A welcome message from Prof. Claudia Milian, LSGS Faculty Director.

Get started on your Certificate in Latino/a Studies in the Global South!

Check out the goings-on at LSGS.



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    • Fall '15

Introduction to Latino/a Studies - LSGS 101
Introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Latino/a Studies, and how it reconfigures the study of the United States and the Americas. Considers literature, history, sociology, economics, politics, culture and language in examining terms such as: Latino, latinidad, Global South, transnational, globalization, and multiculturalism. Exploration of alignments and divergences of Latino/a Studies with African and African American Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Critical US Studies. Classroom learning will connect with the community outside of Duke. Required introductory course for students in the Latino/a Studies in the Global South certificate program.

Spanish for Heritage Speakers - LSGS 305
Designed for students who are heritage speakers, educated almost exclusively in English, with little exposure to Spanish in academic setting. Linguistic work contextualized through three major fields: arts (music, literature, cinema, painting, sculpting); society (Latinos & language in the US, traditions, immigration related topics); and mass media (television, radio, newspapers, new technologies).

Health, Culture, & Latino Community - LSGS 306
Exploration of health issues in the Spanish-speaking world shaped by social, cultural, political, ethnic, and economic determinants. Topics to be explored include: cultural competency, community beliefs, medical practices and policies, preventive medicine, mental health.

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Latino/a Voices in Duke, Durham, Beyond - LSGS 308S
Community-based interaction with Durham Public Schools. Topics for consideration: Latino/a identity, access to education for immigrants, academic performance, assimilation, general pressures of family and peers, bilingualism, configurations of ethno-racial consciousness.

US Latino/a Literature/Culture Studies; Latino/a Autobiography and Memoir - LSGS 490S
This seminar considers cultural and intellectual approaches to the construction and emergence of individual self-awareness and self-reference, exploring a variety of representations of the autobiographical voice, textual authority, and the boundaries between fact and fiction. These acts and discursive manifestations of individual life experience will be studied from the sociocultural and political modes of the U.S. Latino and Latina category. Accordingly, we will ask: In what ways do the stories of Latino and Latina cultural workers reconstruct factual and fictional modes of their subject formation and distinctive moments in U.S. society? And what do these articulations alter in relation to “unifying” values, traditions, and sociopolitical memberships? Of particular concern is how these cultural producers live and literarily represent both the America and the Latin/o America of their time.

Politics of Food - CULANTH 238
Explores the food system through fieldwork, study, and guest lectures that include farmers, nutritionists, sustainable agriculture advocates, rural organizers, and farmworker activists. Examines how food is produced, seeks to understand its workers and working conditions in fields and factories, and, using documentary research conducted in the field and other means, unpacks the major current issues in the food justice arena globally and locally. Fieldwork required, but no advanced technological experience necessary. At least one group field trip, perhaps to a local farm or farmers market, required.

Myth, Ritual, Symbol - CULANTH 422
What might something as everyday as a football game, a dream, watching a movie or telling/hearing a bedtime story reveal about deeply human processes like identity and power? What about weddings, or war? This course examines the apparent contradiction that a myth is both untrue (separate from a fact or science) and "the mythic" refers to deep human history, to ways of thinking, believing, and feeling that have life and death effects (like the Myth of the American Dream, or of Oedipus). Or that we dismiss ritual as something empty, rote, and meaningless, (separate from spontaneous, real events) and yet our lives are filled with both small, quotidian rites (the morning shower and coffee, going to church, synagogue mosque, temple...) and built around profoundly moving ways we recognize life transitions (baptism, turning 21, graduation, funerals).

LSGS Courses


Lend your ears to "Taking on Academia: A Conversation about Latino Studies," a podcast from NPR's Latino USA centering on the field's importance, its current state, and what educators want going forward. The episode features Frances R. Aparicio, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Director of the Latina and Latino Studies Program at Northwestern University; Nancy "Rusty" Barceló, President of Northern New Mexico College; and Juana María Rodríguez, Professor in the Gender and Women’s Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Latino/a experience affects the entire United States, if not the world.

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    • Marisol LeBrón, LSGS Postdoc

Hello! I’m so thrilled to be joining the Duke community for the next two years as the Postdoctoral Associate in the Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South.
A little bit about me: I’m a queer nuyorican scholar born and raised in the Bronx. I’m an Assistant Professor on leave from the Department of American Studies at Dickinson College. I received my Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University in 2014. I went to Oberlin College for my undergrad, where I received my B.A. in Comparative American Studies. (While attending Oberlin, which is in a small town outside of Cleveland, I got asked my thoughts about LeBron James at least twice a week – this still happens surprisingly often.)

