Latin American Studies

The Latin American Studies Program provides a framework for studying the diverse societies of Latin America. With its cultural mosaic shaped by the meeting of Native American, European, African, and Asian peoples, and its profound geographic, social, and economic variations, Latin America presents rich opportunities for interdisciplinary and cross-cultural study. By drawing upon the perspectives and methodologies of several disciplines, students are challenged to pursue a deeper understanding of the cultures, institutions, and experiences of Latin Americans. The program provides a forum for examining the intersection of issues of politics, economic development, ethnicity, gender, religion, and cultural expression.

Students interested in exploring Latin American Studies as a possible major are strongly encouraged to enroll in at least one of several gateway courses early in their career at Carleton. Those designated courses are: History 170 Modern Latin America, 1810-present, Political Science 221 Latin American Politics, Sociology/Anthropology 250 Ethnography of Latin America, and Spanish 242 Introduction to Latin American Literature.

Requirements for the Latin American Studies Major

Students complete a minimum of sixty-six credits in approved courses for the major. Majors must also demonstrate competence in Spanish by completing Spanish 205 or equivalent.

Required Courses: (The following core courses are required of all majors):

  • HIST 170 Modern Latin America, 1810-present
  • LTAM 300 Issues in Latin American Studies
  • LTAM 400 Integrative Exercise

In addition, majors are required to complete:

  • Two 300-level Latin America-focused courses offered in the Spanish department
  • One 300-level history, or sociology/anthropology, or political science course focused on Latin America
  • 30 additional credits of electives from the list below. The 300-level courses in the Spanish department that are required are always taught in the language.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the non-Spanish 300-level course prior to writing their integrative exercise, and to select a 300-level course in a discipline appropriate to the focus of their anticipated comps topic. Students who complete this requirement with a 300-level history course must take at least one approved sociology and anthropology or political science course as an elective.

Up to 27 credits from work in approved off-campus programs may be counted as electives for the major. Credits in natural science courses taken in Latin America may be applied toward the electives requirement if the director approves. Up to twelve elective credits may be comparative or Latino in focus (Economics 240, 241, Music 141, Religion 227, Sociology/Anthropology 203, 233, 259, 302). No more than four courses (twenty-four credits) in any one discipline may apply to the major.

Latin American Studies Minor

The Latin American Studies Minor provides students with a framework for developing a deeper understanding of Latin American history, society, and culture from an interdisciplinary perspective, and is intended to complement a disciplinary major. Minors pursue a program of study combining language training with courses in history, sociology and anthropology, literature and film in the Spanish department, political science, as well as other disciplines, culminating in a capstone experience, the Latin American Forum.

Students interested in exploring Latin American Studies as a possible minor are strongly encouraged to enroll in at least one of several gateway courses early in their career at Carleton. Those designated courses are: History 170 Modern Latin America, 1810-present, Political Science 221 Latin American Politics, Sociology/Anthropology 250 Ethnography of Latin America, and Spanish 242 Introduction to Latin American Literature.

Requirements for the Latin American Studies Minor

  • HIST 170 Modern Latin America, 1810-present
  • LTAM 300 Issues in Latin American Studies
  • LTAM 398 Latin American Forum
  • One additional survey course, selected from:
    • POSC 221 Latin American Politics (Not offered in 2017-18)
    • SOAN 250 Ethnography of Latin America
    • SPAN 242 Introduction to Latin American Literature
  • Students who minor must also complete Spanish 204 or equivalent
  • 30 credits in electives

Electives may be chosen from the following list, with at least 12 credits drawn from the first list and twelve from the second. No more than three courses from the student's major may apply to the minor, and no more than three in the same discipline. Up to twelve elective credits may be comparative or Latino in focus (Economics 240, 241, Music 141, Religion 227, Sociology/Anthropology 203, 233, 259, 302). Up to 18 credits from approved off-campus programs may be counted as electives. Credits in natural science courses taken in Latin America may be applied toward the electives requirement if the director approves. In most cases they will count under the Group II list.

Elective Courses:

Group I:

