Latin America is a complex cultural and historical region created by Spanish and Portuguese colonization in the New World and which encompasses territories and peoples from the southernmost tip of South America to the Caribbean Islands and the United States. As an area born out of a series of conquests, migrations, contacts and conflicts it is transcultural, multi-lingual and multi-ethnic. It has been a vital part of the formation of the modern world even as it has continued to function as a source for the expression of economic, political and cultural alternatives to dominant Western formations.
At present, UC-Irvine offers an undergraduate minor as well as a graduate emphasis in Latin American Studies.
Additionally the recently formed Latin American Research Cluster brings together an active group of scholars and graduate students whose project is to promote dialogue and collaboration in the study of Latin America across disciplinary boundaries and increase the educational activities on Latin America at UCI, including course development, guest speakers, research support and cultural events. Adriana M. C. Johnson