One additional introductory course (AFST 235, AFST 100, AFST 200, AMST 200)
One language course above the intermediate level in one of the three main
languages of the area (Spanish, Portuguese or French or another regional language approved by the department)
One methods course relevant to area of concentration (geographic or
thematic) (AFST 200, AMST 401, ANTH 240 or 241, ECON 474, HIST 204, POSC 239, SOCI 240 or 244, SPAN 305, WGST 250)
Four courses in area of concentration
LALC 490-the capstone course
Of the six courses (four in the concentration and two electives), at least one should be in the humanities and the selection should include courses in three departments. Introductory courses will not count as concentration or elective courses.
(Students will be encouraged to follow a concentration.)
Five courses approved by LALC in at least three different departments
Suggested curricular flow through the major
Most students begin the LALC major with LALC 101 or one of the other introductory courses, and all finish with LALC 490 in the senior year. Otherwise, there is no necessary or preferred path through the LALC major.
LALC 101, Introduction to Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies (required of all majors)
LALC 121, Introduction to Africana Studies
LALC 122, Introduction to Caribbean Studies
LALC 123, Introduction to Latino Studies
AFST 200, Approaches to Africana Studies
AMST 401, Research Methods in American Studies
ANTH 240, Qualitative Research Methods
ANTH 241, Measurement and Quantification in the Social Sciences
ECON 474, Econometrics
HIST 204, Introduction to Historical Methodology
POSC 239, Research Methods in Political Science
SOCI 240, Qualitative Methods (cross listed with ANTH 240)
SOCI 244, Quantitative Research Methods (cross listed with ANTH 241)
SPAN 305, Introduction to Literary Analysis and Theory
WGST 250, Methods in Women’s and Gender Studies
LALC Concentration and Elective Courses
LALC students should select geographic and or thematic concentrations within the major. An example would be a geographical focus on contemporary Argentina who would take HIST 131 (LA History) and POSC 251 (LA Politics), engage in a research project on an Argentine topic approved the LALC advisor, two courses from the Dickinson in South America Program, and an additional course on Argentina in another discipline.
Another example of a thematic concentration would be choosing to study community development and globalization; this is a theme that crosses geographical boundaries to possibly include Central and South America, the US-Mexico border region as well as the Caribbean. Students with this type of concentration would be able to select relevant courses in Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science or Sociology. Relevant courses could include LALC 222 (Contemporary Peoples of Latin America), LALC 236 (Latin American Economics), LALC 349 (Political Economy of the Third World), and two relevant courses in one of the study-abroad sites. For other concentrations, courses may be selected from the sciences as well as the humanities. When concentration and elective courses have prerequisites, LALC majors should have satisfied these requirements or received a waiver from the instructor with an approval of the LALC chair.
List of LALC courses for concentrations or electives:
LALC 200, Special Topics in LALC Studies
LALC 222, Contemporary Peoples of Latin America (ANTH 222)
LALC 230, Early Latin American History to 1800 (HIST 130)
LALC 231, Modern Latin American History since 1800 (HIST 131)
LALC 236, Latin American Economics (ECON 236)
LALC 242, Brazilian Cultural and Social Issues (PORT 242)
LALC 251, Latin American Government and Politics (POSC 251)
LALC 262, South American Archeology (262 and ANTH 262)
LALC 272, Atlantic Slave Trade and Africans in Making the Atlantic World (HIST 272)
LALC 283, Latin American-U.S. Relations (HIST 283)
LALC 300, Special Topics in LALC Studies
LALC 301, Topics in American Studies, when topic is appropriate (AMST 301)
LALC 311, Pre-Columbian and Colonial Spanish American Texts (SPAN 311)
LALC 321, Late Colonial and Nineteenth Century Latin American Literatures (SPAN 321)
LALC 331, Modernismo and Vanguardias (SPAN 331)
LALC 349, Political Economy of the Third World (ECON 349)
LALC 350, Latino/Latina Literatures (SPAN 350)
LALC 390, Seminar in Hispanic Literature, when topic is appropriate (SPAN 410)
LALC 490,Interdisciplinary Research
This is the capstone course, which consists of research into a topic concerning the region directed by two or more faculty representing at least two disciplines. LALC students must successfully orally defend their research paper to satisfy the requirements for the major. The paper is researched and written in the fall semester for one-half course credit and then revised and defended in the spring semester for the other half credit.
Independent study and independent research
Independent Studies on LALC topics in the Departments of Political Science, Anthropology, Spanish and Portuguese, Religion, Philosophy, History, Economics, Art & Art History, or any other academic department that may be able to offer such instruction, with prior approval from the candidate's program supervisor.
The department will grant honors based on the guidelines listed on the departmental web page.
