Minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies

The minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies is designed for the student with broad and interdisciplinary interests in areas such as language, politics, art and culture. It requires eight courses from a variety of departments, including Spanish and Portuguese, History, Anthropology, and Political Science. Courses are offered in subjects as diverse as the ancient cultures of the Aztecs, Maya, and Inca, colonial and modern history of Latin America, the Latino Cultures of the United States, art of Latin America, and Latin American Politics. Individual classes may focus on questions of gender, race, and the African Diaspora, or on specific issues such as immigration to the U.S. from Latin America, or critical events such as the Mexican revolution or recent elections.

Eight courses are required for the minor in Latin American and Caribbean studies. All students in the program are expected to have an effective reading knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese, or another language spoken in the region. To qualify for the minor, students must present a minimum of five courses not double-counted in their majors. Students who would like more information about the minor should contact the program director.

Core courses: Students are required to take one course in each of the following disciplines: (1) Anthropology, (2) History, (3) Political Science, and (4) Spanish & Portuguese. Students normally select core courses from the following list. (Alternatives and exceptions must be approved by the program director.)

  • ANTHRO 390 or 490 (when relevant to Latin America, the Caribbean and/or U.S. Latinos)
  • HISTORY 300 (when relevant to Latin America, the Caribbean), 365, 367, 368, 369, or 392  (when relevant to Latin America or the Caribbean )
  • POLI SCI 353 or 356
  • PORT 396 (when relevant to Latin America, the Caribbean, and/or U.S. Latinos)
  • SPANISH 260, 261,  361, or 395 (when relevant to Latin America, the Caribbean, and/or U.S. Latinos)

Elective courses: Students should take an additional 4 courses on Latin America and the Caribbean chosen from the course list below. Many departments, especially anthropology, history, political science, and Spanish and Portuguese, regularly offer courses on Latin America, the Caribbean , and/or U.S. Latinos; these may be counted toward the minor with the consent of the program director.

Courses in Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Latin Am 391-0 Human Rights and Migration in the Americas

Introduction to the fundamental tenets of international human rights law, their counterparts in U.S. asylum law and immigration policy, and evolving strategies for addressing human rights violations.

Courses in Other Departments

(Many require prerequisites, and not all are offered every semester. Please check NU online course listings for more details).

Af Am 345-0 Politics of Afro-Latin America

Introduction to the racial politics of African American communities outside the United States ; exploration of relationships between racial and social inequality, racial difference, and political development in selected Latin American nations.

Anthro 328-0 The Maya

The archaeology of the Maya in Latin America ; life and society in pre-Columbian Maya civilization; history of Maya resistance to colonial and post-colonial domination (e.g. Zapatistas).

Anthro 330-0 Peoples of the World (when focusing on Latin America, the Caribbean , and/or U.S. Latinos)

Comparative ethnography of a regionally or historically associated group of cultures or a type of community defined in ecological, ideological, or other terms.

Anthro 368-0 Latino Ethnography

Study of contemporary cultural and political expressions of Latinos living in the United States.

Anthro 390-0 Topics in Anthropology (when focusing on Latin America, the Caribbean , and/or U.S. Latinos)

Advanced work in areas of developing interest and special significance.

Art Hist 235-0 Introduction to Latin American Art

Survey of the work of artists and groups from throughout the various countries of Central and South America from colonial times to the present.

Hist 365-0 Becoming Latin American, 1492-1830

Aspects of the development of Latin America’s socioeconomic, political, cultural, and religious institutions and practices from the pre-Columbian and Iberian backgrounds through the colonial period.

Hist 366-0 Latin America in the Independence Era

The 18th-century background to Latin American independence and its 19th-century aftermath. The process of achieving independence, changing social structures and economic patterns, and the problem of forming new nations.

Hist 367-0 History of Modern Brazil

Historical roots of modern Brazilian society: its rush toward economic modernization; radical social and economic inequalities; racially and culturally hybrid national identities; quest for effective democracy and universal citizenship.

Hist 368-1,2 Revolution in 20th-Century Latin America

1. Mexico and its revolutions. Mexican history, from the modernizing regime of Díaz, through the revolutionary upheaval and the consolidation of a new regime, to contemporary problems. 2. Comparative study of the origins and aftermaths of major Marxist revolutions in Cuba and South and Central America.

Hist 369-0 Development and Inequality in Modern Latin America

Examination of various models of economic development that have been implemented in 20th-century Latin America, exploring the cultural, social, political, and economic roots of such policies and their impact on the region's poorest and most marginalized populations.

Hist 392-0 Topics in History (if focusing on Latin America and/or the Caribbean )

Advanced work through reading, research and discussion in area of special significance.

