Latino/Latin American Studies

The Latino/Latin American Studies minor consists of 20 credits of interdisciplinary coursework.  This study of the Americas is appropriate for all students, especially those majoring in History, Hispanic Studies, Political Science, Theology, and Global Business.

Spring 2019 Event Series: Politics of the Imagination: Historical Remembering

How we imagine the past guides, in important ways, how we engage with the present. This is because historical memory – the stories about the historical past that communities create and circulate and identify with – shapes the ways that we perceive ourselves and others.

This semester's event series will highlight some of the different ways and different contexts in the Americas in which creative work turns toward the problem of acknowledging and bringing into a community's awareness historical experiences that might otherwise be forgotten or excluded from historical memory.

View our Spring Event Series poster.

Students enrolled in LLAS 270 will reflect and discuss and imagine together in response to three events:

1. A public presentation about how the creative work of Puerto Rican novelists can be instructive in creating a theology of decolonization.

2. A viewing of a Latino futurist film that imagines a dystopian future for U.S.-Mexico relations that is uncomfortably close to the present.

3. A public presentation and, for those interested, a workshop focused on the role of creative theatrical work in organizing and mobilizing for social and political change.

Students who plan to attend all events may register for "LLAS 270: Readings in Latino/Latin American Studies." This can be taken for either one or zero credits, on an S/U basis.  Registrants for LLAS 270 will receive 1 academic credit if they attend all events and collaborate on a community project.  Students may also choose to register for 0 credits, which only requires attendance of events. Interested students should contact Dr. Bruce Campbell, Director of the Latino/Latin American Studies program, at [email protected]

Spring 2019 Event Schedule

  • EVENT #1: Theater of the Oppressed and the Politics of Memory
    Tuesday, January 29, 4:30pm – 5:45pm
    Gorecki 204 BC, CSB

What memories do our bodies hold? How can we bring forth those memories to better understand the realities that we live? To what extent are my memories related to those of others? Making use of Theater of the Oppressed (TO) methods, we undertake an aesthetic investigation of oppressions: exploring individual memories, we discover the connection to collective memories as a necessary step toward understanding the structural nature of oppressions. We will share our recent experiences along the Guatemala-Mexico border with the "migrant caravan" and how an aesthetic exploration reveals an historical relationship to the territory and the fear that it imposes on migration.

  • EVENT #2: A Cartography of Material Memory of the Central American Diaspora in Los Angeles
    Tuesday, March 12, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
    Gorecki 204 AB, CSB

Dr. Pérez's current project is to write a material history of memory in the diaspora.  The traumatic legacy of war in El Salvador and genocide in Guatemala includes the millions of people forced to abandon their countries due to these conflicts.  The central question she proposes is: how does one relocate and reinvent the memory of a traumatic event in a new geography, language, and culture? She is interested in highlighting the voice of an ethnos, of a community, its memory, its multiple histories, but I she is also interested in tracing maps of their many paths through the city, their itineraries through Los Angeles.  She is writing an ethnogeography of the Central American diaspora in one of the world's largest cities. 

EVENT #3: Collective Memory and Borders
Wednesday, April 3, 7:00pm – 8:15pm
Quad 264, SJU

While the concept of nations is modern, the actual physical and geographical space of the borderlands carries generational scars of collective memory and identity. The political character of the border as a wound materializes in a wall with sentiments of nationalism, protectionism, and absurdity. Most Latinas/os living in the United States are deeply marked by the notion of the border. The concept of the border as material or ideological barrier is part of our identity. As protagonists of Latina/o history it is up to us to define and preserve jointly that memory however we choose to remember. Photography is a way of remembering.