The Latin American Studies Program at UBC dates from the early 1990s. A group of leading Latin Americanists on campus—many of them now Professors emeriti, comprising Roderick Barman (History), Alfred Siemens (Geography), Marian Coope, Antonio Urello, and Isaac Rubio (Spanish), Blanca Muratorio (Anthropology), and former Dean of Arts Patricia Marchak (Sociology)—along with a number of current faculty, including William French (History), Marvin Cohodas (Fine Arts), Rita De Grandis, (Spanish) and Michael Blake (Anthropology), laid the foundations for what would become a dynamic, long-lasting and successful undergraduate interdisciplinary program in the Faculty of Arts. Since that time, it has evolved from a thematic option within the General B.A. to a program offering its own Major and Minor degrees.
Faculty members in the Latin American Studies Program in their respective disciplines also supervise a growing number of graduate students who have presented at interdisciplinary graduate conferences held at UBC and elsewhere.