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Liberal Arts to offer Latin American and Latino studies minor

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts will begin offering a new program and an undergraduate minor in Latin American and Latino studies.

“Globalization and changing demographics have motivated faculty, students and the public in general to learn about the Latino communities in the United States, as well as the region of the world from which they come,” says Adriela Fernandez, the associate dean for academic programs who coordinated the program’s proposal in conjunction with the faculty participating in the Purdue Council on Latin American and Latino Studies.

“Purdue’s program will be housed in liberal arts, but it will serve the entire university and community. The program is interdisciplinary and it will draw on the expertise of Purdue’s diverse faculty. In addition to courses, the program will offer Purdue students opportunities for study abroad, community service and outreach, as well as collaborative activities with Ivy Tech, other colleges and universities, public schools, and community and state organizations.”

The 15-credit hour minor will require the “Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies” course. Then students can select other courses that include “Spanish and Latin American Cinema,” “Hispanic Women Writers,” “The Archaeology of the Ancient Andes” and “History of Mexico.” Students also are required to demonstrate advanced oral and written proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese through testing or courses in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Undergraduates interested in enrolling in these classes during the 2008-09 academic year should contact their academic advisers. New study abroad and scholarly exchange opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean will be offered through the program.

In 2007-08, Purdue’s Council on Latin American and Latino Studies, which is composed of faculty from across the university, and the College of Liberal Arts organized a series of public events on topics such as immigration, education trends and Latino life in Indiana.

The new program and undergraduate minor in Latin American and Latino studies, which was approved by the College of Liberal Arts Faculty Senate in April, will be housed in the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies. The other interdisciplinary programs in the College of Liberal Arts are African American studies, American studies, Asian studies, Asian American studies, classical studies, comparative literature, film/video studies, Italian studies, Jewish studies, linguistics, medieval and renaissance studies, peace studies, philosophy and literature, religious studies, and women’s studies.

The College of Liberal Arts is home to the departments of communication, English, foreign languages and literatures, health and kinesiology, history, philosophy, psychological sciences, sociology and anthropology, speech, language and hearing sciences, and visual and performing arts. On Aug. 1, sociology and anthropology will become two departments.

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