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 in Latin American studies consists of nine courses, including:
1. One course, offering a survey of cultural production (literature, art, music, mass media, etc.) in Latin America, conducted in one of the languages spoken in the region other than English. Students may choose:
Latin American Studies 206, Francophone Cultures (same as Africana Studies 207 and French 207); or
Latin American Studies 209, Introduction to Hispanic Studies: Poetry and Theater (same as Spanish 209); or
Latin American Studies 210, Introduction to Hispanic Studies: Essay and Narrative (same as Spanish 210); or
a comparable course from off-campus study that surveys Latin American cultural production in Spanish, French, or Portuguese.
2. A survey course in Latin American history covering several countries and periods in the region. Students may choose: Latin American Studies 252, Colonial Latin America (same as History 252); Latin American Studies 255, Modern Latin America (same as History 255); or Latin American Studies 258, Latin American Revolutions (same as History 258).
3. A 200-level course in the social sciences (anthropology, economics, government, psychology, or sociology) that focuses on Latin America or Latinos in the United States. (Note: Students may need to also take prerequisite courses in the cross-listing department.)
4. A concentration of four additional courses centered on a particular theme (e.g., identity and inequality) and/or geographic region (e.g., the Andes, Caribbean), selected by each major in consultation with a faculty advisor in Latin American studies. The courses for the concentration should be at the 200 or 300 level.
5. An elective course in Latin American studies, outside the student’s concentration.
6. A 300-level course or Advanced Independent Study in Latin American studies during the senior year.
A maximum of three courses from off-campus study programs may count toward the major with the approval of the director of Latin American studies. Courses that will count toward the major must be taken on a graded basis (not Credit/D/Fail), and students must earn grades of C- or better in these courses.
Requirements for the Minor in Latin American Studies
The minor consists of at least one Spanish course at Bowdoin beyond Spanish 204 (or another appropriate language); Latin American Studies 255, Modern Latin America (same as History 255); and three additional courses, two of which must be outside the student’s major department. Independent studies can meet requirements for the minor only with the approval of a written prospectus of the project by the director of Latin American studies. A maximum of two courses from off-campus study programs may count toward the minor with the approval of the director of Latin American studies. Courses that will count toward the minor must be taken on a graded basis (not Credit/D/Fail), and students must earn grades of C- or better in these courses.
Students contemplating honors candidacy must have established records of earning A and B grades in program course offerings and present clearly articulated proposals for scholarly research. Students must prepare and defend an honors thesis before a program faculty committee.