Opportunities for off-campus study
The Dickinson in South America Program which combines a month of study in Cuenca, Ecuador with five months study in Mendoza, Argentina is an integral part of the LALC major.
The following course is offered in Querétaro (program has been suspended as of 2013):
202 Mexican Culture and History
This course is an examination of the cultural, economic, and political history of Mexico designed to provide an understanding of the complexities of modern Mexican society. Students will examine pre-Hispanic cultures, the colonial era, Mexican independence from Spain, the revolution, 20th century political parties, the sexual revolution, current economic inequality, ethnic and linguistic diversity, and the conflict in Chiapas. Special emphasis will be placed on the history of the state of Querétaro in relation to the Mexican nation. Class trips will be made to selected areas of Mexico that are of archaeological, cultural and historical significance.
This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and WR graduation requirement.
The following courses are offered in the Dickinson in South America Program:
203 Ecuador and the Andes: Culture, History and Society
This interdisciplinary class examines the culture, history, philosophy, and literature of Ecuador and the Andes. Students will explore topics such as social and value systems, environmental diversity, and colonial encounters. Special emphasis will be placed on identities through the lens of gender, ethnicity, and race. This class also includes a Spanish language component. Class trips will be made to selected areas of Ecuador that are of archaeological, cultural, and historical significance.
Prerequisites: SPAN 231 and acceptance into the Dickinson in South America program. This course fulfills the Social Sciences (Division II) distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement. This course is cross-listed as SPAN 252. Offered every semester.
204 Argentina in a Latin American Context
This class approaches Argentine reality from an interdisciplinary perspective, including culture, economic and social life, geography and history, and philosophical and social factors. It will examine the diversity of Argentine society in the context of Latin American political, social, and cultural developments. National and regional perspectives will be included as well. Class trips will be made to selected areas of the Mendoza region that are of cultural and historical significance.
Prerequisites: SPAN 231 and acceptance into the Dickinson in South America program. This course fulfills the Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement. This course is cross-listed as SPAN 362. Offered every semester.
Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies Courses
101 Introduction to Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies
A multi-disciplinary, introductory course designed to familiarize students with the regions through a study of their history, economics, politics, literature, and culture in transnational and comparative perspective. The purpose of the course is to provide a framework that will prepare students for more specialized courses in particular disciplines and specific areas of LALC studies.
Required of all LALC majors. This course fulfills the Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement.
121 Introduction to Africana Studies
This interdisciplinary introduction to Africana Studies combines teaching foundational texts in the field with instruction in critical reading and writing. The course will cover Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade, the creation of African Disaporic communities, the conceptualization and representation of Black culture and identity, and the intellectual and institutional development of Black and Africana Studies.
This course fulfills the Social Sciences (Division II) distribution requirement and the Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement. This course is cross-listed as AFST 100.
122 Introduction to Caribbean Studies
The greater Caribbean region was at the center of the formation of the modern African Diaspora. Over the years, the Caribbean region has played an influential role in the development of social and cultural movements throughout the African Diaspora. This class will survey the Caribbean, examining its location, population, diversity, and significant role in shaping world events. Students will become familiar with the Caribbean region, its place as a site of empire, and the important role of key intellectuals who were foundational in developing anti-colonial and post-colonial black consciousness. The course will cover the following areas of inquiry: geography and sociology of the region, key theoretical concepts, leading intellectuals, transforming world events and cultural production.
This course fulfills the Social Sciences (Division II) distribution requirement. This course is cross-listed as AFST 235.
123 Aspects of American Culture
Selected topics in American studies at the introductory level. The subject matter will vary from year to year dependent upon the interests of faculty and the needs and interests of students. Recent topics have included mass media; health, illness, and culture; Latino/a U.S.A.; racial politics of popular music; Caribbean-American literary and visual cultures; Black feminisms.
This course fulfills the Social Sciences (Division II) distribution requirement. This course is cross-listed as AMST 200, when topic is relevant, for example, Introduction to Latino Studies.
200 Special Topics in Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies
This course will offer special topics in LALC at the intermediate level.
Prerequisite dependent upon topic. Offered occasionally.
222 Contemporary Peoples of Latin America
An examination of the life of present-day primitive and peasant peoples of Middle and South America. These societies are seen holistically, and as they relate to urban and state centers.
This course fulfills the Social Sciences (Division II) distribution requirement. This course is cross-listed as ANTH 222. Offered every other year.
230 Early Latin American History to 1800
Survey of pre-Colombian and colonial Latin American history. Students explore the major ancient civilizations of the Americas, the background and characteristics of European conquest and colonization, the formation of diverse colonial societies, and the breakdown of the colonial system that led to independence. The course includes both the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the Americas from a comparative perspective.
