UBC Okanagan introduces new Latin American Studies major

UBC Okanagan is adding Latin American Studies (LAS) this fall as a new and interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts major program.

"The strength of this program is the wide range of choice offered to students in terms of departments and courses, the fascinating subject matter, and an array of superb professors who are conducting cutting edge research in a variety of fields," says Professor James Rochlin, director of the LAS program.

The program involves courses from an assortment of departments, including anthropology, history, indigenous studies, political science, Spanish and sociology, he says. Professors Jessica Stites-Mor from the History department, and Francisco Peña from the Spanish department are the chief architects of the new program.

"This interdisciplinary approach provides students with a rich panorama of perspectives, and opens many doors of inquiry that a single department could not provide," Rochlin notes. "Students can focus their studies on concentrated areas or select a varied survey of courses."

Professors in the program offer a variety of insights based on their research interests. Faculty include:

  • Professor Tirso Gonzales of Indigenous Studies focuses on Indigenous Peoples’ international agenda, the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, as well as decolonizing research and methodologies.
  • Professor Francisco Peña of the Spanish Department researches Medieval Spanish literature and the influence of the Bible on literature.
  • Professor Bernard Schulz-Cruz of the Spanish Department focuses on Chilean and Contemporary Latin American literature and cinema. His latest book is Gay Images in Mexican Cinema.
  • Professor Grisel María García Pérez, a native of Cuba, is especially interested in the life and works of José Marti.
  • Professor Jessica Stites-Mor of the History Department conducts research in the cultural politics of Argentina and Brazil, urbanism and modernism, political filmmaking, the Latin American left, sexuality and gender, as well as transnational solidarities.
  • Professor Ricardo Trumper of Sociology works on Chilean politics, neoliberalism and globalization, among many other themes.
  • Professor Patricia Tomic of the Sociology Department works on the politics of language, feminist studies, the experience of Latin American immigrants in Canada, hinterland studies and Chilean politics.
  • Professor James Rochlin of political science conducts research in the areas of critical security and political economy vis-a-vis Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Rochlin says the LAS program provides a solid foundation for diverse career and academic options, such as international law, international business and politics, foreign service, international NGO work, media and communication, and most discipline-based arts and professional graduate programs.

For more information on the program, contact the director, Dr. James Rochlin, james.rochlin@ubc.ca.

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