The Latin American and Latino Studies Major 2012-13
The Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) Department integrates the study of Chicano/a and Latino/a communities in the United States with analysis of the histories, politics, cultures, and societies of Latin America and the Caribbean. The LALS Department prepares students for bilingual and multicultural participation in a rapidly changing and globalized world. LALS courses deal with changing political, social, economic, and cultural realities, including immigration; gender, racial, sexual, and ethnic identities; social movements; diverse forms of cultural expression; ongoing political and economic restructuring in Latin America; as well as the challenges of political and economic empowerment for Latino/a communities in the United States. Students learn to develop thoughtful analysis and clear arguments on controversial topics, and to communicate effectively, in both Spanish (or Portuguese) as well as in English. In addition to academic knowledge, LALS also provides opportunities for students to acquire practical, real-world skills. Through internship and field-study experiences, students can acquire useful, pre-professional skills in any of the following key areas: community development/advocacy, public policy, education, journalism, media, performance, and research/writing, among others.
Study and Research Opportunities
- B.A., Undergraduate Minor
- Combined B.A. majors available in LALS/global economics, LALS/literature, LALS/politics, and LALS/sociology
- A variety of field study and internship opportunities can be arranged through LALS.
- Graduate courses and the possibility of petitioning for a Designated Emphasis in LALS
High School Preparation
In addition to completing the courses required for admission to the University of California, high school students who plan to major in LALS at UC Santa Cruz should try to acquire as much proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese as possible before coming to UC Santa Cruz.
As early as possible in the course of their studies, it is important that transfer students acquire some breadth of information and an introduction to the variety of approaches available for the study of Latin America and Latino populations. For this purpose, two lower-division courses are required of all majors: LALS 1, Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies, and one Latin American and Latino Studies 80 course. Courses with similar content taken at a community college or other institution may be substituted for the two lower-division courses with the approval of the LALS Department upon declaration of the major.
Transfer course agreements and articulation between the University of California and California community colleges can be accessed on the ASSIST.ORG web site.
- Bilingual-multicultural education
- Community organizing
- Environmental science
- Global economics
- Government and community service
- Health care
- Higher education
- International relations
- Journalism and the media
- Legal services
- Library science
- Public health
- Public policy
- Social work
- Travel industry
- Urban/regional planning
These are only samples of the field's many possibilities.
Professor Gabriela Arredondo is the author of Mexican Chicago: Race, Identity and Nation, 1916-1939 (Illinois, 2008) and co-editor of Chicana Feminisms: A Critical Reader (Duke, 2003). She has served for the past four years as Director of the Chicano Latino Research Center, where she has cultivated her interests in collaborative social activist research. Her current research projects include a history of pro-immigrant organizations at the turn of the 20th century, a collection of historical essays on forging alliances in social movements, and a comparative project on historical constructions of racial mixing. Dr. Arredondo has been elected to be a Distinguished Lecturer by the Organization of American Historians. In addition, she won a Golden Apple Teaching Award in recognition of her passion for teaching.
Assistant Professor Sylvanna Falcón is the co-editor of New Directions in Feminism and Human Rights (Routledge, 2011) and has a forthcoming article on transnational feminism and intersectionality appearing in the Journal of Women’s History (2012). She is the co-principal investigator for a working group project entitled “Bridging Humanities and Social Science Frameworks to Human Rights: Feminist and Decolonial Approaches” funded by the University of California Humanities Research Institute (2012-2013) and received the American Sociological Association’s Carla B. Howery Teaching Enhancement Grant to support a teaching project which advances the field of sociology in 2012. She served as a co-consultant to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women to advise on issues of multiple forms of discrimination and human rights in 2011.
In 2012 Professor Jonathan Fox served as chair of the LALS Department and co-chaired the new campus task force on UCSC’s transition to becoming recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. He launched a new web site to make his scholarly work accessible: jonathanfoxucsc.com, and collaborates with the Mexican public interest group FUNDAR on an online “right-to-know” resource on agricultural policy @ subsidiosalcampo.org.mx. His ongoing projects also include research on Latino young adult civic and political participation in central California, including an action-research collaboration with a team of young Oaxaqueño adults in Madera and Fresno.
Professor Rosa-Linda Fregoso has co-edited (with Cynthia Bejarano) the book Terrorizing Women: Feminicide in the Américas (Duke University Press, 2010). Her book MeXicana Encounters: The Making of Social Identities on the Borderlands (University of California Press, 2003) was awarded the MLA prize in United States Latina/o and Chicana/o Literary and Cultural Studies.
Assistant Professor Shannon Gleeson’s book Conflicting Commitments: The Politics of Enforcing Immigrant Worker Rights in San Jose and Houston is forthcoming this fall from Cornell University Press. She is currently working on her second book, which examines the experiences of low-wage workers in the San Francisco Bay Area as they fight for their rights under minimum wage, discrimination, and health and safety laws. Gleeson’s recent articles have been published in theNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, International Migration, the Law & Society Review, Law & Social Inquiry, and Latino Studies. She thanks the following funders for their generous support: the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the American Sociological Association, the Hellman Fund, and the University of California.
Associate Professor Flora Lu has worked in indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon since 1992, funded by over $2,000,000 in extramural grants from NSF and NIH to examine socio-ecological-economic dynamics in a region of colonization and petroleum extraction. Her research has been featured in two programs on the National Geographic Channel, and has produced two dozen publications, including the recent book (Abya Yala, Quito, 2012), Modos de Vivir y Sobrevivir: Un Estudio Transcultural de Cinco Etnias en la Amazonia Ecuatoriana. She is the recipient of the 2010 Division of Social Sciences Golden Apple Teaching Award and the 2011 Committee on Teaching's Excellence in Teaching Award. She just received another NSF grant to hold a workshop at UCSC in February 2013 on equitable water governance.
