Why Diasporic Caribbean and Latinx* Studies?
Latin American and Caribbean heritages are stories woven: stories of indigenous peoples and diasporas, of slavery and war, of revolution and sovereignty. These stories include cultural traditions that have shifted and stayed the same over hundreds and thousands of years. They are what’s been passed down through generations, what has not survived and what has. They are diasporic and fluid, intersectional and ever-changing, defying imposed borders and challenging preconceived notions of identity. These heritages are rich and diverse, vibrant and alive, and can be found throughout the region and throughout the world.
With the Major in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latin@ Studies (LACUSL), learning is about opening one’s eyes and one’s mind. It is about celebrating uniqueness and also seeing the thread beneath us all. When we learn about ourselves and about others, we increase our ability to work with people from different backgrounds; we increase our consciousness and our likelihood of succeeding in this vastly diverse and interconnected world. With LACUSL you not only cultivate a passion for lifelong learning, but also secure skills and tools to aid in your career and life path.
The curriculum of the LACUSL Major is unique across the nation and is designed to ensure that students acquire foundational knowledge of U.S. Latinx, Latin American, and Caribbean history and cultures; develop analytical and critical thinking skills; learn the comparative approach to studies of cultures; and gain insight into Latinx, Latin American, and Caribbean cultures from a variety of perspectives.
Students take an introductory course in Latin American and Caribbean studies as well as a course on U.S. Latinx studies. The major also requires two integrative courses as a foundation that focus on exploring diaspora, interconnectivity, and uniqueness of the regions. With this foundation, students choose their elective courses from across campus departments, allowing them to focus on topics, themes, and disciplines that interest them. Students must select at least two courses each from clusters 1 and 2.
- Artistic Expression
- Social and Natural Sciences
- Language and Communication Skills
A final research project will serve as a culminating experience in the major. Students will learn and demonstrate research skills in examining an issue that is relevant to the major.
* “Latinx” (La-teen-ex) is an inclusive term used to include all gendered and non-gendered identities of peoples with Latin American ancestry. “Latinx” specifically refuses to further silence and erase trans (non-binary and binary), gender non-conforming, non-binary, and genderqueer people.
Photos: alida cardós whaley (Cancún, México); Pablo and Jackie Muirhead (Peru)