Latin American Studies
Coordinator: BRAULIO MUNOZ (Sociology and Anthropology)
Anna Everetts (Administrative Assistant)
Committee: Diego Armus (History)
Aurora Camacho de Schmidt (Modern Languages and Literatures, Spanish)
Kenneth Sharpe (Political Science)
Elena Valdez (Modern Languages and Literatures, Spanish)
Swarthmore's Latin American Studies Program explores the rich diversity-as well as the similarities-among and within Latin American countries and cultures. The program also investigates the broad dynamics shaping Latino experiences in the United States. Participants in the program engage with a variety of disciplines to consider what defines "Latin America." Spoken language; literature; pre-colonial, colonial, and modern history; native, immigrant, and diasporic experiences; politics; socioeconomic conditions; religion; social structures; architecture; and political borders are all considered in this far-ranging and inclusive course of study. Students in any major may add a minor in Latin American studies. Courses from art history, history, modern languages and literatures, political science, religion, sociology and anthropology contribute to this exciting interdisciplinary program.
Most of our students spend one semester in Latin America. Studying beyond the traditional classroom walls provides students with invaluable opportunities for enriching intellectual experiences and personal growth.
The Academic Program
Students interested in the Latin American Studies Program (LAS) are invited to consult with the program coordinator and members of the LAS Committee before developing a proposal. The proposal should establish how Latin American studies relates to the overall program of undergraduate study and to the departmental major. The minor is open to students of all divisions.
Latin American Studies minors must complete the following requirements:
LAS requires the successful completion of SPAN 004 Intensive Advanced Spanish or its equivalent.
This requirement is waived for native speakers of Spanish and for students who demonstrate sufficient competence in this language, as determined by the LAS Committee. Note: LAS credit is not offered for language courses.
Students must take a minimum of 5 credits in Latin American studies which include approved courses and seminars (counting as one credit for LAS).
These 5 credits must span the two divisions (Humanities and Social Sciences).
To give students a basic introduction to Latin America, students are expected to take either HIST 004: Introduction to Latin American History or SPAN 010: En busca de Latinoamérica.
Only 1 of the total 5 credits required by the LAS minor may overlap with a student's major or other minor.
To graduate with a minor in Latin American studies, a student must maintain a minimum grade of "B" in the program, and a "C" average in any other course work.
Students are required to spend a minimum of one semester abroad in a program approved by the Latin American Studies Program. This requirement may be waived for students who have lived and studied in Latin America for more than a year, but they must apply for this waiver at the time of being considered for the minor.
Students can apply two credits from courses taken abroad to their Latin American Studies academic program.
Courses taken abroad must have a clear Latin American focus and must be preapproved by the appropriate department in order to count for the LAS minor.
Study abroad must be pursued in Spanish. Students must complete Spanish 004, or its equivalent, before going abroad.
Language courses are not eligible for study abroad credit.
Students are encouraged to complete the introductory requirement (Spanish 010 or History 004) before going abroad.
Only in exceptional cases, with the support of a faculty member and the approval of the LAS Committee, will a semester's internship or a community service project in Latin America fulfill this requirement.
To complete an honors minor in Latin American studies, students must have completed all requirements for the interdisciplinary minor. From within these offerings, they may select for outside examination a seminar taken to fulfill the interdisciplinary minor's requirements. However, the seminar chosen may not be an offering within their major department.
With the permission of the departments concerned, it is possible for a student to plan an individualized special major that includes closely related work in one or more departments. Students have the possibility of designing a special major, such as Spanish and Latin American Studies; Latin American Studies and Political Science, Latin American Studies and History; and Latin American Studies with a focus on Sociology and Anthropology, etc.
Special majors consist of at least 10 credits and no more than 12 credits.
Students with special majors must complete the major comprehensive requirement of the departmental major which may consist of a thesis or other written research project designed to integrate the work across departmental boundaries, or a comprehensive examination. In all cases, this final exercise will integrate the work done in Latin American Studies and the department involved.