Hum 301 Topics in the Humanities (if focusing on Latin America and/or the Caribbean )

Interdisciplinary issues and current research in the humanities, such as politics of commemoration and arts of remembrance; Western visions of maternity, sexuality, and family; Freud and psychoanalytic theory.

Poli Sci 353-0 Politics in Latin America

Patterns of socioeconomic development and regime forms in Latin America. Interaction of internal and international economic and political structures and processes.

Poli Sci 356-0 United States and Latin America

Interactions between U.S. foreign policy and Latin American politics. The evolving importance of Latin America in U.S. geostrategic objectives from the turn of the century through the Cold War and during the emerging post-Cold War period. How the projection of U.S. power and influence shapes the domestic politics of selected countries.

Span 211-0 Icons, Legends & Myths in Latin America

Diverse representations of historical, literary, and popular figures in Latin America, such as the conquistador, the dictator, the gaucho, Simón Bolívar, Che Guevara, Evita, La Malinche, and Carlos Gardel. Focus on forms of representation such as films, documentaries, musical theatre, biography, narrative fiction, poetry, and commercial art.

Span 260-0 Literature in Latin America before 1888

A survey of pre-Hispanic, colonial, and Romantic traditions in Latin America. Focus on authors and texts such as Popul Vuh, Cristóbal Colón, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Sor. Juana Inés de la Cruz, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Martín Fierro.

Span 261-0 Literature in Latin America since 1888

A survey of the modern period, including modernismo, the historical avant-garde, the "Boom," and recent literary trends. Authors such as Delmira Agustini, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Rubén Darío, Gabriel García Márquez, José Martí, Pablo Neruda, Cristina Peri Rossi, Elena Poniatowska.

Span 301-0 Topics in Language (if focusing on Latin America)

Special topics in historical, grammatical, or other linguistic aspects of Spanish.

Span 340-0 Colonial Latin American Literature

Major texts and writers of the early colonial period, including chronicles of discovery and conquest from both indigenous and Hispanic sources. Works by authors such as Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Hernán Cortés, Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, Bartolomé de las Casas, Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora.

Span 341-0 Latin American Modernismo

Significant poetry, narrative, and criticism from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Topics such as decadence, aestheticism, the flâneur and the rastacuero, cosmopolitanism, the modern city, exoticism.

Span 342-0 Region and Rootedness in Latin America

Literary traditions evolving from Latin American conceptions of regional and indigenous cultures in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Authors such as José María Arguedas, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Rosario Castellanos, Rómulo Gallegos, José Hernández, José Carlos Mariátegui, Clorinda Matto de Turner, José Eustasio Rivera.

Span 343-0 Latin American Avant-Gardes

Poetry, prose, and visual art by major figures and groups in twentieth-century vanguard movements. Works by Roberto Arlt, Jorge Luis Borges, Alejo Carpentier, Nicolás Guillén, Felisberto Hernández, Vicente Huidobro, Manuel Maples Arce, César Vallejo.

Span 344-0 Borges

The poetry, essays and short fiction of Jorge Luis Borges.

Span 345-0 Reading the "Boom"

Historical, literary and cultural characteristics of the "Boom" in the 1960s and 1970s and the development of the "new" narrative in Latin America . Readings include novels, short fiction, and essays by Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Julio Cortázar, José Donoso, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Manuel Puig, Juan Rulfo, Mario Vargas Llosa.

Span 346-0 Testimonial Narrative in Latin America

The tradition of testimonial writing in Latin America, with attention to cultural, political, and historical contexts and questions of truth, memory, and subjectivity. Works by authors such as Miguel Barnet, Gabriel García Márquez, Rigoberta Menchú, Alicia Partnoy, Elena Poniatowska, Jacobo Timerman, Rodolfo Walsh.

Span 347-0 Literature and Revolution in Latin America

Revolutionary practices in Latin American literatures as well as literary representations of revolution. Authors such as Mariano Azuela, Nellie Campobello, Alejo Carpentier, Roque Dalton , Carlos Fuentes, Pablo Neruda, Rodolfo Usigli.

Span 361-0 Latin America: Studies in Culture and Society

Analysis of the history of culture in Latin America with an emphasis on the intersection of politics, society, and literature and on the relationship between literary and visual culture.

Span 380-0 Topics in Film: The Silver Screen in Latin America and/or Spain (if focusing on Latin America)

Introduction to film in Latin America and/or Spain during the twentieth century. Topics vary and may include an historical survey of film, a study of films of a specific period, a comparative analysis of literary works and cinematic adaptations, or the work of specific filmmakers.

Span 395-0 Special Topics in the Literatures of Latin America and/or Spain (if focusing on Latin America)

Advanced study of topics in the literary traditions of either Latin America or Spain . Possible topics include intellectual history, transatlantic exchanges, the short story, literature of the fantastic, feminist traditions, hybrid cultures, history and fiction.