Welcome to the LACIIR Collections and Archives Page
<a name="whoweare">Who We Are</a>
The Interdisciplinary Initiative on Latin American Religions (LACIIR) at FIU is a collective academic effort for the study of Latin American and Caribbean religions and their interplay with the varied social, cultural, and political contexts in which they have historically unfolded.
In the long process of becoming an institutional initiative during the past six years, LACIIR, has been consolidated as a space for inclusive academic dialogue and debate between faculty and graduate students from different departments and disciplines within FIU and other national and international universities.
LACIIR is largely the materialization of Dr. Bidegain’s lifelong project of bringing visibility to the unique aspects of Latin American and Caribbean religions through inclusive and interdisciplinary scholarship. Her personal and professional dedication to the building of knowledge from a collaborative perspective has paved the way for LACIIR to convene a large community of scholars. Diverse projects have been developed thanks to this collaboration, including conferences, books, journals, and the DARLAC archive.
LACIIR has especially benefited from the dedication of FIU faculty and students from Religious Studies, Latin America and Caribbean Center (LACC), History, International Relations, and Global & Sociocultural Studies (GSS)/School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).
Our main interest with this initiative is to continue developing research and outreach materials and activities that expand the understanding of the fluidity, diversity, and interconnectivity of religions in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the US, with a particular focus on Miami, which is itself a vital economic and socio-cultural nexus of the Americas.
Our mission is the scholarly engagement of the multicultural realities of religions in Latin America, the Caribbean and their diasporas through research, dialogue, pedagogy, and the dissemination of resources.
- To document and better understand the changing contours of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) religions in their contemporary, historical, socioeconomic, and sociocultural contexts.
- To study the practice and expression of dynamic religious topographies and demographics of Latin America, the Caribbean, and their diasporas.
- To canvass places of religious beliefs, worship, ethical expressions and religious organization in Latin America, the Caribbean and its diaspora with close survey of their networks and emerging institutions; their various forms of adaptation and religious education, their encounter with the other religious traditions, and their concurrence with civic, social, cultural and political institutions.
- To explore and record the experiences, histories, and implications of religious encounter, change, pluralism, and their impact and interactions on society, politics, economy, arts and cultures.
- To discern the emerging meanings of religious diversity within the religious communities of LAC, and to consider the real challenges and opportunities of a public commitment to a religious ethnic mosaic in the light of existing and emerging religious contours in these regions.
- To analyze the role of religions bringing the understanding and/or conflict of particular, local context; helping to develop capacities to defend human rights and dignity and to build new alliances from the ground up.
- To support peace processes and build better understanding within communities who suffer internal conflicts and violence or live in a political transition and oppression.
- To implement a Graduate Certificate in “Latin American and Caribbean Religions and its Diaspora” in the Department of Religious Studies.
- To implement an online Certificate of Continuing Education in Spanish and English in conjunction with the Department of Religious Studies.
- To build a digital archive and database of Latin American and Caribbean religions through an international network of LAC and US universities, researchers, faculties, students, centers and libraries. Discussions are in progress for funding initiatives in tandem with the Special Collections Department of FIU’s Green Library.
- To build a digital platform and establish an international network of researchers and academics in order to share and discuss research in progress, disseminate data, working papers and publications in Spanish, English and Portuguese.
- To produce a scholarly, bilingual text in both printed and e-book formats, to teach Latin American and Caribbean Religions and its diaspora.
- The inauguration of an annual, interdisciplinary panel and lecture series program / colloquia series to commence in.
- To target and present grant proposals to public endowment, charitable foundations and private individuals for fundraising. Ongoing.
- To organize and convene at FIU an international conference on Latin American and Caribbean religious pluralism and its diaspora in the context of a new understanding of the secularization process and the establishment or development of lay states in the Americas.
- Dr. Ana Maria Bidegain
- Dr. Iqbal Akhtar
- Dr. Daniel Alvarez
- Dr. Alfonso Matas
- Dr. Alex Fernández
- Dr. Mercedes Vigon
- Dr. Jeff González
- Dr. Joseph Holbrook
- Stephanie Londono (Ph.D student)
- Valeria Schindler
- Jeannette Smith
RELIGIOUS STUDIES ALUMNI
- Diego Castellano (Ph.D student)
- Ernesto Fioccheto (Ph.D student)
- Sonia Scheuren (Ph.D student)
RELIGIOUS STUDIES GRADUATES
- Juan Sanchez
- Margarita Diaz
HISTORY GRADUATE STUDENTS AND ALUMNI
- Gremaud Angee (Ph.D student)
- Sandra Londono (Ph.D Candidate)
- Dr. Leonardo Falcon
GLOBAL & SOCIOCULTURAL STUDIES (GSS)
- Andrea Sánchez (Ph.D Candidate)