Contacts | Major Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies | Summary of Requirements: Latin American and Caribbean Studies Major | Minor Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies | Latin American and Caribbean Studies Courses

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

Major Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Students who major in Latin American and Caribbean 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 and Caribbean 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 and Caribbean 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 and Caribbean 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 LACS program adviser, students should prepare a preliminary plan of study that would meet program requirements.
  2. Students must meet with the LACS 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 LACS program adviser before leaving campus.

MAJOR PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

As early as possible in their studies, students should obtain a worksheet from the LACS program adviser, who will assist them with selecting the five required LACS content courses. For a list of approved courses, visit the LACS website at clas.uchicago.edu or consult with the LACS 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 and Caribbean 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 19019-19020-19021 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 and Caribbean 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 Latin American and Caribbean Studieswebsite at clas.uchicago.edu.

BA COLLOQUIUM

All students who are majoring in Latin American and Caribbean 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 and Caribbean 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 Prep: BA Essay) is optional. Students who do register for LACS 29900 Prep: 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 and Caribbean Studies Major

GENERAL EDUCATION
One of the following:200
Introduction to Latin American Civilization I
   and Introduction to Latin American Civilization II
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 or the Caribbean (four in the social sciences)500
Two courses in the social sciences **200
LACS 29801BA Colloquium100
BA Essay
Total Units1100-1200

GRADING

Each of the required courses for the Latin American and Caribbean 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 and Caribbean Studies

The minor program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies provides students majoring in other disciplines the opportunity to become familiar with selected aspects of Latin American and Caribbean societies, cultures, histories, politics, and economics through one or more of the social sciences as they deal with Latin American and Caribbean 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 program adviser before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the program. The LACS 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 19019-19020-19021 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 and Caribbean themes. Students may find listings of quarterly Latin American and Caribbean–themed courses on the Latin American and Caribbean Studies website at clas.uchicago.edu.

RESEARCH PAPER

Students must submit a research paper treating a Latin American and Caribbean topic for one of their Latin American and Caribbean content courses. The research paper is of intermediate length (ten to fifteen pages) in a course with Latin American and Caribbean 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 and Caribbean Studies.

Summary of Requirements: Latin American and Caribbean 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
   and Language, History, and Culture II
Intermediate Portuguese; Advanced Portuguese
Three courses dealing with Latin America or the Caribbean300
Total Units500-600

Latin American and Caribbean 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.

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. The courses in this sequence may be taken in any order.

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

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

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): M. Tenorio     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 16102, HIST 36102, PPHA 39770, ANTH 23102, HIST 16102, LACS 34700, SOSC 26200

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

Spring Quarter focuses on the twentieth century, with special emphasis on the challenges of economic, political, and social development in the region.

Instructor(s): D. Borges     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 16103, LACS 34800, PPHA 39780, HIST 36103, HIST 16103, ANTH 23103, SOSC 26300

LACS 24512-24513-24514. Intermediate Haitian Kreyol I-II-III.

 This three-course sequence will enhance students' understanding of Haitian Kreyol with continued study of the language in its modern context, with emphasis on developing students' proficiency in speaking, writing, listening, and reading comprehension at an intermediate level.

LACS 24512. Intermediate Haitian Kreyol I. 100 Units.

This three-course sequence will enhance students' understanding of Haitian Kreyol with continued study of the language in its modern context, with emphasis on developing students' proficiency in speaking, writing, listening, and reading comprehension at an intermediate level.

Instructor(s): Balan-Gaubert, William     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 34512

LACS 24513. Intermediate Haitian Kreyol II. 100 Units.

The second course in a three-course sequence designed to enhance students' understanding of Haitian Kreyol with continued study of the language in its modern context. Emphasis on developing proficiency in speaking, writing, listening, and reading comprehension at an intermediate level.

Instructor(s): Balan-Gaubert, William     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 34513

LACS 24514. Intermediate Haitian Kreyol III. 100 Units.

This 3 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

Instructor(s): Balan-Gaubert, William     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 34514

LACS 24706. Science in the South: Decolonizing the Study of Knowledge in Latin America & the Caribbean. 100 Units.

This seminar will bridge anthropologies and histories of science, technology, and medicine to Latin American decolonial thought. Throughout Latin America, techno-scientific objects and practices, with their presumed origin in the Euro-Atlantic North, are often complexly entangled with neo-imperial projects of development and modernization that elongate social forms of colonization into the present. Technoscience and its objects, however, can also generate new creative, political, and life-enhancing potentials beyond or despite their colonial resonances, or even provide tools to ongoing struggles for decolonization. Together, seminar participants will explore what a decolonial approach to the study of science, technology, and medicine in the Global South, particularly in Latin America, has been and could become and how decolonial theory can inflect our own disciplinary, conceptual, and political commitments as anthropologists of technoscience.

Instructor(s): S. Graeter     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 24706, ANTH 23026

LACS 25117. The Audience, The Archaeologist, and the Art Historian. 100 Units.

