Latin American and Latino Studies is an interdisciplinary unit devoted to research, teaching, and community engagement on a variety of areas of study relating to Latinx and Latin American peoples.

Transnationalism ÷ Migration ÷ Asylum ÷ Deportation ÷ Remittances

Chicana/Latina Feminist Thought ÷ Latina Popular Feminism(s) ÷ Latinx Soundscapes ÷ Intersectionality ÷ Precarity

Gender  ÷ Women of Color Feminisms ÷ Latinx Youth Studies ÷ Education

Violence ÷ Displacement ÷ Criminal Governance

Poetry ÷ Poetic Writing ÷ Creative Human Expression

Latinx Health ÷ Sexuality ÷ Gender Equality

Political thought ÷ Diaspora ÷ Youth Political Engagement ÷ Democratization

Critical Thought ÷ Democracy ÷ The State ÷ Rhetorical Practices ÷ Indigeneity ÷ Environment ÷ Disaster Theory

Colonialism/Postcolonialism ÷ Native Methods ÷ Aztec Culture ÷ Nahuatl

Our research

  1. In his recently published book, The Deportation Machine: America's Long History of Expelling Immigrants, Adam Goodman chronicles the devastating human costs of punitive enforcement policies over the past 140 years, and the innovative strategies people have adopted to fight against removal and redefine belonging in ways that transcend citizenship.
  2. Photo is a detail from Quipu Menstrual (Nevado del Plomo, Chile), copyright © 2016 by Cecilia Vicuña.
    In his forthcoming collection, Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018, Daniel Borzutzky writes poems in response to the military industrial complex that profits from war, the unjust policing of certain bodies, and the ways that xenophobia passes for immigration policy. He grieves for children in cages and those slain in mass shootings. Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018 is a poetic reckoning with the violence of the twenty-first century.
  3. Photo by Xochitl Bada
    Xochitl Bada's (UIC) and Shannon Glesson's (Cornell University) project on Transnational Labor Advocacy aims to inform the public about best practices to enforce labor rights standards of undocumented Mexican workers living in the United States.
  4. Photo by Nena Torres
    In her forthcoming book, The Elusive Present: Democracy’s Time in Cuban Thought, Nena Torres looks at the ways in which the past and the future have configured political projects and searches for a poetic present—a temporality democracy requires—and finds it in the work of Eliseo Diego.
  5. *Democracy as Fetish *(2019) examines democracy’s key terms—equality, freedom, liberty, transparency, and so on—and how they are undermined by what he calls the “oligarchic condition.” The book has its beginnings in fieldwork in Latin@ neighborhoods, but it eventually poses a broad and disturbing question: Can liberal democracy survive the approaching upheavals of global warming?
  6. Photo courtesy Newberry Library
    Cristián Roa (2010) claims that Chimalpahin rewrote López de Gómara’s Conquista de México in a manner in which it was not supposed to be rewritten,  thereby helping us grasp what a dialogue between Europeans and Natives might have looked like in the seventeenth century.
  7. Photo by James McNally
    James McNally examines the development, internationalization, and sensationalization of Brazilian funk carioca. He argues that this trend has contributed to glamorized global perceptions of impoverished Latin American communities and perpetuated a troublesome history of Western producers using source material from the Other for novelty and financial gain.
  8. Photos by Marlene Quinto, Locatora Radio, and Chicana M(other)work
    Esther Díaz Martín's book project tunes in to the sound of Latina feminism(s) in AM/FM radio and podcasting at the turn into the Digital Age. She argues that “radiophonic feminism(s)” are praxes that conduct a trabajo que no se ve challenging sexism in US Spanish-language radio and digital media.

LALS Events

LALS 101 Introduction to Latin American Studies

Introduction to the major concepts, issues, and debates in the field of Latin American Studies. Overview of history, cultures, and issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class in Latin America. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion/Recitation and one Lecture

Spring 2022
CRN 45205
Online Asynchronous
Instructor: Bruce Tyler

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LALS 102 Introduction to Latino Studies

Introduction to the major concepts, issues, and debates in the field of U.S. Latina/o Studies. Overview of the history, cultures, and issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and class among Latinos in the United States. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion/Recitation and one Lecture.

Spring 2022
CRN 37804
MW 11am-11:50am
Instructor: Joel Huerta

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LALS 109 Introduction to Latino Cultures

Examination of the cultural and artistic productions of U.S. Latinos and/or Latin Americans through historical processes of mainstreaming, transculturation, and hybridity. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Open only to freshmen and sophomores or consent of the instructor. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion/Recitation and one Lecture.

