Upcoming Teacher Workshops

CLAS Teacher Workshops

Spring 2016 Professional Development Opportunities Overview

January 29  (TBA)

February 8 They Are We: Exploring Afro-Cuban Identity through Film and Archives. CLAS Black History Month Series Workshop

March 29-31 (TBA, date pending) From Guadalajara to Nashville: a Hands-On Workshop in Artisanal Dying and Weaving

Workshop Details and Registration

They Are We: Exploring Afro-Cuban Identity through Film and Archives. CLAS Black History Month Series Workshop

As part of CLAS’ Black History Month workshop series, we are thrilled to offer a Spring 2016 workshop featuring the award-winning film They Are We (2014) and presentations by the film’s director, Emma Christopher, and Vanderbilt historian Jane Landers.

THEY ARE WE (Official Teaser) from Sergio Leyva Seiglie on Vimeo.

The film focuses on members of the Gangá-Longobá, a small Afro-Cuban ethnic group, and how they have kept their unique heritage alive. This moving documentary captures this community’s journey to learning about and becoming acquainted with their ancestors in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and vice-versa. Participants in the workshop will attend a screening of the film, followed by a presentation by Christopher, an academic historian, writer, and anti-slavery activist from the University of Sydney, about Afro-Cuban identity and experience. Vanderbilt historian and director of the Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies Digital Archive (ESSSS), Jane Landers, will present on the African slave trade and ethnicity in Cuba. Join us for this exciting and unique opportunity to explore Afro-Cuban history and identity in contemporary and historical context!

Appropriate for teachers grades 5-16 (and pre-service teachers).
Subject areas: social studies, history, AP Human Geography, languages, cultural studies, anthropology, sociology, film/visual studies, etc.
Time: 9am-3pm (Lunch Included) Location: Vanderbilt University (Parking Included), Room TBA
Registration: 10 USD, free for in-service teachers or teachers at regional community colleges (contact us for more information)

Please submit application here.

Checks made payable to

Vanderbilt University Center for Latin American Studies
Attn: They Are We Workshop
VU Station B#351806
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-1806


Past Workshops and Events

Fall 2015 Professional Development Opportunities Overview

September 10 Cuba: Histories of the Present K-16 Educator Workshop (with Tennessee State University)

November 6 Beyond the Body: Exploring the Human Spirit Through Art and Forensics (with Cheekwood Botanical Garden and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts))

Workshop Details and Registration

“Cuba: Histories of the Present” K-16 Educator Workshop

Are you interested in incorporating Cuban history, culture, and music into your language, social studies, music, or art classroom? Come explore the rich heritage and complex history of a country and culture too-often overshadowed by political rhetoric with scholars who have lived and done research in Cuba.  This unique educator workshop will bring K-16 teachers into conversation with historians, photographers, and scholars of language, music, and culture in Cuba. It will include lunch and time to explore the exhibit “Cuba: Histories of the Present” that features photography by historian David LaFevor.  In the morning, W. Frank Robinson will present on the history of U.S.-Cuban relations.   Rob Nasatir will present on Cuban music and culture, specifically on the Cuban New Song movement, and offer suggestions for incorporating music into the language or social studies classroom. After lunch and time to enjoy the exhibit, David LaFevor will discuss his photography and Afro-Cuban culture and daily life, past and present. Images from the exhibit could be incorporated into lesson plans about Cuban history, culture, language, and religion.

Key words: Cuba, Cuban-US relations, Spanish language, music, art, Afro-Cuba, Religion, History, Human Geography, Diversity

When: September 10, 2015 9am – 2pm
Where: Elliott Hall | Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37209
Cost: Free for pre-service teachers and TSU faculty$15.00 for in-service teachers
Register here by September 3, 2015!


Beyond the Body: Exploring the Human Spirit Through Art and Forensics

Cheekwood, Frist Center for Visual Arts, and Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt have partnered to offer a workshop that introduces participants to art and cultural celebrations associated with themes of loss and the human spirit. Educators will tour Phantom Bodies: The Human Aura in Art at the Frist Center in the morning, and will participate in a discussion with Tiffiny Tung, bioarcheologist and associate professor at Vanderbilt University, at Cheekwood in the afternoon. Teachers that register for the workshop by October 19 will receive a free pass to attend Cheekwood’s El Día de los Muertos festival on October 24. The significance of this festival and related hands-on art activities will also be explored.

