Fairfield University's commitment to a humanistic perspective and to the concept of social justice requires that Fairfield students be introduced to the "other" Americans who inhabit this hemisphere. The vibrant cultures of the Caribbean, Central and South American nations — which blend indigenous, European, and African influences — provide a rich field of study that can be approached from many points of view. Fairfield's minor program in Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean studies offers a humanistic perspective on the people of these countries, their customs, politics, art and civilization.
The Program in Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean Studies offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the multifaceted aspects of our Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean contexts, including the political and economic involvement of the United States. Some of the themes considered in the courses offered in the program include:
Pre-Columbian indigenous cultures
Systems of African slavery
Dependency, colonialism, imperialism and post-colonialism
20th-century revolutionary politics
Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean literatures
Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean arts and media
Religion and faith in Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean communities
Reassertion of Negritude and Indian rights
You may choose this program for its own inherent interest, or to enhance a major in Spanish, French, Portuguese, politics, economics, history, sociology and anthropology, communication and/or fine arts. Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean Studies integrates a strong array of courses within the nations and people of the Americas that are offered across many disciplinary fields.
The Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean Studies faculty also encourage you to take a semester abroad in a Latin American or Caribbean country through our international programs in order to gain a deeper understanding of the particular culture you are studying.
Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean Studies | Fairfield University
Students who successfully complete the LLACS minor at Fairfield University will be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding of basic knowledge of the history, geography, economics, biodiversity, political processes, social dynamics, and culture of Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean peoples and populations. This occurs through accurate referencing of factual data about the regions’ basic geographical characteristics, major historical developments, most salient cultural aspects, and major current events throughout different courses’ assignments and evaluations.
Demonstrate breadth in approaching questions pertaining to the regions of Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean peoples and populations by seeking, applying and evaluating relevant literature and empirical studies generated by Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean authors.
Analyze & Interpret
Demonstrate analytic, interpretive and critical thinking skills to explore issues and trends affecting or characterizing the Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean regions in the LLACS curriculum, culminating in an original and innovative research project.
Students will demonstrate depth in approaching questions pertaining to Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean regions by conducting integrative inquiries that recognize complexity and intersectionality in the subjects explored. Students will apply interdisciplinary methodologies, longitudinal analysis, and/or cross-national/cross-cultural comparative inquiries culminating in an original LLACS research project.
Requirements & Curriculum
Four (4) Latin American and Caribbean Studies elective courses
One (1) of the following: Justice and the Developing World Internship Independent Study
Students are strongly advised to apply for a junior semester or year abroad in a country of Latin America or the Caribbean from a wide range of programs. Summer programs are also available. Students are particularly encouraged to study in Nicaragua through our partner, Universidad Centroamericana-Managua. Other approved country programs include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Peru. Summer programs and short term immersions are available too. Short term courses led by Fairfield University faculty members include courses in Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Students are also encouraged to do an internship in a Latin American or Caribbean country. Funding assistance for internships and research abroad is available through inquiry with the LACS Program Directors.
Students may count courses taken for the Latin American and Caribbean studies minor toward their core course or major program requirements.
Note: While the majority of courses taken abroad should count towards a LACS minor, in some cases, based on content, an abroad course may not be awarded credit towards the LACS minor.
A detailed list of course requirements, offerings, and more can be viewed in the University’s course catalog.
Each year, the Program in Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean Studies grants financial support through the Bailey Family Nicaragua Fund to a select group of students engaging in study in Latin America. The grants range in value from $500 to $2,500 and were established in 2007 through the generosity of Mr. Carl Bailey. The grants can contribute to the expenses of any of the following: travel, accommodation, and other expenses related to an approved project. Deadline for applications is at the end of April each year.
The faculty of the Program in Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LLACS) strongly urge you to experience first-hand the reality of a Latin American or Caribbean country. Such an experience will greatly expand your classroom learning, and give you a cultural awareness that can be acquired in no other way. Only through immersion in the culture of Latin American and Caribbean countries will you be enabled to grasp effectively the important issues facing the region and assess the impact of those issues on the United States, and other parts of the world.
When you study in a Latin American or Caribbean country, you will fulfill most, if not all, of the requirements for the LLACS minor, or you will become motivated to do an individually designed major in LLACS.
You will have unique opportunities such as:
Living in the home of a local family
Improving your linguistic skills by interacting daily with native speakers
Developing a specific field of specialization
Participating in various service activities
Traveling through diverse physical landscapes and ethnic cultures
Your experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean may inspire you to pursue advanced study in the field or to develop a cross-cultural career. Indeed, the growing economies of Latin America and the Caribbean result in increasing job opportunities for graduates with a minor or major in LLACS, particularly those who speak Spanish, Portuguese and/or French, and have been exposed to the business cultures of the region.
