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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Juan Felipe Herrera the twenty-first Poet Laureate of the United States, joined us on 17 November 2016 for a public reading. Herrera’s role as national "consultant in poetry" heralds the first time that a Mexican-American––and by extension Latino––author has been recognized with the country’s highest honor in poetry since this post was created in 1936. A poet, photographer, anthropologist, cartoonist, and multimedia artist, Herrera is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, Stanford University, and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He is the author of thirty books in a wide array of genres, including collections of poetry, prose, short stories, young adult novels, and picture books for children. Herrera also served as the Poet Laureate of California from 2012–2014 and was elected as a chancellor for the Academy of American Poets in 2011. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and two Fellowships in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), among many others. He has won, as well, awards from PEN USA; PEN American Center; the Smithsonian Institute; and the National Book Critics Circle, to briefly enumerate a handful of his accolades.

Read the Chronicle's coverage of Herrera's event at Duke: "U.S. Poet Laureate's Work Focuses on Multiculturalism, Social Issues."

    • Juan Felipe Herrera | 17 Nov.
    • Juan Felipe Herrera | Thursday, 17 November, 4:30p | Perkins Library, Gothic Reading Room | Co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost; the Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences; and the Department of Romance Studies.

Fall 2016 Courses
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Introduction to Latino/a Studies
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.


Policing Latinidad
How does the criminal justice system make itself felt in the everyday lives of Latinas/os? From border enforcement, to stop and frisk, to the phenomenon of mass incarceration, many Latinas/os find themselves and their communities enmeshed within a dense web of surveilleince, punishment, and detention. This interdisciplinary course will examine the historical, political, economic, and social factors that have, in many ways, criminalized Latinidad and/or rendered Latinidad illegal. We will examine how race, class, education, gender, sexuality, and citizenship shape the American legal system and impact how Latinas/os navigate that system. This course will pay special attention to the troubled and unequal relationship between Latinas/os and the criminal justice apparatus in the United States and how it has resulted in the formation of resistant political identities and activist practices.


 Introduction to Spanish-American Literature (US Latino/a Literature 1960s-Present)
This seminar is an introduction to Latino and Latina literary production and its heterogeneous voices and imaginations in the United States. The formation of a Latino/a literary cannon, its thematic strands, cultural connections, historical and political contexts, theoretical approaches, and circulation in the American world and beyond will all be surveyed to gain a critical and resourceful overview of the range of nationalities, communities, locations, identifications, and practices that fall under the Latino and Latina designation. The course will draw from a wide variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, autobiography, film, and performance art. Among the questions guiding this course are: How are Latina and Latino identities envisioned and manifested since the Civil Rights Movement? How does a Latina- or  Latino-specific cultural production dialogue with the U.S. multiracial landscape?

Spanish for Heritage Speakers
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, and the Latino Community
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.
LSGS 306 / SPANISH 306/ GLHLTH 326

Latino/a Voices in Duke, Durham, and Beyond
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.

Bridging Cultures
Exploration of key issues surrounding Latino communities in Durham and beyond, focusing on issues of culture and immigration, health, education, economy. Course includes a minimum of 15 hours of service learning with a local organization, plus other out-of-class and weekend community trips. Projects promote the development of intercultural competence, as well as facilitate opportunities for building bridges with the local community. Assessment based on knowledge of content, oral and written Spanish, and community engagement. Previous 300-level course is recommended before taking this class. Minimum requirement: Spanish 204 or equivalent.


Politics of Food
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
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). This course looks at both small and large myths, rituals, and symbols to explore how they produce meaning, make blobs of flesh into human beings, construct and maintain power differentials, and refuse and resist injustice and exploitation.


Introduction to Spanish-American Literature
A survey of major writers and movements from the periods of discovery to conquest, colonial rule, and early independence. Includes works by native Indian, "mestizo", and women writers. Prerequisite: Spanish 301, 331S, or AP Spanish Literature score of 5. 