When: November 6, 2015

9:00am – 4:00pm

$35 per person ($30/Cheekwood or Frist Center members)

For details and registration please contact Shaun Giles (sgiles@fristcenter.org)

Spring and Summer 2015

In Focus: Latin America Through Film 2015 (June 8-12, Vanderbilt University)

Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American Studies will offer a summer educator institute entitled “In Focus: Teaching Latin America through Film” for teachers in grades 7-16. The institute will be held Monday, June 8th through Friday, June 12th on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Teachers will study different aspects of Latin America through feature films and documentaries with faculty and staff who specialize in Latin America. Films will cover diverse themes relevant to educators in history, language, human geography, engineering/city planning, and even art history. Educators will work together develop and share curriculum plans for increased coverage of Latin America in their respective schools. Participants will receive a certificate of participation. Participants will receive copies of selected films and a certificate of participation. The deadline to apply is May 30, 2014. Spots are limited to 20.

Corrido Musicians at the market in Culiacan, MX Photo from Al Otro Lado

For additional information (including potential scholarships), please email Jamie Lee Marks at jamie.l.marks@vanderbilt.edu

The deadline to apply is May 30, 2014. To register, click here. Download and share the 2015 CLAS LAtin America Through Film Institute Flyer!


Zora Neale Hurston: Health and Spirituality in the Caribbean and US South (April 24-25 Tuskegee University)

While Zora Neale Hurston is best known for her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, it is less widely known that Hurston wrote that novel while doing fieldwork on traditional health and healing practices in Haiti.  Hurston’s work was truly transnational, following questions about the human experience and the African Diaspora through the U.S. South, as well as to Jamaica, Haiti, and Honduras.  Come explore Hurston’s engagements with themes of spirituality and health in the Americas with scholars from Tuskegee University (Dr. Rhonda Collier and Dr. Zanice Bond) and Vanderbilt University (Dr. Ifeoma Nwankwo and Tatiana McInnis).  In this workshop, educators will discuss ways to implement Hurston’s work in coursework related to literature, social studies, Spanish, and even health/biology!
Free, includes copy of the film Poto Mitan, and curriculum ideas connected to state standards (TN and AL)
Poto Mitan Screening + Discussion April 24, 6-8PM
Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy
Bioethics Auditorium Room 71- 243

Teacher Workshop April 25 8AM-12PM

Led by Dr. Ifeoma Nwankwo and Tatiana McInnis (Vanderbilt University), and Dr. Rhonda Collier and Dr. Zanice Bond (Tuskegee University). University Archives.

Deadline to register using this online form is April 21!
Email Jamie.L.Marks@vanderbilt.edu

Key words: Zora Neale Hurston, language arts, literature, science, health, Spanish, English, Social Studies (US and World: Grades 3, 7, 8-12), Geography (US and World: Grades 3, 7, 8-12), Caribbean, Race and Racism, Diaspora, Transnationalism, Haiti, Healing

Somos Nós: Teaching Afro-Brazilian Identity
New Orleans, LA | June 14 – June 18, 2015


Email Jamie.L.Marks@vanderbilt.edu for scholarship and travel support information!

The Latin American Resource Center, the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University, and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute at the University of Georgia are presenting a K-12 teacher workshop on the Portuguese language and Brazilian Culture. The workshop will take place on the Tulane University Uptown Campus.


K-12 educators of any discipline and grade-level are welcome to apply to attend this 5 day institute. The focus of the institute is on the language, culture, and performance of Brazil. The workshop will include exposure to the Portuguese language, discussions with scholars of Brazilian culture and performance, viewings of Brazilian films, and performances by Brazilian groups. Throughout the week, educators will work to develop interdisciplinary curricula, which they can bring back to their schools to teach and share with colleagues. There is a specialized track to this institute in order to better support participants. There is a Portuguese Language track which consists of intensive morning language sessions for those interested in receiving a crash course in basic Portuguese. This track is open to participants with Spanish language background and little to no Portuguese training. While this track is meeting every morning, sessions for those interested in cultures of Brazil will take place. Please make sure to identify if you would like to be in the language track in your application form.

Registration Information
Participants have the option of registering under three affordable rates:

  • Basic Registration – $50 [includes all materials, parking permit for 5 days, internet access and registration to entire program with no lodging or meals.]
  • Full Registration – $250 [includes all above plus includes lodging (with linens) in a Tulane residence hall 4 nights, with 2 meals a day, and access to Tulane Reilly Fitness Center.]
  • Deluxe Registration – $300 [includes everything above plus guarantees a single room in the residence hall.]

The 2015 Summer K-12 Teacher Institute, Somos Nós: Teaching Afro-Brazilian Identityis a 20-hour program designed for K-12 teachers, librarians, or administrative staff. K-12 educators will benefit from this timely, interactive program on one of the world’s strongest and most influential economies in the world, Brazil. The program is sponsored by Tulane University, the University of Georgia, and Vanderbilt University through a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center grant.

