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Latin American Studies

Michael C. Scardaville, Director

Thomas L. Leatherman, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, 1987
Celso de Oliveira, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1976
John J. Winberry, Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 1971

Associate Professors
Alfredo Alejandro Bernal, Ph.D., Indiana University, 1984
Ramona Lagos, Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1978
Maria Angélica G. Lopes, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1980
Michael C. Scardaville, Ph.D., University of Florida, 1977

Assistant Professors
Laura Cahue, Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2001
Lessie Jo Frazier, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1998
Ann E. Kingsolver, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, 1991
Mona M. Lyne, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1998
Graciela Tissera, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1992


The interdisciplinary Latin American Studies Program allows a student to develop a solid foundation of understanding in the study of Latin America and comprises courses drawn from anthropology, foreign language departments, geography, government and international studies, and history.

The major requires 24 hours of course work in Latin American studies, including LASP 301 and LASP 496 and at least one course from each of four groups. Students majoring in Latin American studies must also complete a cognate (preferably with all courses from a single discipline), a minor, or a double major but are encouraged to pursue a double major. The minor in Latin American studies requires 18 hours of course work, including LASP 301 and at least one course from three of four groups.

Students pursuing either the major or minor are required to choose Spanish or Portuguese as their language of study and must complete one three-hour course at the 200 level. This course can be applied to the general education requirements. It is expected also that students will pursue study or supervised fieldwork in Latin America as part of the degree program.

Degree Requirements

(120 hours)

1. General Education Requirements (53-62 hours)

For a general outline, see "College of Liberal Arts."

2. Program Requirements (24 hours)

LASP 301 (3 hours)
LASP courses, at least one from each of four groups (18 hours)
Group I: LASP 341, 342, 441, 442, 443, 444, 447
Group II: LASP 351, 451, 454, 455
Group III: LASP 311, 315, 322, 325, 331, 425

Group IV: LASP 361, 371, 471, 481
LASP 496 (3 hours)

3. Second Major, Minor, or Cognate (12-24 hours)

4. Electives, see "College of Liberal Arts." (16-37 hours)

Course Descriptions (LASP)

  • 301 -- Interdisciplinary Study of Latin America. (3) Anthropology, geography, history, politics, language, and culture of Latin America.
  • 311 -- Latin American Cultures. {=ANTH 301} (3) Comparative study of selected Latin American cultures with emphasis on their significance for a broader anthropological theory.
  • 312 -- Mexican Cultures. {=ANTH 312} (3) Regional cultures from pre-Hispanic civilizations to the present.
  • 315 -- South American Indian Cultures. {=ANTH 305} (3) An examination of ethnographic data on South American Indians, emphasizing methods used to acquire those data and their applications to theoretical considerations.
  • 322 -- Mesoamerican Prehistory. {=ANTH 331} (3) Cultural development and variation in Mesoamerica from the first arrival of man to the arrival of Europeans. Particular attention to cultural continuities from prehistoric times.
  • 325 -- Prehistoric Civilizations of the New World. {=ANTH 327} (3) Study of Mesoamerican and South American civilizations, particularly the Mayan, Aztec, and Inca states. Processes of state formation as reflected in archaeological data.
  • 331 -- Geography of Latin America. {=GEOG 223} (3) Physical and human geography of Latin America.
  • 341 -- Latin America: The Founding of New Societies. {=HIST 420} (3) The establishment and consolidation of the Spanish and Portuguese empires in the Western hemisphere; interaction of Indians, Africans, and Iberians, and the formation of social, economic, and political traditions in Latin America; political independence.
  • 342 -- Modern Latin America. {=HIST 421} (3) Traditional society in the area and problems arising from social, economic, and political changes since independence; comparative studies of national responses to these problems.
  • 351 -- Politics and Governments of Latin America. {=GINT 488} (3) The development, principles, political thought, and politics of the several Latin American states.
  • 361 -- Spanish American Civilization. {=SPAN 401} (3) Lectures, readings, and visuals on selected topics of Spanish American civilization and its cultural heritage.
  • 371 -- Literary Tendencies and Masterpieces of Spanish America. {=SPAN 405} (3) (Prereq: SPAN 312 or consent of instructor) A survey of the masterworks and literary tendencies of Spanish America.
  • 398 -- Selected Topics. (3) Selected Topics on Latin America. May be repeated for credit under different suffix.
  • 399 -- Independent Study. (3-6) Contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department chair is required for undergraduate students.
  • 425 -- Prehistoric Archaeology of South America. {=ANTH 534} (3) Prehistoric archaeology of the South American continent, from the earliest colonizers to the fall of the Inca empire.
  • 441 -- Social and Economic History of Latin America. {=HIST 663} (3) The evolution of social groups and changes in economic patterns in Latin America from pre-Columbian times to the present.
  • 442 -- History of Mexico. {=HIST 423} (3) Mexico from the pre-conquest period to the present, with an emphasis on modern Mexico.
  • 447 -- History of Brazil. {=HIST 426} (3) Brazil from 1500 to the present.
  • 451 -- International Relations of Latin America. {=GINT 537} (3) Contemporary international relations among Latin American states, including economic and political security and relations with the United States.
  • 454 -- Politics of Revolution in Middle America. {=GINT 680} (3) Contemporary political development of Middle American nations with emphasis on the background and significance of revolution in such countries as Mexico and Cuba.
  • 455 -- Politics of Revolution and Counterrevolution in South America. (3) Contemporary political development of South American countries with emphasis on the background and significance of revolution and counterrevolution in such countries as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.
  • 471 -- Spanish-American Society in the Novel. {=SPAN 563} (3) Social and political novels analyzed as works of art and for their expression of traditions, values, ideas, and aspirations.
  • 481 -- Spanish-American Drama. {=SPAN 560} (3) The theatre of Spanish America with emphasis on the period since 1900.
  • 496 -- Senior Seminar. (3) (Prereq: 12 hours of course work in LASP or permission of instructor) Study in depth of a topic on Latin America.

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