Latin American Studies

Jennifer Bothun, Tomson 331
507-786-3230

wp.stolaf.edu/latin-american-studies

Latin American studies offers an interdisciplinary structure for the systematic study of Latin America, an area that encompasses countries in North, Central, and South America as well as the Caribbean, whose distinct geography and cultures are unified by elements of a common heritage. Profound geographic variations, differing economic resources, and the intermingling of multiple racial, ethnic, and cultural groups have yielded complex and diverse societies. Increasing socioeconomic contacts among states and societies in the Americas and the growing presence of Latinos in the United States underscore the need for U.S. citizens to deepen their understanding of the region.

Overview of the Major and Concentration

The Latin American studies program offers courses, a Latin American studies major and a Latin American studies concentration with an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach that contributes to the investigation of political, economic, ethnic, gender, religious, and cultural issues in Latin America. The support of perspectives and methodologies of several disciplines inspires students to seek a deeper understanding of Latin America and its complex relationships with the United States, and, for those majoring in Latin American studies, with Spain. In addition, students find opportunities for reflecting on their own culture and society.

Special Programs

Latin American studies majors and concentrators are encouraged to take advantage of the many off-campus programs available to them. Foreign study opportunities in the Spanish-speaking world currently offered to St. Olaf students include: periodic Interims in Cuba (HIST 244 Collective Memory in Revolutionary Cuba (abroad)), and Spain (SPAN 270 Spain's Cultural and Linguistic Legacy (abroad)); the CIEE program in Seville, Spain; the Augsburg program in Central America (Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua); ACM programs in Costa Rica; HECUA programs in Quito, Ecuador; and IES and CIEE programs in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Valparaíso, Chile. Students must secure prior approval for foreign study from the Latin American studies director. Latin American studies faculty members participate in the Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum program, which offers students the opportunity to use their foreign language skills in selected courses. (See Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum under Academic Programs in this catalog.)

 

Requirements for the Latin American Studies Major

The requirements for the completion of a Latin American studies major consist of nine courses.

Core course
HIST 193Modern Latin America1.00
or PSCI 264 Latin American Politics
Required courses in Spanish
SPAN 250Gateway to the Spanish-Speaking World1.00
Select one of the following: 11.00
Spain's Cultural and Linguistic Legacy (abroad)
Cultural Heritage of Spain
Contemporary Issues in the Spanish-Speaking World (with a focus on Spain)
Select one of the following: 11.00
Cultural Heritage of Latin America
Contemporary Issues in the Spanish-Speaking World (with a focus on Latin America)
Electives
Choose four electives from among approved courses dealing with Latin America, Spain, or U.S. Latinos from disciplines including, but not limited to: anthropology, art, economics, education, English, history, political science, religion, and sociology with no more than two courses in any one discipline (including the discipline of the core course)4.00
Interdisciplinary seminar
LAMST 333Contemporary Latin American Issues1.00
Total Credits9
1

Or appropriate substitute courses for any of the 270-level required Spanish courses approved by the director of Latin American studies

  • Students may count one independent research course towards the major.
  • Students may count up to three study-abroad courses taken in Latin America or Spain.
  • With the approval of the Latin American studies director, students may have courses from any discipline with substantial Latin American or U.S. Latino content counted toward their major.
  • A maximum of three courses that focus on Latinos in the United States may count toward the major.
  • Both core courses, HIST 193 and PSCI 264, may be included in the major.
  • Either SOAN 264 or RACE 121 may be included in the major, but not both .
  • LAMST 333 is taught in alternate years, and is ideally taken in the junior or senior year. Students planning to study abroad during the semester in which the course is taught should in their junior year petition the Latin American studies director to take an alternative course or independent study to fulfill this requirement during their senior year.

Students should contact the Latin American studies director as early as possible to plan a major.

Requirements for the Latin American Studies Concentration

Students majoring in any discipline except Latin American studies can pursue a Latin American studies concentration, which enables them to enhance their understanding of Latin American countries and the interconnectedness of Latin America and the United States. It differs from the Latin American studies major in that it does not require course work in Spanish.

The requirements for the completion of the Latin American studies concentration consist of a minimum of five approved courses.

Core course
HIST 193Modern Latin America1.00
or PSCI 264 Latin American Politics
Electives
Choose three electives from among approved courses dealing with Latin America or U.S. Latinos from disciplines including, but not limited to: anthropology, art, economics, education, English, history, political science, religion, sociology, and Spanish with no more than two courses in any one discipline (including the discipline of the core course)3.00
Interdisciplinary seminar
LAMST 333Contemporary Latin American Issues1.00
Total Credits5
  • A maximum of two study-abroad courses taken in Latin America or Spain may be counted.
  • With the approval of the Latin American studies director, students may have courses from any discipline with substantial Latin American or U.S. Latino content counted toward their concentration.
  • A maximum of two courses that focus on Latinos in the United States may count toward the concentration.
  • Both core courses, HIST 193 and PSCI 264, may be included in the concentration.
  • Either SOAN 264 or RACE 121 may be included in the concentration, but not both.
  • Only 270-level Spanish courses with a Latin American or U.S. Latino focus can be counted toward the concentration. These include SPAN 272, SPAN 273, and SPAN 274 (when taught with a Latin American focus).
  • LAMST 333 is taught in alternate years, and is ideally taken in the junior or senior year. Students planning to study abroad during the semester is which the course is taught should in their junior year petition the Latin American studies director to take an alternative course or independent study to fulfill this requirement during their senior year.