Spring 2022
CRN 24630
M W 2pm-2:50pm
Instructor: Joel Huerta

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LALS 110 Introduction to Latin American Cultures

Examination of the cultural and artistic productions of Latin Americans and constructions of Latin American heritage and tradition. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Discussion.

Spring 2022
M W 2pm-2:50pm
CRN 35761
Instructor: Cristian Roa

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LALS 233 Latinos in Chicago

Development and dynamics of Chicago’s Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central and South American communities: settlement, demographics, economics, culture, social institutions and political participation. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): LALS 102 or consent of the instructor.

Spring 2022
Tuesday 3:30pm-6:00pm
CRN 34750
Instructor: Patrisia Macias

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LALS 275 Gender in Latin America

Latin American women in historical perspective from pre-Columbian and Iberian societies to the present. Course Information: Same as LALS 275 and POLS 275. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Discussion/Recitation.

Spring 2022
CRN 45227
M W 9am-9:50am
Instructor: Helena Olea Rodriguez

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LALS 277 Issues of Race, Class, and Gender Among Latinos

Institutional, cultural and psychological components of race, class, and gender relations. Institutional inequality, questions of assimilation and identity, attitudes, and effects of inequality on community. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): LALS 102.

Spring 2022
CRN 37840
Tuesday and Thursday 11am-12:15pm
Instructor: Lorena Garcia

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LALS 292 Strengthening the Education Pipeline

Students in this course will examine the various sociopolitical, sociocultural, and sociohistorical factors that have shaped and continue to shape the educational experiences of Latinos. Specifically, this course examines how the intersection of race, ethnicity, class, gender, language, generation, and migratory status shape the educational experiences of Latino students; how major educational court cases and educational policies have impacted the access to and quality of educational opportunities; and, how educators can work to improve the educational achievement of Latino students.

Spring 2022
CRN 45325
Thursday 3:30pm-6pm
Instructor: Mitzi Ramos

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LALS 302 Research Workshop in Latin American and Latino Studies

In-depth focus on a particular theme or topic relating to Latinos in the US or transnational issues relating to society, politics, culture, or economics.

Spring 2022
CRN 38072
Monday 3:00pm-5:30pm
Instructor: Cristian Roa

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LALS 395 Chicanas and Latinas: Self & Society

This course explores the experiences of Chicanas and Latinas through the lens of contemporary sociological research. Topics to be discussed include: community formation and activism, Chicana/Latina feminisms, sexuality, religion, health, family, immigration, education, work, media, and artistic expression. Readings emphasize the links between the structural inequalities of society, and the day-to-day lived experiences of Chicanas/Latinas.

Spring 2022
CRN 33052
M W 9:30am-10:45am
Instructor: Julie Dowling

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LALS 491 Topics in Latin American Studies

Contemporary Violence and Criminal Governance in Latin America:
This advanced seminar investigates the nature of contemporary violence in Latin America. The seminar describes existing trends and analyzes the root sources behind violence in the region. In doing so, it interrogates whether existing patterns differ from early periods and, if so, how. The seminar studies the attributes and modus operandi of violent actors including the Security Force and the Police, guerrillas, paramilitary groups, and criminal organizations. It also examines some of the societal consequences prompted by violence such as resistance mechanisms and population uprooting. In a related way, the seminar also investigates the notion of criminal governance (i.e., instances in which criminal organizations assume state-like functions and govern population). While addressing this topic, a growing trend in the region, the seminar addresses critical concepts such as state fragility, citizen security, co-governance. The class draws upon important case studies including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico and Peru.

Spring 2022
CRN 36422
Wednesday 3:00pm-5:30pm
Instructor: Andreas Feldmann

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LALS 502 Topics in Latin American and Latino Studies

“Race & Resistance,” will explore race-making, pan-ethnic identity formation, and the histories of social movements, activism, and organizing. We will read and discuss classic and cutting-edge work from a variety of disciplines. We will also focus on the practices of writing and revising.

Spring 2022
CRN 31441
Thursday 3:30pm-6pm
Instructor: Adam Goodman

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Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change: Celebrating Diversity at UIC

LALS Alumni


Eliana Buenrrostro, Class of 2020

Accepted in the Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies, University of California, Riverside

Degree: M.A. in LALS

Jorge Mena

Jorge Mena, Class of 2016

Assistant Director at La Casa Cultural Latina, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Degree: M.A. in LALS

Mario Lucero

Mario Lucero, Class of 2013

Associate Director at UIC Rafael Cintron Ortiz Latino Cultural Center

Previously: Diversity and Inclusion Specialist at Fermilab

Degree: M.A. in LALS

Liliana Macias

Liliana Macías, Class of 2019

Chicago Learning Collaborative Manager at the Chicago History Museum

Degree: M.A. in LALS

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