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 the General Education requirements of the college. 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 LAS 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 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

Andres Torres

Since joining Lehman in September 2010 as Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. Andrés Torres has taught courses on migration and community development, and on political economy, each with a Latino focus. He also teaches Latinos in the United States.

He received his Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research and his M.A. in economics from N.Y.U. His undergraduate alma mater is Manhattan College. During his academic career Dr. Torres has taught in the fields of Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, Labor Studies, and Economics. He has written extensively on economic and socio-political trends among the various demographic groups that comprise the U.S. economy and civil society. A main theme running through his work is the persistence of racial/ethnic disparities, their sources and potential remedies.

Previously he was Professor at the University of Massachusetts – Boston, where he also served as Director of the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy. He has also been associated, in academic and administrative roles, with Hunter College, Fordham University, and Pace University.

His past publications include Latinos in New England (2006, editor), The Puerto Rican Movement (1998, co-editor), Workforce Development: Health Care and Human Services (New England Journal of Public Policy, Special Issue, 1997, co-editor), and Between Melting Pot and Mosaic: African Americans and Puerto Ricans in the New York Political Economy (1995). Dr. Torres’s most recent book is Signing in Puerto Rican: A Hearing Son and His Deaf Parents, a memoir about his growing up in an extended deaf family.His parents were among the first deaf migrants to come to New York City from the Caribbean and Sign was his first language. He continues to give book talks on this work, like this one:, :and

Other recent and forthcoming writings are: “Puerto Rican Studies: Four Decades and Counting”, Latino(a) Resarch Review (2011-2012) Vol. 8; review of Encountering American Fault Lines, by José Itzigsohn, published in The Journal of American Ethnic History (Summer 2012); “Latino New York: An Introduction”, in NACLA Report on the Americas, Vol. 46, No. 4 (Winter 2013); “Pathways to Economic Opportunity: An Overview of Innovative Career Pathway Collaborations for Latinos in Frontline Health Care Occupations”, (co-author), in Hispanic Health Care International, 2014; “Puerto Ricans”, in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Politics, Law, and Social Movements, 2014; and “Where Have All the Puerto Ricans Gone? Outmigration from New York City: 1985-2000” (co-author), in Latinos in New York: Communities in Transition, (Notre Dame Press), Second Edition, 2014.

Andrés, or “Andy”, as he is also known by acquaintances, was born in the South Bronx and raised in Washington Heights. Since his youth he has participated in Puerto Rican/Latino political organizing, and in movements for social change, racial and economic justice. He enjoys taking long walks (having abandoned serious jogging), listening to music (all popular genres), and reading literature (now working his way through Proust). He and his wife, Carmen Vivian Rivera, enjoy family gatherings, and especially being with their five lively grandchildren.

See Previous Faculty Spotlights

We have a new name! And a refreshed curriculum! The faculty members of the department have been hard at work refreshing our curriculum and to show it, we also have a new name, the Department of Latin American, Latino and Puerto Rican Studies! Our department was one of the first ethnic studies programs in the country, the Department of Puerto Rican Studies was founded in 1968 at Lehman College, in part as a response to student activism. As part of our renewed commitment to critical ethnic studies and in recognition of the expertise of our faculty, our long-standing Puerto Rican Studies major and minor are now Latino/Puerto Rican studies, enabling students greater options and diversity in their course of study. Continuing in our longstanding tradition as trailblazers, we now have the first minor in Mexican and Mexican-American Studies east of the Mississippi River. Please have a look at our majors and courses today!


News and Announcements

Featured Spring courses:

LAC 363 Mexican Migration to the US. M/W 11:00AM-12:15 PM. Taught by Professor Alyshia Gálvez.

An assessment of the history of Mexican migration to the U.S., as well as Mexico's past and present impact on culture, public policy, and civil rights.

LAC323 Economic Development in Latin America. TH 6:00PM - 8:40PM. Taught by Forrest Colburn. Lehman College.

Examination of major economic trends in Latin American economic development and the impact of North American policy. Special emphasis is placed on Latin American views of economic growth and on foreign intervention in particular areas such as Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Chile.


Please join us at these LALPRS sponsored and cosponsored events this Spring.



Launch of NACLA's Report on the Americas Winter 2014 issue on Latino New York

New date! Wednesday, March 12, 2014 11 AM-1 PM

Leonard Lief Library, 2nd floor Atrium

Lehman College

Presentations by contributors to the issue, including Lehman College professors Andrés Torres, Alyshia Gálvez, Alfonso Gonzales, as well as NACLA editor Fred Rose.n

To be followed by a reception.


Visit LALPRS on Facebook!

The Department now 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.


Past Events




Last modified: Mar 6, 2014

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