The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) is one of the largest and oldest Latin American Studies programs in the United States. Founded in 1940, LLILAS is a vibrant center for the interdisciplinary study of Latin America and the Caribbean, and for the dissemination of this research and creative production. LLILAS faculty affiliates—numbering over 160—teach courses on a broad array of topics and train students for BA, MA, and PhD degrees in Latin American Studies. In addition, faculty teach courses in their respective disciplines in more than thirty academic departments across the University, melding a Latin American focus with their particular areas of expertise. Graduate dual-degree programs are available to combine Latin American studies with business administration, communication studies, community and regional planning, global policy studies, information studies, journalism, law, public affairs, radio-television-film, and social work. Latin American research occupies a significant place in several other colleges, particularly in the areas of fine arts, information studies, education, law, and architecture.

LLILAS hosts an average of three Latin American visiting professors annually through the Edward Larocque Tinker Chair in Latin American Studies, endowed by the Tinker Foundation, for distinguished Latin American scholars; and the UT-Fulbright Visiting Professorship, under an agreement with the Fulbright Commission of Brazil. 

In September 2011, LLILAS joined forces with the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, the largest university research collection on Latin America in the United States, to become LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections. Operating under a leadership team led by a LLILAS director and a Benson director, the partnership seeks to generate knowledge and understanding of Latin America and U.S. Latina/o communities through teaching, research, digital archives, outreach, and scholarly exchange. Throughout the year, LLILAS Benson sponsors symposia and lectures by visiting and resident specialists, and engages the public through public events, exhibits, and outreach to K–16 educators and students to foster greater knowledge of Latin America around the state and the nation.

LLILAS Benson is also a frequent collaborator with a number of partner institutions, including The University of Texas Libraries, the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, the Center for Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. In addition, LLILAS Benson has formal relationships with many institutions throughout Latin America, fostering the exchange of students, faculty, and research.

LLILAS runs two area centers, the Mexico Center and the Brazil Center. The Mexico Center was established in 1980 to coordinate the advancement of Mexican studies at the University. Its initiatives bring together students, faculty, visiting researchers, and the communities of Austin, Texas, and Mexico to foster a fuller understanding of the region. The center's Puentes initiative, inaugurated in 2019, established a yearly summit designed to foster collaboration between UT Austin scholars and their Mexican counterparts in a variety of fields. The Mexico Center sponsors the annual Austin Lecture on Contemporary Mexico, which invites a prominent Mexican intellectual to campus. The Brazil Center, founded in 1995, supports Brazilian studies across academic disciplines at the university in order to promote collaborative research and exchange between Texas and Brazil. Approximately one-quarter of LLILAS-affiliated faculty dedicate all or part of their research and/or instruction to Brazil-related content in diverse disciplines. LLILAS also houses the Argentine Studies Program to facilitate scholarly exchange between Argentina and the University. The institute’s Center for Indigenous Languages of Latin America (CILLA) and its Indigenous Languages Initiative promote research and training programs about Indigenous languages, as well as teaching by native-speakers of Indigenous languages that form an important part of the society and culture of Latin America. The Archiving Black América initiative centers archival work and research on the Black Diaspora in Latin America. The Caribbean Studies Initiative showcases UT Austin's interdisciplinary cohort of Caribbean-focused scholars and students.

LLILAS Benson is the home of AILLA, the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America, a digital archive of recordings and texts in a wide range of genres that includes a wealth of language documentation materials. LLILAS Benson's online magazine, Portal, publishes the work of faculty, students, staff, and invited authors on a wide variety of topics relating to Latin America. 

LLILAS Benson maintains one of the largest collections of digital assets designed to support Latin American studies in the world. The LLILAS Benson Digital Collections and Content LibGuide provides an overview of digital content managed, hosted, and/or curated by LLILAS Benson, as well as other tools and platforms that support discovery and access to digital content. The guide includes materials digitized from LLILAS Benson's collections and from collaborative partnerships with other institutions and researchers. Resources highlight the heritage of Latin American, U.S. Latinx, African Diasporic, and Indigenous American communities. Special focuses include human rights, colonial documents, visual content, Indigenous languages, and popular culture materials. 

LLILAS Benson is located in Sid Richardson Hall unit 1, on the eastern edge of The University of Texas at Austin campus. Additional information is available through the LLILAS website and the Benson website.