map of Duke campus quad with south america superimposed
(Shaun King/Trinity Communications and Bill Snead/University Communications and Marketing)

Expanding Scholarly Perspectives Reflect Latinidad at Duke

“Latino history is Duke history.” Cecilia Márquez is spreading the word, and the Hunt Family Assistant Professor of History is far from alone in that effort.

From course offerings to faculty research to entire programs of study, Latinidad — a Spanish-language term often used by scholars to refer to the cultural and social identity of people of Latin American descent — is expanding at Duke, reflecting changes in student population.

“Latinos, Latinas, Latinx, Latines” — all terms that have evolved over time and vary across generations — comprise 11% of Duke undergraduate students and are the fastest growing demographic in North Carolina. They are also at the center of Duke’s specialized program of study, Latino/a Studies in the Global South (LSGS).

The LSGS program, which offers courses and a certificate, focuses primarily on the study and knowledge of people of Latino descent living within the United States, including immigrants to the U.S. as well as people whose families have lived in the U.S. for generations.

In a complementary contrast, Duke’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) focuses on the countries and cultures of Latin America, including Brazil and the Caribbean.

Through LSGS and CLACS, as well as through coursework and faculty-led research across campus, students have a wide range of opportunities to engage in multidisciplinary learning and to immerse themselves in the rich cultures, history and language of Latin America and the Latine diaspora.