St. Olaf College

Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies Program

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

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.