Major and Minor in Latin American Studies

The major and minor in Latin American and Latino Studies are designed for students who wish to develop an understanding of a neighboring region that is of vital importance to the United States, as well as Latino cultures in our country. Courses in archeology, foreign policy, history, politics, language and literature allow students to explore various aspects of Latin American and U.S. Latino cultures and societies from different disciplinary perspectives. The major and minor contribute to a liberal arts education by offering students an international and intercultural vantage point from which they can examine their own society, preparing them to meet the challenges of an increasingly interdependent world. Additionally, the unprecedented movement of peoples and ideas between the American continents in recent decades makes the study of this region of the world an essential component for understanding the history and culture of the expanding U.S. Latino population. The major and minor in Latin American and Latino Studies complement the study of other disciplines that have either an international or a domestic focus, and it enhances the relevance of a Lehigh education by preparing students to be citizens of a culturally diversity society and, more generally, of the Americas.

Career Paths
Students completing the major or minor in Latin American and Latino Studies can find careers both in Latin America and working with Latino populations in the United States. Latin American and Latino Studies students are equipped to compete in the job market and for admittance to graduate school. The possibilities are endless! 
Business
Education
Government
Public Service
Non-governmental Organizations


The Major

The major in Latin American and Latino Studies requires a minimum of 10 courses (or 30 credit hours) and no less than four upper level courses. Students are required to possess intermediate language proficiency in Spanish.

In addition to regular Lehigh offerings, students may receive credit for appropriate courses at other LVAIC institutions, study abroad programs in Latin America, and various Lehigh-faculty-led programs, such as “Lehigh in Martinique,” “Lehigh in Costa Rica” (both offered during the winter term), and “Lehigh in Honduras” (summer).  Students are encouraged to take advantage of extracurricular activities sponsored by the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, which include guest speakers and exhibits.

For further information or to coordinate your minor program, students should contact Professor Matthew Bush, Director, Latin American Studies Program, 31 Williams Hall Room 423 or matthew.bush@lehigh.edu or 610-758-3087. A downloadable major declaration form will be available soon, or visit the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs, 31 Williams Hall, Suite 101.

Lehigh University Course Catalog

A. Required Core Course (4 credits)

  • HIST 049. Colonial Latin America (4)
  • HIST 050. Modern Latin America (4)
  • SPAN 152. Cultural Evolution of Latin America (4) (taught in Spanish)

B. Language Requirement (4 credits)

  • SPAN 012. Intermediate Spanish II (4)

C. Humanities Requirement1,2  (8 credits)
    Two classes from the list of electives that carry a HU distribution. 

D. Social Sciences Requirement1,2 (8 credits)
    Two classes from the list of electives that carry a SS distribution. 

E. Additional Electives1, 2 (16 credits)
    Elective courses (16 credits). Choose courses from this list
    Additional electives may be chosen in consultation with the Program Director.

Total Credits 40

1 No less than three courses in Latino Studies.

2 Only two upper-level courses may be taken in Spanish


The Minor

The minor program requires 15 to 16 credit hours of coursework.  In addition to regular Lehigh offerings, students may receive credit for appropriate courses at other LVAIC institutions, study abroad programs in Latin America, and various Lehigh-faculty-led programs, such as “Lehigh in Martinique,” “Lehigh in Costa Rica” (both offered during the winter term), and “Lehigh in Honduras” (summer).  Students are encouraged to take advantage of extracurricular activities sponsored by the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, which include guest speakers and exhibits.

For further information or to coordinate your minor program, students should contact Professor Matthew Bush, Director, Latin American Studies Program, 31 Williams Hall Room 423 or matthew.bush@lehigh.edu or 610-758-3087. A downloadable minor declaration form will be available soon, or visit the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs, 31 Williams Hall, Suite 101.

Lehigh University Course Catalog

Requirements Core Courses (8 credits)

A. History/Culture (4 credits). Choose one of the following:

  • HIST 049. History of Latin America (4)
  • HIST 050. History of Latin America (4)
  • SPAN 152. The Cultural Evolution of Latin America (4) (taught in Spanish)

​B. Language (4 credits)

  • Spanish 012. Intermediate Spanish II (4)

C. Elective Courses (7-8 credits)
    Elective courses (7-8 credits). Choose courses from this list.
    Credit may be received for other courses, in consultation with the Program Director.

Total Credits 15-16


Fall 2017 Courses
University Catalog

SPAN 012 Intermediate Spanish II    4 credits  (HU) LAS  
Prerequisite: SPAN 011 or equivalent.  
Section 010 40655 Professor Brandt M, W, F; 11:10 - 12:00 p.m.
Section 011 41545 Staff   M, W, F; 2:10 - 3:00 p.m. 

