About the Program
Latin American and Border Studies at Southwestern University is an interdisciplinary program designed to increase understanding of Latin American and Latina/o histories, cultures, languages, economies, and political forms. A central part of the program is the critical evaluation of the ideological borders that constitute nations, states, and peoples, as produced from outside and from within Latin America. Recognizing Southwestern University’s location in Central Texas, the program emphasizes the collaboration of a diverse faculty and student body who seek both academic and activist responses to central questions while examining different disciplinary approaches to the study of Latin America and Latina/o identities.
Latin American and Border Studies includes but is not restricted to any of the geographic and cultural area defined by Latin America, the Caribbean, and United States borderlands. While focusing on one or more regions of this area, the learning goals for all LAS students are to:
1. Demonstrate a deep contextual understanding of cultural, historical, and socio-political realities.
2. Demonstrate reading, writing, and oral proficiency skills in Spanish.
3. Apply and integrate more than one disciplinary approach while engaging with scholarship and activism.
4. Evaluate important cultural, conceptual, and epistemological differences and their global influences.
Students will familiarize themselves with Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States borderlands through a mixture of academic study, specialized training, civic engagement, study abroad, and discussions with affiliated faculty and visiting scholars.