Centre for African, Latin American And Caribbean Studies (CALACS)
JSIA’s Centre for African, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS), founded in 2011, emerges precisely at the moment when Global South-South relations are increasingly defining North-South diplomacy, politics, business and law. The synergy between Africa and the Americas, a project hundreds of years in the making, is now enjoying a period of revitalization owing to an economic boom in Latin America and in the Caribbean countries, as well as similar developments in several key African nations. In many instances, the domestic and export wealth of CALACS nations now extends beyond their ‘natural’ resources, reaching into the global domain of human innovation.
CALACS’ mission at JSIA is three fold. First and foremost, it seeks to inform JGU students about three dynamic regions linked by a common history and culture. In 2011-12, CALACS will establish a JSIA minor in African, Latin American and Caribbean Culture, which will draw primarily from course work in JSIA. In subsequent years, CALACS will establish a joint JSIA/JGLS/JGBS certificate program, an interdisciplinary program which will include course-work in the business, law, and international affairs, and ultimately, on governance for the students of Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, or JSG. Whereas attaining a minor will introduce students to the possibility of graduate school specialization, the certificate will prepare them to be regional ‘specialists’ upon graduation.
As the certificate program draws a number of students, the Centre will encourage these students to take advantage of JGU’s existing study abroad programs, pursuing additional and supplementary coursework in their regional area of concentration. Other student programming may include a student–run newsletter, and various short internship programs coordinated in cooperation with the JGLS' Career Development and Placement Cell.
CALACS’ secondary mission is related to its first one. In addition to exposing JGU’s students to the culture, history and politics of CALACS nations, the Centre also aspires to become a beacon to the business, non-governmental and diplomatic visitors who hail from CALACS nations and who live in India. These individuals, who will be given the designation CALACS community associates, or CALACS/CAs, may wish to use the resources of the university to further inter-regional dialogue. Whenever possible, and especially when these dialogues extend to various members of the JGU community, CALACS will be a natural resource and ally. To initiate this dialogue, and with the support of JSIA, CALACS will sponsor a 2012-13 visiting speakers forum. The forum will feature four to six CALACS forum lectures annually. The topics will span the areas of inter-regional finance, migration, environmental issues, as well as other important public policy concerns. As the minor and certificate programs blossom, these CALACS/CAs may also serve as an additional human resource to JGU/CALACS student researchers.
The Centre's third mission, or goal, is once again related to the other two agendas, namely expanding and increasing dialogue. CALACS, with the logistical support of JSIA, will help JGU mentor faculty members who wish to find facilities for research, grant writing, and seek conference and journal venues for their writing. In the near future, CALACS will endeavor to establish a number of reciprocal sabbatical research programs with partner institutions in CALACS nations. These programs will be geared toward academics who study in CALACS nations, but whose work concerning the Indian sub-continent, East Asia, other Indian Ocean nations brings them to the JGU campus. Finally, many global universities, but especially institutions in the U.S. and Europe, have Centres similar to JSIA’s CALACS. The Centre will reach out to these whenever coordination of programming, research and publishing ventures are possible.