Literatures, Arts, and Cultures of the Americas
The Literatures, Arts and Cultures of the Americas (LACA) Program at Fresno State is an innovative interdisciplinary project aimed at exploring cultural productions, practices, and traditions throughout the Americas. Bringing together research-active scholars and artists from throughout the university, LACA includes historians, writers, literary scholars, anthropologists, artists, art historians, philosophers, musicians, and critics and theorists. Our interests include not only the literary and artistic traditions of North, Central, and South America, but also the peoples and historical processes who shape and are shaped by these cultural expressions.
An Opportunity to Examine Cultural Intersections
Fresno State offers an opportunity to examine cultural intersections first-hand and to explore them in action; our community is a place of constant exchange and movement and is in many ways a microcosm of our state and nation. Our student body is diverse and includes large numbers of Latino, Hmong, African-American, and Armenian students, as well as a high percentage of first-generation college students from all ethnic backgrounds. Our faculty come from throughout California, the U.S., and the world, bringing to the university their own cultural and academic perspectives. Our university’s location in the heart of California not only allows us to benefit from Fresno’s own long academic, literary, and artistic legacy, but also offers a central point of connection between the San Francisco Bay, Sacramento, and the Greater Los Angeles area. Fresno and the wider San Joaquin Valley are themselves historically connected by patterns of movement, migration, and commerce to other parts of the Americas.
Taken together, these connections are at the heart of LACA. Through LACA, we hope to explore and decipher cultural, social, and historical networks, while crossing institutional and academic borders.
Our Primary Goals
- Fostering interdisciplinary collaboration in order to support faculty actively engaged in research and creative projects;
- Developing academic and cultural programming responsive to the needs of an increasingly diverse student body;
- Guiding the next generation of scholars and artists in pursuit of developing their own careers; and
- Creating opportunities to engage with communities beyond campus, whether locally, nationally, or globally.