Contacts | MAJOR PROGRAM IN LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES | MINOR PROGRAM IN LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES | LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES COURSES

Department Website: http://clas.uchicago.edu

MAJOR PROGRAM IN LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES

Students who major in Latin American Studies gain a thorough grounding in selected aspects of Latin American societies, cultures, histories, politics, and economics through one or more of the social sciences as they deal with Latin American materials, and through competence in Spanish or Portuguese (an added intellectual asset). The BA program in Latin American Studies can provide an appropriate background for careers in business, journalism, government, teaching, or the nonprofit sector, or for graduate studies in one of the social sciences disciplines. Students who are more interested in the languages and/or literatures of Latin America may wish to consider the major in Romance Languages and Literatures. Students in other fields of study may also complete a minor in Latin American Studies. Information about the minor follows the description of the major. 

APPLICATION TO THE MAJOR PROGRAM

Students who plan to declare a major in Latin American Studies should follow the guidelines below. An informational meeting is held each autumn to describe the program and its requirements, as well as to explain and facilitate the declaration process.

  1. As early as possible in their studies and in consultation with their College adviser and the CLAS program adviser, students should prepare a preliminary plan of study that would meet program requirements.
  2. Students must meet with the CLAS program adviser no later than the Autumn Quarter of their third year to discuss their major progress and to discuss the BA Colloquium and their proposed BA thesis topic and relevant readings and resources. Students will choose a suitable faculty adviser to supervise the development of their BA essay project no later than Autumn Quarter of their fourth year.

NOTE: Students who plan to study abroad during the Winter or Spring Quarter of their third year should meet with the CLAS program adviser before leaving campus.

MAJOR PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

As early as possible in their studies, students should obtain a worksheet from the CLAS program adviser, who will assist them with selecting the five required LACS content courses. For a list of approved courses, visit the CLAS website at clas.uchicago.edu or consult with the CLAS program adviser.

Depending on whether the student counts two or three Latin American civilization courses toward the general education requirement, the major requires either eleven or twelve courses. Students who use all three quarters of a Latin American civilization sequence to meet the general education requirement will complete an eleven-course major. Students who fulfill the general education requirement with two quarters of the sequence will count the third quarter of the sequence toward the major, for a total of twelve courses in the major.

Students participating in a study abroad program may petition to have courses accepted in partial fulfillment of requirements for the major.

GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES

Students who are majoring in Latin American Studies must complete the general education requirement in civilization studies with LACS 16100-16200-16300 Introduction to Latin American Civilization I-II-III or SOSC 24302-24402-24502 Latin American Civilization in Oaxaca I-II-III. Either of these sequences provides an excellent introduction to the program. 

LANGUAGE COURSES

Students should complete three courses in second-year Spanish or Portuguese to meet the language requirement for the major. Eligible students may petition for credit.

CONTENT COURSES AND ELECTIVES

To meet requirements for the major in Latin American Studies, students must also take five courses that focus on Latin America or the Caribbean—at least four of the five must be in the social sciences—and two additional courses that cover any social science topic. Students may find listings of quarterly Latin American themed courses on the CLAS website at clas.uchicago.edu.

BA COLLOQUIUM

All students who are majoring in Latin American Studies are required to participate in the BA Colloquium and to submit a BA essay. The BA Colloquium in Latin American Studies (LACS 29801 BA Colloquium) is a yearlong course led by the preceptor and BA adviser. Fourth-year students are required to participate in all three quarters, although they register for the colloquium only once in Autumn Quarter. The colloquium assists students in formulating approaches to the BA essay and developing their research and writing skills, while providing a forum for group discussion and critiques. Graduating students present their BA essays in a public session of the colloquium during Spring Quarter.

BA ESSAY

All students who are majoring in Latin American Studies are required to write a BA essay under the supervision of a faculty member. The BA essay is due Spring Quarter of the year of graduation. During the Spring Quarter of their third year, all BA majors (double majors included) will be required to participate in a thesis proposal workshop series. This series will help third-year majors develop a thesis topic, find a faculty adviser, and begin conducting thesis research prior to the start of the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year. Students will be contacted in the Winter Quarter of their third year with information regarding the workshop series.

Registration for a BA essay preparation course (LACS 29900 Preparation of the BA Essay) is optional. Students who do register for LACS 29900 Preparation of the BA Essay may count this course as one of the five they must take dealing with Latin America. The grade students will receive for this course depends on the successful completion of the BA essay.

This program may accept a BA essay project used to satisfy the same requirement in another major if certain conditions are met and with the consent of both program chairs. Students should consult with the chairs by the earliest BA proposal deadline (or by the end of their third year, if neither program publishes a deadline). A consent form, to be signed by both chairs, is available from the College advising office. It must be completed and returned to the student's College adviser by the end of Autumn Quarter of the student's year of graduation.

SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS: LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES MAJOR

GENERAL EDUCATION
LACS 16100-16200Introduction to Latin American Civilization I-II200
or SOSC 24302
SOSC 24402
Latin American Civilization in Oaxaca I
and Latin American Civilization in Oaxaca II
Total Units200
MAJOR
One of the following courses if not taken to meet the general education requirement:0-100
Introduction to Latin American Civilization III
Latin American Civilization in Oaxaca III
One of the following sequences: *300
Language, History, and Culture I-II-III
Intermediate Portuguese
   and Advanced Portuguese
   and Curso de Aperfeiçoamento
Five courses dealing with Latin America (four in the social sciences)500
Two courses in the social sciences **200
LACS 29801BA Colloquium100
BA essay
Total Units1100-1200
*

Or credit for the equivalent as determined by petition.

**

These courses must be chosen in consultation with the CLAS program adviser.

GRADING

Each of the required courses for the Latin American Studies major must be taken for a quality grade.

HONORS

Students who have done exceptionally well in their course work and on their BA essay are considered for honors. Candidates must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher overall and 3.25 or higher in the major.


MINOR PROGRAM IN LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES

The minor program in Latin American Studies provides students majoring in other disciplines the opportunity to become familiar with selected aspects of Latin American societies, cultures, histories, politics, and economics through one or more of the social sciences as they deal with Latin American materials, and one or more major language of the region. It can provide an appropriate cultural background for careers in business, journalism, government, teaching, or the nonprofit sector, or for graduate studies in the social sciences. The course of study is designed to be flexible so as to serve students in the humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, and physical sciences. The minor, which can be completed in one year, requires five to six courses depending on how the student meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.

No courses in the minor can be double counted with the student's major(s) or with other minors, nor can they be counted toward general education requirements. They must be taken for quality grades and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.

MINOR PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Students who elect the minor program should meet with the CLAS program adviser before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the program. The CLAS program adviser's approval for the minor must be submitted to the student's College adviser, on a form obtained from the College adviser, no later than the end of the student's third year.

GENERAL EDUCATION

Students must complete the general education requirement in civilization studies with LACS 16100-16200-16300 Introduction to Latin American Civilization I-II-III or SOSC 24302-24402-24502 Latin American Civilization in Oaxaca I-II-III. Students who use all three quarters of a Latin American civilization sequence to meet the general education requirement will complete a five-course minor. Students who meet the general education requirement with two quarters of the civilization sequence will count the third quarter of the sequence toward the minor, for a six-course minor.

LANGUAGE

The minor requires two courses in Spanish or Portuguese at the level of the second year or beyond. Credit may be granted by petition for one of these courses.

CONTENT COURSES

The minor requires three courses with an emphasis on Latin American themes. Students may find listings of quarterly Latin American themed courses on the CLAS website at clas.uchicago.edu.

RESEARCH PAPER

Students must submit a research paper treating a Latin American topic for one of their Latin American content courses. The research paper is of intermediate length (ten to fifteen pages) in a course with Latin American content. Each student is responsible for making appropriate arrangements with the course's instructor. Completion of the course research paper must be demonstrated to the program adviser in Latin American Studies.

SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS: LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES MINOR

One of the following if not taken to meet the general education requirement:0-100
Introduction to Latin American Civilization III
Latin American Civilization in Oaxaca III
One of the following sequences: *200
Language, History, and Culture I-II
Intermediate Portuguese; Advanced Portuguese
Three courses dealing with Latin America300
Total Units500-600
*

Eligible students may petition for partial credit (for only one language course).


LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES COURSES

The following courses are for reference only. See Class Search at registrar.uchicago.edu/classes for specific offerings. See the Center for Latin American Studies Courses webpage at clas.uchicago.edu/page/courses for further information on quarterly offerings.

LACS 16100-16200-16300. Introduction to Latin American Civilization I-II-III.

Taking these courses in sequence is not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This sequence is offered every year. This course introduces the history and cultures of Latin America (e.g., Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands).

LACS 16100. Introduction to Latin American Civilization I. 100 Units.

May be taken in sequence or individually. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This course is offered every year. Autumn Quarter examines the origins of civilizations in Latin America with a focus on the political, social, and cultural features of the major pre-Columbian civilizations of the Maya, Inca, and Aztec. The quarter concludes with an analysis of the Spanish and Portuguese conquest, and the construction of colonial societies in Latin America.

Instructor(s): E. Kourí     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 23101,CRES 16101,HIST 16101,HIST 36101,LACS 34600,SOSC 26100

LACS 16200. Introduction to Latin American Civilization II. 100 Units.

