About the Program

Thank you for visiting the home page of Latin American and Latino Studies (LAST), an interdisciplinary area and ethnic studies program in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. The LAST program provides in-depth exposure to the key geographic regions, historical trajectories, social modes, languages, and political, economic, and cultural systems of Latin America and the Latino U.S.

Latin American and Latino Studies draws primarily on History and Political Science, Anthropology, Art History, Sociology, English, Economics, Music, and Language, Literature and Culture. Students may combine a LAST co-major (21 credit hours) or minor (15 credit hours) with a major in another field, in order to enhance their preparedness for employment with government, service agencies, corporations and enterprises dealing with Latin America and the Hispanic U.S., for teaching or international careers, or in preparation for other advanced degrees. Our faculty members work in diverse geographic contexts, from Buenos Aires and Mexico City to rural New Mexico and Northern Arkansas, and from Colombia to the Caribbean to the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Our research specialties include literary criticism, identity, film, immigration, material culture, history, politics, religion, gender, transnationalism, the environment, and more.

In addition to offering an undergraduate co-major and minor, we sponsor a study abroad program, a high-profile lecture series, and cultural events throughout the academic year. Our summer Study Abroad in beautiful Puebla, Mexico provides an immersive experience wherein students stay with local families, select from internships in health, business, education, or liberal arts, and study Spanish. Puebla is known for its vibrant street life and the baroque architecture of its historic downtown. Our Lecture Series enables students to meet with renowned writers of fiction and poetry, historians, filmmakers, human rights activists, performance artists, and more. Speakers in recent years include award-winning novelist Isabel Allende, documentarian Marcos McPeek Villatoro, photojournalist José Galvez, and Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú. Other endeavors include the Plaza de las Américas Festival, International Education Week, film screenings, the Sin Límites youth biliteracy project, and graduate/faculty brown-bag colloquia.

The LAST curricula and activities are designed to ensure that students are exposed to ample historical, geographic, and disciplinary breadth, as well as theoretical and methodological depth of focus. We seek to cultivate informed thinkers who have a critical understanding of the U.S. Latino and Latin American worlds. We hope you find our website useful and informative.

Yajaira M. Padilla, Ph.D.

Director, Latin American and Latino Studies Program
Associate Professor of English and Latin American and Latino Studies
Kimpel Hall 723
Fayetteville, AR 72701
ympadill@uark.edu | 479-575-4801