Equally important is that study and service in learning within Latin America and the Caribbean will deepen your understanding of many social and economic inequalities that confront people in the Global South. Witnessing the harsh realities of these societies and learning about their causes and consequences will propel you, as a student of Fairfield University, to reflect on the Jesuit commitment to social justice, and on your role as an agent of betterment for Latin American and Caribbean communities.
Fairfield University or its affiliates provide semester- and year-long programs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The LACS program encourages you to consider CIEE's Open Campus program in South America. CIEE offers a generous scholarship for this program, which covers your flight and living expenses. In a single semester, the Open Campus program allows students to do comparative studies between two of the following countries: Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Additionally, the University offers short-term service-learning programs and internships in Brazil, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Dr. Jennifer Adair Co-Director of the Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies CNS 319
Class of '17
Get to Know Kayla
Undergrad Degree: Biology and Environmental Studies, Double Major; Latin American and Caribbean Studies Minor Hometown: Mount Vernon, NY Extracurricular Activities: Martial Arts, Archery Club, Intramural Sports, Alliance Club, Alpha Mu Gamma, Health Professions Program, Internship at the Stamford Animal Embassy, WiSTEM Member
Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?
There are many reasons as to why I chose Fairfield University. Fairfield University has such a fine academic program and a long history of success! I knew that I would gain a valuable and fulfilling education at Fairfield, especially through the core, which I believe makes students well rounded. Furthermore, Fairfield has small class sizes, allowing students and faculty to better communicate. Fairfield University is also close to New York City, which allows for many unique internship and work opportunities. Fairfield is a Jesuit Institution, which I am very fond of. I like how the school motivates students to incorporate the four Jesuit Values into their daily lives.
Through my two years at Fairfield, I have experienced all of the factors that made me choose Fairfield University. I can honestly say that I made the right decision and I am glad that I get to study at such a special school!
How/why did you select your major/minor?
Before I began studying at Fairfield University, I knew that I loved science and animals. I started college as a Biology major, under the Pre-Veterinary program, which would allow me to study science while fulfilling the requirements necessary for veterinary school. I have always had a passion for animals and becoming a veterinarian has always been my greatest dream! During my freshman year, I also took a couple of environmental studies classes and I realized that I also loved studying about environmental policy and reform. I decided to declare environmental studies as my double major. Both majors have been very rewarding for me as I have been able to take classes that interest me and that help bring me closer to my dreams!
As my sophomore year came to a close, I also decided that I wanted to declare Latin American and Caribbean Studies as my minor because of my deep-rooted interest in Brazil. I studied Portuguese for two years and I adore the language! I am also very excited for my study abroad adventure in Brazil, where I plan to fully immerse myself in the culture so that I can truly benefit from my time abroad! Having a Latin American and Caribbean Studies minor will help me learn more about Brazil and its neighboring countries!
What attributes regarding the faculty did you find particularly helpful/encouraging?
All of the faculty members that I have encountered at Fairfield University have had a genuine interest in helping students accomplish their goals and achieve success. My elementary Portuguese teacher, Dr. Michelle Farrell, in particular, had a rather significant impact on my life. Through her lessons of Portuguese, she also taught about the culture of Brazil and about her experiences there, making me fall in love with the amazing country and its diverse culture. I will now be studying abroad there for six months and I am excited for every opportunity that comes my way! She was also very supportive of my decision to declare a Latin American and Caribbean Studies minor, even helping me fill out my form and choose my relevant classes! She is always there to listen to me or help me out with a recommendation letter, which I truly appreciate!
I have also interacted with some other faculty members of the Foreign Language Department through my participation in Alpha Mu Gamma. Dr. Wilkinson and Dr. Erotopoulos have been very helpful with informing me about opportunities, which ultimately helped me received the Department of Modern Language’s Study Abroad Scholarship. Overall, all the faculty members that I have met and worked with have done everything in their power to help me learn about new opportunities, work towards them, and do the things that would ultimately bring me happiness!
More About Latin American & Caribbean Studies
Life After Fairfield
Life After Fairfield
The minor in Latin American and Caribbean studies can add significantly to your qualification for employment and graduate study. Students who have minored in Latin American and Caribbean studies are engaged in positions in:
A number of recent graduates have been awarded Fulbright scholarships.
Learn how Fairfield's Career Services can support your post-graduate goals, and how our tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.
Interns can work with The International Executive Service Corps in Stamford. This organization sends business executives overseas on troubleshooting missions. Interns write project evaluations of these missions.
Another internship is at Technoserve, an organization in Norwalk that supports grassroots development projects in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
In addition, students can take the course IL 298 Internship in International Studies, which offers placements at local organizations that have an international component, such as:
Orphanage for disabled children
Home for disabled adolescents
Other Catholic service agencies
The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the dedicated members of our Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program.