LALS becomes the Latin American and Latinx Studies Program.
After more than two years of conversations and reflections spearheaded by our LALS undergraduate students, conversations that included faculty, graduate students, and staff, we are delighted to announce that our program is adopting the gender neutral and more inclusive denomination of Latinx in our name and in our future communications. Throughout Latin America, there is increasing recognition that the Spanish language embeds and structures gender inequalities. For instance, the Spanish language gives privilege to the masculine in the plural form. Moreover, the Spanish language does not accommodate non-binary gender identities. Thus, increasingly, and particularly among the younger generations, Latin Americans are adopting the letters “e” or “x” for gender neutral articles, nouns, and adjectives—and this is in spite of the opposition of the Spanish Real Academy. At the same time, and for already quite some time, in the United States, there is wider acceptance and use of the gender neutral Latinx denomination (rather than Latino/a or Latin@). As journalist and writer Ed Morales said at a roundtable organized by LALS in early 2019, Latinx is also forward-looking. Latinx signals a more inclusive collective identity and political community, one that continues to struggle for a more just and democratic future. It will take a little longer for the university records (such as course names and transcripts) to reflect our name change, but we look forward to a new registration and advising system which will display our new name in Fall 2022. In the meantime, we are proud to become the Latin American and Latinx Studies Program, and to continue serving and collaborating with all of you.