Latin American Studies

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Program Director and Assistant Professor: Dr. M. Dustin Knepp, 450-5646, World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

[1] Purpose

Latin American Studies is an interdisciplinary minor program designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the unique culture, history, geography, politics, economies, and physical environment of South and Central America and the Caribbean. This region has some of the fastest growing economies in the world and is a major trading partner of the U.S. With inter-hemispheric connections such as NAFTA and CAFTA-DR increasing our ties to this region, a better understanding and appreciation of our Southern neighbors is essential. Hispanics will soon become the largest ethnic minority within the U.S. and represent a rapidly growing part of our national economy and culture. Regardless of one’s major, a minor in Latin American Studies will allow the student to better understand and work with this dynamic region and the various cultures of its people.

The objective of the Latin American Studies minor are

  • To provide students with a sound humanities education as well as assist in developing reading, writing, and critical thinking skills;
  • To promote cultural understanding, appreciate the differences and similarities between the various peoples of our hemisphere, and through doing so, gaining a better understanding of American culture;
  • To provide students with the necessary knowledge, experiences, and language skills to pursue independent study, field work, or employment opportunities anywhere in Latin America or the Caribbean; and
  • To better understand Hispanic culture and values within evolving American society.

[2] Requirements

The Latin American Studies Minor consists of 18 hours. Students MUST take the FOUR required courses, and choose TWO more elective courses.

Required Core Courses (12 hours):

GEOG 3315 Geography of Latin America
PSCI 4325 Mexican Politics and US-Mexican Relations
HIST 3315 From Columbus to Castro: Introduction to Latin American History

CAPSTONE SEMINAR (offered on a rotational basis):

GEOG 4360 Special Problems in Geography, OR
PSCI 4399 Studies in Political Science, OR
HIST 4391 Topics in History

Elective Courses (choose two):

HIST 4305 Latin America Through History, Film, and Literature
HIST 4391 Topics in History (when Latin American topic offered)
HIST 4328 Modern Latin America: the 20th Century
HIST 4353 Inter-American Relations
PSCI 4399 Studies in Political Science (when Latin American topic offered)
GEOG 4360 Special Problems in Geography (when Latin American topic offered)
SOC 3398 Travel Seminar and/or ANTH 3360 Anthropology Travel Seminar
WLAN 2315 Cultural Traditions (when Latin American topic offered)
SPAN 3315 – Topics in Hispanic Studies
SPAN 2320 Spanish Conversation and Composition II
SPAN 2330 Business Spanish
SPAN 3313 Latin-American Civilization
SPAN 3321 Hispanic Literature II
SPAN 3398 Travel Seminar in Mexico, OR HIST 3398 Travel Seminar in Mexico, OR SOC 3398 Travel Seminar in Mexico
SPAN 4395 Advanced Hispanic Literature (when Latin American topic offered)
SPAN 4396 Studies in Hispanic Civilization (when Latin American topic offered)

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT: Three (3) semester hours of Spanish at the 2000-level or above. Please contact the Coordinator for specific course prerequisites.

For more information contact Dr. Jaime Zambrano (World Languages, Literatures and Cultures),  Irby 207E, 450-5647.