The Latin American Studies Network of Montreal (RÉLAM) is founded on the need to create a space for research and collaboration for the “Latin American community” of Montreal. In the Spring of 2014, a group of professors from four Montreal universities proposed the establishment of a group of Latin American Studies to their social science colleagues who share an interest in Latin America. This appeal met a large and enthusiastic response.
As a diverse metropolis, Montreal serves as an excellent hub for exchanging knowledge on Latin America. The confluence of Anglophone and Francophone academic communities provides an exceptional resource in this regard. However, there is not only a lack of framework for cooperation but also a dearth of centralized resources to support the development of initiative for interuniversity collaboration, as is the case in many large North American cities.
The main mission of RÉLAM is therefore to provide an interdisciplinary network of exchange, cooperation and distribution in the areas of Latin American studies pertaining to social science. Its goal is neither to replace nor to superimpose on existing partnership among our universities (research centers, chairs, teams etc.). Rather RÉLAM seeks to offer professors and graduate students a channel in which to focus and consolidate existing connections and collaborations on research and teaching, as well as an impetus for collaborative activities.
Specifically, RÉLAM will focus on five main areas of research:
- Citizenship, Engagement and Inclusion
- Inequality, Development and Diversity
- Environment, Territory and Transnationalism
- Violence, Memory and Justice
- Identities, Constructions and Representations
In the spirit of interuniversity cooperation, RÉLAM has established a governing structure that includes teachers from Concordia University, University of Montreal, McGill University and University of Quebec in Montreal, which will consult a body of student representation. RÉLAM is an affiliated unit of the Centre d’études et de recherches internationales de l’Université de Montréal (CÉRIUM).