HIST 050-10  Modern Latin America  44142  4 credits  (SS) LAS, CBE Global  
Examines the 200-year-long struggle of Latin American peoples to gain political representation, economic equality, and social justice. Explores key historical events in Latin America from the movement for independence led by Simon Bolivar and Father Miguel Hidalgo in the early nineteenth century to today's modern societies. Topics include the wars of independence, the rule of caudillos, foreign military interventions, export economies, populism, social revolutions, the Cold War era, state terror and military dictatorships, and the war on drugs.  Professor Zepeda Cortes   T, R; 1:10 - 2:25 p.m. 

LAS, ENGL 098-10  Intro to Latino/a Literature and Culture  43542  4 credits  (HU) CBE Diversity  
In “Hurricane,” from the hit musical Hamilton (2015) Lin-Manuel Miranda sings the lyrics, “I wrote my way out.” In the context, Miranda, the son of a Puerto Rican father and Italian mother, is singing as Alexander Hamilton, and the various ways Hamilton used his writing talents to personal, professional, and political opportunities for himself. However, the lyric also speaks to Miranda’s place as a Latino/a male rewriting traditions and creating new ones—a common theme in Latino/a writing and culture in the United States. 

This course provides an overview of the literary history and criticism of Latino/a literature and media. Through a combination of critical and literary theory, we will focus on works Latino/a-centered texts including poetry, prose, film, and television which portray issues of migration/immigration, colonialism, history, race, and gender. We will also examine the role of literature in the development of Latino/a Studies. Authors and scholars featured in the course include José Martí, Pura Belpré, Pedro Pietri, the Young Lords Party, and Gloria Anzaldua. Some questions that will inform our readings of these texts:

1) How do Latino/a writers incorporate and revise U.S. and Latin American literary traditions?

2) How does the organization of Latino/a literature present challenges to U.S. canon formation?

Assignments include a short written analysis of a text (5 pages) and a longer, research project (8-10 pages) which can take the form of a research paper, teaching plan, or multimedia video. The interactive format (lecture, small group discussion, in-class writing) of this course will also require students active participation.  Professor Jimenz-Garcia   M, W; 11:10 - 12:25 p.m. 

LAS, SPAN 152-10  The Cultural Evolution of Latin America  41748  4 credits  (HU) CBE Global  
The historical and cultural evolution of Latin America. Discussion of representative literary works in their cultural and historical contexts. Prerequisite: SPAN 141 or consent of instructor. Department permission required. Professor Bush   M, W; 8:45 - 10:00 a.m. 

LAS, SPAN 211-10  Business Spanish  42644  4 credits  (HU) CBE Global  
An introduction to business concepts and vocabulary in Spanish. Letter writing, specialized professional vocabulary, and review of grammar. Prerequisites as noted below.  Prerequisites: SPAN 141 Department permission required. Professor Prieto   M, W; 2:35 - 3:50 p.m. 

LAS, SPAN 397-10  Travel and Adventure in Spanish American Narrative  44210  4 credits  (HU)   
Centering on a corpus of works presenting tales of travel and adventure, this class establishes connections among various Spanish American literary and cinematographic movements from the early 20th century to present day. Over that same time period these narratives formed and questioned the boundaries that once served to define “high” and “popular” narrative styles. Through the analysis of works by Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Bellatín, and César Aira among others, we will examine concepts of cultural adventure and their broader significance in the history of Spanish American fiction.  Professor Bush   M, W; 11:10 - 12:25 p.m. 

LAS, WGSS, ENGL 398-10  Puerto Rican Women Writers  43981  4 credits  (HU)  
This course focuses on development and themes within Puerto Rican Women's writing, both prose and poetry. In particularly, we will pay attention to how transnationalism influences ideas about creativity, performace, feminism, and liberation. Writers in the course include Luisa Capetillo, Julia de Burgos, Nicholasa Mohr, Rosario Ferré, Esmeralda Santiago, and Judith Ortiz-Cofer. Assignments include a short written analysis of a text (5 pages) and a longer, research project (8-10 pages) which can take the form of a research paper, teaching plan, or multimedia video. The interactive format (lecture, small group discussion, in-class writing) of this course will also require students active participation.  Professor Jimenz-Garcia   M, W; 2:35 - 3:50 p.m.

