University Bulletin 2001-02
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 Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and the Latin American diaspora 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 University, and Wellesley College. 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 Solís


Javier Urcid


C. Miguel Villanueva


Dessima Williams


Luis Yglesias

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

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 HIST 71a or b, POL 144a or 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 92 Internship a and b

Signature of the instructor required.

Combines off-campus experience in a Latin America-related internship with written analysis under the supervision of a faculty sponsor. Students arrange their own internships. Counts only once toward fulfillment of the concentration or program requirements.


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 2001-02 only, HIST 174a (The Legacy of 1898: U.S.-Caribbean Relations since the Spanish-American War) counts for LAS 100a. 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 (*), which include Latin America or the Caribbean as one of the several areas studied, normally count toward the concentration or program only if students write a paper on Latin America or the Caribbean. Courses marked with a double asterisk (**) count toward LAS only in those years when they analyze films or texts from Latin America, the Caribbean, or the Latin American diaspora. Students may apply no more than two single-starred courses to their Latin American Studies concentration or program.

The following courses are approved for the program. Not all are given in any one year. Please consult the Course Schedule each semester.

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 134b*

Novel and Film of the African Diaspora

AAAS 158a*

Theories of Development and Underdevelopment

AAAS 167a*

African and Caribbean Comparative Political Systems

ANTH 55a*

Models of Development: Third World

ANTH 147b

The Rise of Mesoamerican Civilization

ANTH 153a*

Writing Systems and Scribal Traditions

COML 193a

Topics in New World Studies: The Empire Writes Back

ECON 26a

Latin America's Economy

ENG 127b

Migrating Bodies, Migrating Texts

FA 24b

Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Latin American Art

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 179a*

Seminar: Politics and Hunger

POL 180b*

Sustaining Development

SECS 169a

Travel Writing and the Americas: Columbus's Legacy

SOC 112a*

Topics on Women and Development

SOC 125b

U.S.-Caribbean Relations

SOC 171a*

Women Leaders and Transformation in Developing Countries

SPAN 108a*

Spanish for Heritage Speakers

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 191a**

Hispanic Topics in Translation

SPAN 192a**

Contemporary Hispanic Women's Fiction in Translation

SPAN 193b**

Topics in Hispanic Cinema