What is PILAS?
PILAS is the postgraduate affiliate of the Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS).
As an organisation run by and for postgraduate students, PILAS aims to foster interaction among postgraduates working in the field of Latin American Studies at institutions of higher education throughout the United Kingdom, as well as those in Europe and the Americas.
Encouraging cross-disciplinary dialogue, our organisation welcomes those working within a range of academic disciplines, as well as those undertaking multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches.
Our goal is to establish a supportive community for postgraduate students engaged in the study of Latin America and the Caribbean, both to facilitate communication among postgraduates and to provide a forum for students to exchange experiences, seek advice, and share their research.
The PILAS Committee
Members of the PILAS Committee work together to run PILAS and to organise the annual conference. The main committee consists of a President, Past President and Secretary, in addition to general committee members who assist in PILAS responsibilities throughout the year, especially organising the annual conference. Committees frequently are comprised of postgraduates from a single university, but may also include participants from multiple universities within a particular region.
The position of Past-President was voted on and approved during the AGM of the 2009 PILAS Conference. The idea behind including this position is to improve continuity between PILAS Committees, due to the annual turnover of committee members. The role of Past-President will be primarily an advisory position, providing consultancy and support to the new committee. In the case that the previous President is unable to continue working with PILAS during the following year, another committee member can take up this position.
The PILAS committee is elected annually, with results announced at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) during the PILAS Conference.
The PILAS Committee is responsible for the development and maintenance of PILAS resources available to UK postgraduates, which include running the website, monitoring the JISCMail forum, and sending announcements via email correspondence. Each committee is encouraged to undertake at least one long-term development initiative to improve the continual development of PILAS.
Additionally, a PILAS representative (often the President) represents postgraduates on the SLAS Committee, and attends all SLAS meetings (held four times throughout the year).
Each PILAS Committee organises two events during year. Primarily, they organise the annual PILAS Conference, hosted at the home institution of the committee members (more information below). Secondly, they run the ‘PILAS@SLAS Lunch Event’ for postgraduates attending the annual SLAS conference, which often includes a brief workshop or training element.
PILAS Annual Conference
PILAS organises and runs an annual postgraduate conference. Each year the PILAS conference is hosted at a different university within the UK. This interdisciplinary encuentro provides an opportunity for postgraduate students from throughout the UK, as well as Europe and the Americas, to meet and share their research related to Latin America.
The PILAS Conference is a forum in which postgraduate students of all disciplines can present, discuss, and listen to research currently being undertaken in the broad field of Latin American Studies. In previous years, the PILAS Conference has proved to be an excellent opportunity for postgraduate students to gain presentation experience, meet and network with colleagues, and receive feedback on their research. This conference is FREE to all participants, and postgraduate students who do not wish to present papers are warmly invited to attend and partake in discussion.
Annual General Meeting AGM & Elections
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held during the annual conference. During the AGM, the current PILAS Committee will summarize the year’s events, as well as raise any issues which arose during the year to be voted on by the AGM attendees.
Elections for the following year’s PILAS Committee and conference location are held during the Annual General Meeting. Nominations should be received prior to the annual conference, and are voted upon by AGM attendees. Further information is available on the ‘Elections’ section of this website.