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Latin American Working Groups

CLAS-sponsored Working Groups 

Cafecito Quechua Working Group

Faculty Advisor: Marisol Necochea

Stanford Student Organizer: Leonardo Velloso-Lyons

Cafecito Quechua promotes Andean issues and cultures, inviting members to share their experiences with the region. Through weekly meetings, they have been engaging the Stanford and wider Bay Area communities on the Quechua language and culture. This working group will continue to bring together academics, organizations, and practitioners working on or researching the Andean region.


Encuentro Nahuatl Working Group 

Faculty Advisor: Alberto Díaz-Cayeros

Stanford Student Organizer: Ruben Diaz Vasquez

Encuentro Nahuatl Working Group is a graduate student-led and founded organization aiming to promote the learning of the Nahuatl language and build community.  Encuentro Nahuatl promotes Nahuatl issues and cultures, inviting members to share their experiences with the region through language classes, movie screenings, and guest speakers.

Latin America and the Caribbean Working Group (LACWG)

Faculty Advisor: Angela Garcia

Stanford Student Organizers: Grace Alexandrino Ocaña and Jaime Landínez Aceros

Founded in Winter 2018, LACWG was created in response to the serious disparity between the number of Stanford scholars whose research and work focus on Latin America and the number of graduate students whose field sites, research, and theoretical interests are rooted in the region. To address this gap, since 2018 LACWG introduced bi-weekly structured workshop meetings with the support of the CLAS and the Department of Anthropology. Throughout these two years of uninterrupted work, the group has served as a multidisciplinary platform where our diverse community discusses, learns, and understands Latin America and the Caribbean. Our goal is to continue this important task in the academic year 2020-2021.

Praxis: Academic “Practice” and “Theory”

Faculty Advisor: Héctor Hoyos

Stanford Student Organizers: Joseph Wager and Juan Aurelio Fernández Meza

Praxis will  investigate the state and parastate(e.g.,legal and illegal uses of  force) pressures on territory and the concomitant resistance  through territory.  In other words,  like  CLAS itself, this working group aims to cultivate  “scientific knowledge that strengthens social, economic and environmental justice, sustainability, inclusion and democracy” in the Américas. In discussing the tension between “academia” and “reality,” we in fact engage in a de facto questioning of the representative capacity of intellectual production and how said production participates in the world. Thought and academic research create a reflexive opening with influences exerted in cultural, political, and social media. It is at such junctures that academia and reality evince their link and enrich each other in terms of representations and transformative politics/policies.

Other Working Groups 

materia: Latin Americanist and Comparative Post-Anthropocentrisms

Faculty Advisor: Héctor Hoyos, Ximena Briceño, Lea Pao

Stanford Student Organizer: Romina Wainberg

materia is a DLCL Focal (formerly Working) Group on anthropodecentric thinking. Since 2014, the group has served as a platform for graduate and faculty research. Our meetings combine reading discussion, student presentations, and guest speakers. Regular workshop meetings include some twenty-five participants from ILAC and Comp Lit (the pillars of the group), as well as from English, MTL, German, Anthropology, and Music, among others. We collaborate with several other groups on campus and correspond with similar projects in the Bay Area and elsewhere. Cognate courses, as well as completed and ongoing dissertation projects, speak to the continuing impact of the group. There have been sixteen workshops and an international conference to date. The former average twenty-five participants; the latter had over seventy. The convening theme for our sixth year of activities will be “Life and Transmission.”

Session formats alternate to include discussions of readings moderated by faculty and graduate students, presentations of works-in-progress, and talks by guest speakers. All readings will be pre-distributed by email and are available to download from our website,