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Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to encourage the examination of Latin America and the Caribbean: their people, cultures, society, languages, literature, traditions, history, economy, and relations with other areas. The major uses the perspectives provided by several disciplines to examine the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America, as well as the areas of Spanish colonization in North America, and the peoples of Latin American ancestry currently resident in the United States. Latin American Studies offers courses in history, folklore and culture, literature, economics, sociology, and anthropology. The major can provide students with some of the background necessary for careers in teaching, bilingual education, social work, government or international organizations, business, journalism, and specialized non-profit organizations, as well as for further graduate work in Latin American Studies or its related disciplines.


1. Two years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent.

2. A minimum of 30 hours of course work, of which 15 must be from the core courses (listed below). The remainder may be taken from a list of related courses or courses taken at other institutions.

3. At least 15 hours of major credit must be earned at Oberlin.

4. No more than 20 hours from any one department can be counted toward the major.

5. Two advisors are required, each from a different discipline.

Minor. There is no minor offered in Latin American Studies.

Honors. Those interested in completing honors in Latin American Studies should consult with the Chair of the program at the beginning of the second semester of their junior year.

Related Programs. The Latin American Studies Committee strongly advises majors to take advantage of the opportunities which exist for studying in Latin America. Rewarding programs of study are currently offered through the Associated Colleges of the Midwest in Costa Rica; through various CIEE programs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic; through Oberlin's PRESHCO program in Spain; and through a variety of other programs. These programs, usually taken during the junior year, can provide students with the opportunity to perfect communication skills and further their knowledge of contemporary life and culture in Latin America.

Transfer of Credit. Up to 15 hours of transfer credit toward the major can be accepted.

The Latin American Studies Committee. This committee approves and supervises the major. Members of the Latin American Studies Committee for the 2001-2002 academic year are:

Ms. Cara, Hispanic Studies

Mr. Faber, Hispanic Studies

Ms. Martinez-Tapia, Hispanic Studies

Mr. Millette, African-American Studies

Mr. Norris, Sociology

Mr. Volk, History


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Course Offerings

Entry-Level Course Sequence Suggestions. It is recommended that students interested in the Latin American Studies major begin course work by satisfying the language requirement and taking the various introductory survey courses in the field: Economics (210); History (109 or 114 and 110); Latin American Literature (305); and Sociology (217). Please note that the literature, sociology and economics courses have prerequisites.

Core Courses: Please consult individual departmental listings for full course descriptions and availability in a given semester and year. Not all of these courses are offered every year. As new courses enter the curriculum, some which do not appear in the following list could be credited as "core" courses. Please consult the Chair of the committee for any questions in this regard. In general, "core" courses are those whose primary subject matter concerns Latin America and/or the Caribbean as well as Latino/a studies.

African American Studies
208 Slavery and Freedom in the Western Hemisphere

209 Society and Politics in the Modern Caribbean, 1838-1970
347 Going Away Coming Home: Caribbean Literature

253 Folklore and Culture of Latin America (identical to Spanish 312)

262 Ancient Civilizations of the New World

210 Economic Development in Latin America

410 Seminar: Economic Development in Latin America

386 Narrating the Nation: Historical and Literary Approaches to Nationalism in Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Asia (identical to History 367; partial credit)

Hispanic Studies
305 A Masterpiece Survey of Latin American Literature

306 Colloquium: Literary Commentary of Hispanic Texts (partial credit)

312 Folklore and Culture of Latin America

313 Latin American Film

320 Reading Borges

327 Latin American Literature

330 Liminal Spaces: Latin American Short Story

331 Transatlantic Literature (partial credit)
405 Modern Poetry in Latin America

429 The Dream of History: Latin American Modernismo

430 The New Narrative in Latin America
431 Ideological Trends: The Essay in Latin America

436 Caribbean Cultures and Literature

447 Transatlantic Literature (partial credit)

448 Latin American Literature
456 Julio Cortázar
457 Caribbean Cultures and Literatures
465 Viva la Raza: Constructions of Hispanic Identity

109 Latin American History: Conquest and Colonization

110 Latin American History: State and Nation Since Independence

114 Colonial Encounters: The Spanish Invention of the New World

270 Latina/Latino Survey

293 Dirty Wars and Democracy

294 The United States and Latin America

327 Borderlands

365 Peasant Movements in Latin American History

366 Gender Issues in Latin American History
367 Narrating the Nation. Historical and Literary Approaches to Nationalism in Latin
America, the Caribbean, and South Asia (identical to English 386; partial credit)

217 Social Development in Brazil and Mexico

PRESHCO courses which examine Latin America will also be considered as part of the core courses. Please consult the appropriate Spanish listings.

Related courses. These courses (and others) could add full or partial credit to a Latin American Studies major depending on the precise focus of the course in any particular year. Please consult the Chair of the Latin American Studies Committee prior to enrolling to determine whether the course will count towards the Latin American Studies major and, if so, the precise number of credits which will apply to the major.

266 Art in the World: Contemporary Art in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

209 Economic Development

227 International Trade and Finance

326 International Trade

427 Seminar in International Economics

200 Music of the Americas

221 Third World Political Economies

228 U.S. Foreign Policy Making

321 National and International Developments in the Third World

323 Democratization in the Twenty-First Century

228 Contemporary Theologies of the Political


Individual Projects

401. Honors Project 3-4 hours
3-4 EX
Students interested in pursuing honors in this interdisciplinary major should consult the Chair of the Latin American Studies Committee in their sixth semester. Honors work normally consists of the preparation of a thesis under faculty supervision. Consent of instructor required.

Sem 1 LAST-401-01 Staff

402. Honors Project 3-4 hours
3-4 EX
Consent of instructor required.
Sem 2 LAST-402-01 Staff

995. Private Reading 1-3 hours
Independent study of a subject beyond the range of catalog course offerings. Consent of instructor required.

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