Latin American Studies Courses

LAMST 294: Academic Internship

LAMST 298: Independent Study

LAMST 333: Contemporary Latin American Issues

This seminar focuses on the implications of studying Latin America, or the way in which different conceptualizations of this region have helped to shape Latin America as an object of study. Possible topics for approaching this question include the history of Latin American studies in the United States and the relation between scholarship on Latin America and U.S. policy in the region; Latin American responses to U.S. representations of the region; the production of images of lo indigena according to Western expectations; and indigenous cultures and globalization. FLAC option is often available. Offered alternate years.

LAMST 394: Academic Internship

LAMST 396: Directed Undergraduate Research

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.
Prerequisite: determined by individual instructor.

LAMST 398: Independent Research

Required Spanish Courses

See Spanish

Elective Courses

ECON 243 Economic Development

ENGL 251 Major Chicano/a Authors

HIST 126 Conquest and Colonization

HIST 193 Modern Latin America (can count as an elective if  PSCI 264 Latin American Politics is taken as the core course)

HIST 240 Major Seminar: Non-Western History (with approval of the director of Latin American Studies)

HIST 243 Revolutionary Cuba

HIST 244 Collective Memory in Revolutionary Cuba (abroad)

HIST 245 Environmental History of Latin America

HIST 397 History Research Workshop (when topic is History and Memory and student's paper is on a Latin American topic)

PSCI 252 Politics and Development (with approval of the director of Latin American Studies)

PSCI 257 U.S. - Latin American Relations

PSCI 264 Latin American Politics (can count as an elective if HIST 193 Modern Latin America is taken as the core course)

PSCI 367 Seminar in Latin American Politics

RACE 121 Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies OR SOAN 264 Race and Class in American Culture

SOAN 237 Forging a Latin American Culture

SOAN 264 Race and Class in American Culture OR RACE 121 Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies

Director, 2016-2017

Jeane DeLaney

Associate Professor of History

Latin American history; Argentina and Cuba; environmental history of Latin America

Gwendolyn Barnes-Karol (on leave)

Professor of Romance Languages - Spanish

Peninsular literature and culture; contemporary Spain; orality and literacy; second language acquisition

Seth I. Binder

Assistant Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies

environmental and natural resource economics and policy; development economics; applied microeconomics; environmental economics

Maggie A. Broner

Associate Professor of Romance Languages - Spanish

Hispanic linguistics; culture; second language acquisition

Sylvia G. Carullo

Professor of Romance Languages - Spanish

Spanish-American literature; colonial 20th century Spanish-American literature; Afro-Hispanic literature; Hispanic-American literature; art and literature-female portraits in Spanish-American literature

Laura Cesarco Eglin

Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish

20th- and 21st-century Latin American literatures and cultures; poetry; Southern Cone

Christopher L. Chiappari

Associate Professor of Sociology/Anthropology

Guatemala; religion; immigration

Kris A. Cropsey

Instructor in Romance Languages - Spanish

Hispanic linguistics; sociolinguistics; second language acquisition; teacher education

Carla Manzoni

Instructor in Romance Languages - Spanish

Hispanic literatures and cultures; film studies; gender studies; visual arts; memory studies

Kristina Medina-Vilariño

Assistant Professor of Romance Languages-Spanish

Caribbean Studies; 20th- and 21st-century Latin American studies; contemporary Latino studies; race and ethnic studies

Leon Narvaez

Professor of Romance Languages - Spanish

Hispanic culture, language, and literature; migration and other interdisciplinary studies

Jonathan P. O'Conner

Assistant Professor of Romance Languages-Spanish

Peninsular early modern/golden age literature and cultures; cultural and intellectual histories; humanism; colonial Latin America

Nancy Paddleford

Professor of Music

piano

Kathleen L. Shea

Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, Curator of Natural Lands

plant ecology and evolution; restoration ecology; agroecology

Ariel T. Strichartz

Associate Professor of Romance Languages - Spanish

contemporary Latin American theater and narrative; Argentine theater; literary food studies; memory studies

Kristina E. Thalhammer (on leave Interim and spring)

Professor of Political Science

comparative politics; Latin American politics; political tolerance; human rights

Molly Tun

Instructor in Romance Languages - Spanish