This course fulfills the Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement. This course is cross-listed as HIST 130.
231 Modern Latin American History since 1800
Introduction to Latin American history since independence and the consolidation of national states to the recent past. Students explore social, economic, and political developments from a regional perspective as well as specific national examples.
This course is cross-listed as HIST 131.
242 Brazilian Cultural and Social Issues
In this class students learn about a variety of aspects of Brazilian culture and social issues. While highly discussed topics in Brazil and about Brazil, such as carnival, malandragem, and jeitinho are examined, throughout the semester students explore three different types of encounters: Native encounters, African and Afro-Brazilian encounters, and gender encounters. Students analyze these ideas concentrating on the nature of the encounters and the criticisms generated. Also, the class examines issues of representation related to marginalization, violence and banditry. In order to carry out the analysis of ideas and cultural representations and their development, students work with a variety of texts from different disciplines - literature, anthropology, sociology, history, and film - and follow an intersectional methodology.
This course is cross-listed as PORT 242. Offered every year.
251 Latin American Government and Politics
An introduction to the politics of contemporary Latin America. Emphasis is placed upon the varied political institutional responses to socio-economic change in the Americas. Major countries to be analyzed include Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Cuba.
Prerequisite: one course in political science or Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies. This course is cross-listed as POSC 251.
262 South American Archaeology
This course examines the development of prehistoric societies in the South American continent through archaeological data. This course will explore the interactions of culture, economics, and politics in the prehistory of two major regions: the western Andean mountains and Pacific coast, and the eastern lowlands focusing on the Amazon River basin and Atlantic coast. In addition to learning the particular developments in each region, we will address three overarching themes: 1) What role did the environment play in shaping socio-political developments? 2) What influence do ethnographic and ethno-historical sources have on the interpretation of pre-Hispanic societies in South America? 3) What were the interactions between highland and lowland populations, and what influence did they have (if any) on their respective developments?
This course fulfills the Social Sciences (Division II) distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement. This course is cross-listed as ARCH 262 and ANTH 262.
272 The Atlantic Slave Trade and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450-1850
During several centuries of European colonization in the New World, a thriving slave trade forced the emigration of millions of Africans across the Atlantic-an immigration far larger than the simultaneous immigration of Europeans to the same regions. We will address not only the workings of the slave trade on both sides (and in the middle) of the Atlantic, but also the cultural communities of West and West-Central Africa and encounters and exchanges in the new slave societies of North and South America. Through examination of work processes, social orders, cultural strategies and influences, and ideas about race and geography, across time and in several regions, we will explore the crucial roles of Africans in the making of the Atlantic world.
This course fulfills the Social Sciences (Division II) distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement. This course is cross-listed as HIST 272. Offered every two years.
283 Latin American-U.S. Relations
A study of political, economic, and cultural relations between Latin America and the United States from the early 19th century to the present. The evolution of inter-American relations is analyzed in light of the interplay of Latin American, U.S., and extra-hemispheric interests.
This course is cross-listed as HIST 283.
290 Brazilian Cinema
This class focuses on important examples of Brazilian cinema, as well as on critical episodes, manifestos, and challenges faced by Brazilian directors, screenwriters, and actors. The class will also analyze diverse periods and genres, such as chanchadas, Cinema Novo, and retomada. Particular attention will be paid to the representation of native Brazilians, Afro-Brazilians, women, and marginalized places (Backlands, favelas, etc.), and how their representation has had social and economic repercussions in Brazil. Taught in English. Available as a FLIC option in Portuguese.
This course fulfills the Humanities (Division I B) distribution requirement. This course is cross-listed as PORT 290 and FLST 290. Offered every two years.
295 Introduction to U.S. Latina/o Literature and Culture
This interdisciplinary introduction to Latina/o Studies discusses foundational historical, cultural, political, artistic, and literary texts of the U.S. Latina/o community. This class will cover diasporic movements and issues of identity, with a particular focus on the Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cuban-American diaspora.
Prerequisite: SPAN 231. This course fulfills the DIV I.b. distribution requirement and US Diversity graduation requirement. This course is cross-listed as SPAN 295 and AMST 200.
300 Special Topics in Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies
This course will offer special topics in LALC at the advanced level.
Prerequisite dependent upon topic. Offered occasionally.
301 Topics in American Studies
Selected topics in American studies at the intermediate level. Topics offered will vary from year to year, reflecting the interests of faculty and students as well as evolving concerns of the field.
Prerequisite: AMST 201 or permission of the instructor. This course fulfills the Social Sciences (Division II) distribution requirement. This course is cross-listed as AMST 301 when topic is relevant, for example, Caribbean Diasporic Identities.