Life After Swarthmore
Swarthmore graduates who have taken part in the Latin American Studies Program find that their rich understanding of the cultures and people of Latin America and Latinos in the U.S. is attractive to employers. Graduates most frequently pursue careers in public service, law, government, education, humanities, social sciences, and the media.
The following courses may be counted toward Latin American studies:
Latin American Studies
While Mexican workers came to Pennsylvania in the 1920s, actively recruited by the steel industry, thousands of farm workers and their families settled in Berks and Chester counties in the 1980s, and a large flow of urban service workers arrived in the city of Philadelphia in the last 20 years. In spite of the economic downturn and aggressive law enforcement, an unprecedented number of Mexican immigrants are still at work in the United States. Why are they here? How are they perceived by the public? What are the legislative proposals to end or rationalize their migration? What obstacles do they face as they look at the future of their children? How are their ties to Mexico maintained? This interdisciplinary course looks for answers to these and other questions through films, readings, discussions, field trips, and a community service component. The course will be taught in English, but students must be able to speak Spanish as they work in the community.
Fall 2012. Camacho de Schmidt.
ARTH 024. Architectures of Mexico
HIST 001E. First-Year Seminar: The Self-Image of Latin America: Past, Present, and Future
HIST 004. Latin American History
HIST 049. Race and Foreign Affairs
HIST 051. Race and Poverty in the United States
HIST 063. Voices of the Past: Oral History and Memory
HIST 064. Migrants and Migrations: Europeans in Latin America and Latinos in the U.S.
HIST 065. Past and Present in the Andean World
HIST 066. Disease, Culture, and Society in the Modern World: Comparative Perspectives
HIST 067. Peripheral Modernities: Latin American Cities in the 20th Century
HIST 084. Modern Addiction: Cigarette Smoking in the 20th Century
HIST 148. Issues and Debates in Modern Latin America
HIST 149. Reforms and Revolutions in Modern Latin America
LITR 015S. First-Year Seminar: Children in Latin American Literature
LITR 060S. Mexican and Central American Literature in Translation
LITR 070S. The Persistent Power of Central American Literature
LITR 071S. Latin American Society Through Its Novel
LITR 072S. The Testimonial Literature of Latin American Women
LITR 075S. Borges: Aesthetics and Theory
LITR 076S. Latino and Latin American Sexualities
RELG 109. Afro-Atlantic Religions
Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 010Q. First-Year Seminar: The Mexico of Anthropology
SOAN 010R. Tales We (and They) Tell
SOAN 022H. The Americas: Cultural Politics and Social Movements
SOAN 024B. Latin American Society and Culture
SOAN 024C. Latin American Society Through Its Novel
SOAN 030M. The Power of Words: Language and Social Inequality in the Americas
SOAN 030N. Migration, Transnationalism, and Transborder Circulation
SOAN 124. The Americas: Cultural Politics and Social Movements
SPAN 010. En busca de Latinoamérica
SPAN 023. Introducción a la literatura latinoamericana
SPAN 055. La comida, los deportes y la música en el Caribe hispánico
SPAN 057. El Caribe hispánico a través de la literatura, la musica y el cine
SPAN 070. Género y sexualidad en Latinoamérica
SPAN 072. Seducciones literarias-traiciones fílmicas
SPAN 073. El cuento latinoamericano
SPAN 076. La novela latinoamericana
SPAN 080. Curso de literatura mexicana/centroamericana
SPAN 081. Movimientos sociales y literatura en México
SPAN 082. Un siglo de canto: poesía latinoamericana contemporánea
SPAN 083. El tirano latinoamericano en la literatura
SPAN 084. Los niños en la literatura latinoamericana
SPAN 085. La edad del tiempo: Carlos Fuentes y su obra
SPAN 106. Visiones narrativas de Carlos Fuentes
SPAN 108. Jorge Luis Borges
SPAN 109. Elena Poniatowska la hija de México
SPAN 110. Política y póetica: los mundos de Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz y Ernesto Cardenal