University offers new concentration in Latin American & Latino Studies

Census data from 2010 indicates that there are now 50.5 million Latinos in the United States — one sixth of the U.S. population. These figures represent more than a 46 percent increase in the Latino population since 2000 and reveal that Latinos are far and away the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. Thus, undoubtedly, the significance of Latino culture will continue to increase in years to come.

“We have a strong group of faculty members involved with the concentration and lots of student interest already.  We are very excited to see the program grow and flourish.”          ~ Prof. Paul Posner

In answer to the substantial and growing cultural, economic and geopolitical importance of Latin America in the United States, and the growing numbers of Spanish and Portuguese speakers across the globe, Clark University has added a new concentration to its fields of study. Latin American and Latino Studies is a multidisciplinary concentration designed to expose students to the complexities and diversity of historical, cultural and political experiences of Latin America and the interrelationships between Latin America and the United States.

Students enrolling in the Latin American and Latino Studies concentration will explore themes such as immigration, narco-trafficking, the resurgence of left-wing governments, inequality and economic development, and the rise of Brazil as a global economic power. They will also focus on Latin music, art, cinema and food.

The concentration can be taken up by students pursuing any major, and will draw on courses from departments as varied as Foreign Language, Political Science and History.

A sampling of courses includes:

Latin America & the World Economy; Latin American Politics; Readings in Hispanic Literatures; The Caribbean in the Era of Slavery: 1492-1886; and Studies in Latin American Cinema.

The program director, Paul Posner, associate professor of political science, developed the concentration along with associate professor of Spanish María Acosta Cruz.

“María and I felt strongly that Clark needed a program like this, given the importance of Latin America as a region and the growing influence of Latinos in the U.S.,” Posner said. “We have a strong group of faculty members involved with the concentration and lots of student interest already.  We are very excited to see the program grow and flourish.”

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