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.

The Program in Latin American Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latin America, which is understood in its broadest sense. Courses address three different, but interconnected, areas of knowledge as their objective:

1) Race, Gender, and Ethnicity. 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 Students analyze fiction, historical documents, essays, ethnographies, manifestos, poetry, and film in considering the performance and mobilization of identities.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.

2) Cultural Representations. Latin American studies courses address representations of and in Latin America from the colonial era to the postcolonial present. Focusing primarily on narratives and visual texts, they consider the contributions that cultural production makes both to relationships of power and challenges to the hegemonic center. Students develop 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.

3) Power: Imposition and Contestation. Latin American studies courses explore international and national institutions, social norms, cultures, and ideas that shape the distribution of power and resources in Latin America. They examine enduring patterns in inequality and strategies to address these patterns.

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).

Major Requirements . Students majoring in Latin American studies must complete a total of ten courses, one of which must be a 300-level seminar and one of which must be a senior thesis. In addition, students must complete a breadth requirement by taking courses from at least four different disciplines including Africana, anthropology, arts and visual culture, environmental studies, gender and sexuality studies, history, music, politics, religious studies, sociology, and Spanish.

Because proficiency in Spanish is required for courses in Spanish, students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisor and the program chairs of Latin American studies and Spanish. More information on Latin American studies may be found on the website (bates.edu/latin-american-studies).

Courses.
HI/LS 181. Latin American History: From the Conquest to the Present.
AN/LS 205. Citizenship, Borders, and Belonging.
LS/SO 226. Sports, Gender, and Nation in Latin America.
AN/LS 238. Culture, Conflict, and Change in Latin America.
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
HI/LS 279. The Age of Independence in Latin America.
HI/LS 282. The City in Latin America.
HI/LS 301H. The Mexican Revolution.
INDS 301Y. The Spanish Inquisition.
LS/SP 317. Screening Citizenship: Jewish Latin American Film.
INDS 321. Afroambiente: Escritura negra y medio ambiente.
LS/SP 341. Lectura Americana de Cervantes.
LS/PT 352. Participatory Democracy in the Americas.
LS/PT 353. Political Violence in Latin America.
LAS 360. Independent Study.
INDS 390. Afro-Latinoamérica.
INDS s20. Politics of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Brazil.
HI/LS s29. Montezuma's Mexico: Aztecs and Their World.
FYS 385. Power and Authority in Latin America through Film.
FYS 443. Heroes or Villains? Columbus and Fidel (Castro).
GS/PT 219. Social Movements in Latin America.
GS/SP 323. Gendered Experiences in the Américas Borderlands.
PLTC 209. Contemporary United States-Latin American Relations.
PLTC 249. The Politics of Latin America.
PLTC 320. Immigrants and Their Homelands.
SPAN 230. Readings in Spanish American and Spanish Caribbean Literature.
SPAN 337. Las voces del pueblo: Poetry and Music as Social Resistance 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 course work and that the student consults with a thesis advisor to develop the proposal.

Study Abroad. Up to three courses taken at a study-abroad program may count toward the major. These courses do not count toward the breadth requirement and they do not substitute for the 300-level senior seminar. 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. Courses taken pass/fail may not count toward the Latin American studies major.