Interdisciplinary, transnational, and multilingual in its scope, the Initiative for the Study of LatinX America (ISLA) works to increase the visibility and impact of research in Latin American, Latine, and Caribbean studies at Rice. ISLA is led by an executive committee and a faculty and staff advisory council in consultation with a student advisory board.


As a campus-wide initiative across several schools and departments, ISLA seeks to build collaboration on all levels among faculty, students, and staff.

Each semester, ISLA hosts a monthly Research Colloquium in Latin American and Latinx Studies, a Lecture Series “New Directions in Latin American & Latinx Studies,” an ISLA pachanga/party, as well as a range of workshops and conferences.

In addition, the Department of Modern and Classical Literatures and Cultures also offers an interdisciplinary minor and major in Latin American and Latinx Studies.

ISLA's Main Objectives

The ISLA's main objectives are organized around three components:


►Further original and cutting-edge research in Latin American and Latinx Studies at Rice that is rooted in place yet transnational in scope and vision
►Bridge the disciplinary divide between Latin American and US Latinx/e/o/o/a Studies
►Highlight the heterogeneity of Latin American and Latinx lives and cultures across the globe (with a strong focus on Indigeneity, Blackness, and the multiplicity of languages spoken in the region, e.g. Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, indigenous and creole languages).


►Expand student knowledge about Latin America and US Latinx experiences across disciplines in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Engineering.
►Challenge students to think critically and creatively about the problems and opportunities facing Latinos/as/es and Latin America.
►Encourage students to engage in research and creative works related to the Latin American and Latinx experience, contributing to our collective knowledge and understanding of the region and community.


►Create an inclusive and multilingual community at Rice for students, staff members, and scholars at Ricet invested in Latin American and Latinx topics (including STEM students and faculty)
►Build bridges towards and reach out to the Latinx and Latin American communities in Houston, Texas and Gulf Coast area
►Develop relationships with institutions, organizations, and social leaders throughout the Americas to deepen Rice academic ties for faculty, students, and the broader community.