Latino/a Studies has existed at Duke University for nearly two decades, achieving official Program status in Fall 2008.
The interdisciplinary Certificate Program, Latino/a Studies in the Global South, allows students to expand on their knowledge of the U.S. Latino and Latina population by combining classes from across the humanities, social sciences, and professional schools.
The Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South (LSGS) connects faculty, administrators, and resources to promote interdisciplinary research, teaching, and study related to Latino and Latina communities in the United States and across national boundaries.
The Program has a unique focus. It seeks to situate the inquiry of Latino/a Studies in a particular geographic space: the U.S. South and the Global South. LSGS enables historical and emerging considerations of the construction of race and ethnicity transnationally. It connects with the cross-disciplinary analysis and knowledges imparted in African and African American Studies, American Studies, and Latin American Studies. The conceptual space and epistemological apparatus of the "Global South" is also an analytic pathway that brings out possibilities vis-à-vis historical events, regional differences, demographic transitions, and geopolitical hierarchies. The Global South promotes debate, continuous rethinking, and casts light on the entanglements of our contemporary moment, paired with the sociopolitical realities that shape being Latino and Latina in the world.
Latino/a Studies connects to questions of culture, power, and globalization––all at the forefront of social theory. The names of our LSGS affiliated faculty can be found here, and our course offerings are listed on this online page.
The LSGS academic curriculum and subjects span the following areas of inquiry:
• critical race theory
• migration and movement.
LSGS is inherently interdisciplinary. It enhances and expands diversity. The Program incorporates international components through transnational and comparative studies. LSGS is oriented to knowledge in the service of society––strengthening the faculty and undergraduate experience.
Witness the incisive remarks our most recent Certificate graduates, from 2012 and 2013, have conveyed. Some of the reflections demonstrate the necessity of being critically introduced to a new lexicon by which to articulate and negotiate multiple Latina identities. There, a Public Policy major also informs us that "I could not be more thankful of this [LSGS] Certificate as I know it has shaped me into a better, more critical person and will certainly help me be a more effective leader and professional one day."
LSGS aligns with Duke University's mission and strategic focus by including Latino/a Studies content in disciplines across campus, engendering and sustaining "a superior liberal education to undergraduates students." As a cutting-edge, transnational field of study, LSGS advances, as well, "the frontiers of knowledge and contribute[s] boldly to the international community of scholarship."
The LSGS Certificate is open to all undergraduates from any major. Its broad perspective and interdisciplinary approach are of potential benefit to those pursuing careers in law, business, marketing, education, public policy, medicine and healthcare, journalism and communications, the non-profit sector, and beyond.