Program Overview

Latin American Studies

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Program’s AAA:

Jennifer Bothun, Tomson 331

Latin American studies offers an interdisciplinary structure for the systematic study of Latin America, an area that encompasses countries in North, Central, and South America as well as the Caribbean, whose distinct geography and cultures are unified by elements of a common heritage. Profound geographic variations, differing economic resources, and the intermingling of multiple racial, ethnic, and cultural groups have yielded complex and diverse societies. Increasing socioeconomic contacts among states and societies in the Americas and the growing presence of Latinos in the United States underscore the need for U.S. citizens to deepen their understanding of the region.

Overview of the Major and Concentration

Information also available HERE.

The Latin American studies program offers courses, a Latin American studies major and a Latin American studies concentration with an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach that contributes to the investigation of political, economic, ethnic, gender, religious, and cultural issues in Latin America. The support of perspectives and methodologies of several disciplines inspires students to seek a deeper understanding of Latin America and its complex relationships with the United States, and, for those majoring in Latin American studies, with Spain. In addition, students find opportunities for reflecting on their own culture and society.

Special Programs

Latin American studies majors and concentrators are encouraged to take advantage of the many off-campus programs available to them. Foreign study opportunities in the Spanish-speaking world currently offered to St. Olaf students include: periodic Interims in Cuba (HIST 244 Collective Memory in Revolutionary Cuba (abroad)), and Spain (SPAN 270 Spain’s Cultural and Linguistic Legacy (abroad)); the CIEE program in Seville, Spain; the Augsburg program in Central America (Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua); ACM programs in Costa Rica; HECUA programs in Quito, Ecuador; and IES and CIEE programs in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Valparaíso, Chile. Students must secure prior approval for foreign study from the Latin American studies director. Latin American studies faculty members participate in the Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum program, which offers students the opportunity to use their foreign language skills in selected courses. (See Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum under Academic Programs in this catalog