  • ARTH 251 Maya Art and Architecture
  • CAMS 295 Cinema in Chile and Argentina: Representing and Reimagining Identity (not offered in 2017-18)
  • CAMS 295F Cinema in Chile and Argentina-FLAC (not offered in 2017-18)
  • CAMS 296 Cinema and Cultural Change in Chile and Argentina (not offered in 2017-18)
  • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature (not offered in 2017-18)
  • LTAM 100 The Politics of Memory in Latin American Literature
  • LTAM 110 Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
  • LTAM 382 Conflictive Development: Peru 1980 to Present (not offered in 2017-18)
  • MUSC 141 Global Popular Music (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 220 Magical Realism in Latin American Narrative
  • SPAN 222 Two Voices: Gabriel García Márquez and Laura Restrepo (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 224 Latin American Authors Write the U.S.
  • SPAN 242 Introduction to Latin American Literature
  • SPAN 262 Myth and History in Central American Literature
  • SPAN 263 History of Human Rights (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 265 Peru Program: Cultures in Transition: The Old and the New in Contemporary Peru (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 266 Postwar Central American Literature (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 277 The Poem as Artifact: Art and Work in Contemporary Spanish American Poetry (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 321 Murder as a Fine Art: The Detective Novel in Latin America
  • SPAN 323 The Other American Revolutions (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 330 The Invention of the Modern Novel: Cervantes' Don Quijote
  • SPAN 342 Latin American Theater: Nation, Power, Gender
  • SPAN 344 Women Writers in Latin America: Body and Text (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 356 The Political and Cultural History of the Cuban Revolution (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 366 Jorge Luis Borges: Less a Man Than a Vast and Complex Literature (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 371 Yours Truly: The Body of the Letter (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 377 History and Subjectivity in Latin American Poetry

Group II:

  • ECON 240 Microeconomics of Development
  • ECON 241 Growth and Development
  • HIST 170 Modern Latin America 1810-Present
  • HIST 171 Latin America and the U.S.
  • HIST 172 Latin America’s Global Migrations
  • HIST 272 The Mexican Revolution: History, Myth and Art (not offered in 2017-18)
  • HIST 273 Go-Betweens and Rebels in the Andean World (not offered in 2017-18)
  • HIST 274 Drugs, Violence & Rebellion in Mexico: From the Dirty War to the Drug War (not offered in 2017-18)
  • HIST 277 Revolution, Rebellion, and Protest in Modern Mexico
  • HIST 279 Latin America and the Global Cold War
  • LTAM 270 Chile's September 11th: History and Memory since the Coup (not offered in 2017-18)
  • POSC 221 Latin American Politics (not offered in 2017-18)
  • POSC 322 Neoliberalism and the New Left in Latin America* (not offered in 2017-18)
  • POSC 325 Corruption, Clientelism, and Political Machines*
  • RELG 227 Liberation Theologies (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 203 Anthropology of Good Intentions
  • SOAN 233 Anthropology of Food
  • SOAN 241 Guatemala Program: Mesoamerican Cultures (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 250 Ethnography of Latin America
  • SOAN 251 Guatemala Prog: Resource Management and Sustainable Development in the Maya World (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 259 Comparative Issues in Native North America (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 295 Guatemala Program: Field Methods and Individual Research Project (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 302 Anthropology and Indigenous Rights (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 323 Mother Earth: Women, Development and the Environment (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 333 Environmental Anthropology

Latin American Studies Courses

LTAM 100 The Politics of Memory in Latin American Literature We will explore the ethics and politics of memory and trauma in societies previously torn asunder by civil wars and dictatorships. The texts and films assigned will be studies of how subjective and collective memories are negotiated both through fictional and testimonial narratives. Our focus will be primarily on Argentina, Chile, Guatemala and El Salvador but we will also read some Holocaust literature to compare how this subject has been represented in another tradition. The primary question we will explore is: how does a work of art adequately represent the horror without aestheticizing the experience? 6 credits; AI, WR1, IS; Fall; Yansi Y Pérez
LTAM 110 Portuguese for Spanish Speakers This fast-paced introductory Portuguese language course focuses on developing communication skills and emphasizes speaking, reading, and writing. Previous knowledge of Spanish is assumed in presentation of grammar and vocabulary. Prerequisite: Spanish 204 or instructor permission. 3 credits; S/CR/NC; NE; Spring; Helena I Kaufman
LTAM 270 Chile's September 11th: History and Memory since the Coup September 11, 2013 marked the fortieth anniversary of the coup d' état  that deposed the democratically elected government of socialist Salvador Allende and ushered in the seventeen-year dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. This interdisciplinary course canvasses this tumultuous era and its aftermath through the study of historical sources, literature, film, photography, and music. It explores the rise and fall of Allende, life and repression under the dictatorship, the protest movement against military rule, and the ongoing struggles and debates over human rights, justice, and collective memory. 6 credits; HI, WR2, IS; Not offered 2017-18
LTAM 300 Issues in Latin American Studies This required course for Latin American Studies minors and majors explores complex issues pertinent to the study of Latin America. These issues may include the emergence of indigenous cosmopolitics in the Andean region, the workings of narco states and their networks, and the contemporary urban cultural production in major Latin American cities, among others. The course emphasizes the necessity of a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research perspective for understanding the changing nature of Latin American Studies today. Designed by the faculty in Latin American Studies, the course will include regular guest lectures from among these faculty. Prerequisite: Latin American Studies gateway course. 6 credits; SI, IS; Fall; Silvia López
LTAM 382 Conflictive Development: Peru 1980 to Present This is a two-track course that focuses, on one hand, on specific problems resulting from the conflict between strong economic growth and the persistence of social inequality and marginalization. On the other hand, the class will explore the difficulties of creating forms of participatory politics, against the background of key moments in Peru's political history. The emphasis will be on present-day manifestations of the polarity "formal" vs. "real" democracy." A political scientist and a sociologist lead the class, and classes are supplemented with lectures by experts on specific issues. Prerequisite: Spanish 204 or the equivalent. 6 credits; SI, IS; Not offered 2017-18
LTAM 398 Latin American Forum This colloquium will explore specific issues or works in Latin American Studies through discussion of a common reading, public presentation, project, and/or performance that constitute the annual Latin American Forum. Students will be required to attend two meetings during the term to discuss the common reading or other material and must attend, without exception. All events of the Forum which take place during fourth week of spring term (on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning). A short integrative essay or report will be required at the end of the term. Intended as capstone for the Latin American Studies minor. 2 credits; S/CR/NC; HI, IS; Spring; Alfred P Montero
LTAM 400 Integrative Exercise Satisfactory completion of the major includes the writing of a thesis which attempts to integrate at least two of the various disciplines studied. A proposal must be submitted for approval early in the fall term of the senior year. The thesis in its final form is due no later than the end of the first week of spring term. An oral defense of the thesis is required. 1-6 credit; S/NC; Fall, Winter, Spring

