Latin American Studies
Director, 2014-15: Ariel Strichartz (Romance Languages), Hispanic literature and culture
Faculty, 2014-15: Gwendolyn Barnes-Karol (Romance Languages), Hispanic literature and culture; Seth Binder (Economics), economic development, Southern Cone; Maggie Broner (Romance Languages), Hispanic linguistics and second language acquisition; Sylvia Graciela Carullo (Romance Languages), Hispanic literature, culture and art; Christopher Chiappari (Sociology/Anthropology), anthropology of religion, Guatemala; Jeane DeLaney (History), Latin American history and nationalism, Argentina and Brazil, modern Cuba; Carlos Gallego (English), Chicano/Chicana literature; Kristina Medina-Vilariño (Romance Languages), Hispanic literature and culture; León Narváez (Romance Languages), Hispanic literature and culture, migration studies; Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb (Sociology/Anthropology), gender, family, race and class; Jonathan O'Conner (Romance Languages), Hispanic literature and culture; Nancy Paddleford (Music), Latin American/Spanish music; Jean Rockford Aguilar-Valdez (Education), Latino/Latina critical education; Kathleen Shea (Biology), tropical biology; Kristina Thalhammer (Political Science), comparative politics, human rights; Alberto Villate-Isaza (Romance Languages), Hispanic literature and culture (on leave)
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 multple 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.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE latin american STUDIES MAJOR
The requirements for the completion of a Latin American studies major consist of nine courses:
- One foundational course: History 242: Modern Latin America or Political Science 264: Latin American Politics
- Three required courses in Spanish: Spanish 250; Spanish 270, 271, or 274 (with a focus on Spain); Spanish 272 or 274 (with a focus on Latin America) (or appropriate subsitute courses for any of the 270-level required Spanish courses approved by the director of Latin American studies)
- Four electives: These courses may be chosen from among history, economics, education, English, anthropology, sociology, political science, religion, and art, with no more than two courses in any one discipline (including the discipline of the foundational course).
- The interdisciplinary seminar, Latin American Studies 333: Contemporary Issues in Latin America
- 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 any course with substantial Latin American content counted toward their major.
- A maximum of three courses that focus on Latinos in the United States may count toward the major.
- Either Sociology/Anthropology 264 or Race and Ethnic Studies 121 may be included in the major, but not both.
Students should contact the Latin American studies director as early as possible to plan a major.
Students majoring in any discipline except Latin American studies can pursue a Latin America 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:
- One foundational course, History 242 or Political Science 264
- Three electives: These courses may be chosen from among history, economics, education, English, anthropology, sociology, political science, religion, and art, with no more than two courses in any one discipline (including the discipline of the foundational course).
- The interdisciplinary seminar, Latin American Studies 333: Contemporary Issues in Latin America.
- A maximum of two study-abroad courses taken in Latin America or Spain may be counted.
- A maximum of two courses that focus on Latinos in the United States may count toward the concentration.
- Either Sociology/Anthropology 264 or Race and Ethnic Studies 121 may be included in the concentration, but not both.
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 (History 244: Collective Memory in Revolutionary Cuba), and Spain (Spanish 270: Spain's Cultural and Linguistic Legacy); 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 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.)
Latin American STUDIES COURSES
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 indígena" according to Western expectations; and indigenous cultures and globalization. FLAC option available. Offered in alternate years.
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. Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.
Race and Ethnic Studies 121: Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies OR Sociology/Anthropology 264: Race and Class in American Culture
Economics 243: Economic Development
English 251: Major Chicano/a Authors
History 126: Conquest and Colonization
History 240: Major Seminar: Non-Western History (with approval of the director of Latin American Studies)
History 242: Modern Latin America
History 243: 20th-Century Cuba
History 244: Collective Memory in Revolutionary Cuba
History 245: Environmental History of Latin America
Political Science 252: Politics and Development (with approval of the director of Latin American Studies)
Political Science 257: U.S.-Latin American Relations
Political Science 264: Latin American Politics
Political Science 367: Seminar in Latin American Politics
Sociology/Anthropology 237: Forging a Latin American Culture
Sociology/Anthropology 264: Race and Class in American Culture OR Race and Ethnic Studies 121: Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies