The Department of Latina/Latino Studies, housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, provides a location and support for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, teaching, and outreach. The Department coordinates a range of courses in various disciplines whose content covers subject matter relevant to Latina/Latino Studies. In keeping with the demands of the 21st century, and in light of the fact that the U.S., and the state of Illinois in particular, is experiencing a substantial growth in its Latina/o populations, the program introduces students to relevant topics regarding the Latina/o presence in the United States. The Department of Latina/Latino Studies aims to:
- Provide students with a theoretical base in academic courses and a firm background in the history and culture of Latinas/os in the United States through a balance of course work in key areas;
- Assess how historical and cultural processes affect these Latina/Latino groups in contemporary society;
- To provide students with the background in issues of class, gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity, and their relationship to the construction of Latina/Latino cultural identities.
In addition to its teaching mission, the Department of Latina/Latino Studies fulfills multiple roles for University of Illinois students, faculty, staff, and the larger Latina/Latino communities in the state of Illinois. The Department enhances curricular offerings through such activities as conferences, lectures, and colloquia. These activities not only benefit students who major and minor in Latina/Latino Studies, but also enhance scholarly discussions of Latina/Latino communities regionally and nationally.