Latin American Studies

About the Program

The Latin American Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latin America. The United States and the countries of Latin America have historically exerted great influence on each other and today, in the age of hyper-globalization, are more intertwined than ever before. The program is organized around a required introductory course, Latin American Studies 100, which fulfills the Humanistic Approaches core and requires students to explore the interaction of politics and culture at the national and international levels, and considers the historical legacies of contemporary aspects of Latin American societies. Drawing on courses from Hispanic Studies, Politics and Government, Business, Art History, Anthropology, International Political Economy, and History, students minoring in Latin American Studies gain an in-depth understanding of the region and different analytical tools and perspectives for understanding its past and present. Students are encouraged to gain some experience abroad, particularly through the university's semester abroad programs in Latin America (primarily Mexico, Argentina, and Chile). In addition, the Latin American Studies Program serves to stimulate interest and awareness at the university by sponsoring discussions, presentations, and cultural events dealing with Latin American issues.

Program Objectives:

Upon completion of the program, students should be able to demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge of the historical conditions and relations that shaped Latin America as a distinct regional, political, and cultural entity, and an understanding of how that history informs contemporary relations both within the region and with other global actors;
  2. Knowledge of the central people, places, events and processes that define the region, with an emphasis on the heterogeneous, transnational nature of regional politics and culture;
  3. A critical understanding of the conceptual and theoretical approaches that have sustained and challenged the idea of Latin America and the stakes of this idea for different communities in and beyond the region;
  4. The capacity to apply diverse, interdisciplinary tools to critically evaluate and engage contemporary issues concerning Latin America;
  5. Engagement with Latin American/Latin@ culture and communities through experiential learning or internships here in the U.S. or abroad; and
  6. Basic competence in Spanish language.