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Launch of the new UCL Institute of the Americas

11 October 2012

UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant officially launched the UCL Institute of the Americas (UCL-IA) on Wednesday 3 October 2012 at BMA House, Bloomsbury.

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The launch featured a keynote address from the distinguished historian of the Americas and Provost of Columbia University, Professor John Coatsworth.

The Institute Director, Professor Maxine Molyneux also welcomed the large number of guests and laid out the aims of the Institute. Professor Coatsworth's lecture, entitled 'The Integration and Dis-Integration of the Western Hemisphere’ addressed the history of US intervention of Latin American and Caribbean politics.

Dean Coatsworth is the author or editor of eight books, including the 2 Volume Cambridge Economic History of Latin America, and numerous scholarly articles on Latin American economic and international history.

UCL Institute of the Americas covers the entire Western Hemisphere and has established a large interdisciplinary teaching and research programme on the US, Latin America the Caribbean and Canada. Professor Molyneux said:

“As well as providing opportunities to deepen specialist regional knowledge UCL-Institute of the Americas will also promote comparative research and reflection on the Americas as a whole, to understand better the differences and commonalities, and the transnational processes such as trade and migration, that are transforming their societies and political character as well as their international alignments”.

The Institute will support scholarly networks on the Americas and will work with colleagues throughout UCL with research expertise in the Americas, as well as many others who specialise in cross-cutting areas such as development policy, international history and politics, and human rights.

UCL-IA also offers a series of events and seminars on a variety of themes and countries, including an analysis of the Venezuelan elections, a discussion panel on the US elections, an event focusing on Human Rights in Colombia, and a talk on the contemporary US Supreme Court. Thanks to a generous grant from the Foundation for Canadian Studies, the Institute will offer an extensive programme of events pertaining to Canada.

Professor Molyneux said “While no one doubts the importance of the Americas for cultural, economic and strategic reasons, the scholarly analysis of the Americas has not always occupied the place it deserves within the academy or public policy. That, happily is changing, and it is a change to which the new Institute of the Americas will actively contribute’.

For further details visit the UCL Institute of the Americas website.