Message from the Founding Director 

Latin American Studies is among the most recently developed programs at UBCO, Canada’s newest research-intensive university.  Our highly diverse faculty is delighted to be launching the program this year.

This inter-disciplinary undergraduate program has a cutting-edge flavor.  It covers an exciting array of issues and perspectives from various academic disciplines including anthropology, cultural studies, indigenous studies, history, political science, sociology and Spanish.

The potential for the program is enormous, and we look forward to sustained student input and to the development of strong community links.

We are particularly excited about introducing Spanish 150, which is taught in English, during the Winter Semester (January to April).   The course is an introduction to the wide field of Latin American Studies, and will be team-taught by faculty from various departments.  Think of it as an academic candy-sampler for the wide range of themes and conceptual approaches featured in the program.

Beyond the fresh approach and wide assortment of choices for students, the development of this program is particularly timely given the national and global context. The region has undergone a dramatic ideological shift over the last decade, and some countries, such as Brazil, are quickly emerging as global powers.  Latin America continues to be a dynamo in the areas of art, culture, social movements, and in the development of identity politics involving gender and ethnicity.  All this has been noticed in the Far North: the Canadian Government recently has made Latin America a key focus for its foreign policy, and beginning in 2010 will prioritize the region for Canadian developmental assistance.

So the time is right for this innovative program that places a premium on teaching and on student involvement.  Our faculty members are internationally recognized experts within their fields, and will offer students first-hand insights generated by their innovative research.  Our program is also enhanced by the contagious enthusiasm of a growing number of graduate students working within the field of Latin American Studies at UBCO.

We look forward over the forthcoming year to various events that welcome students and the public to help build our program, beginning with a musical celebration on October 15 – please see our Web page for details.  There will also be films, internationally recognized speakers, and faculty-student parties over the next year.  We look forward to meeting you!

James RochlinJames Rochlin, PhD
Professor, Political Science 

Director of LAS/LAIS Program, 2009-2011, current

Last reviewed shim4/15/2015 1:05:39 PM