Institute of Latin American Studies


About us

The Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) is Australia's first and Victoria's only academic centre dedicated to fostering research and understanding of Latin American history, sociology, politics, commerce, economics, archaeology, languages, and culture.

The Institute coordinates undergraduate courses, promotes research and postgraduate work on Latin America, and liaises with government, the diplomatic corps, the media and the Latin American community in Melbourne and across Australia.

ILAS provides a lively and stimulating environment for a passionate community of scholars, as well as a context for our students completing exchange programs with the University's Latin American partner universities.

ILAS seminars and conferences

Keep up to date with our upcoming seminars and conferences.

Intensive Subjects

View our 2018-2019 Summer and Winter Intensive subjects.



Director: Dr Ralph Newmark (History) (past-President AILASA)

Research interests: Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, Latin American popular culture, U.S.-Latin American relations, development studies/international development, Jamaica and the Caribbean

Deputy Director: Dr Heidi Zogbaum (Honorary Associate History)

Research interests: Mexico, NAFTA, colonial Latin America, EU-Latin American relations.

Legal Studies: Dr Raul Sanchez Urribarri

Research interests: Interests: comparative Legal Studies, judicial politics in Latin America, political regimes,  rule of law,  law and development,   Andean countries (Venezuela in particular).

Spanish: Dr Isabel Moutinho

Research interests: Contemporary fiction in Portuguese. Cultural memory and identity. Postcolonial literatures. African fiction from the Portuguese-speaking countries. Latin American (especially Colombian) literature.

Spanish: Dr Laura Tolton

Research interests: Colombia, violence and language against women, literature, linguistics.

History: Dr Claudia Haake

Research interests: Native American history, Mexico, historical justice.

La Trobe International: Carolina Rodriguez

International Development Manager, Europe and the Americas

Honorary Senior Research Fellows

Professor Barry Carr, FASSA, (past-President AILASA)

Research interests: History, Mexico, Cuba, labour and agrarian history, history of tourism and leisure.

Dr Rowan Ireland

Research interests: Sociology, Brazil, religion in Latin America, development studies.

Dr Anthony Disney

Research interests: History, colonial Brazil, Portuguese empire.

Dr Lilit Thwaites (past-President AILASA)

Research interests: Contemporary Spanish literature, writers of the Post Civil War period, translation, literature and/through film, Hispano-Australian and Latina writers.

Professor John Sinclair (University of Melbourne)

Research interests: History/Media Studies, Latin American media.

Professor Peter Mathews

Research interests: Maya and Mesoamerican archaeology, Maya hieroglyphic writing, the archaeology of complex societies, writing systems.

Dr Gabrelle Murray

Research interests:  Latin American cinema, Mexico, Latin American popular culture

Dr Bill Murray

Research interests: History, Sport, Brazil

Adjunct Professor Charles Mott

Interests: International university relationships, former Australian Ambassador to Brazil

Honorary Research Fellows

Dr Ruth Adler  Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: DFAT

Research interests: International relations, environmental policy, labour history, Mexico

Dr Mary Aitken

Research interests: history, Literature, culture, Brazil

Dr Guillermo Arnad

Research interests: literature, music - Tango, Argentina

Dr Zuleika Arashiro

Research interests: politics, international relations, Brazil

Dr Faye Bendrups

Research interests: drama, music - Tango, Argentina

Dr Diana Bourne

Research interests: anthropology, womens' health, Colombia

Dr Helga Geovannini

Research interests: archaeology, Mayans, Mexico

Dr Andrew Harvey

Research interests: history, William Lane, Paraguay

Dr Anne Jones

Research interests: unionism, international solidarity, Chile

Dr Beryl Langer

Research interests: sociology, migration, Central America.

Ms Anna Lanyon

Research interests: colonial history, literature, Mexico

Dr Simon Overall

Research interests: Indigenous languages, linguistics, Peru, Ecuador

Dr Goetz Ottmann

Research interests: sociology, Brazil

Dr Peter Woodruff

Research interests: history, development, Peru

Dr Les Hazell

Research interests: archaeology, Olmecs, indigenous voyaging, prehistoric engineering, Mexico

Dr Michelle Carmody

Research interests: history, nationalism, human rights, Argentina

Dr Randal Sheppard

Research interests: history, modern Mexican politics, Mexico

Dr Sylvia Whitmore

Research interests: Archaeology, Mexico

Dr Guy Emerson

Research interests: politics, regional co-operation, Venezuela.

Dr Andrew Soh

Research interests: Economics, Venezuela

Dr Victor Albert

Research interests: Sociology, Brazil

Dr Carl Callaway

Research interests: Archaeology, Mexico

Dr Mario Trinidad

Research interests: History, Guatemala

Dr Michaela Callaghan

Research interests: History, Peru

Dr Victor del Rio

Research interests:Management, Education, Commerce, Mexico

Dr Tyson White

Research interests: Archaeology, Mexico

Subscribe to our mailing list

By filling out the form below you are providing the ILAS with your preferred valid email address which will be used to sign you up to our notification mailing list.

Your email address will be provided to a third party, MailChimp, which will send the notifications to you on behalf of the ILAS. MailChimp will store your email address on its server, located in the United States. If you have questions about the collection, use and disclosure of this information by the ILAS please contact

View MailChimp's privacy policy

* indicates required