Environment, Culture, and Survival in Brazilian Amazon Rainforest: a conversation with researchers and indigenous peoples

Come for an afternoon workshop and reception with members of the Kayapó Indigenous community, who were featured in National Geographic’s January 2014 issue, as well as anthropologists Glenn Shepard and Richard Pace. In this workshop you will engage directly with visiting members of the Kayapó, a tribe from the Amazon well-known for its defense of the rain forest and preservation of its culture. Anthropologist Glenn Shepard will present on the culture of the Kayapó people, their place within the contemporary social and political landscape of Brazil, and discuss their rainforest conservation efforts. Krakrax Kayapó and Benupu Kayapó will also show excerpts of their films about Kayapó culture. After, you will be able to ask the Kayapó questions about the environment, life in the Amazon, language and culture, traditional dress and folklore. A translator will facilitate. Afterwards you are invited to a reception (4:30-6:00) for the opening of a Kayapó film and photography exhibit at Vanderbilt’s Sarratt gallery, including refreshments. As we will discuss biodiversity, regional history, language and culture, and indigenous art, this workshop is relevant to educators in language arts, biology/life sciences, social studies (geography, history, anthropology, sociology, etc.), and art/art history.

When: Thursday, March 26th, 1:30 – 4:00 pm
Where: Sarratt 331
Registration Fee: $10
To apply click here.

Deadline to apply is March 23rd.  Space is limited to 25 participants.  Light refreshments are included.  Participants are also invited to a special screening of Hiper Mulheres (Hyper Women) and Q and A session with Takuma Kuikuro and Dr. Carlos Fausto (6-8 pm). For more information, contact: jamie.l.marks@vanderbilt.edu

Please submit application via email (scan) or mail and check for $10, and mail to:

Vanderbilt University Center for Latin American Studies
Attn: Rainforest Workshop
PMB 351806
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-1806


Bringing Art and Technology Together: Art in Motion/Guaysamín’s Ecuador Unframed

Identity is always in motion. Such is the feeling behind Guayasamín’s mural. Intended to represent the inherent antagonisms and racial multiplicity of the Ecuadorian nation, the mural is composed of five movable and interchangeable panels. However, the mural, which is currently exhibited in La Capilla del Hombre in Quito, was framed and thus immobilized…until now through a new exhibit, Art in Motion/Guayasamín’s Ecuador Unframed.  This exhibit will be on display at Vanderbilt through January 30, and at Western Kentucky University from February 7-28.

In this workshop, Tatiana Botero (Associate Professional Specialist, University of Notre Dame) will introduce you to the socio-historical background of the artist and his work from the panels accompanying this exhibit.  Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering Janey Camp will explore how GIS technology can be used with this exhibit to satisfy common core standards.  Participants will receive a materials packet on lesson plans on art literacy and the visual arts, English language arts, mathematics, and Spanish language and culture.

When: Saturday, January 10, 2015; 9-3pm
Where: Vanderbilt Commons
Registration Fee: $20
To apply click here.

Deadline to apply is January 6.  Space is limited to 25 participants.  Lunch is included.  Participants are also invited to a reception for the exhibit on Friday, January 9 at 4:30pm in Vanderbilt University’s Commons Center. For more information, contact: clas@vanderbilt.edu

Please submit application via email (scan) or mail and check for $20, and mail to:

Vanderbilt University Center for Latin American Studies
Attn: Guayasamín Workshop
PMB 351806
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-1806


Florencia en el Amazonas: A Journey Down the Amazon with the Nashville Opera

In January, the Nashville Opera will present Florencia en el Amazonas, Nashville’s first Spanish language opera.  Inspired by the writings of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, this ravishingly beautiful romantic opera by composer Daniel Catán is an examination of love in all of its joys and folly.  In 1910, seven people board a small steamboat for a voyage down the Amazon River toward an unexplored jungle paradise.  But soon the characters find themselves on a surreal journey that ventures deep into the human heart.

In this workshop, John Hoomes (General and Artistic Director of the Nashville Opera) and Richard Pace (Professor of Anthropology at Middle Tennessee State University), will take you on a trip down the Amazon River.  We will explore the geography and biodiversity of the Amazon and the rich cultures of the people who live there, and experience how the vibrant orchestral score inspired by the lush romanticism of Puccini and Ravel brings this sensual world to life.   Participants will be given the opportunity to view a dress rehearsal at TPAC before the production.  Workshop participants will receive study guides and will be offered discounted tickets for the production.

When: Thursday, January 15, 2015; 9-3pm
Where: The Noah Liff Opera Center; 3622 Redmon Street; Nashville, TN 37209
Registration Fee: $20
To apply click here.

Deadline to apply is January 10.  Space is limited to 25 participants.  Lunch is included.  For more information, contact: clas@vanderbilt.edu

Please submit application via email (scan) or mail and check for $20, and mail to:

Vanderbilt University Center for Latin American Studies
Attn: Florencia Workshop
PMB 351806
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-1806




Comments Off

Comments are closed at this time.