Summer Course
LAS 21489/SOC 21490/JOUR 21487/GS 21488 198-011
 Insurgent Voices:  Media and Social Movement in Latin America  (SS) 4 credits CRN 21488 Online Course
This course examines theories and practices of media in Latin America; with a special focus on the role of the mass media, community media and the media politics of social movements in the digital age. Students will get acquainted with concepts such as identity, representation and globalization. This course will draw from Latin American communications theorists, grassroots media makers and social movement leaders, with an in depth focus on Mexico and Venezuela. Students will develop a critical view to deconstruct power and representation and they will learn about a growing community media movement in Latin America, as well as examples of community media projects in Latino communities in the United States.  We will examine new media technologies, like social media, and students will create a podcast for their final projects. Instructor Fischer-Hoffman


Spring 2017 Courses

University Catalog

SPAN 012  Intermediate Spanish II  4 credits  (HU)  Multiple sections, refer to online listing for details. Prerequisite: SPAN 011 or equivalent.  

HIST 050-10  Modern Latin America  CRN 13268  4 credits  (SS) CBE Global
Examines the 200-year-long struggle of Latin American peoples to gain political representation, economic equality, and social justice. Explores key historical events in Latin America from the movement for independence led by Simon Bolivar and Father Miguel Hidalgo in the early nineteenth century to today's modern societies. Topics include the wars of independence, the rule of caudillos, foreign military interventions, export economies, populism, social revolutions, the Cold War era, state terror and military dictatorships, and the war on drugs.  Professor Shrader   M, W; 11:10 - 12:25 p.m. 

LAS, ART 098-10  Contemporary Photography from Latin America  CRN 14204  4 credits  (HU) 
Photography as contemporary art with an emphasis in Latin American Art from the Lehigh teaching museum.   Course will explore the power of photographs as a dominant 21st century visual art form.  Students work their way through today's explosive array of digital, one channel video, photo based and conceptual discourses of our remix culture from the 19th century invention to the evolutionary image-making of the 20th and 21st Century uses of photographic processes that have enriched our perceptions and our world.  Professor Ricardo Viera  T, R; 1:10 - 2:25 p.m.

LAS, AAS, SOC 106-10  Race and Ethnicity in the Americas  CRN 14051  4 credits  (SS) CBE Global
How is it possible that someone who is officially considered black in the United States, can embody different racial identities throughout current Latin America? Even more, how is it possible that people consider white nowadays were not officially so in early twentieth-century US (although they were viewed as white in the Latin American context at the same time period)? This course offers a historical comparative analysis of the nature and dynamics of race between the United States and Latin America.  Professor Ceron-Anaya   M, W; 2:35 - 3:50 p.m. 

SPAN, LAS 152-10  The Cultural Evolution of Latin America  CRN 11774  4 credits  (HU) CBE Global
The historical and cultural evolution of Latin America. Discussion of representative literary works in their cultural and historical contexts. Prerequisite: SPAN 141 or consent of instructor. Department permission required. Professor Prieto   M, W; 12:45 - 2:00 p.m. 

ANTH 178-10  Mesoamerican Archeology  CRN 13731  4 credits  (SS) CBE Global
Ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica: Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec. Reconstructions of urban centers, political and economic organizations, and theories of the Mayan collapse.  Professor Small   M, W, F; 2:10 - 3:00 p.m. 

**CANCELED**LAS, ANTH 196-10  Urbanization in Latin America  CRN 13500  4 credits  (SS) CBE Global
Urbanization has wrought profound changes to society. Latin America is the world’s most urbanized region, with 80% of the population living in cities. Drawing on examples from urban Latin America, this class will explore the following questions: How have cities developed historically? How do urban spaces take on social, cultural, and symbolic value? And how are cities currently affected by globalization, changing technologies, and neoliberal economic trends?  Professor Sheehan   M, W; 11:10 - 12:25 p.m.

LAS, ANTH 197 Tacos without Borders: Food, Culture, & Society CRN Pending 4 credits (SS)
Food is central to human life, but how food is defined, acquired, and consumed varies widely throughout the world. This class addresses the questions:
•How have historical changes in food acquisition shaped society?
•How is globalization re-shaping what & how we eat?
•What is the role of food in building identity, organizing society, and creating social practices?
Open to any undergraduate student interested in the topic. No prerequisite required.
Professor Megan Sheehan   M, W; 11:10 - 12:25 p.m.

LAS, HIST 198-10  Cuba, Castro and the Cold War  CRN 13468  4 credits  (HU) 
This course will examine the most significant political revolution in twentieth-century Latin America.  It will do so by examining multiple topics, ranging from the island's conflicted relationship with the United States to its support for armed struggle in the Third World and its campaign to create the “Socialist New Man.”  Using both primary and secondary documents, students will be asked to offer their own original, nuanced interpretation of the Cuban Revolution.  Professor Shrader   M, W; 8:45 - 10:00 a.m. 

