Latinx and Latin American Studies Program

Haag Hall, Room 204
5120 Rockhill Road
(816) 235-5854
Fax: (816) 235-5542

Mailing Address
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Latinx and Latin American Studies
Haag Hall 204
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

Program Description:

The mission of Latinx and Latin American Studies (LLS), a program based in the College of Arts and Sciences, is to function as a vehicle for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teaching, research and outreach focusing on Latinas/os-Chicanas/os in the U.S. The LLS program will provide an awareness and understanding of the wide diversity of Latino communities, cultures and backgrounds. The development and expansion of our curricula will serve to empower our students with the concepts and skills to better understand a rapidly growing Latina/o population. The LLS program will engage students, scholars and the greater Kansas City community in collaborative projects, programs and service learning efforts. These efforts will foster new curricula and advance research and outreach scholarship to create new knowledge to better understand the cultural, economic, and historical experiences and contributions of U.S. Latinas/os-Chicanas/os and their diasporic origins.

Program Activities:

  • Provide all UMKC students with critical understanding of the historical, political and social context in which Latino/Chicano communities have evolved and continue to be established in the U.S., with particular attention to the greater Kansas City metropolitan area and the Midwest region. Crucial to this goal is the understanding of the transnational nature of these community ties.
  • Provide access to a quality education for Latina/o students and other students interested in Latina/o-Chicana/o Studies and at the same time enhance diversity on the campus.
  • Strengthen ties with UMKC Latina/o alumni
  • Engage other area Latina/o professionals in LLS activities
  • Strengthen ties between the UMKC and the Latino community.
  • Establish UMKC as a center of teaching, learning and research on Latino/Chicano populations.
  • Establish and/or strengthen alliances with local Latina/o community organizations, e.g. Guadalupe Center (KCMO), El Centro (KCK), Dos Mundos, KC Hispanic News, Mattie Rhodes Art and Counseling Center, The Mexican Consulate, Latino Writers Collective
  • Create alliances/connections with local non-Latina/o organizations, e.g. Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City Public Libraries and the Kansas City Museum


Norma E. Cantú 1,2 Contact Information; professor of latina/latino studies and english; B.S., M.S. (Texas A&I University); Ph.D. (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Miguel A. Carranza1,2 professor emeritus of latina/latino studies and sociology; B.A. (Kearney State College); M.A., Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame).

Associate Professor:

Theresa L. Torres1,2 Contact Information; associate professor of latina/latino studies and sociology; B.A. (Benedictine College); M.A. (Boston College); Ph.D. (Catholic University of America).

Academic Advisor:

Norma E. Cantú

Members of UMKC Graduate Faculty

Members of UMKC Doctoral Faculty


LLS 201 Introduction to Latina/o Studies Credits: 3

This course addresses and examines the social, economic, and political factors that have influenced the historical experiences of Latinas and Latinos in the U.S. Attention will focus on the major concepts, issues and debates in the field of Latina/Latino Studies. Particular consideration will be given to an analysis of and understanding as to how these factors have influenced the past and present status of Latinos in U.S. society. Given the diversity existing within the Latino population, the course will be comparative, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary in nature.

LLS 300 Special Topics in Latinx and Latin American Studies Credits: 3

A variable content course offered in the area of Latinx and Latin American studies.

LLS 310 The World of Latinx Youth and Adolescents in the U.S. Credits: 3

This course will provide a general introduction and in-depth understanding to the largest group of racial/ethnic adolescents in the United States: Latinx youth. An historical examination of Latinx youth will provide a better understanding of their present status, with emphasis on their contact and interactions within social institutions. Additionally, students will analyze the experiences Latinx youth have within and among other groups in the broader social context based on past, present, and possible future interactions.

LLS 322 Race and Ethnic Relations Credits: 3

The nature, origin and dynamics of ethnic and race relations in the U. S. and other societies. Specific attention will be given to the historical and contemporary contexts of prejudice discrimination and confrontation.

LLS 348 Latinx Immigrants, Migrants, and Refugees in the U.S. Credits: 3

This course addresses the culture of societies of U.S. citizens, immigrants, and refugees of Latin American heritage living in the U.S. The course emphasizes recent anthropological, historical, cultural, and sociological studies.

LLS 397 Independent Readings in Latinx and Latin American Studies Credits: 1-3

Students will complete extensive readings in an area selected by the student with prior consultation with instructor.

LLS 400 Advanced Special Topics in Latinx and Latin American Studies Credits: 1-3

This course is a variable content course and offered as a result of specialized faculty interest, student demand, or the availability of a visiting expert in a field closely related to Latinx and Latin American Studies.

LLS 421 Made in the USA: Latinx Art and Experience Credits: 3

This course focuses on art of and by members of the U.S. Latinx community. Students in this course will engage with the politics of representation, gender, sexuality, race, class, and ethnicity in Latinx art, as well as visual and popular culture.

LLS 497 Directed Research Credits: 1-3

Students will develop and conduct a research project in an area selected by the student under the supervision of a faculty member. Students may only enroll in 6 total credits of LLS 497 during their time at UMKC.

Prerequisites: Junior or Senior Level Standing.