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Knox College offers a program in Latin American studies through an interrelated array of courses about a group of nations that are our neighbors, whose economics are intertwined with our own, and whose people have immigrated to the United States in large numbers, ultimately making Spanish our de facto second language.
The program raises a multiplicity of questions -- about culture, power, ecology, history, literature, art, and language. Compared to a world-wide focus, engagement with these questions within a specific geographic area can lead to a deeper understanding of a region important to the United States and worthy of study in its own right.
Latin American Studies is designed to help students better understand, and act in, an increasingly interconnected world. Through courses and a final integrating project, students gain an appreciation of the culture, history, politics, economics, and literature of the region. Students explore the range of dilemmas that face all of Latin America, as well as the diversity of Latin American countries, whose linguistic, ethnic, cultural and political differences are sometimes as great as their similarities.
The program can work in conjunction with a variety of different majors. Scientists with an interest in environmental issues can benefit from an understanding of social issues that shape the debate over degradation of the region's rainforests. Social science majors can expand their understanding of political and cultural factors that shape economic development in countries whose economies are increasingly integrated with that of the United States. Educational studies students can gain knowledge that will assist in their teaching U.S. students from diverse backgrounds, increasing numbers of whom are immigrants from Latin America or of Latin American descent.
The Dorothy Johnson '39 and Richard Burkhardt '39 Language Center includes a projection equipped classroom space located in the heart of George Davis Hall. The Center contains an instructor station, 24 advanced Macintosh workstations, and professional photo-flatbed scanning capabilities. The Language Center also houses two workgroup rooms equipped with individual computer workstations for small group sessions or individual privacy. The viewing room is capable of seating up to 20 people accommodating large-screen computer output and video viewing.
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