Nov 29, 2020  
Course Catalog 2010-2011 
Course Catalog 2010-2011 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Latin American Studies

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Steven Volk, Professor of History, Department Chair
Ana Cara,  Professor of Hispanic Studies
Sebastiaan Faber,  Professor of Hispanic Studies
Gordon Gill, Assistant Professor of African American Studies
Kristina Mani, Assistant Professor of Politics
Esmeralda Martinez Tapia, Lecturer in Hispanic Studies
Patrick O’Connor, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
Vicente Pérez de León, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
Baron Pineda,  Associate Professor of Anthropology
Geoffrey 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 history, Comparative American Studies, folklore and culture, literature, 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.



  1. Two years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent.
  2. A minimum of 30 hours of coursework, 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.

Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C-/CR/P cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of 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.

Related Programs

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 Program for Mexican Culture and Society in Puebla, Mexico (an Oberlin consortial program), 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 “Border Program” situated in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas); 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

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 2009-2010 academic year are:


  Ms. Cara, Hispanic Studies
  Mr. Faber,  Hispanic Studies
  Mr. Gill, African American Studies
  Ms. Mani, Politics
  Ms. Martinez Tapia, Hispanic Studies 
  Mr. Millette, African American Studies
  Mr. O’Connor, Hispanic Studies
  Mr. Pérez de León, Hispanic Studies
  Mr. Pineda,  Anthropology
  Mr. Volk, History


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 taking some of the various introductory courses in the field: African American Studies (206,208/209); History (109/110); and Hispanic Studies (317/318). Please note that some of these 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, 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.

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

African American Studies (AAST)

Anthropology (ANTH)

Comparative American Studies (CAST)

Comparative Literature (CMPL)

  • CMPL 457 - Caribbean Cultures and Literatures

English (ENGL)

  • ENGL 386 - Narrating the Nation: Historical and Literary Approaches to Nationalism in Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Asia (partial credit)

First-Year Seminar Program (FYSP)

(for partial credit)

Hispanic Studies (HISP)

  • HISP 315 - The “Other” in Modern Peruvian Fiction
  • 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 
  • HISP 446 - Literature and Exile in Spain and Latin America (partial credit)
  • HISP 456 - Julio Cortázar
  • HISP 458 - Fantasy and Violence in Argentine Literature, 1930-1955
  • HISP 465 - Viva la Raza: Constructions of Hispanic Identity

History (HIST)

  • HIST 365 - Peasant Movements in Latin American History
  • HIST 366 - Gender Issues in Latin American History

Politics (POLT)

Individual Projects and Honors

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 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.

Anthropology (ANTH)

Comparative American Studies (CAST)

Economics (ECON)

Ethnomusicology (ETHN)

First-Year Seminar Program (FYSP)

History (HIST)

Politics (POLT)

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