304 Afro-Brazilian Literature
This class analyzes the literary production of Afro-Brazilians writers, as well as the representation of Afro-Brazilian characters in literary texts. It reviews different literary periods and the images those periods created and/or challenged and how they have affected and continue to affect the lives of Afro-Brazilians. Also, by paying particular attention to gender and social issues in different regional contexts, the class considers how Brazilian authors of African descent critically approach national discourses, such as racial democracy and Brazilianness. Taught in English. Available as a FLIC option in Portuguese.
This course fulfills the Humanities (Division I B) distribution requirement and the WID graduation requirement. This course is cross-listed as PORT 304 and AFST 304. Offered every two years.
311 Pre-Columbian and Colonial Spanish American Texts
This course will cover literatures of Spanish America produced before 1492 as well as during the colonial period. In their consideration of the development of what can be considered American Discourses during this period, students will explore how local and regional identities were formed and expressed in the pre colonial and colonial context.
321 Late Colonial and Nineteenth-Century Latin American Literatures
This course covers literature produced in Latin America during the late colonial and early national periods. Possible themes include the role of literature with regard to the development of national, regional and hemispheric identities, nationalism, gender, race and visual cultures.
Prerequisite: SPAN 305. This course is cross-listed as SPAN 321 and is taught in Spanish.
331 Modernismo and Vanguardias
This course will explore major literary and cultural trends in Spanish America Poetry from the Modernista and Vanguardia movements. The study of the concept of Modernity, its impact on humanity and the reaction of the intellectuals to it will be the main focus of the class. Emphasis will be given to poets such as Ruben Dario, Jose Marti, Delmira Agustini, and Jorge Luis Borges. Special attention will be paid to the connections of poetry and socio-politics in late Nineteenth-Century and early Twentieth-Century Spanish America.
Prerequisite: SPAN 305. This course is cross-listed as SPAN 331 and is taught in Spanish.
341 Studies in Twentieth-Century Spanish American Texts
This course will analyze major literary and cultural trends in Spanish American narratives and drama of the 20th Century. Special attention will be given to the connection between these works and the important socio-political movements of the time.
Prerequisite: SPAN 305. This course is cross-listed as SPAN 341 and is taught in Spanish.
350 Latino/Latina Literatures
This course provides a literary and interdisciplinary examination of the Latina and Latino experience in the United States. Students will become familiarized with various theoretical perspectives on the artistic, social, political, and economic condition of Latinos as producers of American culture. Attention will be given to understanding the ties between literary and social transformation in the literature of Latinas and Latinos.
Prerequisite: SPAN 305. This course fulfills the DIV I.b. distribution requirement and US Diversity graduation requirement. This course is cross-listed as SPAN 350 and is taught in Spanish.
351 U.S. Latina/o-Caribbean Literature
This course, taught in Spanish, provides a literary and interdisciplinary examination of the experience of members of the Latina/o-Caribbean diaspora in the United States (Cubans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and Haitians). Students will become familiarized with various theoretical perspectives on the artistic, social, political, and economic condition of Latina/o-Caribbean writers as producers of American culture. Attention will be given to understanding the ties between literary and social transformation in cultural production of the Latina/o-Caribbean diaspora.
Prerequisite: SPAN 305. This course fulfills the DIV I.b. distribution requirement and US Diversity and WID graduation requirements. This course is cross-listed as SPAN 351 and AMST 301.
385 Topics in Latina/o Studies
This class, which will generally be taught in Spanish, studies significant cultural, literary, and historical topics concerning the U.S. Latina/o community. A sampling of topics includes: The Mexican-American Border; Nueva York, Diaspora City; U.S. Latinos: Between Two Cultures; Latina/o Poetry; New Latino Narratives; Latina Writers; Afro-Latino Cultural Production in the U.S., Semiotics and the Aesthetics of Latina/o Cinema.
Prerequisite: SPAN 305. This course fulfills the DIV I.b. distribution requirement and US Diversity graduation requirement. This course is cross-listed as SPAN 385 and AMST 301 (when the topic is relevant).
390 Seminar in Hispanic Literature
A thorough investigation of major figures or important literary trends in Hispanic literature which were not covered by the majors in previous courses. The majors will work on a semi-independent basis with a particular instructor and will present reports to the seminar and participate in subsequent discussions. Emphasis on methods of literary research.
Prerequisite: SPAN 305. This course is cross-listed as SPAN 410, when topic is relevant, and is taught in Spanish.
490 Latin American Interdisciplinary Research
Research into a topic concerning Latin America directed by two or more faculty representing at least two disciplines. Students must successfully defend their research paper to obtain course credit. The paper is researched and written in the fall semester for one-half course credit and then defended and revised in the spring semester for the other half credit.
Prerequisite: senior majors.