Latin American Studies 

Nadia V. Celis, Program Director
Jean M. Harrison, Program Coordinator

Contributing Faculty: Greg Beckett, Margaret Boyle, Nadia V. Celis, Elena M. Cueto Asín†, Gustavo Faverón Patriau, Marcos F. Lopez, Stephen J. Meardon†, Joseph Jay Sosa, Krista E. Van Vleet, Hanétha Vété-Congolo**, Susan E. Wegner, Allen Wells, Eugenia Wheelwright†, Nathaniel T. Wheelwright†, Carolyn Wolfenzon

The Latin American Studies Program explores the history, aesthetic production, and contemporary relationships of the diverse cultural groups of Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Latinas and Latinos in the United States. Its multidisciplinary approach is designed to integrate the scholarly methods and perspectives of several disciplines in order to foster increased understanding of Latin America’s social differences and economic realities, cultural diversity, transnational connections, historical trajectories, and range of popular culture and artistic and literary expression. Competence in a language spoken in the region other than English (such as Spanish, French, or Portuguese) is required, and it is strongly recommended that students participate in an off-campus study program in Latin America.

Requirements for the Major in Latin American Studies

The major consists of nine courses:

  • one course offering a survey of cultural production (literature, art, music, mass media, etc.) in Latin America in Spanish, French, or Portuguese
    • Latin American Studies 2407, Francophone Cultures; or
    • Latin American Studies 2409, Introduction to Hispanic Studies: Poetry and Theater; or
    • Latin American Studies 2410, Introduction to Hispanic Studies: Essay and Narrative
  • one course in Latin American history covering several countries and periods in the region, such as Latin American Studies 2401, 2402, or 2403
  • one intermediate course (2500–2799) in the social sciences (anthropology, economics, government, psychology, or sociology) that focuses on Latin America or Latinas/Latinos in the United States
    • Students may need to take prerequisite courses in the cross-listed department.
  • a concentration of four additional courses centered on a particular theme, e.g. identity and inequality; or geographic region, e.g. the Andes, Caribbean; selected by each major in consultation with a faculty advisor in the Latin American Studies Program
    • The courses for the concentration should be at the intermediate (2000–2969) or advanced (3000–3999) level.
  • an elective course in Latin American studies outside the student’s concentration
  • an advanced course (3000–3999) or advanced independent study in Latin American studies

Requirements for the Minor in Latin American Studies

The minor consists of five courses.

Required courses:

  • one Hispanic Studies course at Bowdoin beyond Hispanic Studies 2204 (or another appropriate language)
  • one course in Latin American history covering several countries and periods in the region, such as Latin American Studies 2401, 2402, or 2403
  • three additional courses, two of which must be taken from disciplines outside the student’s major department(s)


Independent Studies and Honors Projects

Independent studies can meet requirements for the major or minor only with approval by the director of Latin American studies of a written prospectus of the project. Students contemplating honors candidacy must have established records of A and B grades in program course offerings and must present clearly articulated proposals for scholarly research. Students must prepare and defend an honors thesis before a program faculty committee.

Additional Information

  • A maximum of three courses from off-campus study programs may count toward the major and two courses from off-campus study programs may count toward the minor with the approval of the director of Latin American studies.
  • Courses that count toward the major or minor must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail), and students must earn grades of C- or better in these courses.
  • A student may count a first-year seminar toward the major or minor elective requirements.



(Department/Program website)