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Center for the Americas

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Center for the Americas

The Center for the Americas is dedicated to enhancing programming at the University of Oklahoma in several areas of the Western Hemisphere. Its major focus in Latin America, but it also promotes activities on the Caribbean, Canada, and global U.S. foreign policy. The Center for the Americas is sponsored by the ConocoPhillips Fund and the Canadian Studies Fund.

Center for the Americas

Among the Center for the Americas activities are monthly lunches for those in the OU community who are interested in Latin America; guest speakers; mini-conferences; film showings; musical concerts; the management of the oulatinamerica-L listserv at; a research essay competition; and more. Students or faculty interested in sponsorship from the Center for the Americas for their relevant activities should contact its director. For the moment, the Center does not offer research or travel grants to students or faculty.


Charles Kenney

Charles Kenney, Ph.D

Director, Center for the Americas

ConocoPhillips Chair in Latin American Studies

Research Fields: Politics in Latin America; Democracies and Democratization; History and Philosophy of Democracy; Political Institutions, Political Violence

Office: 222 Dale Hall Tower
Phone: (405) 325-3735



Upcoming Events

Brazil's Presidential Elections: What's at Stake?

Thursday, October 6
Zarrow Hall, Room 145

Music From Brazil: A Performance

Tuesday, October 11, 6:30 p.m.
Pitman Hall, Catlett Music Center

OU Center for the Americas Fall 2022 Calendar


Thursday, October 6, Noon-1:15 p.m., Zarrow 145

Brazil's Presidential Elections: What’s at Stake?
A Latin American Lunch talk withMichelle Morais de Sa e Silva and Fabio Costa Morais de Sa e Silva, International & Area Studies
Co-sponsored by the Center for Brazil Studies

Tuesday, October 11, 6:30 p.m., Catlett Music Center
Performance: Music from Brazil with Ricardo Souza and Ji Anderson

Co-sponsored by the OU Honors College

Friday, October 21, Noon-1:15 p.m., Zarrow 145
Why Do Corrupt Governments Invite International Anti-Corruption Commissions? Experiences from Central America

A Latin American Lunch talk with Rachel Schwartz, International & Area Studies

Thursday, November 3, Noon-1:15 p.m., Zarrow 145
Chile's Double Crisis: Gendered Labor Legacies of Authoritarian Neoliberalism

A Latin American Lunch talk with Annabel Ipsen, Sociology

Tuesday, November 29, 4 p.m., location TBD
Peruvian Director Ernesto Cabellos presents his documentary film, Hija de la Laguna

Co-sponsored by LASI


Announcing the 2022 Latin America and Caribbean Best Paper Award Winners

1st Prize ($250): Lilly Amechi, "A Case of Mistaken Identity: State and Cultural Constructions of Mapuche Womanhood Through Activism"

Written for the fall 2021 course ANTH 4843: Cross Cultural Study of Sex, Sexuality

2nd Prize ($100): Gant Roberson, "Revolutionary Solidarity and Ideological Reference in the Global South: The FMLN and Revolution in El Salvador 1970-1992"

Written for the spring 2021 course  HIST 3573: Latin American Refugees 1970-Present

Learn more about the Latin America & Caribbean Paper Award


On March 25, 2022, the OU Center for the Americas hosted a talk, "Struggles for Autonomy in Bolivia and Peru at the Time of Independence from Spain," with Victor Maqque, Managing Director for the Latin American Sustainability Initiative (LASI) and Affiliate Faculty, OU Department of History.

On January 28, 2022, the OU Center for the Americas and OU Center for Brazil Studies hosted Ian Carrillo of the OU Department of Sociology for a talk, "Dislodging Authoritarianism: The Brazilian Labor Ministry’s Fight Against Neo-Slavery and Environmental Exploitation."

On November 12, 2021, the OU Center for the Americas hosted this panel discussion on Caribbean Studies at the University of Oklahoma, with panelists Jennifer Davis Cline (history), Greg Graham (AFAM), Rita Keresztesi (English), and Lewis Eliot (history).

On October 15, 2021, the OU Center for the Americas welcomed Steven Gullberg, Associate Professor, OU Extended Campus School of Integrative and Cultural Studies, for this Zoom webinar.

A conversation with Krista Brune, Assistant Professor of Portuguese and Spanish, Penn State University. Presented by the OU Center for the Americas, Center for Brazil Studies and Department of Modern Languages, Literature and Linguistics on April 30, 2021. Respondent is Paulo Moreira, MLLL.

A talk presented by the OU Center for the Americas as part of the OU Tulsa Race Massacre centennial commemoration on April 16, 2021, with guest speaker Luis Rodrigo Salvadó, Analyst for the Public Prosecutor for Human Rights of Guatemala and Professor of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation, Universidad de Occidente de Guatemala.

On February 5, 2021, The OU Center for the Americas welcomed Sarah Hines from the OU Dept. of History, Diego Escobari from the Dept. of Economics and Finance at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Ainara Moreno Mejía from the OU Dept. of Economics for this Zoom webinar.

Past Events

  • April 30, 2021Travels, Translations, and the Literary Imagination of Brazil in the Americas, a conversation with Krista Brune, Assistant Professor of Portuguese and Spanish, Penn State University
  • April 16, 2021Race, Massacre, and Historical Memory: The Case of Guatemala, a talk with Luis Rodrigo Salvadó, Analyst for the Public Prosecutor for Human Rights of Guatemala and Professor of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation, Universidad de Occidente de Guatemala
  • February 5, 2021Democracy and Elections in Bolivia, a panel discussion with Sarah Hines, OU Dept. of History; Diego Escobari, Dept. of Economics and Finance, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Ainara Moreno Mejía, OU Dept. of Economics
  • November 13, 2020The U.S. Elections and Latin America, a webinar with Dr. Paolo Moreira, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics; Dr. Charles Kenney, Department of Political Science
  • October 30, 2020Public Health and Distrust of the State, with Gilberto Hochman, History of Sciences and Health, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Rossana Castiglioni, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and History, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile
  • September 11, 2020Responses to COVID in the Americas, a panel discussion with Dr. Michelle Morais, OU Dept. of International & Area Studies; Speaking on Cuba: Dr. Tassie Hirschfeld, OU Dept. of Anthropology; Speaking on Mexico: Dr. Alfonso Mendoza, Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla
  • January 21, 2016: The New Normal? What the Renewal of US-Cuban Diplomatic Relations Means
  • November 17, 2015: Soccer, Sex, and Scandal in Brazil, with Don Kulick, Professor of Anthropology, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • November 16, 2015: Becoming a "Brazilianist" Mid-Career, with Don Kulick, Professor of Anthropology, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • October 20, 2015: Emitting LIght and Reflecting Color, with Maya Stanfield-Mazzi
  • August 31-September 4, 2015: Latin America Week
  • Spring 2015: Brazil: Human Rights, the Legacy of the Dictatorship, and the Quest for Justice, with Dr. James Green 
  • Spring 2015 Latin Americanist Lunch series
  • Fall 2014 Latin Americanist Lunch Series
  • Brazil Conversation Hour: each Friday