Introduction to Contemporary Latin America
An interdisciplinary gateway for the undergraduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, this course offers an introduction to the problems and themes that shape contemporary Latin American society and culture. Rather than providing a comprehensive overview of modern Latin American history (which is covered in a separate History class), this course examines issues that loom large in Latin America today. The topics change from year to year -  Fall 2015 is likely to include (among others) the normalization of relations with Cuba, ongoing debates about migration, the rise of gang violence in Central America, drug legalization campaigns, and pressing environmental concerns. The main assignment for the semester will center on students developing individual WordPress sites on an issue that they choose in consultation with the instructor. 


Latino/American Pop Art: Contesting Freedom at the Dawn of Neoliberalism
This seminar examines art, politics, and critical literature from the 1960s and 1970s across the American continent (north, central, and south). We will examine the work and criticism of Pop artists who participated in the simultaneous emergence of conceptualism, nuevo realismo, performance, and environmental art. We will follow their engagement with mass media and popular culture (music, television, and popular theater), and discuss their work in relation to theoretical and historical studies of the neoliberal economies and philosophies that were being imposed under the repressive regimes of the period. A central question for us will be: how did artists imagine freedom at this crucial historical moment? Students will have the opportunity to contribute the research they produce in the seminar to an exhibition planned for the Nasher Museum of Art. This means the assignments for the course will take the form of in depth research into individual art works included in the exhibit for future wall texts, historical landmark events to be included in a timeline and catalogue, and the selection and explanation of popular culture (songs, films, etc.) for programming that will accompany the exhibit. Assignments will be adapted for undergraduate and graduate students in collaboration with the professor, and will include both individual and collaborative projects.

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    • Lunchtime Talks with LSGS Alums Poster

This fall semester, we initiated the Lunchtime Talk Series with LSGS Alums. This Talk Series attends to how the field of Latino/a Studies is at work in the world, and namely through our LSGS Certificate Majors.

Angie Díaz, a graduate student in the Program in American Studies at Yale University, inaugurated our efforts to promote the Program's sustained engagement with our graduates, and especially between our current and former students. Her talk, “The Latinx Files: Pachuquismo, Chicanidad, and the Armadillo Grill,” delivered on 4 October 2016, detailed her academic trajectory at Duke. She recalled that, at the time, “I took a lot of classes that had the word ‘America’ in the title.” Díaz traced the geographical importance of Houston in her scholarly formation, as manifested in her senior honors thesis in History, entitled “Interstitial Resistance in the Role of Pachuquismo in (Re)Shaping Chicanidad in Houston.” Her undergraduate project at Duke earned Díaz the Gilder-Lehrman History Scholar Award, an honor that recognizes 15 of the top history students nationally. Díaz gave shout-outs to the Program as well as to Professors Antonio Viego (Literature) and Sally Deutsch (History): their critical seminars were foundational spaces that allowed her to “learn how to talk about race and ethnicity.”

Díaz also gave us a snapshot of some of her Latino/a Studies deliberations in graduate school, which are currently being pursued at Yale's American Studies Program. Among her preoccupations are configurations of “newness” in the context of the U.S. Southeast, the tensions between Chicano/a Studies and the broadening scope of Latino/a Studies, paired with digital representations and discussions of race and Latinidad in popular blogging sites such as Tumblr.

Watch the video of some of Díaz's main parts
here, including h​er question and answer session. Among the queries raised were: ​h​ow do you go about forming specific research questions and f​rom undergraduate work at Duke to graduate studies at Yale, how has your understanding of different versions of “Americanness” shifted?

    • Angie Díaz Talk 2
    • A snapshot of Angie Díaz (Trinity '14) animated talk, “The Latinx Files: Pachuquismo, Chicanidad, and the Armadillo Grill,” on 4 October 2016.


​LSGS's Spring 2017 programming will focus on ongoing public talks entitled, "Histories of the American Latino/a: Lectures, Archives,
 and the Public," which will give prominence to the diverse and complex histories of U.S. Latino and Latina communities. The two featured historians for next term are Professors Geraldo L. Cadava in February and Lorrin Thomas in April.

