Latina/o Studies Program
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Silvia Pedraza, professor of Sociology and American Culture, doesn’t spend her days just giving lectures. She is currently at the forefront of social research on one of the United States’ most debated and salient public issues — refugee migration.
Welcome to Latina/o Studies
The Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Michigan was founded in 1984. It is one of four ethnic studies programs housed within the Department of American Culture. This structure has historically benefited our program in numerous ways. We are able to offer undergraduate and graduate students the unique opportunity to learn about the culture, history, and social conditions of Latina/os in an intellectual environment enriched by the cross pollination of the “Michigan Model” of American studies (which trains students to utilize and understand multiple ethnic and disciplinary methodologies), as well as the expertise of internationally acclaimed faculty whose work centers on the Latina/o experience. Our scholarly focus is broadly comparative, not just in terms of other ethnic studies optics, but also with respect to the many forms of “latinidad” articulated in the U.S. and elsewhere. Our faculty spans a broad range of disciplines and methodologies from the social sciences to cultural studies. Our curriculum includes classes on history, gender and sexuality, religion, citizenship and immigration, transnationalism and diaspora, studies of media, visual culture and the plastic arts, and community service learning.
About the Latina/o Studies' Hummingbird Design
Latina/o Studies' hummingbird design reflects a migratory bird that exists across the Americas and the Caribbean. In choosing one to represent our program, we thought about the role that hummingbirds have played in legends and myths in various American traditions. This includes the Zapoteca legend of the Pajaro Arcoiris as the origin of the rainbow and the colors which we interpret today as a representation for diversity. In the design of our hummingbird, we selected the Violetear species of hummingbirds that can be found from South America to Canada. We believe that this image serves as a symbol of the many Latina/o populations who similarly move across great distances and national divides with equal beauty and dignity.
Logo Design by Assistant Professor William Calvo-Quirós