Through an interdisciplinary course load, students who major in Latinx and Latin American Studies will critically examine the diverse histories and cultures of Latin America, the Caribbean and U.S. Latinxs. Majors will complete, in any department, a course on U.S. Latinxs, a course on Latin America, a course on the Caribbean and two courses taught in languages spoken in Latin America and the Caribbean. Required coursework also include a research/methods seminar.
“We have an obligation to ensure that all our students are able to take advantage of the educational opportunity we offer without fear for their well-being. At this moment, we are particularly focused on undocumented students and students with legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order. We will do everything we can within the limits of the law to support them and fulfill our promise of educational opportunity.” — President Biddy Martin
For more information about DACA please visit the Immigration Enforcement page.
Amherst in Cartagena
Puerto Rico Pa'lante A Student Documentary
The Documentary is based on interviews of Puerto Ricans who live in the Pioneer Valley(Amherst, Holyoke, Chicopee, and Westfield), as well as their family life Hurricane Maria and its aftermath, colonialism, and being Puerto Rican today.
Broadening the Lens on Latin American Cinema
Every year the Modern Language Association awards the Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize for a book published in the field of Latin American and Spanish literatures and cultures. Last month Paul A. Schroeder Rodríguez earned an honorable mention for his book Latin American Cinema: A Comparative History (University of California Press). The awards committee called it “a tour de force that explores the cultural, economic, and artistic evolution of Latin American cinema,” and “a timely and excellent contribution to the field, demonstrating breadth and a deep knowledge of the medium’s social and cultural contexts.” A professor of Spanish, he arrived at Amherst last year. This semester, he’s teaching the courses “Puerto Rico: Diaspora Nation” and “Towards a Latin American Poetics of Liberation.”
Successes and Challenges Mark LLAS Major in First Semester
Photo courtesy of Shawna Chen ’20
After years of advocacy from students and faculty, the Latinx and Latin American Studies (LLAS) major has debuted this semester. The major was approved after a unanimous vote from the faculty in the spring of 2017.
Originally from the Dominican Republic and raised in the United States, Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez is a passionate scholar and advocate. As a DACA beneficiary, his commitment to immigrant rights is rooted in his experience living undocumented. After graduating from Amherst College in 2014, Gonzalez mobilized unlikely voters in Illinois before drafting federal policy at the U.S. House of Representatives and resettling refugees at Church World Service, one of the largest refugee resettlement agencies in the United States. He helped organize the first statewide gathering of immigrant youth in Pennsylvania and led advocacy efforts for the Pennsylvania DREAM Act. Additionally, he has written in the New York Times, The Conversation, Mitú and others on immigration and Latino affairs. He earned graduate degrees from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholar. Currently, he is the Statewide Capacity Building Coordinator at the Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition (PICC), a diverse coalition of over 50 member organizations advocating for immigrant rights. Gonzalez also serves on the Youth Panel of the International Commission on Financing Global Education, the board of the Feakins Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, the commonwealth’s leading advocacy body for its one million Latino residents. His story was featured in a CNBC documentary.
Major Debates in Latinx and Latin American Studies
Engage with the major debates of Latinx and Latin American Studies, including whether Latin America has a common culture, Latin America's place in the Western world, and if Latinx is a race or an ethnicity.
Cuba: The Politics of Extremism
When is it rational to be radical? We will study how Cuba’s politics presents opportunities to address issues of universal concern to social scientists and humanists in general, not just Latin Americanists.
This course is a historical survey of the growing and diverse U.S. Latinx religious experiences, from the pre-contact Indian religions and cultures to the representation of Latinx religious identities today.