Academics



The Latin American studies program works to fulfill the college's mission as a center of learning in today's global culture. By encompassing multiple approaches to the study of Latin America (including the circum-Caribbean and its diasporas), the program provides students with a set of well-developed perspectives on the region. It seeks to broaden students' worldviews, challenge ethnocentric attitudes, expand understandings of diversity in today's world, introduce alternative ways of engaging with societies and environments, and develop tools necessary to communicate across cultures.

Major Requirements. Students majoring in Latin American studies must complete a total of ten courses in at least four different fields, including five core courses, four courses in a major concentration, and the senior thesis. As an interdisciplinary program, Latin American studies relies on courses offered by a number of departments and programs. In some cases, these courses carry prerequisites.

Because proficiency in Spanish (above the SPAN 205 level) is required for the core and concentration courses in Spanish, students are strongly encouraged to plan their courses early and consult with their advisor and the program chair. Students who wish to double-major in Latin American studies and Spanish should consult the program website (bates.edu/latin-american-studies/).

Students who wish to pursue their interest in Latin America but do not wish to major should consider fulfilling the General Education concentration, Latin American Studies (C072).

Core Courses. Courses taken to fulfill the core requirements may not be counted toward the concentration.

At least three of the core courses must be taken before the senior year.

1) Both of the following:
HIST 181. Latin American History: From the Conquest to the Present.
SPAN 230. Readings in Spanish American and Caribbean Literature.

2) One of the following:
INDS 290. The Afro-Hispanic Diaspora.
INDS 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.
SP/WS 323. Gendered Experiences in the Américas Borderlands.
SPAN 330. Writing the Caribbean Nation: Race, Religion, and Revolution.
SPAN 366. Fantastic Hispanic Cinema.

3) Two of the following:

AA/AN 251. Imagining the Caribbean.
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
FYS 443. Christopher Columbus: From Hero to Villain.
PLTC 209. Contemporary United States-Latin American Relations.
PLTC 249. The Politics of Latin America.

Concentrations. Majors take four courses in one of the following concentrations. At least one of these courses must be a 300- or 400-level seminar. Up to two study-abroad courses may count toward the concentration with the approval of the Committee on Latin American Studies, but study-abroad courses may not count toward the upper-level seminar.

1) Race, Gender, and Ethnicity. This concentration offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latin American identities. Courses study the process of identity construction and the cultural politics of these identities. Students analyze fiction, historical documents, essays, ethnographies, manifestos, poetry, and film in considering the performance and mobilization of identities. The political and cultural discourses of women, indigenous communities, and blacks are examined in the context of the enduring struggle for self-determination, including responses to voluntary and forced movements of individuals and groups. Courses include:

INDS 290. The Afro-Hispanic Diaspora.
INDS 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.
AA/SP 350. Representing Blacks in Cuban Literature: From the Colony to the Revolution.
INDS s38. Cannibalism as an Eating Disorder in the Conquest of America.
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
ENVR 350. Environmental Justice in the Americas.
FYS 443. Christopher Columbus: From Hero to Villain.
HIST 279. The Age of Independence in Latin America.
HIST 282. The City in Latin America.
HI/RE 390Y. The Spanish Inquisition.
SP/WS 323. Gendered Experiences in the Américas Borderlands.
SPAN 330. Writing the Caribbean Nation: Race, Religion, and Revolution.
SPAN 343. Postcolonial Thought in Latin America.

2) Cultural Representations. This concentration examines representations of and in Latin America from the colonial era to the postcolonial present. Focusing primarily on narratives and visual texts, this concentration considers the contributions that cultural production makes both to relationships of power and challenges to the hegemonic center. It develops critical reading methods to discern characteristics embedded in the artifacts under study, situating them in Latin American context and underscoring the regional and national differences that make the artifacts unique to their time and place. Courses include:

AA/AN 251. Imagining the Caribbean.
FYS 443. Christopher Columbus: From Hero to Villain.
HIST 279. The Age of Independence in Latin America.
HIST 282. The City in Latin America.
HI/RE 390Y. The Spanish Inquisition.
INDS 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.
INDS 374. Chanting Down Babylon: Caribbean Popular Cultural Insurgency.
INDS s38. Cannibalism as an Eating Disorder in the Conquest of America.
SPAN 330. Writing the Caribbean Nation: Race, Religion, and Revolution.
SPAN 342. Hybrid Cultures: Latin American Intersections.
SPAN 354. Revolución en el cine.
SPAN 366. Fantastic Hispanic Cinema.

3) Power: Imposition and Contestation. This concentration explores international and national institutions, social norms, cultures, and ideas that shape the distribution of power and resources in Latin America. The concentration examines enduring patterns in inequality and strategies to address these patterns. Courses

AA/AN 251. Imagining the Caribbean.
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
ANTH 330. The Development of Underdevelopment.
ECON s25. Latin American Economies.
FYS 385. Power and Authority in Latin America through Film.
FYS 443. Christopher Columbus: From Hero to Villain.
HIST 390H. The Mexican Revolution.
HIST 279. The Age of Independence in Latin America.
HIST 282. The City in Latin America.
HI/RE 390Y. The Spanish Inquisition.
INDS s34. Place, Community, and Transformation: Kingston, Jamaica.
INDS s38. Cannibalism as an Eating Disorder in the Conquest of America.
LS/SP s21. Human Rights and Social Art in Latin America: The Case of Nogales, Mexico.
PLTC 209. Contemporary United States-Latin American Relations.
PLTC 249. Politics of Latin America.
PLTC 320. The Politics of Latin American Migrant Transnationalism.
SP/WS 323. Gendered Experiences in the Américas Borderlands.
SPAN 343. Postcolonial Thought in Latin America.

Senior Thesis. Planning for the senior thesis (LAS 457 or 458) begins in the junior year with the submission of a thesis proposal. Information on the proposal may be found on the Latin American studies program website (bates.edu/latin-american-studies). It is expected that the thesis relates thematically to a student's chosen concentration and that the student consults with a thesis advisor to develop the proposal.

Study Abroad. Study-abroad courses cannot substitute for the core courses or the seminar, but may count toward the concentration. Study-abroad courses to be applied toward the major must be approved by the advisor before the student begins the program abroad.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may be elected for the elective courses taken to fulfill the major.