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I am currently working on my first book, "Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico," which looks at the growth of punitive logics and practices on the island. In particular, I am interested in how policing produced more vulnerability and violence in Puerto Rico’s racially, economically, and socially marginalized communities than it alleviated. Further, I document how Puerto Rican activists are challenging harmful “tough on crime” policies by working to expand Puerto Ricans' understandings of safety and justice.
This semester, I’ll be teaching a course entitled Policing Latinidad: From Border Wars to Mass Incarceration. It is an interdisciplinary course that explores a number of topics, ranging from the history of border enforcement, to the criminalization of social protest, to the school-to-prison pipeline, to the war on drugs. 
See you on campus!

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    • mexico city comic | Terry Blas

Terry Blas, the illustrator and writer behind the web comic You Say Latino and the ongoing web series Briar Hollow, is ARROB@’s Virtual Resident Blogger this October. Blas's first comic/essay, "Mexico City," addresses the negative reactions he gets when he tells people he wants to visit Mexico City again. And he also offers a cultural map of the places he wants to visit. His upcoming ARROB@ posts this month will introduce us to Latino illustrators Alfredo Roagui, Daniel Zorrilla, Molly Mendoza, and Matty Newton; concentrate on the topic of not “looking Mexican”; focus on Loteria/Mexican Bingo; and tackle the cultural representations of Latinos in television and film.

Blas’s work has appeared on comic book covers for Bravest Warriors, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time with Boom! Studios, and The Legend of Bold Riley with Northwest Press. He was also the first guest artist on what is one of the most popular, widely read and longest running webcomics of all time, PVP by Scott Kurtz. Blas has also contributed art to Compete magazine to promote Ben Cohen’s StandUp Foundation, combating bullying and homophobia. As the host of The Gnerd Podcast, he runs a weekly pop culture examination show. He is a member of Portland Oregon’s own Periscope Studio, a powerhouse collective of award winning illustrators, cartoonists, and writers who contribute heavily to the comics and art community. His latest project is with Oni Press, the publishers of Scott Pilgrim. It is an original graphic novel, a murder mystery set at a fat camp that he wrote with fellow writer Molly Muldoon.

Blas grew up in Boise, Idaho. He has lived all over the United States and Mexico and is fluent in Spanish. He loves unicorns, cheese, sushi, pizza, cartoons, chocolate, and TV. When not drawing comics, he enjoys drawing people, celebrities, unicorns, animals, witches, and drag queens.

    • LSGS Video

Jennine Capó Crucet reads the story “Happy Birthday Dear Dante” from her award-winning collection, How to Leave Hialeah (University of Iowa Press, 2009), and answers questions from students in the “Introduction to Latino/a Studies” seminar, taught by Walter Mignolo, William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature and Romance Studies, in the Fall 2014 semester.
This video features questions such as: “What is it about Miami that motivates your writing?” (8:27); “How do you represent ‘in-betweenness’ in your writing? (9:54); and “What do you hope students learn through your writing and teaching?” (12:18).
Capó Crucet is currently Assistant Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Make Your Home Among Strangers (St. Martin’s Press, 2015) is her debut novel.

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​​» New U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera Made a Fantastic Debut in D.C.Washington Post coverage on Juan Felipe Herrera, the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States. "If there were any doubt, Herrera, the first Mexican American U.S. poet laureate, made it clear that he’s bringing a new sense of wonder and drama to the position. His inaugural reading was infused with humility and graciousness, but it was also an elaborately choreographed event informed by his years as a teacher and activist." ​Read the 10 June 2015 news release on Herrera's appointment from the Library of Congress here​.

From Latin@ to Latinx: an NPR piece, "​'Latin@' Offers A Gender-Neutral Choice; But How To Pronounce It?," and a feature article from Latina, "Why We Say Latinx: Trans & Gender Non-Conforming People Explain."

» Taking My Parents to College, Jennine Capó Crucet's op-ed in the New York Times about being a first-generation Latina college student.

» Three Things You Should Know About Birthright Citizenship:  "… the U.S. is an anomaly in the world when it comes to this issue. Most of the rest of the world, for example, gives people citizenship based on a concept known as jus sanguinis, literally 'by right of blood.'"

Latinas in History: An Interactive Project.

    • Durham, North Carolina, A Center of Education and Industry

» Durham Neighborhood Group Gets to Know Hispanic Neighbors Better. Durham's rise in the Latina and Latino population "isn't all due to immigration from Latin America." Instead, "We are seeing more families coming here from other places in the United States."

» From Tobacco to Tortillas: Latinos Remake Durham, North Carolina, an NBC News article about Bull City's Latinas and Latinos: "After a two-decade period of adjustment, this city of Southern heritage appears also to be cultivating a Hispanic heritage. 'People are getting used to the fact that Latinos are here.'"

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