AILASA was established in 1993 with several aims, including:
To promote research into and the teaching of Iberian and Latin American Studies in Australasia;
to promote the professional development of its members;
to promote public awareness of and interest in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America;
to stimulate and encourage interchange between Australasia and the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America; and
to coordinate and rationalise available resources among member institutions through the interchange of students, teachers and resources.
President: Associate Professor Robert Mason
Robert Mason is a public historian and museum studies scholar interested in the history of coloniality and mobility in Australia and the Asia-Pacific. His research explores intercultural memory and heritage in the entangled Spanish, Portuguese, and British histories of Australia, Asia and the Americas. Robert is the author of more than 40 journal articles and book chapters, four edited collections and a monograph. Robert has supervised more than 20 HDR candidates to completion. Recently, he was the 2019 Mendel Fellow in Latin American History at the University of Indiana Bloomington. He is Co-Chair of the Australian chapter of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies.
Secretary: Dr Laura Rodriguez Castro
Laura Rodriguez Castro is a Vice-Chancellor Senior Research Fellow and educator at the Faculty of Education at Southern Cross University. Her research focuses on decolonial feminisms, critical heritage and public pedagogies, memory and rurality. She is also interested in arts, visual and participatory methodologies including zine-making and photography. Laura’s book with Palgrave Decolonial Feminisms, Power and Place: Sentipensando with Rural Women in Colombia (2021) explores how rural women enact and imagine decolonial feminist worlds. Her most recent project seeks to foster dialogues among Australia and Latin America on memory-making from the ‘Southern’ perspectives including those of Latin American post-conflict migrants, artists, activists and scholars.
Treasurer: Dr Danielle Heinrichs
Danielle H. Heinrichs is a sociolinguistic and Lecturer in the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University. Her PhD explored Spanish as a world language drawing on Indigenous thought from Latin America. Her current research explores the entanglement of language with affect, (de)coloniality ad new materialism focusing on Spanish as a world language. She has published in a number of international journals in language and linguistics. She is actively working with teachers of Spanish and German in Australian schools. She currently supervises research students investigating multilingualism and education and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Membership Secretary: Dr Bronte Alexander
Bronte Alexander is a feminist political geographer specialising in responses to displacement. This includes the practices of humanitarian aid, resettlement, and detention. She is particularly interested in the spatialities and temporalities of migration governance, including the implications of militarism and policing on the everyday lives of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Bronte’s research is particularly interested in the movement of migrants from Venezuela through the urban spaces of northern Brazil, and she recently participated in a by-invitation panel on the subject at the Society for Latin American Studies, UK. Bronte works closely with not-for-profit and NGO organisations in Brazil and Australia.
Communications Officer (Social Media): Dr Andrea Ballesteros Danel
Andrea Ballesteros Danel completed her PhD at The Australian National University in 2020. Her thesis focused on the history of ideas about pre-Columbian trans-Pacific contact between the Americas and Oceania. Her research was part of the ‘Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific’ (CBAP) project, a five-year project funded by the Australian Research Council through its Laureate Fellowship grant scheme and by the Australian National University. She is currently a Resident Adjunct at the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Griffith University.
Communications Officer (Website): Salvador Cantellano (PhD Candidate, Griffith University)
Salvador Cantellano is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, educator, and PhD candidate at Griffith University. His work traverses across the arts, culture and climate science, exploring community-engaged themes and methods with the aesthetics of cinematic romance. His doctoral research is underpinned by screen practice, zooming into climate change and environmental communication while reimagining the role of cinema as a space for intercultural interventions through south-south dialogues. His doctoral project is titled, Cinema Del Pueblo: Documentary filmmaking in age of crisis and the potential of community-engaged practice. Salvador and his family have lived in Australia for 35 years after arriving as refugees from Chile.
J Renée Clark (PhD Candidate, Griffith University)
Renée is a Ph.D. candidate in critical heritage and memory studies at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Her research focuses on how a heritage of dictatorship catalyses attitudes in a democracy during times of national crisis. Her interests concentrate on participatory heritage (most specifically through heritage activism), difficult heritage, heritage of protest, the embodied performances of protest, cultural trauma, postmemory and museum studies. She currently lives and researches in Ottawa, Canada.
Rafael Azeredo (PhD Candidate, Griffith University)
Rafael Azeredo is a PhD candidate and sessional academic at Griffith University whose research interests include sociology of migration and broader relations between Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. As part of his doctoral research, Rafael is undertaking ethnographic research on the Brazilian diaspora in Queensland, Australia. His thesis explores temporally restrictive migration regimes, and provides a critical approach to migration (im)permanence.
Past President 2020 - 2024
Associate Professor Stewart King
Stewart King FAHA is a scholar of Spanish and Catalan Studies at Monash University, an elected fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities, and a past-President of the Association of Iberian and Latin American Studies of Australasia. He is the author of Escribir la catalanidad (Tamesis, 2005), Murder in the Multinational State: Crime Fiction from Spain (Routledge, 2019) and editor or co-editor of The Space of Culture: Critical Readings in Hispanic Studies (Delaware UP, 2004), La cultura catalana de expresión castellana (Reichenberger, 2005), Memories for the Future: Debating the Past in Contemporary Spain (Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 94.8, 2017), Criminal Moves: Modes of Mobility in Crime Fiction (Liverpool UP, 2019); The Routledge Companion to Crime Fiction (Routledge, 2020), winner of the ICFA Book Prize 2020; and The Cambridge Companion to World Crime Fiction (Cambridge UP, 2022).
How AILASA is governed
AILASA holds a Biennial General Meeting at which members participate in setting policy and regulations. In between meetings, the organization is run by the Executive Committee (the President, Secretary and Treasurer), elected by full members of AILASA for a two-year term. See also the AILASA Constitution as amended on 12 August 1999).