Stay tuned for more updates!

    • cadava | tues. 7 february 2017
    • Geraldo L. Cadava is Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University. He is the author of Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland (Harvard University Press, 2013), recipient of the 2014 Frederick Jackson Turner Award by the Organization of American Historians. Prof. Cadava will speak on the history of Latino conservatism, the topic of his second monograph. This project focuses on the rise and fall of a conservative Hispanic movement between the 1960s and the 1990s. Conservatism among Hispanics in the United States, the book argues, was forged in the crucible of U.S.-Latin American relations, and what distinguishes Hispanic conservatism from mainstream American conservatism—what’s “Hispanic” about Hispanic conservatism—is the emphasis that Hispanics place on immigration and hemispheric economic, military, and cultural relationships.

Latin@ Studies Workshop Series & Directors' Lecture Exchange Series
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    • LSGS and the UNC Latina/o Studies Program have joined analytical forces this Spring 2016 by starting a Latin@ Studies Workshop Series. The goal of this collaborative undertaking is straightforward: to explore and dynamically engage with the scholarship being produced by Latin@ Studies interlocutors at both Universities. What are you working on now, what are you working on next? What are you revising? What are we, as Latina/o Studies faculty, studying? Write us and let us know if you'd like to share your work with us this semester.

    • Duke-UNC Directors' Lecture Exchange Series
    • Prof. María DeGuzmán, Director of the UNC Latina/o Studies Program (LSP), and Prof. Claudia Milian, Director of the Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South at Duke (LSGS), break the programmatic ice this 2016-17 academic year and host the first Directors' Lecture Exchange Series.

      LSP and LSGS are one-of-a-kind academic programs in the U.S. Southeast, and we invite you to attend, hear Professors DeGuzmán's and Milian's lectures, ask questions, and spark conversation about topics in the field of Latina and Latino Studies.

      Prof. DeGuzmán will focus on Latina and Latino writers in the Southeast. Her presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, 20 September, at 4:40p, in the East Duke Building, room 204A (at Duke).

      Prof. Milian will critically attend to the topic of Central American migrations. This discussion will take place on Wednesday, 12 October, at 2p, in Dey Hall, room 207 (at UNC).

    • LSGS at Duke University Logo
    • LeBrón Postdoc Headeer
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Marisol LeBrón is the 2015-2017 LSGS Postdoctoral Associate. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of American Studies at Dickinson College. An interdisciplinary scholar working across American Studies and Latino/a Studies, Professor LeBrón's research and teaching focus on social inequality, policing, violence, and protest movements in Puerto Rico and U.S. communities of color.

Her writing has appeared in Women & Performance; NACLA Report on the Americas; Souls: A Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society; and the edited volume Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso, 2016), among other venues. She is currently at work on her first book, "Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico," which examines the growth of punitive governance in contemporary Puerto Rico.

Professor LeBrón holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University. She went to Oberlin College for her undergrad, where she received her B.A. in Comparative American Studies.

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Diego Camposeco is a Mexican-American writer (sometimes using light) from Burgaw, N.C. whose photography and videos explore the interactions among labor, identity, language, color, and the environment. He received his BFA in studio art with highest honors from theUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has worked in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.

Camposeco considers the U.S. Latino/a category from a structuralist perspective "rather than an ethnic one," and speaks of his current work, "a mathematical romance on Latina/os from the perspective of a budding Israeli-Russian physics student called Annus Mirabilis (Latin for Year of Miracles)."

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    • © Diego Camposeco

Our blogger-in-residence for December writes:

If Latina/o is starting to become a universal category, then how do we continue to complicate and broaden the identity? Spanish, Brazilian, Indigenous, and English literature have been culled from tremendously due to spatio-temporal reasons, but there are still canons out there such as Russian and Chinese literature that are fresh for Latina/o literature to remix. And what does it mean to write about an increasingly Latina/o United States from the perspective of an outsider; is Latina/o normalized now? Those are questions I’m interested in tackling.

