Latin American, Latino and Puerto Rican Studies

From the Chair


The Department of Latin American, Latino and Puerto Rican Studies offers two majors, in Latin American Studies and Latino/Puerto Rican Studies, and three minors, in Latin American Studies, Latino/Puerto Rican Studies, and Mexican and Mexican American Studies. Many of our basic courses fulfill both major and minor and Pathways requirements. In addition, our faculty participates in the LEH curriculum and the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies. We cross-list courses with African and African-American Studies, Women’s Studies, History, Spanish, Sociology, Anthropology, Politics and Economics. Our interdisciplinary Latin American Studies (LAC) major describes and analyzes the vital role of Latin America and its diasporas in the current climate of globalization. Our Latino/Puerto Rican Studies major (LPR) centers the experience of migration as a key analytic in a globally-minded study of the US-Latin American and the Caribbean relationship.

Look to this homepage for up-to-date information about our exciting events over the course of the semester and "like" us on our Facebook page. And feel free to contact the department faculty to discuss any questions related to our programs and courses. We are eager to discuss the opportunities to major or minor in our department and how any one of our majors and minors fits your career choices. We encourage you to look through our webpage for more information about our excellent faculty and far-ranging curriculum.

–Licia Fiol-Matta


Faculty Spotlight


Dr. Sarah Soanirina Ohmer joins the LALPRS department as Assistant Professor this Fall 2015. She was previously an Assistant Professor at the University of Indianapolis. She received her Ph.D. in Latin American Culture and Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, with a concentration in Cultural Studies and Doctoral Certificate in Latin American Studies. Her main areas of concentration are in literature, cultural theory, postcolonialism, trauma in literature, and gender and race in literature and society. Current interests include: Black Feminism and Womanist Practices, Literature by Black Brazilian Women, the conjunction of Art and Activism and Healing in Black urban communities.

This past year, Dr. Ohmer was awarded a Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellowship to pursue research in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She worked with Human Rights, Multiculturalism, and Black Studies scholar Dr. Gislene Aparecida dos Santos, at the University of Sao Paulo's Diversitas Center, a center for Studies on Diversity, Intolerance and Conflict. The Fulbright Fellowship enabled her to finish her book manuscript, Keloids of Modernity: Trauma, Race and Gender in Black Women's Literature. While in Brazil, Dr. Ohmer also collected materials for her next book projects. The first is an innovative look at literature in Sao Paulo, in collaboration with a group of twenty published writers and critics from the city. The second is an anthology of critical theory on Black Brazilian Women's Literature, with contributions from poets, novelists, and critics representing various generations and regions of Brazil.

Dr. Ohmer dedicates her work to bridging the personal with the theoretical, in her research, classroom and in life! She uses her creativity and quirky enthusiasm to produce unorthodox cultural theory, and accessible, interactive, wholesome pedagogy. In the classroom, students and learning come first, and she enjoys using games and "flip-the-classroom" strategies to make sure that students not only "get it" but also "get" themselves, their complex culture(s), and the similarities and differences within Latin American cultures. Practical job-earning skills, self-esteem, and equity in the classroom constitute the bases of her pedagogical approach.

Originally, Dr. Ohmer is Franco-Malagasy, born in France with roots in Madagascar. She speaks French, English, Spanish and Portuguese.

News and Announcements


Latin American, Latino, and Puerto Rican Studies

Leonard Lief Library


A Reading and Discussion


Puerto Ricans in the Empire:

Tobacco Growers and U.S. Colonialism


by Teresita A. Levy


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

6:00 – 7:00 PM

Library - Treehouse Conference Room 317

RSVP by September 28th

*Light Refreshments will be served*


Visit LALPRS on Facebook!

The Department has a Facebook presence: click here to learn more about its programs and events, and to join faculty and students in conversations about the past.





Last modified: Sep 2, 2015

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