May be taken in sequence or individually. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This course is offered every year. Winter Quarter addresses the evolution of colonial societies, the wars of independence, and the emergence of Latin American nation-states in the changing international context of the nineteenth century.

Instructor(s): D. Borges     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 23102,CRES 16102,HIST 16102,HIST 36102,LACS 34700,SOSC 26200

LACS 16300. Introduction to Latin American Civilization III. 100 Units.

Taking these courses in sequence is not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This sequence is offered every year. This course introduces the history and cultures of Latin America (e.g., Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands). The third quarter focuses on the twentieth century, with special emphasis on economic development and its political, social, and cultural consequences.

Instructor(s): B. Fischer     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 23103,CRES 16103,HIST 16103,HIST 36103,LACS 34800,SOSC 26300

LACS 22501-22502-22503. Elementary Haitian Kreyol I-II-III.

This three-course sequence will provide students with an in-depth study of the Haitian Kreyol language in its modern context, with emphasis on developing students' proficiency in speaking and writing, and in listening and reading comprehension. The course will also provide necessary cultural and historical context.

LACS 22501. Elementary Haitian Kreyol I. 100 Units.

This three-course sequence is designed to enable students to develop proficiency in listening, reading, writing, and speaking the language. The course emphasizes the development of communication skills to enable students to function effectively in real-life situations. In addition to expanding communicative abilities, which include grammar and vocabulary, the course will introduce the historical, cultural, and social context of Haitian Kreyol. New material is presented through a variety of formats that include textbooks, audiotapes, music, films, and special events. Students achieve proficiency through dialogues, interviews, reading passages, and listening to radio interviews. Although the three courses constitute a sequence, there is enough review and recycling at every level for students to enter the sequence whenever it is appropriate for them. This course is intended for students who have no previous knowledge of Haitian Kreyol and for students who need an in-depth review of the basic patterns of the language.

Instructor(s): W. Balan-Gaubert     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 32501

LACS 22502. Elementary Haitian Kreyol II. 100 Units.

This three-course sequence is designed to enable students to develop proficiency in listening, reading, writing, and speaking the language. The course emphasizes the development of communication skills to enable students to function effectively in real-life situations. In addition to expanding communicative abilities, which include grammar and vocabulary, the course will introduce the historical, cultural, and social context of Haitian Kreyol. New material is presented through a variety of formats that include textbooks, audiotapes, music, films, and special events. Students achieve proficiency through dialogues, interviews, reading passages, and listening to radio interviews. Although the three courses constitute a sequence, there is enough review and recycling at every level for students to enter the sequence whenever it is appropriate for them. This course is intended for students who have no previous knowledge of Haitian Kreyol and for students who need an in-depth review of the basic patterns of the language.

Instructor(s): W. Balan-Gaubert     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 32502

LACS 22503. Elementary Haitian Kreyol III. 100 Units.

This three-course sequence is designed to enable students to develop proficiency in listening, reading, writing, and speaking the language. The course emphasizes the development of communication skills to enable students to function effectively in real-life situations. In addition to expanding communicative abilities, which include grammar and vocabulary, the course will introduce the historical, cultural, and social context of Haitian Kreyol. New material is presented through a variety of formats that include textbooks, audiotapes, music, films, and special events. Students achieve proficiency through dialogues, interviews, reading passages, and listening to radio interviews. Although the three courses constitute a sequence, there is enough review and recycling at every level for students to enter the sequence whenever it is appropriate for them. This course is intended for students who have no previous knowledge of Haitian Kreyol and for students who need an in-depth review of the basic patterns of the language.

Instructor(s): W. Balan-Gaubert     Terms Offered: Spring 2017-2018
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 32503

LACS 25115. Nuevas formas de la intimidad: escrituras lat.am. actuales. 100 Units.

La literatura del siglo XX se caracterizó por poner el foco en el “yo” del escritor. Ya sea para ocultarlo, para mostrarlo tímidamente o para exhibirlo sin prejuicios, lo cierto es que ese “yo” se transformó en el protagonista de los cambios literarios que apuntaron al siglo XXI. Este fenómeno, que se produjo tanto en la poesía como en la narrativa y en el teatro, permite hoy el surgimiento de formas nuevas que descolocan los viejos géneros literarios. Formas donde los restos de las novelas en primera persona, del “yo lírico” de la poesía, del viejo diario íntimo, de las autobiografías, de las crónicas, se pueden encontrar insertados en nuevas escrituras del presente que operan más a la manera de la producción escrita en las redes sociales, que con el protocolo estético de lo literario. Este curso se propone analizar el recorrido de estas verdaderas transformaciones subjetivas, en relación directa con los contextos históricosociales en los que se producen. Para esto se trabajarán textos narrativos, poéticos y teatrales de diversos creadores latinoamericanos contemporáneos.