LAS, MLL, GS, ENGL 202-10  Latin American In Fact, In Fiction  CRN 13915  4 credits  (HU) 
This class couples a survey of Latin American literature in translation with an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latin America. Departing initially from readings of literary and cinematographic works, our analyses will engage methodologies from multiple disciplines including history, sociology, and cultural studies. Accordingly, this course will examine critical developments in Latin American aesthetics along with the cultural climates in which they matured. This course assumes no prior study of Spanish, Portuguese, or Latin American culture.  Professor Bush   M, W; 12:45 - 2:00 p.m. 

LAS, SPAN 263-10  The Spanish American Short Story  CRN 13540  4 credits  (HU) CBE Global
Comparative study of representative works by major writers such as Quiroga, Borges, and Cortazar, among others. Department permission required. Professor Bush   M, W; 8:45 - 10:00 a.m. 

LAS, SPAN 265-10  Spanish and Latin American Cinema  CRN 12871  4 credits  (HU) CBE Global
An introduction to cinema in the Spanish-speaking world. Oral discussion and written analysis of selected films. Students view films independently. Prerequisite: SPAN 141 or equivalent. Department permission required. Professor Prieto   M, W; 2:35 - 3:50 p.m. 

IR 323-10  Political Economy of Industrialization and Development  CRN 14129  4 credits  (SS) 
Political foundation and consequences of economic development and growth. Global inequality in the rates and levels of economic development. Analysis of the differences between the development strategies adopted in different parts of the world. Explanations for patterns of success and failure. Origins of underdevelopment; the politics of failed development strategies; the challenge of the increasingly competitive world economy and relations with the U.S. and other developed nations. Prerequisite IR 010 and IR 125.  Department permission required. Professor Duvanova   T, R; 9:20 - 10:35 p.m. 

LAS, AAS, ENGL 397-10  Poetics of Blackness in Black and Latino Lit and Performance  CRN 12926  4 credits  (HU) 
This is an interdisciplinary course that explores the representation and discourse of blackness in Black and Latino cultural production. Specifically the course will explore how black experiences are represented, embodied, performed, and theorized. Some authors/artists that we will analyze include: Junot Díaz, Cardi B, Beyonce, and Gloria Anzald ua among others. As part of the course students will write creatively and academically as well as be in live conversation with spoken-word poets and playwrights.  Professor Zamora   T, R; 10:45 - 12:00 p.m. 

LAS, ENGL 398-10  Latin Youth Culture  CRN 14053  4 credits  (HU) 
This course seeks to engage youth literature as a means of examining major themes in the field of Latino/a Studies.  We will also use comparative methodology in order to examine how Latino/a literature for youth reacts to norms within mainstream youth literature and culture. Through a combination of critical and literary theory, we will focus on works which portray themes of commodification, history, migration/immigration, colonialism, and racial, ethnic, cultural, and national identity. Assignments include a short written analysis of a text (5 pages) and a longer, research project (8-10 pages).
In particular, we will approach these questions throughout the course:
• How have Latino/a authors used literature for youth as a means of portraying Latino/a history?
• Is there a “brand” of “Latino/a” youth and children’s culture, including youth protagonists, favored by publishers and the public?
• How does youth literature address the socio-political and socio-cultural issues affecting Latino/as in the U.S.?
• How does this medium portray these issues differently than other literature and/or media?
• In terms of historical period, how do these texts reflect different modes of "Latinidad," American identity, and citizenship?  
Professor Jimenz-Garcia   M, W; 11:10 - 12:25 p.m. 

WINTER ABROAD OPPORTUNITY
LAS, AAS 133-010 Lehigh in Martinique:  Globalization and Local Identity  CRN 50035
History, culture and politics of the French Caribbean island of Martinique, from its position as a key site of the 18th century Atlantic World economy to becoming an official French department and outpost of the European Union. Interdisciplinary perspectives on the complex nature of social identity, historical memory and impact of globalization. No French is required. Offered during winter-term through Lehigh Study Abroad.  ($3,850.00 airfare and program fee)  Professor Armstrong


Archived Courses

Fall 2017 Courses
Spring 2017 Courses
Fall 2016 Courses
Spring 2016 Courses
Fall 2015 Courses
Spring 2015 Courses
Fall 2014 Courses
Spring 2014 Courses
Fall 2013 Courses
Spring 2013 Courses
Fall 2012 Courses
Spring 2012 Courses

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Latin American Studies  |  101 Williams Hall  |  31 Williams Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015  |  phone 610-758-3996  |  fax 610-758-2131