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ESCALA was founded in 1993 from research and teaching of art from Latin America at the University of Essex, by staff and students in the School of Philosophy and Art History (SPAH).The School’s pioneering work in this field itself developed from the University’s founding focus on Latin American Studies, leading in 1968 to the founding of the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the BA Latin American Studies. SPAH continues to be a focus for postgraduate students of art from Latin America (both Masters’ and Doctoral students) who benefit from the concentration of unique national resources in this field at the University’s Colchester Campus, the large number of Latin Americanists on Campus and ESCALA which is itself engaged in interdisciplinary research.