The Center for the Americas College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences


at the University of Houston

Mission Statement

The Center for the Americas seeks to promote knowledge of America as a hemispheric region.

The Center is founded on the recognition that America is not synonymous with the U.S. but is, rather, a complex region of inter-related cultures and nations. The programs and projects supported by the Center are designed to foster closer relations and increased understanding among these diverse American cultures and nations.

Programs and Projects

The Center facilitates the comparative study of American cultures by fostering exchanges among faculty and students in universities throughout the Americas by:

The Center will organize international symposia, lecture series and publications that address a full range of issues affecting cultural, social and political relations in the Americas.

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The Institutional Location

The University of Houston is well situated to establish The Center for the Americas. We are geographically at the center of the Americas, in a state that borders Mexico and is washed by the same Gulf waters that also wash the shores of Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Caribbean countries.

The diverse and international character of our student body as well as the expertise of faculty offer an ideal institutional context for The Center for the Americas. With approximately 25 specialists on Latin America and the Caribbean, and many more specialists on the United States, we have a strong nucleus upon which to build.

Many of our faculty--from the Colleges of Business, Education, Engineering, Law, Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences --have published widely on American topics (in the hemispheric sense of the word American.)

We have strong programs already in place: the American Cultures Program; Arte Publico Press and the Recovery Project for Hispanic literature in the U.S.; the Center for Public History.

There are large programs in international law and international business; strong Ph.D programs in Latin American history and Latin American literature; a summer Spanish language program that has taken place in a variety of Latin American countries and the Moores School of Music is in the planning stages for The Music of the Americas Press, which will publish under-distributed Latin American composers.

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The Research Agenda

The Center for the Americas supports research on a wide range of cultural, political and social topics, including trade and economic reform, the environment, pressing social issues such as street children, the status of indigenous peoples, drugs, civil-military relations, freedom of the press, human rights, and American cultures.

Areas of special emphasis include:

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Programmatic Initiatives

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Curriculum Innovation: The American Cultures Program

Drawing on faculty from more than 10 departments and schools in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the American Cultures Program offers truly hemispheric, interdisciplinary, and multicultural perspectives on the history and cultures of the Americas. Cutting across traditional departmental and disciplinary boundaries, the program encourages faculty members to combine methodologies and source materials from such disciplines as anthropology, art, communication, economics, history, literature, music, philosophy, political science, psychology and sociology.

The program's central theme involves the creation of distinctive American cultures as a result of the complex relations and borrowings among African, Asian, European and indigenous peoples and cultures. Specially designed to take advantage of Houston's distinctive location and resources, the American Cultures Program combines four focus areas:


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Center for the Americas | CLASS | Dean's Office: 402 Agnes Arnold Hall | (713)743-4002 | (713)743-2990 fax