Sebastiaan Faber, Professor of Hispanic Studies, Program Chair
Ana Cara, Professor of Hispanic Studies
Kristina Mani, Associate Professor of Politics
Patrick O’Connor, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature (on leave, 2014-15)
Baron Pineda, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Tobias Pfutze, Assistant Professor of Economics
Claire Solomon, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies
Steven Volk, Professor of History
Denise Birkhofer, Assistant Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum
Other Affiliated Faculty and Staff
Yveline Alexis, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Meredith Gadsby, Associate Professor of Africana Studies
Pablo Mitchell, Professor of History and Comparative American Studies
Gina Pérez, Associate Professor of Comparative American Studies
Geoff Pingree, Associate Professor of Cinema 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, 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 many fields and disciplines, including history, comparative American studies, folklore and culture, literature, economics, politics, 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.
Language: Regardless of what area one studies in Latin America and the Caribbean, knowledge of languages spoken in the region, other than English, is important. Advanced competency in one of these languages is required for the major (see below). In addition to languages offered at Oberlin (Spanish, in particular), we encourage students to pursue course work abroad in other languages, including indigenous languages and Portuguese.
All Latin American Studies majors will select one course taken in their senior year as their capstone course and register for LATS 400, the two-credit capstone module. The capstone includes a substantive individual project and a public presentation. For more information, see here: http://new.oberlin.edu/arts-and-sciences/departments/latin_american_studies/capstonehonors.dot
Majors must complete a minimum of 9 full courses. These courses must include:
LATS 100: An Introduction to the Study of Latin America (1/2 course);
LATS 400: Capstone work in Latin American Studies (1/2 course) [Note: Completion
of LATS 501-502, Honors Work in Latin American Studies, will satisfy this
HISP 304 for those choosing Spanish to fulfill the language requirement (or the equivalent of HISP 304 taken abroad, at another college or university, or accomplished by placing out of the requirement on a placement examination; in the latter case, the language requirement will be considered to be met but the student will not receive credits towards the major).
For other languages, the language requirement will be met with the equivalent of 5 semesters of college-level study in the language. Students with competency in languages other than Spanish to fulfill the language requirement should contact the Chair of Latin American Studies to certify completion of the requirement.
At least 7 of these courses must be core courses, that is, they must have as their primary focus Latin America, the Caribbean, or the Latino/a diaspora.
Up to 2 courses can be selected from courses in which Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latino/a Studies is an important component of the course (making up at least one-third of the course work) but are not necessarily its primary focus. These secondary courses give partial credit toward the major (the amount of which is to be determined by the Committee chair). Secondary courses could include, for example, an economics class on trade and development in which Latin American examples are important; a course on “Revolutions” which discusses Cuba, Mexico, and Nicaragua at length, etc.
LATS 100 and LATS 400 each count as one-half course.
At least 6 of the courses must be taken at Oberlin. The remainder can come from study away or transfers from other colleges and universities. (Exception: Students spending two semesters studying abroad in Latin America may count up to 4 courses taken while abroad toward the LATS major.)
AP or IB courses do not count toward the major.
No more than 6 courses from any one department or program can be counted toward the major. Cross-listed courses may be counted as coming from either department.
Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C- or P cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the major.
FYSP courses which meet all the criteria for Latin American Studies courses can count toward the major.
There is no minor offered in Latin American Studies.
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. Honors work normally consists of the preparation of a thesis under faculty supervision.
The Latin American Studies Committee strongly advises majors to take advantage of the opportunities that exist for studying in Latin America. Rewarding programs of study are currently offered through the Associated Colleges of the Midwest in Costa Rica; the CIEE in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic; through the GLCA (the “Borders Study Program” situated in Tucson, Arizona); through Oberlin’s PRESHCO program in Spain; and through a variety of other programs in locations throughout Latin America. 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
At least 6 of the courses must be taken at Oberlin. The remainder can come from study away or transfers from other colleges and universities. (Exception: Students spending two semesters studying abroad in Latin America may count up to 4 courses taken while abroad toward the LAST major.)
The Latin American Studies Committee
The Latin American Studies Committee is a curricular committee that approves and supervises the major. Members of the Latin American Studies Committee for the current academic year are listed above and on the Latin American Studies webpage.
Entry-Level Course Sequence Suggestions
It is recommended that students interested in the Latin American Studies major begin coursework by satisfying the language requirement and LATS 100.
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, they may not appear in the following list but still may be credited as “core” courses. Please consult the Chair of the Latin American Studies Committee for any questions in this regard. In general, any course whose primary subject matter is Latin America, Caribbean, or Latino/a studies will be considered a “core” course. This includes courses taken abroad.
Comparative American Studies (CAST)
- ENGL 386 - Narrating the Nation: Historical and Literary Approaches to Nationalism in Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Asia (partial credit)
Hispanic Studies (HISP)
- HISP 109 – Latin American History: Conquest and Colony LxC Section
- HISP 110 – Latin American History: State and Nation LxC Section
- HISP 201 – Brutal Borders LxC Section
- HISP 293 – Dirty Wars LxC Section
- HISP 327 – Surrealism
- HISP 330 - Liminal Spaces: Latin American Short Story
- HISP 405 - Modern Poetry in Latin America
- HISP 419 - Translating Latin American Literature
- HISP 426 - Latin American Literature and the Narratives of the Perverse
- HISP 429 - The Dream of History: Latin American Modernismo
- HISP 431 - Ideological Trends: The Essay in Latin America
- HIST 294 – The United States and Latin America
- HIST 327 – Borderlands
- HIST 367 - Narrating the Nation: Historical and Literary Approaches to Nationalism
- HIST 461 - The Mexican Revolution: Birth, Life, Death?
Individual Projects and Honors
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 provide the Chair of the Latin American Studies Committee with a current course syllabus in order that he/she can 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.
African American Studies (AAST)
First-Year Seminar Program (FYSP)
- POLT 225 - International Organization