Areas of Study

Thematic Studies:

Although LAS offers a wide variety of courses in collaboration with other departments, a special focus and expertise has been developed in the following fields of study:

Borders of the Americas and Migration

The Mexico-United States border is the subject of tremendous interest and rigorous academic attention in multidisciplinary fields at the University of Arizona. Faculty at the UA teach and conduct research on the border, in themes including:

    * Transboundary water and environment/development issues
    * Free trade and regional integration
    * Immigration policy and international human rights issues
    * Bilingual education and comparative cultures
    * Gender and health on the border
    * Literature and languages of the border region
    * Interpretations of popular culture in the borderlands.

LAS sponsors an active working group of faculty and students called the Fronteridades Group, who are deeply interested in border issues and research.

Environment and Development

Faculty and students at the University of Arizona are conducting cutting-edge research on environment and development issues in Latin America. Graduate seminars centered on the following themes are regularly offered:

    * Environmentally-focused social movements
    * Political Ecology
    * Neoliberalism
    * Environment and Society

Faculty projects range from a major study of rural cooperatives in Colombia, Brazil, and Paraguay to an analysis of environmental social movements in Panama and Brazil, from interpreting the landscapes of garbage and marginalization in Mexico to studies focused on neoliberal reforms and small producers in Mexico, Honduras, and Costa Rica.

History and Culture

This general approach combines the research and teaching interests of affiliated faculty across the university from:

    * History -William H. Beezley, Kevin Gosner, Jadwiga Pieper-Mooney, and David Ortiz
    * Anthropology -Ana Alonso and Linda Green
    * The Southwest Center -Maribel Alvarez, Thomas Sheridan and David Yetman
    * Art History -Stacie Widdifield and Keith McElroy
    * Spanish -Javier Duran
    * Music -Janet Sturman
    * Journalism -Celeste Gonzalez
    * Arizona State Museum -Lisa Falk

The emphasis on culture particularly focuses on the circulatory of high and popular cultures in their multiplicity of forms such as fiestas, literature, television and radio, music, handicrafts, fashion, food, and most activities of daily life.

Gender, Power and Inequality

This thematic area focuses on how different types of inequalities are negotiated and contested in the newly democratized countries of Latin America. More precisely, we are interested in the persistence of social, economic, and political inequalities in Latin America; in how such inequalities affect the stabilization of democratic institutions and the creation of innovative forms of democratic governance; and what are the responses of organized civil society to this setting of resilient inequalities and political/institution flux. We are committed to rigorous and diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of inequalities, democratization and civil society in Latin America.

Regional Studies:

The Center for Latin American Studies Faculty and Students have interests which cover the width and depth of the Latin American geo-region. The following areas garner special attention from CLAS, as faculty members have extensive research and work experience in these places.

    * Central America
    * Brazil
    * Mexico
    * Southern Cone (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay)


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