Latinx and Latin American Studies Program

“Non-violence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak. Non-violence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win.”

—Cesar Chavez


What is the difference between Latinx Studies and Latin American Studies?

Latinx Studies is an academic area that largely focuses on the experiences of people from a diversity of Hispanic origins living in the United States. The primary groups are those with origins from Cuba, Mexico, and Puerto Rico; however, immigration from a growing number of regions, including the Caribbean, Central America, and South America has added to the diversity and meaning to the term "Latino." Latinx Studies recognizes the importance of the transnational dimension to the area, especially in the on-going connections between those who come to the U.S. and those who remain in their native countries.

Latin American Studies is an academic area primarily focusing on the experiences of groups who remain in their countries of origin, and then, looks at the role and interaction of the U.S. with those respective countries. Latin American Studies also utilizes transnationalism as a crucial aspect of their work. The major difference between the two academic areas is their foremost emphasis on a group's location – in the U.S. or in their country of origin.

Does UMKC offer a minor in Latinx and Latin American Studies?

Yes, we do! The minor in Latinx and Latin American Studies was confirmed and added to the fall 2014-15 Catalog  Please refer to the current catalog for the full list of LLS courses that are available for UMKC students.

Why did UMKC decide to develop a program in Latinx and Latin American Studies?

UMKC recognized the need for establishing a program of this type to attract the increasing number of Latina/Latino students graduating from area and regional high schools. At a time when the overall number of high school graduates is decreasing, the number of minority students graduating is on the rise in spite of very high dropout rates.

Another factor in the decision was the collaborative foundation work that took place between UMKC and the Latino community. The Latino community was and remains committed to increasing the access to and success of Latina/o students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and UMKC has established the desire to become Kansas City's urban institution as one of their major goals.

Who is the director of the UMKC Latinx and Latin American Studies Program?

Dr. Clara Irazabál-Zurita

Who serves as advisor for the program?

 Dr. Clara Irazabál-Zurita serves as the advisor for Latinx and Latin American Studies.

Where is the Latinx and Latin American Studies office located?

The Latinx and Latin American Studies office is located at 5120 Rockhill Road in Haag Hall 204D.