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 101 Introduction to Latin American Studies*

Do you know how notions of clientelism, corporatism, and caudillismo can explain key features of Latin American society?

Can you explain how the cultural constructions of race, class, gender, and ethnicity enable systemic oppression in Latin America?

MW 10:00-10:50 AM Spring 2021
CRN 32897

* Offered fall and spring semesters

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LALS 102 Introduction to Latino Studies*

What can you say about the impact that the growth of the Latinx population has on the economy, politics and culture(s) within the US?

Can you explain what is the idea of “Latinidad” and how it has evolved in different historical contexts?

MW 2:00-2:50 PM Spring 2021
CRN 33239

* Offered fall and spring semesters

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LALS 103 Intro to Latino Urban Studies*

What do you know about the urban Latino immigrant experiences in the United States?

What can you say about the way in which migrant civic organizations and institutions address issues of civic engagement or social inequality among immigrant communities?

CRN 34441

* Offered in the fall only

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LALS 109 Introduction to Latino Cultures

What are you able to tell about the expressive practices and cultural productions of Latinos in the United States?

Do you understand the role of narrative in Latinx cultural identity, the Latinx culture of everyday life, or Latinx handmade commercial and street graphics?

Can you explain the importance of corridos/ballads, proverbs, tales in our culture? What can you say about Latinos in cinema and theater, Latinx amateur sport history and fandom, or Latinx podcasts?

MW 11:00-11:50 AM Spring 2021
CRN 24630

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LALS 395 Multiculturalism & Democracy: The Latino Experience

Can you break down the ways that Race and Ethnicity are marshaled to include or exclude people from exercising full citizenship in the US?

Can you participate in reasoned discussion about how a diversity of values and heterogeneous society like the United States can enhance the democratic experience?

Take this class to learn about these and other topics and debates pertaining to the Latino experience in the United States.

CRN 33052
Thursday 3:30 – 6:00 PM Spring 2021
Instructor: Mitzi Ramos (

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LALS 391 Seminar: Cinema and the Border

How does film help to create and perpetuate myths about our national character?

What role do these myths play in guiding our national politics and culture?

Take this class to learn about these and other topics and debates pertaining to the Latino experience in the United States.

CRN 43241
Mondays 3:00 – 5:30 PM Spring 2021
Instructor: Jennifer Boles (

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LALS 495 Latino/a Worker Rights in Transnational Perspective

Have you ever considered the interconnections between Living Wage Campaigns and #Fight for $15 Campaigns?

Do you know what wage theft is?

Can you identify best practices for migrant labor organizing?


T-R 11 AM-12:15 PM Spring 2021

Professor Xóchitl Bada (




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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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