Other Courses Pertinent to Latin American Studies

  • ARTH 142 Art of the Ancient Americas (not offered in 2017-18)
  • CAMS 295 Cinema in Chile and Argentina: Representing and Reimagining Identity (not offered in 2017-18)
  • CAMS 296 Cinema and Cultural Change in Chile and Argentina (not offered in 2017-18)
  • ECON 240 Microeconomics of Development
  • ECON 241 Growth and Development
  • ENGL 119 Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literature (not offered in 2017-18)
  • HIST 170 Modern Latin America 1810-Present
  • HIST 171 Latin America and the U.S.
  • HIST 272 The Mexican Revolution: History, Myth and Art (not offered in 2017-18)
  • HIST 273 Go-Betweens and Rebels in the Andean World (not offered in 2017-18)
  • HIST 274 Drugs, Violence & Rebellion in Mexico: From the Dirty War to the Drug War (not offered in 2017-18)
  • HIST 277 Revolution, Rebellion, and Protest in Modern Mexico
  • HIST 279 Latin America and the Global Cold War
  • LTAM 100 The Politics of Memory in Latin American Literature
  • MUSC 141 Global Popular Music (not offered in 2017-18)
  • POSC 221 Latin American Politics (not offered in 2017-18)
  • POSC 322 Neoliberalism and the New Left in Latin America* (not offered in 2017-18)
  • POSC 325 Corruption, Clientelism, and Political Machines*
  • RELG 227 Liberation Theologies (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 203 Anthropology of Good Intentions
  • SOAN 233 Anthropology of Food
  • SOAN 241 Guatemala Program: Mesoamerican Cultures (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 250 Ethnography of Latin America
  • SOAN 251 Guatemala Prog: Resource Management and Sustainable Development in the Maya World (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 259 Comparative Issues in Native North America (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 295 Guatemala Program: Field Methods and Individual Research Project (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 302 Anthropology and Indigenous Rights (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 323 Mother Earth: Women, Development and the Environment (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SOAN 333 Environmental Anthropology
  • SPAN 220 Magical Realism in Latin American Narrative
  • SPAN 222 Two Voices: Gabriel García Márquez and Laura Restrepo (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 224 Latin American Authors Write the U.S.
  • SPAN 242 Introduction to Latin American Literature
  • SPAN 262 Myth and History in Central American Literature
  • SPAN 263 History of Human Rights (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 265 Peru Program: Cultures in Transition: The Old and the New in Contemporary Peru (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 266 Postwar Central American Literature (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 277 The Poem as Artifact: Art and Work in Contemporary Spanish American Poetry (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 321 Murder as a Fine Art: The Detective Novel in Latin America
  • SPAN 323 The Other American Revolutions (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 330 The Invention of the Modern Novel: Cervantes' Don Quijote
  • SPAN 342 Latin American Theater: Nation, Power, Gender
  • SPAN 344 Women Writers in Latin America: Body and Text (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 356 The Political and Cultural History of the Cuban Revolution (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 366 Jorge Luis Borges: Less a Man Than a Vast and Complex Literature (not offered in 2017-18)
  • SPAN 371 Yours Truly: The Body of the Letter (not offered in 2017-18)