Latinx and Latin American Studies
Professors López (Chair) and Schroeder Rodríguez; Associate Professors Del Moral and Schmalzbauer; Assistant Professor Hicks.
Affiliated Faculty: Professors Cobham-Sander, Corrales, and Stavans; Assistant Professors Barba and Vicario.
Latinx and Latin American Studies (LLAS) is an interdisciplinary major program designed for students interested in critically examining the diverse histories and cultures of Latin America, the Caribbean, and U.S. Latinxs. Students in the major gain breadth and depth of learning through courses in the humanities and the social sciences that situate these histories and cultures within local, national, regional, hemispheric, and global contexts over time, while practical experiences such as community projects and study abroad provide opportunities to apply this learning in transformative ways.
Major Program. Majoring in LLAS requires the completion of nine courses: seven courses as described below, plus two additional courses to be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.
- one required course: LLAS 200: Major Debates in Latinx and Latin American Studies
- one course on U.S. Latinxs in any department
- one course on Latin America in any department
- one course on the Caribbean in any department
- two courses taught in one of the languages spoken in Latin America and the Caribbean, other than English. These courses may focus on the development of language skills, and/or they may be content courses on a subject relevant to the Major.
- a research or methods seminar in any department, with completion of the written project on a topic relevant to LLAS. In order to ensure that the research will be on a topic relevant to LLAS, the research or methods seminar must be approved by both the Major advisor and the professor teaching the course.
LLAS majors may credit up to three courses from another major, provided they fall into one of the categories listed above. In addition, majors must have:
· a concentration: at least three courses in one of the following areas: U.S. Latinxs, Latin America, or the Caribbean
- at least two courses in the humanities and at least two in the social sciences
- coursework in at least three departments
- residency requirement: at least five of the nine courses must be taken at Amherst College
- Capstone Requirement: The capstone requirement will be met through a portfolio of work done in the Major, introduced by a reflective essay that addresses how the interdisciplinary nature of the coursework informs a question or topic of special interest to the student and his/her long-term plans. Students will publicly share these reflections during a LLAS Major Capstone Symposium.
Honors Program. Candidates for Latin Honors must complete a senior thesis. The work of the thesis may be creative or scholarly in nature. Interested candidates must apply and be accepted by the end of their third year, and must, in addition to the coursework described above, enroll in LLAS 498 and/or 499 during their senior year.
LLAS 200: Major Debates in Latinx and Latin American Studies. In this course students will become familiar with the major debates that have animated Latinx and Latin American Studies, addressing a wide range of issues from the Conquest to the present. Each week students will focus on specific questions such as: Does Latin America have a common culture? Is Latin America part of the Western world? Is Latinx a race or an ethnicity? Is U.S. Latinx identity rooted in Latin America or the United States? Are Latin American nations post-colonial? Was the modern concept of race invented in the Caribbean at the time of the Conquest? The opposing viewpoints around such questions will provide the main focus of the reading assignments, which will average two or three articles per week. In the first four weeks, students will learn a methodology for analyzing, contextualizing, and making arguments that they will apply in developing their own positions in the specific controversies that will make up the rest of the course.
Limited to 20 students. If overenrolled, priority will be given to LLAS majors. Omitted 2017-2018.