Apr 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Latin American Studies

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Faculty advisory group:

Professors: R. Crandall, Maiz-Peña,  Mangan, Peña, Willis
Associate Professors: Benson, Botelho, Boyer, González, Samson (Chair)
Assistant Professors: B. Crandall
Visiting Assistant Professor: Sturtevant

Major Requirements (A.B. Degree)

I. Ten courses to include:

a. Introduction to Latin American Studies

d. Five electives at the 200 level or above.

e. No more than five courses may be credited to any one department.

f. Senior Capstone Seminar: a lengthy paper that demonstrates an understanding of how different disciplines can inform each other in the study of Latin America.

g. Honors in Latin American Studies

 A major desiring to become a candidate for honors in Latin American Studies must apply in writing to the department at the beginning of the fall semester of the senior year.  Applicants must have an overall GPA of 3.2 and a GPA of 3.5 in all course work taken in the major at the time of application.  In order to receive honors, a student must, in addition to maintaining this level of performance, enroll in LAS 495 during the fall semester.  Students will complete the written thesis in the spring as they complete LAS 499. The LAS major seeking honors will complete 12 courses total for the major.  Furthermore, for honors, the thesis must receive a grade of at least A-, as well as a departmental recommendation.  The department may, upon awarding a thesis grade of A and given evidence of continued high academic achievement, recommend departmental high honors.

II. Satisfy the language requirement.

For Spanish: A 300- or 400-level Davidson College course taught in Spanish or an analogous course transferred, with the approval of the Chair, from another institution.  SPA 311 and SPA 302 do not fulfill this requirement, and study abroad courses are typically not approved. SPA 304 will be evaluated on the basis of course content.  Courses fulfilling this requirement can count as a curricular elective if the contend is focused predominantly on Latin America

For Portuguese: Certification by the Chair, following consultation with a Portuguese language instructor.

For French: In cases where student interests are focused on the French-speaking Caribbean, and in consultation with the chair, French at the appropriate level will be accepted for students who are completing either a major or a minor in LAS

III. Study Abroad or other significant off-campus experience

Approved study abroad in Latin American/Latino communities prior to graduation.  Extended stay in the region is essential for gaining linguistic and cultural fluency associated with an area studies major.  Students may appeal this requirement in exceptional circumstances.


  • One independent study can be included among the electives.
  • One course may be “Partial Latin American/Latino Studies Content.”
  • No more than two course may be counted toward other majors or interdisciplinary minors.
  • Normally, a maximum of three ungraded courses may come from another institution.  The Chair may approve a greater number under circumstances such as a rigorous year-long study abroad.

Interdisciplinary Minor in Latin American Studies

The Latin American Studies interdisciplinary minor is open to students majoring in any department or program who wish to study the region of Latin American in-depth from the combined perspectives of the humanities and social sciences.  Students may earn an interdisciplinary minor by completing a total of six approved courses drawn from at least three different academic departments and meeting a language requirement. The list of approved courses is subject to change, based on course offerings in a given year from the various departments participating in the program.


Minor Requirements

1) One foundation course

LAS 101 Introduction to Latin American Studies   

3) Four elective courses from the remaining introductory courses and the following list:

ANT 227 Environmental Justice in Latin America 
ANT 251 Mesoamerican Civilizations  
ANT 321 Borderlands, Identity, and Rights  
ANT 323 Human Rights in Latin America  

ANT 327 Religious Pluralism in Latin America
ANT 354 Art and Writing of the Ancient Maya 
ART 106Latin American Art  
ECO 234 Latin American Economic Development  
EDU 350 Latino/a Education in US
HIS 264 Latin American History  
HIS 259 US Latino/a History 
HIS 364 Race, Sex, Power in Latin America  

HIS 462 - Public Health and Society in Latin America  
HIS 465 Colonialism and Imagination in Early Latin America   
HIS 466 Migrations and Immigration in Latin America  

LAS 120 Afro-Latin America (= AFR 120)
LAS 220 Politics and Economics of Brazil (= POL 344)  
LAS 222 The Political Economy of the Southern Cone (=POL 354)  

LAS 230 History of the Caribbean: Race, Nation, and Politics (=AFR 230)

LAS 235 The Cuban Revolution (AFR 235 and HIS 362)
LAS 240 LAS 240 - Introduction to Latinx Studies  

LAS 300 Major Thinkers in Africana Studies: Afro-Cuban Feminisms (=AFR 300)  
LAS 342 The Latin American City: Historical Narratives & Cultural Representations (= SPA 342)  

LAS 395 Independent Study in Latin American Studies  
MUS 241 Music of Latin America (=MUS 341)  
MUS 246 Music of Brazil (=MUS 346)  

POL 353 The Latin American Political Novel
POL 361 U.S.-Latin American Relations  

SPA 241 Latin American Literature in Translation

SPA 244 U.S. Latino Literature in English
SPA 340 Latin American Literature I   
SPA 341 Latin American Literature II  
SPA 343 Contemporary Latin American Novel  
SPA 344 Latinx Culture: Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies  

SPA 346 Latin American Theatre
SPA 347 Imperial Cities  
SPA 352 Contemporary Latin American Cinema  

SPA 357 - Las modernas: Spanish Women Writers Coming of Age  
SPA 358 “Writing the Amerindian Americas”  
SPA 359 Contemporary Latin American/Latino Short Story
SPA 374 Caribbean Peoples, Ideas, and Art
SPA 375 Latin American Women Writers  
SPA 401 U.S.- Mex Border Cultures
SPA 403 Latinx American Sexualities  
SPA 405 Law, Letters, and Empire   
SPA 406 Life-writing, Gender, Performativity  
SPA 410 - Writing and Righting the Cuban Revolution  
* Other SPA courses at the 300 level or above with substantive Latin American content and approval of the LAS chair


4) In addition to the six courses the minor also requires proficiency in either Spanish or Portuguese, equivalent to SPA 260. Students may show proficiency through a placement test.


  • At least four courses must be taken in residence.
  • In special instances and in conversation with the LAS Chair, minors may enroll in LAS 490, the Senior Capstone course for majors, as one of their four electives.
  • Up to two courses may count toward the student’s major as well as the LAS interdisciplinary minor.
  • In consultation with the LAS chair, one independent study course may be approved as an elective.
  • All coursework required for the Latin American interdisciplinary minor must be completed with a grade of C or better.
  • Courses for the interdisciplinary minor may not be taken pass/fail.

Application for the Interdisciplinary Minor

A student seeking to earn an interdisciplinary minor in Latin American Studies should discuss a proposed plan of study to the Chair of the major, listing the courses they will take to fulfill the requirements. In general, proposed plans of study for the interdisciplinary minor should be discussed with the Chair of Latin American Studies no later than the second semester of the sophomore year. This allows students in the interdisciplinary minor to take advantage of the special events to which they are invited, as well as to appropriately plan their courses of study both at Davidson College and/or abroad. The LAS Chair will review the proposed plan of study in consultation with the student and other LAS Core faculty.  It will be the purview of the Chair to approve courses from abroad for the interdisciplinary minor.

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