Instructor(s): Kamenszain, Tamara     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): This course will be taught in Spanish
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 35115,SPAN 26117,SPAN 36117

LACS 25116. The Maroon Societies in South America. 100 Units.

This course will examine recent ethnographies on slave descendants societies in South America. Its main purpose is to explore current anthropological studies of the Maroon experience, focusing on new approaches on the relations of these communities with Ameridian, peasants, and other neighboring populations, as well as theirtheir dialogues with other non-human beings who inhabite their existential territories.

Instructor(s): O. Gomes da Cunha     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 35116,ANTH 23061,ANTH 33061

LACS 27901-27902-27903. Beginning Modern Spoken Yucatec Maya I-II-III.

This sequence is a basic introduction to the modern Yucatec Maya language, an indigenous American language spoken by about 750,000 people in southeastern Mexico. Three consecutive quarters of instruction are intended for students aiming to achieve basic and intermediate proficiency. Students receiving FLAS support must take all three quarters. Others may elect to take only the first quarter or first two quarters. Students wishing to enter the course midyear (e.g., those with prior experience with the language) must obtain consent of instructor. Materials exist for a second year of the course; interested students should consult the instructor. Students wishing to continue their training with native speakers in Mexico may apply for FLAS funding in the summer.

LACS 27901. Beginning Modern Spoken Yucatec Maya I. 100 Units.

The course will emphasize learning the rudiments of the contemporary spoken language to enable further work on the language (or related ones) and/or to facilitate the use of the language for other historical or anthropological projects. Regularly scheduled class time will be evenly divided between practice in speaking and hearing the language and discussions of basic grammar, resources (e.g., grammars, dictionaries, text collections, etc.), the language family, cultural and historical context, salient linguistic issues especially in the areas of morphology and semantics, pragmatics and usage, and practical research methods.

Instructor(s): John Lucy     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduate students must have instructor consent to register.
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 27901,CHDV 47901,LACS 47901

LACS 27902. Beginning Modern Spoken Yucatec Maya II. 100 Units.

The course will emphasize learning the rudiments of the contemporary spoken language to enable further work on the language (or related ones) and/or to facilitate the use of the language for other historical or anthropological projects. Regularly scheduled class time will be evenly divided between practice in speaking and hearing the language and discussions of basic grammar, resources (e.g., grammars, dictionaries, text collections, etc.), the language family, cultural and historical context, salient linguistic issues especially in the areas of morphology and semantics, pragmatics and usage, and practical research methods.

Instructor(s): J. Lucy     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduate students must receive instructor consent prior to registering.
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 27902,CHDV 47902

LACS 27903. Beginning Modern Spoken Yucatec Maya III. 100 Units.

The course will emphasize learning the rudiments of the contemporary spoken language to enable further work on the language (or related ones) and/or to facilitate the use of the language for other historical or anthropological projects. Regularly scheduled class time will be evenly divided between practice in speaking and hearing the language and discussions of basic grammar, resources (e.g., grammars, dictionaries, text collections, etc.), the language family, cultural and historical context, salient linguistic issues especially in the areas of morphology and semantics, pragmatics and usage, and practical research methods.

Instructor(s): J. Lucy     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduates must receive instructor consent to register.
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 27903,CHDV 47903,LACS 47903

LACS 29700. Reading and Research in Latin American Studies. 100 Units.

Students and instructors can arrange a Reading and Research course in Latin American Studies when the material being studied goes beyond the scope of a particular course, when students are working on material not covered in an existing course, or when students would like to receive academic credit for independent research.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Summer,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of faculty supervisor and program adviser
Note(s): College students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Must be taken for a quality grade.
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 40100

LACS 29801. BA Colloquium. 100 Units.

This colloquium, which is led by the LACS BA Preceptor, assists students in formulating approaches to the BA essay and developing their research and writing skills, while providing a forum for group discussion and critiques. Graduating students present their BA essays in a public session of the colloquium during the spring quarter.

Instructor(s): E. Davila      Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): For fourth year (graduating) students majoring in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Note(s): Required of students who are majoring in Latin American Studies. Students must participate in all three quarters but register only in autumn quarter.

LACS 29900. Preparation of the BA Essay. 100 Units.

Independent BA thesis course. 

Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Summer,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of undergraduate thesis/project adviser required
Note(s): Typically taken for a quality grade.


Contacts

Administrative Contact

CLAS Program Adviser
Jamie Gentry
Kelly 109A
773.702.8420
Email

Director

Director, Center for Latin American Studies, Professor of History
Brodwyn Fischer
SS 511
773.702.7550
Email

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