This course will address archaeological objects as well as the techniques that have been developed in order to capture them in a broader sense: to capture their meaning, to capture their form, to capture their trajectories. Archaeological objects change depending on the place where they are and the people who manipulate them.

Instructor(s): Castillo Deball, Mariana     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Tinker Visiting Professor 2018; There is a studio component to this course.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTV 25117, LACS 35117, ARTV 35117

LACS 25118. Historical Sociology of Racism Latin America. 100 Units.

The course will examine the discourse on race, racism, and racial inequalities through the available sociological literature. Special emphasis will be placed on the emergency of social movements and collective agencies that have shaped the present racial order in the region. This course will first present how racialization processes intermingled with the formation of mestizo nation-states in Latin America, and, by doing so, establishing racial democracy as the corner stone of modern democracies (1920s to 1960s). Second, examine how authoritarian regimes promoted economic development but were incapable of curtailing social inequalities in the region, eventually dismantling the international perception of these countries as racial democracies (1960s to 1980s). And, finally, explore how processes of racial formation operated in the whole region, giving way to the formation of multiracial nations and to the visibility of racism as a structural component of these societies (1990s to 2010s).

Instructor(s): Antonio Sergio Guimarães     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 25118, LACS 35118, PPHA 37005, SOCI 20279, SOCI 30279

LACS 25120. Territorial Identities, State Formation, and the Experience of Modernity in the Modern World. 100 Units.

During the last twenty years, scholars interested in the history of the crisis of the Spanish Monarchy focused on the development of the idea of nation and nationhood in the Spanish and Portuguese Atlantic. Criticizing the idea of the birth of post-colonial Latin American republics as the triumph of a national sentiment, historians reconceptualized the nation as a result of the imperial crisis. However, considerably less attention has been paid to the parallel process of state building in the Iberian World. This course will offer an introductory overview of the process that led from imperial monarchy to national republics from the point of view of statehood formation. It will focus on the complexity of the process of emancipation as a transition from monarchical tutorship to the birth of modern "Administración," while also addressing territorial identities as forms of non-national self-recognition that transited from colonial monarchy to post-colonial state.

Instructor(s): J. Portillo Valdés     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 37003, HIST 36221, LACS 35120, HIST 26221

LACS 25121. The Brazil-Argentina Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and Thermoelectric Transition in Brazil. 100 Units.

In this course we present a history of Brazil-Argentina nuclear cooperation and how Brazil is planning the transition of its electric matrix from predominantly hydraulic towards a mix with increased share of nuclear power. Proliferation risks are a main concern of international community when nuclear programs expansion is considered. The Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials, created in 1991, has been fundamental in assuring the international community (via the International Atomic Energy Agency) that the nuclear materials and facilities of both countries are being used for peaceful purposes. Domestically, the debate has been environmental in nature, and concerns topics ranging from mining to power generation, and from radioactive materials disposal to radiation effects in living organisms and major accidents. These diplomatic, environmental, social and political issues are in turn dependent on technical details of the thermoelectric generating process, and this nexus of issues provides the topics for the course.

Instructor(s): Ramos, Alexandre     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Tinker Visiting Professor Autumn 2018
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 35121, LACS 35121, PPHA 39921, HIPS 25121

LACS 26416. Latin American Extractivisms. 100 Units.

This course will survey the historical antecedents and contemporary politics of Latin American extractivisms. While resource extraction in Latin America is far from new, the scale and transnational scope of current "neoextractivisms" have unearthed unprecedented rates of profit as well as social conflict. Today's oil wells, open-pit mines, and vast fields of industrial agriculture have generated previously unthinkable transformations to local ecologies and social life, while repeating histories of indigenous land dispossession in the present. Yet parallel to neo-extractive regimes, emergent Latin American social movements have unleashed impassioned and often unexpected forms of local and transnational resistance. Readings in the course will contrast cross-regional trends of extractive economic development and governance with fine-grained accounts of how individuals, families, and communities experience and respond to land dispossession, local and transregional conflict, and the ecological and health impacts of Latin American extractivisms.

Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 23093, PBPL 26416

LACS 26417. Toxic States: Corrupted Ecologies in Latin America and the Caribbean. 100 Units.

Concepts of purity and danger, the sacred and profane, and contamination and healing constitute central analytics of anthropological inquiry into religion, medicine, and ecology. This course brings diverse theories of corporeal corruption to bare on contemporary ethnography of toxicity, particularly in order to examine the impact of political corruption on ecological matters in Latin America and the Caribbean. We will both historicize a growing disciplinary preoccupation with materiality, contamination, and the chemical, as well as conceptualize its empirical significance within neo-colonial/liberal states throughout the region.

Instructor(s): S. Graeter     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 39922, ANTH 32330, LACS 36417, ANTH 23027

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 undergraduate thesis/project adviser required
Note(s): College students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Must be taken for a quality grade.

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): CLAS Staff     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. Prep: BA Essay. 100 Units.

Independent study course intended to be used by 4th year BA students who are writing the BA thesis.

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

LACS 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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