Latin American Studies brings together knowledge from the humanities, (e.g., languages, literature, film studies, history), the social sciences (e.g., anthropology, sociology, political science, political geography, communication/language sciences) and environmental studies to allow students to build a foundation in the aesthetic, cultural, economic, environmental, geographical, historical, linguistic, political, and social contexts of Latin America. In addition to providing breadth in Latin American studies through coursework across multiple disciplines, the program also emphasizes depth in understanding through study abroad and a concentration in a focused problem, topic, area, discipline or method. Students develop significant language skills, cross-cultural understanding, an interdisciplinary approach and the ability to incorporate Latin American perspectives in their analysis of fields including art, development, environmental conservation, history, language, literature and politics.
A major or minor in Latin American Studies prepares students to work with corporations, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, educational institutions, medical organizations, nonprofit advocacy organizations, law firms and legal advocacy groups that deal with the region. The program also provides a deeper understanding of our neighbors to the south as well as populations in the U.S. who are immigrants or descendants of those regions.
Faculty who teach in the program have expertise in areas such as anthropology, environmental studies, film studies, geography, history, library science, linguistics/language science, literature, political science, and sociology. Many of the faculty are active in research, scholarship, and service in Latin American countries, and involve Redlands students in these activities. In addition, the faculty teach several travel courses in Latin American each year, on a variety of topics, as well as courses on the Redlands campus and the local community. Courses cover diverse topics such as conservation and Geographic Information Systems in Panama, Latin American immigration to the US, software policy in Brazil, party politics in Mexico, Latin American literature and film, community forestry in Mexico, bilingualism in indigenous communities in Guatemala, and several other areas.