 YouTube Channel

​Tune into our ever expanding YouTube channel, which features highlights from a number of distinguished speakers who have given public talks sponsored by the Program. Professor Raúl Coronado spoke on "Surrounding One's Self with the Beauty of Life: Historicizing Nineteenth Century Latina/o Writing." Professor Lázaro Lima, E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Chair in the Liberal Arts and professor of Latin American and Iberian Studies and American Studies at the University of Richmond, delivered a public lecture entitled "Losing Sotomayor: On the Political Limits of Representative Latinidad." Author Jennine Capó Crucet read from her collection of short stories How to Leave Hialeah (University of Iowa Press, 2009), and answered questions from students in the “Introduction to Latino/a Studies” seminar, taught by Walter Mignolo, William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature and Romance Studies.

Our YouTube channel also features:

• "A Conversation with Artist, Cartoonist, & Writer Lalo Alcaraz," who visited LSGS on 9 November 2015 and screened the premiere of Fox Television’s animated show Bordertown, where he served as a consulting producer.

• Key moments from Russell Contreras's talk, “Diss/Appearing Latinos: Immigration Politics and Contemporary News Coverage.” Contreras 
is a reporter for the Associated Press in Albuquerque, N.M. covering race, immigration, and the American Southwest. He serves as President of UNITY: Journalists For Diversity, and  is completing a book on President John F. Kennedy’s last night and his historic visit with Mexican American civil rights leaders.

• A reading by Rodrigo Toscano, an experimental poet, playwright, and labor activist. Toscano is the author of several collections of poetry, among them: Explosion Rocks Springfield (Fence Books, 2016); Partisans (O Books, 1999); The Disparities (Green Integer, 2002); Collapsible Poetics Theater (Fence Books, 2008), which was chosen for the National Poetry Series; and Deck of Deeds (Counterpath Press, 2012).

"Tactile Optics: Prints from the Cheech Marin Chicano Collection" captures focal points from a panel  presentation with Claire Fox, author of Making Art Panamerican: Cultural Policy and the Cold War (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) and Professor in the Departments of English and Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa; E. Carmen Ramos, curator for Latino art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; and Dr. China Medel, curator of the “Tactile Optics” exhibit. Pedro Lasch, Associate Research Professor of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke, moderated the exchange of ideas, placing Chicana/o and Latina/o art in a hemispheric framework.

    •  lsgs tactile exhibition web
    • "Tactile Optics: Prints from the Cheech Marin Chicano Collection" ran from 5 December 2014 to 6 March 2015 at Duke's Fredric Jameson Gallery. The exhibit marked the first time that the twenty-six giclée re-prints donated by actor Cheech Marin were presented in a collected format on Duke's campus. LSGS was one of a selected number of institutions that received this portfolio from Marin’s The Chicano Collection in 2009. Marin’s goal of bringing visibility to the rich and diverse Chicano school of American painting was realized at Duke as prints were hung in various offices, classrooms, and hallways throughout campus.

    • Findings

​​» 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​.

» A Conversation on Latino Representation in U.S. Art History Departments

» Latino, Latino/a, Latina/o , Latin@, Latinx: "Generation Latinx: College Students across U.S. No Longer Want to Be Called Latinos" ("'Change is very difficult. t’s the 'X' that makes people uncomfortable,'" a Columbia University student says in this Fox News Latino report). Additional pieces for consideration: NPR coverage on "​'Latin@' Offers A Gender-Neutral Choice; But How To Pronounce It?;" a feature article from Latina, "Why We Say Latinx: Trans & Gender Non-Conforming People Explain"; and "​What ​D​oes ‘Latinx’ M​ean? A L​ook at the T​erm T​hat's C​hallenging G​ender N​orms.​"​

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

» "​Theatre History Podcast # 11: 'You Don’t Read Latino': Discussing the History of Latinx Casting with Brian Eugenio Herrera."​

Latinas in History: An Interactive Project.

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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.'"

& More


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.