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Keywords:

  • Latin American studies;
  • cultures of area studies;
  • collaborative knowledge production;
  • inter- and postdisciplinary inquiry

ABSTRACT

This article explains why—contrary to predications of influential scholars and foundation representatives in the 1990s—Latin American studies (LAS) entered the new century vibrant and growing rapidly. We posit five realms of critique and innovation from within which, in interaction with traditional strengths of area studies, account for this vibrancy. Because these critiques challenge many inherited premises of LAS, they have faced considerable resistance; the resulting dialogue has made our field more inclusive and stronger. Anthropologists contributed amply to this transformation, which has a parallel within the discipline itself.