Latin American Studies



Graduate Degrees

Latin American Studies offers a graduate minor. The minor offers students the ability to study the region of Latin America from an interdisciplinary perspective and is open to students from across the University. It is housed in three departments:

  • History
  • Comparative Literature
  • Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese

Graduate students from across the University are encouraged to participate. Students who are admitted to the minor will develop courses of study suited to their special interests. The minor for each student will be planned jointly by the student, the student’s doctoral adviser, and an adviser designated by the Latin American Studies committee. Any change in the plan must be approved by both advisers. A minimum of 15 credits must be completed, with a minimum of 6 credits at the 500-level. Per graduate school regulations for the minor, a representative of the minor will participate on the student’s doctoral committee.

The following courses have been used by graduate students in the past to meet the graduate minor requirements.

500-level Courses

  • HIST 567: Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Modern Latin America
    • Latin American colonial history was defined by exploitation for profit; the efficiency of state control over Indigenous and Afro-descendant populations established economic profit or loss. We will ask what social, political, and/or racial conditions led to revolutionary situations? How successful were revolutionary leaders at shaping policies, administrations, and nations? What did revolutionaries seek to accomplish and what were the outcomes of their reforms? Conversely, what did counterrevolutionaries seek to accomplish and what were the outcomes of their reforms? 
  • HIST 568: Medicine, Science, and Technology in Latin American History
    • This graduate course explores the history of medicine, science, and technology in early modern Latin America and Iberia, integrating interdisciplinary approaches and local/global contexts. It is designed to give students an overview of some of the key historiographical debates and research in these fields for Latin America and Iberia, and to provide a basic familiarity with the forms that this field of historical/interdisciplinary inquiry has taken in recent years. 
  • HIST 569: Colonial Latin America
    • HIST 569 gives students an overview of key literatures, methodologies, and debates in the historiography of Latin America (the writing of Latin American history), from the 1490s to the Independence period (mostly, but by no means solely, the 1820s). Its primary focus is Spanish America and Portuguese Brazil, especially Iberian interactions with indigenous American and Africans/African-descended people.
  • HIST 570: Latin American History, 1800-Present
    • This seminar gives students an overview of central literatures and debates in the historiography of Latin America (the writing of Latin American history) and the Americas more broadly, from approximately to 1800 to the present. Students will develop a grasp of the field’s key historiographical developments, and think about new ways to teach a subject that many – but not all – North American graduates meet with stereotypes. 
  • HIST 571: Latin American Ethnohistory
    • HIST 571 gives students an overview of key literatures, methodologies, and debates in the historiography of Latin American ethnohistory, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. “Ethnohistory” is defined here as the historical study of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. 
  • HIST 572: Race and Nation in Modern Latin America
    • From initial colonial contact, Latin America represents a site of violent conquest by European colonizers over indigenous populations and exploitation of both African and indigenous labor; white control over black and brown bodies was at the very core of colonial economic success or failure. We will examine the role of race in Latin American nation-building following independence through the age of twentieth century nationalism. 
  • HIST 573: Empire and Society in Latin America
    • HIST 573 gives students an overview of key literatures, methodologies, and debates in the historiography of empire and society in Latin American history, fifteenth to nineteenth centuries. The course covers the empires and societies of the Americas in the pre-Contact and Contact periods, the culture and society of Spanish and Portuguese imperialism in Iberia and the Americas, the culture and society of the Spanish conquistadors, including roles played by indigenous and black conquistadors; the impact on the Americas of Spanish and Portuguese imperialism in East Asia, and the cultural and social ramifications of trans-Pacific exchanges during the colonial centuries; and (5) the comparative history of imperialism in the Americas by other European powers, most notably the British, Dutch, and French, including the differing experiences of indigenous and African-descended peoples.
  • SPAN 568: Early Spanish American Literature
    • Selected topics from the colonial period, romanticism, and the nineteenth century before modernism.

400-level Courses

  • HIST 467: Latin America and the United States
    • Historical development of policies of the United States with regard to Latin American affairs from colonial times to the present. Cross listed with LTNST 467.
  • SPAN 472: The Contemporary Spanish American Novel
    • The regionalist and social novel since 1910, together with the social background.
  • SPAN 476: Masterpieces of Spanish American Literature
    • Reading, analysis, and discussion of selected major works representative of Spanish American prose and poetry.