Tuesday 26 January 2021

The ‘consultation’ over the restructuring of the School of Advanced Study has concluded that the Institute should close. This is despite the overwhelming support we have received in letters from the FCDO, Latin American ambassadors, Canning House, members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, learned societies in the UK and overseas, NGOS and many former students and fellows, and against the advice of ILAS’s Advisory Council. Neither does it acknowledge the nearly 10,000 people who have signed our petition.

Latin American studies will be continued in the School as the Centre for Latin American Studies within the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR). This is not what we would have wished or have argued, but it was the only option available.

The Centre will have a reduced staff complement, but it is envisaged that it will continue to perform the types of the activities that it does currently, though probably at a reduced scale. This includes performing a national role in holding events, hosting visiting fellows, supervising PhD students, supporting early career scholars, working with Senate House Library, collaborating with outside organisations, and generally acting as a research hub for scholars in the field. We will be seeking external support to develop some of these initiatives.

I would like to thank you all for amazing support you have given, which has helped us greatly through this very difficult period. Many of the details about the Centre have yet to be worked out, but we remain committed to the development of Latin American studies within the School. Please keep in contact and continue to support us in this endeavor.