CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Students participate in the XVI annual Tulane University Student Conference on Latin America (TUSCLA)

December 3rd, 2018

On Saturday, December 1, Tulane University undergraduate and graduate students presented their research on Latin America at the XVI Annual Tulane University Student Conference on Latin America (TUSCLA). This interdisciplinary symposium is an opportunity for seniors from the Latin American Studies undergraduate core seminar, first-year graduate students in the graduate core seminar, and other undergraduates in Newcomb-Tulane College conducting original research on Latin America to present their individual research projects. The conference was facilitated by Dr. Edith Wolfe, SCLAS Assistant Director for Undergraduate Programs, and Dr. James Huck, SCLAS Assistant Director for Graduate Programs. Affiliates to the Stone Center for Latin American Studies served as panel discussants, including Drs. Marylin Miller, Felix Rioja, Diego Rose, Gabriel Chouhy, Renata Durães Ribeiro, and Daniel Gough.

Participants shared their experiences of the conference, citing the benefits of giving a formal presentation to their academic colleagues. “Explaining my research topic verbally helped me to conceptualize my paper,” noted Rosie Click. Similarly, Jack Leinbach remarked that it is easier to identify the logical flow, organization, and clarity of his argument during an oral presentation.

Students also commented on how a conference setting is ideal for receiving critical feedback from the panel discussants and their peers. In fact, several participants noted that the TUSCLA conference setting was perfect for academic exchange and discourse, an opportunity many students do not have in their other courses. “The audience was very interested in undergraduate research,” Leinbach noted, “Having a professor take the time to discuss my work was very rewarding.”

Students were also excited to see the audience engage with their research and provide instant feedback. “The panels were useful for receiving opinions from colleagues and developing ideas for future research,” Lindsay Golub remarked.

TUSCLA was formally launched as TUCLA in Fall of 2003 as a means to provide Latin American Studies undergraduates with an opportunity to present papers in the style and atmosphere of an academic conference. In 2017, the conference expanded as TUSCLA to include first year graduate students and students in other majors who have conducted field research in Latin America. The conference is designed to enlist all of Tulane’s undergraduates and graduate students interested in the region in a shared discussion of Latin American society and cultures.

To learn about the panelists and read abstracts of their papers, please check out the program from the conference here.