Africana & Latino Studies

Students work on Laptop
Family Weekend ALS student
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Betty with a Student

Founded in 1970, the Africana and Latino Studies Department is one of a handful in the United States which integrates and maintains the intersections of Black and Latino Studies. We also remain steadfast in our concern for social justice, upon which the fields were founded.

Originally conceived to foster a humane appreciation of the cultures of Africana and Latino peoples previously excluded from curricula, the current ALS curriculum, and its faculty's research reflect many of the issues facing people of color on a global scale--poverty, environmental racism, poor access to education, and gender violence. We examine people and cases where organizing, resistance, and persistence have contributed to social justice.

The ALS program continues to evolve, incorporating new scholarship from critical race studies, social theory, gender-sexuality studies, borderlands, and political economy into our courses and activities. Our teacher-scholars practice what they teach and research. Our social engagement includes projects on-and-off campus, both local and global, such as refugee & asylum assistance, consultancy with democracy & governance issues, the union movement, LGBTQ advocacy, and immigrant rights work.

2020 Spring Courses

ALS 255 Marked Bodies

3 s.h. PSCI 237 T/Thur 11:30 am-12:45 pm

Professor Betty Wambui This intermediate level class in Women’s and Gender Studies as well as Africana and Latino Studies will work to trace the relationship between power and bodies. Specifically, this course will be interested in sexed, gendered and ethno-raced bodies. The course shall seek to discuss the ways oppressive inequalities, deviance and crime are constructed around particular bodies as power acts on them. It also considers the human and structural consequence of this, as power manifests itself in oppression, privilege and inequalities constructed by and around embodiment. Our discussions will include an attempt at a theoretical understanding of power and of violence, the inclusion/exclusion of certain bodies, the normalization/abnormalization of some bodies, the production of structures that favor and promote certain bodies and not others, old and emerging practices of body modification and sculpting, the visibility/invisibility of various body types, the relationship of our bodies to new sciences and technologies as well as to institutions such as the police, legislature and judiciary


Peoples & Cultures - Caribbean

T/Thr 4 pm to 5:15 pm 3 s.h. Professor Michael Ryan

Fitzelle Hall room 205

ALS 273-03 Race, Gender, Class and Culture

Professor Betty Wambui

SCI1 211, T/Thur 2:30-3:45 pm, 3 s.h.

This course will use a multidisciplinary approach to examine some of the ways race, gender, class, and culture intersect in the lives of women and men in various Africana and Latino societies and cultures in the Americas (including the Caribbean and the United States). Attention is focused on the historical, economic, and political context that underlie race-, gender- class- and ethnic based inequalities that persist in contemporary societies. By exploring individual and community experiences, we will assess the dynamic variation in women and men’s racial-ethnic, class and gender identity formation. Offered Fall and Spring.

Contact Us

Katherine Bashaw
ALS Department

Fitzelle 270
Phone: (607) 436-3449
Fax: (607) 436-2653

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