2000-01 Bulletin Entry for:

Latin American Studies


Latin American Studies provides a field of concentration and a program (open to students in any concentration) for those who wish to structure their studies of Latin America. It offers an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the areas of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, as well as the experiences of Latinos in the United States. Students with widely ranging interests are welcome.

How to Become a Concentrator or Program Member

Students in the concentration and the program work closely with an advisor to develop an individualized plan of study that combines breadth with a focus in one discipline (usually history, politics, or Spanish). Students whose interests do not easily fit the courses available at Brandeis may arrange independent study with members of the staff. Students may also take advantage of the resources of neighboring institutions through the Boston Area Consortium on Latin America. Courses may be taken at Boston College, Boston University, Tufts, and Wellesley. Study in Latin America for a term or a year is encouraged. In the past, concentrators have studied at universities in Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Brazil, and other possibilities are available. Credit may also be obtained for internships in Boston-area organizations related to Latin America. Transfer students and those studying abroad may obtain credit for up to half the required courses from courses taken elsewhere, with the approval of the program chair.


Silvia Arrom, Chair


Roxanne Dávila

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

Donald Hindley


Robert Hunt


James Mandrell

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

Ricardo Morant


Wellington Nyangoni

(African and Afro-American Studies)

Dora Older

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

Angela Pérez

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

Laurence Simon

(Heller School)

Faith Smith

(African and Afro-American Studies/English and American Literature)

Mireya Solis


Javier Urcid


C. Miguel Villanueva


Dessima Williams


Luis Yglesias

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

Robert Zeitlin


Requirements for Concentration

A. Passing grade in any 30-level Spanish course or the equivalent, or reading competency examination in Spanish or Portuguese (administered by LAS). Another foreign language spoken in Latin America or the Caribbean may be substituted with the permission of the Latin American Studies Committee.

B. LAS 100a (Seminar: Topics in Latin American Studies).

C. HIST 71a or b; POL 144a or b; and one semester course on Latin American or Caribbean Literature.

D. At least six additional semester courses from the listing provided below.

E. No more than five of the 10 required courses may be from the same department.

F. Candidates for the degree with honors in Latin American studies must be approved by the committee and complete LAS 99d, a two-semester senior thesis.

Requirements for the Program

A. LAS 100a (Seminar: Topics in Latin American Studies).

B. At least two courses from either HIST 71a and b, POL 144a and b, or the offerings on Latin American or Caribbean literature.

C. Two additional semester courses from the list provided below.

D. No more than two of the five required courses may be from the same department.

Courses of Instruction

LAS 98a Independent Study

Signature of the instructor required.

Usually offered every year.


LAS 98b Independent Study

Signature of the instructor required.

Usually offered every year.


LAS 99d Senior Research

Signature of the instructor required.

Independent research and writing, under faculty director, of a senior thesis. Usually offered every year.


LAS 100a Seminar: Topics in Latin American Studies

Signature of the instructor required. May be repeated for credit. A library intensive course.

Examines major themes and problems in Latin American studies from an interdisciplinary perspective. Topics vary from year to year. For 2000-01 the topic is Latinos in the United States: Perspectives from History, Literature, and Film. Examines the Latin American diaspora in the United States during the 20th-century. Focuses on the experiences of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, and Central Americans, as well as on the ways the Latino presence is changing the culture and politics of the United States. Usually offered every year.


Elective Courses

The following courses may be counted toward the concentration or program if approved by the student's advisor as fitting into the individualized plan of study. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are entirely on Latin America or the Caribbean; the others, which include Latin America or the Caribbean as one of several areas studied, normally count toward the concentration or program only if students write a paper on Latin America or the Caribbean. Students may apply no more than two non-starred courses to their Latin American studies concentration or program. Not all are given in any one year, so the Course Schedule for each semester should be consulted.

AAAS 116b

Comparative Race and Ethnic Relations

AAAS 123a

Third World Ideologies

AAAS 126b

Political Economy of the Third World

AAAS 133b*

The Literature of the Caribbean

AAAS 167a

African and Caribbean Comparative Political Systems

ANTH 55a

Development and the Third World

ANTH 147b*

The Rise of Mesoamerican Civilization

COML 193a*

Topics in New World Studies: The Empire Writes Back

ECON 26a*

Latin America's Economy

ECON 175a

Introduction to the Economics of Development

ENG 127b*

Migrating Bodies, Migrating Texts

FREN 165b

Topics in Francophone Literatures

HIST 71a*

Latin American History, Pre-Conquest to 1870

HIST 71b*

Latin American History, 1870 to the Present

HIST 173b*

Latin American Women: Historical Perspectives

HIST 174a*

The Legacy of 1898: U.S.-Caribbean Relations since the Spanish-American War

HIST 175a*

The Making and Unmaking of the Mexican Revolution

POL 128a

The Politics of Revolution: State Violence and Popular Insurgency in the Third World

POL 144a*

Latin American Politics I

POL 144b*

Latin American Politics II

POL 145b*

Research Seminar: Topics in Latin American Politics

POL 146b

Revolutions in the Third World

POL 151b

Seminar: Nationalism and Development

POL 179a

Seminar: Politics and Hunger

POL 180b

Sustaining Development

SECS 169a*

Travel Writing and the Americas: Columbus' Legacy

SOC 107a

Global Apartheid and Global Social Movements

SOC 112a

Topics on Women and Development

SOC 121a

New Approaches to Development: Globalization and Human Development

SOC 125b*

U.S.-Caribbean Relations

SOC 171a

Women Leaders and Transformation in Developing Countries

SPAN 111b*

Introduction to Latin American Literature

SPAN 135a*

Modern Latin American Literature

SPAN 163a*

The Latin American "Boom" and Beyond

SPAN 164b*

Studies in Latin American Literature

SPAN 166b*

Writing the Latin American City

SPAN 168b*

Latin America Through the Eyes of Women

SPAN 190b*

Latin American Fiction in Translation

SPAN 192a

Contemporary Hispanic Women's Fiction in Translation