The Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) program offers a concentration and a student-designed multidisciplinary major. For the concentration requirements, students take at least six multidisciplinary LALS courses plus language instruction in Spanish or another LALS-related language. A faculty approved template for a major in LALS is also available to assist students interested in pursuing this option.
The aim of the program is to introduce students of all backgrounds to Latin America's multiplicity of peoples and cultures as they are situated in historical and international contexts, including their new and centuries-old immigrant and migrant diasporas or pre-Anglo enclaves within the United States. Students select from a multidisciplinary array of courses that explore the diversity of the Hispanic, indigenous, Afro-Latin, and Portuguese-speaking peoples of the Americas as well as their common cultural and historical roots. The topics addressed in the classroom and at co-curricular events sponsored by LALS reflect themes pertinent to an understanding of the interplay between individual, national, and global phenomena.
The research and teaching interests of LALS faculty include Afro-Caribbean history and culture, Chicano studies, cinema, development theory, environmentalism, ethics, ethnic studies, human rights, international activism, landscape studies, Latino autobiography, liberation theology, music composition, non-alphabetic writing systems, poetry, second-language acquisition, sociolinguistics, translation studies, and urban education. Latin American and Latino Studies faculty have conducted research in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America and have published critical studies both in the U.S. and abroad.