American Studies (KKL), which have evolved from being a regional forum into an important international event. Four editions have been organized so far:
- 2016 – "Migraciones y diasporas de la América Latina contemporanea" (“Migrations and Diasporas in Contemporary Latin America”).
- 2013 – "Derechos humanos en América Latina. Teoria y práctica" (“Human Rights in Latin America: Theory and Practice”).
- 2010 – "Ruchy społeczne i etniczne w Ameryce Łacińskiej" (“Social and Ethnic Movements in Latin America”).
- 2007 – "Doświadczenie demokracji w Ameryce Łacińskiej" (“The Experience of Democracy in Latin America”).
As part of their academic activities, scholars from the department have for several years organized cyclical seminars and teleconferences with the goal of meeting and discussing with experts in many fields of Latin American studies as well as interacting with representatives of the world of culture, media, and diplomacy.
- "Pentecostalism, Politics, and Religious Equality in Argentina" (April 2017).
- "Cultural Heritage and New Religious Phenomena in the Americas: The Past and the Present" (April 2017).
- "Pensamiento latinoamericano" (“Latin American Thought,” January 16, 2017).
- Meeting with the Ambassador of Mexico to Poland (October 2016).
- "Mexico en el siglo XXI" (“Mexico in the Twenty-First Century,” October 25, 2016).
- Meeting with Jacek Hinz, Former Ambassador of Poland in Caracas (Venezuela) (2016).
- Meeting with the Ambassador of the Republic of Peru in Poland (June 2016).
- "Working with My Own Language: Research and Revitalization of the Nahuatl Language and Culture" (June 9, 2016).
- "Political Crisis in Brazil: Impeachment or Coup d’état?" (May 19, 2016).
- "The Religious Diversification of the Americas: Myths, Traditions, Contemporary Phenomena" (March 18, 2016).
- "Cuba in the Post-Hegemonic World" (December 11, 2015).
- "Student Movements in Mexico, 1968-2015" (October 23, 2015).
- "The Place of Latin America in Contemporary International Relations" (April 28, 2015).
- "Latinos in Krakow" (April 29, 2015).
- The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas: Yesterday and Today" (March 19, 2015).
- "Latin American Literature since the Times of Boom: Regional or Global?" (November 19, 2014).
- "Cuba in the Contemporary World" (October 28, 2014).
- "What’s Going On in Venezuela?" (March 4, 2014).
- "Peligros para la democracia en America Latina" (“Dangers to Democracy in Latin America,” March 27, 2014).
- "The Fuel Revolution in Latin America" (January 16, 2014).
- "Protección del medio ambiente en America Latina – amenazas y soluciones" (“Protection of the Environment in Latin America,” December 12, 2013).
- "America: A Meeting or a Discovery?" (October 14, 2013).
- Participation in academic conferences organized by members of the Academic Circle of Latin American Studies, including the moderation of conference panels and the presentation of papers.
- Participation in discussions with students, including the regularly scheduled “Fireside Chats” dedicated to the current socio-political problems of both Americas.