Latino Studies

Program Offerings

Offering type

The Program in Latino Studies, administered by the Effron Center for the Study of America, offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that traverses the arts, humanities and social sciences. The program is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the emergence, transformation and consolidation of Latino/a/x as a pan-ethnic group central to the development of the United States as a nation. The course of study also highlights the transnational connections and contexts of Latino/a/x peoples across the Americas, including dynamics of globalization, migration, colonialism, imperialism, citizenship and diaspora.

The structure of the Program in Latino Studies facilitates productive engagement with the programs housed in the Effron Center and encourages comparative and intersectional work with the Department of African American Studies, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies and other relevant fields of study that help to contextualize Latino/a/x histories and cultures within the diversity of American experience.

In addition, the Program in Latino Studies’ structure facilitates productive engagement with the fields of American studies and Asian American studies and encourages comparative and intersectional work with the Department of African American Studies, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies and other relevant fields of study that help to contextualize Latino/a/x histories and cultures within the diversity of American experience.

For more information, please visit the Effron Center website.

Goals for Student Learning

  • Demonstrate interdisciplinary thinking by integrating knowledge from various disciplines, such as history, sociology, literature, political science, anthropology and cultural studies, to explore and analyze complex issues in Latino studies.
  • Analyze and critically evaluate the impact of power structures, such as racism, colonialism and oppression on Latino/a/x communities in the United States, within national, global, diasporic and hemispheric contexts.
  • Understand the importance of ethical research practices and engage in responsible scholarship that respects the rights and dignity of individuals and communities.
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the historical and contemporary experiences of Latino/a/x communities and other diverse ethnic groups in the United States, including their representation/identity, historical struggles and national contributions.
  • Develop strong research and analytical skills to investigate and interpret primary and secondary sources related to Latino studies, including oral histories, literature, art, film and other media.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the interconnectedness of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class and other social categories in shaping the experiences of individuals and communities in the United States, Latin America, Mexico, the Caribbean and the world.
  • Foster a critical understanding of social justice and advocacy movements led by different racial and ethnic communities, and the strategies and tactics employed to challenge systems of inequality that promote social change.
  • Develop effective written and oral communication skills to articulate complex ideas and arguments related to Latino studies and engage in respectful dialogue and debate around issues of race, ethnicity, politics and power.
  • Apply theoretical knowledge and critical thinking skills to real-world issues and challenges faced by ethnic and racial communities in the United States, particularly Latino/a/x communities, and develop practical solutions that promote equity, justice and inclusivity.
  • Cultivate self-reflection and empathy, and recognize one's own positionality and biases in relation to different communities and the broader society.
  • Explore the diversity of identities and experiences within and across ethnic communities, including but not limited to Indigenous, African American, Asian American and Pacific Island, Latino/a/x and Middle Eastern communities in the United States of America.

Admission to the Program

Students from all departments are welcome to the program. There are no prerequisites, and courses taken prior to enrollment may count toward the minor requirements. Students are encouraged to enroll in the minor beginning the end of sophomore year through the end of junior year. Students are normally encouraged to take the gateway course AMS 101 prior to declaring the minor; however, students may also do so at any time during their studies, including after enrollment in the minor. To enroll in the program, students should complete the online enrollment form on the Effron Center website. New students should plan to meet with the associate director or program coordinator of the Effron Center before the end of their first year of enrollment to review their plans for fulfilling the minor requirements.


Program of Study

Students may earn a minor in Latino studies by successfully completing the following requirements, consisting of five courses:

  1. AMS 101: America Then and Now
  2. Three courses in Latino studies, either originating in the program or cross-listed, and preferably representing disciplinary breadth in the social sciences, arts and humanities. No more than one course taken in fulfillment of the student’s concentration may be counted toward the certificate. With the approval of the associate director, a student may substitute a comparative race and ethnicity course that contains substantial Latino studies content for one of these courses.
  3. Advanced Seminar in American Studies. With the approval of the associate director, a student may substitute an advanced seminar with an additional Latino studies elective to further their scholarship in this field.


  • Director

    • Lorgia García Peña
  • Associated Faculty

    • Vera S. Candiani, History
    • Miguel A. Centeno, Sociology
    • Patricia Fernández-Kelly, Sociology
    • Rubén Gallo, Spanish & Portuguese
    • Brian E. Herrera, Lewis Center for the Arts
    • Amaney A. Jamal, Politics
    • Christina H. Lee, Spanish & Portuguese
    • Rosina A. Lozano, History
    • Dan-El Padilla Peralta, Classics
    • Deborah J. Yashar, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.


LAO 101 - Comparative Perspectives on Power, Resistance and Change (also AMS 101/ASA 101) Fall CDEC

LAO 200 - Latinos in American Life and Culture (also LAS 336/SOC 341) Not offered this year SA

This required gateway course will consider how Latinos are transforming the United States even as they embrace a racialized pan-ethnic identity. Readings expose students to the demographic underpinnings of the dramatic growth and historically unprecedented geographic dispersal, the ethical dilemmas posed by undocumented immigration, the historical and contemporary trends in social, economic, and political participation, and the hybrid cultural imprints forged in musical, literary, and artistic work. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Staff

LAO 210 - Urban Sociology: The City and Social Change in the Americas (also LAS 210/SOC 210/URB 210) Fall SA

LAO 222 - Introduction to Latin American Cultures (also LAS 222/SPA 222) Fall CDLA

LAO 303 - Modern Latin America since 1810 (also HIS 304/LAS 304) Not offered this year HA

LAO 306 - Becoming Latino in the U.S. (also HIS 306/LAS 326) Not offered this year CDHA

LAO 333 - Latino Politics in the U.S. (also LAS 333/POL 333/SOC 325) Not offered this year SA

LAO 401 - Latin American Studies Seminar (also LAS 401/SPA 412) Not offered this year LA

LAO 406 - Advanced Seminar (also AMS 406/ASA 406) Fall HA