Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Fairfield University's commitment to a humanistic perspective and to the concept of social justice requires that students be introduced to the "other" Americans who inhabit this hemisphere. The vibrant cultures of the Caribbean and Central and South American nations, blending indigenous, European and African influences, provide a rich field of study that can be approached from many points of view.

The Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the multifaceted aspects of the Latin American and Caribbean countries, including the political and economic involvement of the United States. The pre-Columbian indigenous cultures, the systems of African slavery, economic dependency, 20th-century revolutions in politics, poetry, painting, literature, the churches, and the reassertion of negritude and Indian rights are some of the themes considered in the courses offered in the program.

LAC 0300 Justice and the Developing World4 Credits

Attributes: EDCG Educational Studies Cognate, HASM Humanitarian Action Minor Skills/Method Course, LCEL LACS Minor: Elective, PJST Peace and Justice Studies, WDIV World Diversity

This interdisciplinary course combines the insights of history, politics, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, business, and economics to examine problems of poverty and justice in the developing world - including health, education, and environmental sustainability - with particular focus either on Central or South America, or the Caribbean. Significant to the course is a one-week immersion in one country, which is not required but strongly encouraged. Students plan and carry out a research project asking the critical questions and using the research methodologies of their academic major or minor. The immersion trip provides students with an intensive field research opportunity, the findings from which they incorporate into their papers.

LAC 0301 Latin America and the United States3 Credits

Attributes: H_NW Non-Western History, H_RE History: Research Paper, LCEL LACS Minor: Elective, WDIV World Diversity

This interdisciplinary course is not a course in diplomatic relations. Rather it considers the ways in which Latin Americans have perceived, analyzed, depicted, reacted to, and dealt with the United States. The course considers essayists, poets, filmmakers, social scientists, statesmen, journalists, revolutionaries, artists, "vendepatrias", and diplomats. This course, which fulfills the requirement for the capstone seminar in Latin American and Caribbean studies and counts as a history course, includes research papers and oral presentations.

LAC 0373 Internship3 Credits

Attributes: LCEL LACS Minor: Elective

Short-term internships in the field of Latin American and Caribbean Studies combine academic work with service that answers a community-identified need, and critical reflection. Such internships are offered in a Latin American or Caribbean country generally during the summer for a four to six-week period. Prior approval from the director(s) of the LACS program is required.

LAC 0399 Independent Study1-4 Credits

Attributes: LCEL LACS Minor: Elective

Prerequisites: At least one course in LACS; Junior or senior standing.

A student may conduct a one-semester independent study on a defined research topic or field of study under the supervision of a Professor in the LACS Program. Requires prior approvals by the Professor with whom the student will work as well as the Director of the LACS program.


Adrada Rafael (Modern Languages and Literatures)
Alicea-Planas (Nursing)

Steering Committee

Adair (History)
Farrell (Modern Languages and Literatures)
Franceschi (Economics)
Garcia-Iommi (Politics)
Jones (Sociology and Anthropology)
Marsans-Sakly (History)
Walker (Biology)

Contributing Faculty

Campos (Modern Languages and Literatures)
Garvey (English)