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Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) is a vibrant interdisciplinary unit devoted to cutting-edge research, teaching, and community engagement focused on Latina/o and Latin American populations.

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

Welcome to our new Assistant Professor Soledad Alvarez Velasco! Heading link

A warm welcome to our new Assistant Professor Soledad Alvarez Velasco.

Soledad Álvarez Velasco is a social anthropologist and human geographer whose research analyses the interrelationship between mobility, control and spatial transformations across the Americas. She investigates the intersection between undocumented global south-north and global south-south transit migration, border regimes, the formation of migratory corridors across the Americas and the migrant struggle across these transnational spaces. She combines a multi-scale and historical analysis with multi-sited ethnography and a digital ethnography based on a migrant-centred perspective to reconstruct migrants’ spatial and temporal trajectories. In her research, she foregrounds the Andean Region as a key space for understating the dynamics at stake in the transits of Latin American, Caribbean, African and Asian migrants to reach the U.S., or other southern cone and Caribbean destinations. Her work also analyzes the impact of the externalization of the U.S. border regime across the migratory corridors of the Americas, the movement of unaccompanied and undocumented migrant children, as well as the dynamics of transnational migrant smuggling networks operating across those transnational spaces.


Our Research Heading link

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Photo is a detail from Quipu Menstrual (Nevado del Plomo, Chile), copyright © 2016 by Cecilia Vicuña.
    In his 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. *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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Crossing Latinidades Initiative Heading link

The Crossing Latinidades Humanities Research Initiative ignites cross-institutional and cross-regional comparative research, training of doctoral students, and new scholarship in emerging areas of inquiry about Latinos. Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the initiative serves as the anchor of the consortium of R1 Hispanic Serving Institutions at the University of Illinois at Chicago. LALS faculty Maria de los Angeles Torres and Amalia Pallares are co-principal investigators on the grant.

Crossing Latinidades

LALS Alumni Heading link


Eliana Buenrostro, Class of 2020

Ph.D. Student, Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Riverside

Degree: M.A. in LALS

Jorge Mena

Jorge Mena Robles, Class of 2016

Associate Director at UIC Rafael Cintron Ortiz Latino Cultural Center

Degree: M.A. in LALS

Mario Lucero

Mario Lucero, Class of 2013

Strategy Lead at The Nova Collective

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

Support LALS students Heading link

Help them get to Graduation!
Donate to the LALS Student Scholarship Fund!