Assistant Professor Hector Perla Jr. is the 2012 recipient of the Foundations for Change: Thomas I. Yamashita Prize awarded by the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Research on Social Change, which recognizes work that transforms the existing social landscape and serves as a bridge between the academy and the community. He is also a recipient of the 2011-2012 University of California, Santa Cruz Hellman Fellows Program Award. His article “Explaining Public Support for the Use of Military Force: The Impacts of Reference Point Framing & Prospective Decision Making,” was published in International Organization. His articles in press include: “Central American Counterpublic Mobilization: Transnational Opposition to Reagan’s Foreign Policy toward Central America,” in Latino Studies and “Telling the Torogoz from the Guardabarranco: A Comparative View of 21st Century Socialism in El Salvador and Nicaragua” in Latin American Perspectives. His book manuscript, Revolutionary Deterrence in Asymmetric Conflicts: The Role of Transnational Non-State Actors in Sandinista Nicaragua’s Resistance to U.S. Coercion, is currently under review.
Professor Catherine Ramírez (on leave 2012-13) is currently writing a history of assimilation in the United States and is co-editor of the UC Latino Cultures Network keywords online resource in Latino studies. She's the author of The Woman in the Zoot Suit: Gender, Nationalism, and the Cultural Politics of Memory (Duke University Press, 2009) and is a recipient of awards from the Ford Foundation, UC Institute for Mexico and the United States, and UC Humanities Network. In 2010, she received an Excellence in Teaching Award.
Assistant Professor Cecilia M. Rivas's article “Beyond Borders and Remittances: Discussing Salvadoran Emigrant Voting Rights” was published in the special issue on Salvadoran Migration to the United States of Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development (2010). Her manuscript, “Imaginaries of Transnationalism: Media, Violence, and Cultures of Consumption in El Salvador,” focuses on the transformative effects of communication technologies, narratives of migration and (trans)national belonging, and the relationship between private and public spaces in post-war Salvadoran society.
Professor Pat Zavella was honored with the Society for the Anthropology of North America Distinguished Career Achievement in the Critical Study of North America Award and she received an “Honorable Mention” for the 2009-10 Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010. Her new book, “I’m Neither Here nor There:” Mexicans Quotidian Struggles with Migration and Poverty (Duke University Press) was published in 2011.
All LALS majors are expected to learn to speak, read, and write Spanish or Portuguese and to make use of these skills on a regular basis in their academic work.
Majors must take at least two upper-division courses taught in Spanish or Portuguese. Before taking an upper-division course taught in Spanish or Portuguese, students must demonstrate proficiency in the language equivalent to completion of Spanish 6 or Spanish for Spanish Speakers 63. Students who have achieved fluency in Spanish or Portuguese through life experience may be exempt from this recommended preparatory course work. While language instruction courses do not satisfy major requirements per se, they are necessary preparation to fulfill major requirements.
Field-Study and Internship Opportunities
All majors are strongly encouraged to undertake either a field study in Latin America, the Caribbean, or a Latino/a community in the United States, or formal academic study abroad through the Education Abroad Program (EAP). These paths are the best ways to improve language skills, explore the nature and direction of specific academic and career interests in relation to Latin American and Latino studies, and deepen cross-cultural understanding and relationships based upon personal experience.
Field studies are independent, community-based study projects for academic credit, done under faculty sponsorship and arranged on an individual basis. Local opportunities for internships and field study in Latino/a communities on California’s Central Coast are numerous. Credit for up to three upper-division courses may be applied toward the major from field study; however, course credit from field study and study abroad combined may not exceed three upper-division courses. Students should check the Latin American and Latino Studies Department web site for further information regarding the field-study process and course credit. A listing of local field-study programs and petition forms are available at the Latin American and Latino Studies Department office, 32 Merrill.
Students may study abroad through the Education Abroad Program (EAP), through UC Summer & Quarter Abroad Programs, or through independent programs. EAP offers opportunities for students to study in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City, Mexico; Santiago, Chile; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Madrid, Córdoba, Granada, and Barcelona in Spain. In addition to language and culture and university immersion programs, EAP also offers a Field Research Program in Mexico, which is an experiential program geared toward juniors and seniors who want to explore the “real” Mexico outside the classroom and at the same time receive undergraduate research training. The program has research sites in states such as Jalisco, Yucatán, Oaxaca, and Michoacán (final site choice depends on the research topic). Application deadlines are generally about one year in advance of the program, so students should visit the UCSC International Education Office early to plan for study abroad and to begin the application process. The department will consider by petition the approval of courses taken abroad, whether through EAP or through independent programs, that cover topics appropriate to the LALS curriculum for upper-division credit toward the major. All credit for EAP classes is fully incorporated into students’ UCSC transcripts; students receive transfer credit for independent study abroad programs. Financial aid applies to all EAP programs and takes into account airfare and living costs in addition to tuition and fees; financial aid is not available for students who study abroad independently. Before departure, student should present an academic plan for courses abroad to the department advisor for review. Credit for up to three EAP courses can be applied toward the major. (A maximum of three courses of field study and EAP combined can be applied toward the major requirements.)
32 Merrill College
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064