Minor in Latin American Studies

The minor in Latin American Studies is designed for students who wish to develop an understanding of a neighboring region that is of vital importance to the United States. Courses in archeology, foreign policy, history, language and literature, and politics, along with independent studies in the visual arts and museum studies, allow students to explore various aspects of Latin American cultures and societies from different disciplinary perspectives.  The minor contributes to a liberal arts education by offering students an international vantage point from which they can examine their own society and 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 minor in Latin American Studies complements, therefore, major concentrations in 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.

The minor program requires 15 to 16 credit hours of coursework.  In addition to regular Lehigh offerings, students may receive minor 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 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. Download a minor declaration form, or visit the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs, 31 Williams Hall, Room 101.

Lehigh University Course Catalog
Requirements (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 12. Intermediate Spanish II (4)

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

  • ART 273 Special Topics in Studio Practice (1)
  • ART 370 Special Topics in Museum or Curatorial Studies (1-4)
  • ART 375 Museum Internship (1-4)
  • ARTS 196 Sustainable Development: The Costa Rican Experience (3-4)
  • ANTH 178 Mesoamerican Archeology (4)
  • ART 269 Special Topics in Art History (1)
  • HIST 49 History of Latin America (4)
  • HIST 50 History of Latin America (4)
  • HIST 341 Mexico and Central America (3-4)
  • HIST 342 Argentina, Brazil, and Chile (3-4)
  • HIST 368 Seminar in Latin American History (3-4)
  • IR 177 International Relations of Latin America (4)
  • IR 222 Political Economy of NorthSouth Relations (4)
  • IR 323 Political Economy of Newly Industrializing Countries (4)
  • LAS/AAS/SSP 106 Race & Ethnicity in Latin America and the Spanish Speaking Caribbean (4)
  • LAS/AAS/MLL/FREN/HIST/POLS 133 Lehigh in Martinique: Globalization and Local Identity (4)
  • LAS/AAS/SSP 155 Afro-Latino Social Movements in Latin America & the Caribbean (4)
  • LAS/AAS/SSP 177 Cuba: Race, Revolution and Culture (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 211 Business Spanish (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 213 Approaches to Reading Cultural Productions in Spanish (4)
  • LAS/ART 227 Latino Visual Arts and Culture in the USA (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 243 Indigenous Cultures of Spanish America (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 263 The Spanish American Short Story (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 265 Spanish and Latin American Cinema (4)
  • LAS/SPAN/WGSS 275 Introduction to Hispanic Women Writers (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 276 Contemporary Literature of the Southern Cone (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 320 Literature of the Spanish Caribbean (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 321 Children and Adolescents in Contemporary Spanish American Literature (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 322 The Short Novel in Contemporary Spanish American Literature (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 323 Literature and Revolution in Contemporary Cuba (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 325 Hispanic Literature of the United States (4)
  • LAS/SPAN/WGSS 326  Tradition and Resistance: Women Writers of Latin America (4)
  • LAS/SSP 330 Society, Democracy and Revolution in Latin America (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 342 The New Narrative in Spanish American Literature (4)
  • LAS/SPAN 345 Testimonial Writing in the Hispanic World (4)
  • LAS/SPAN/WGSS 346 Contemporary Hispanic Women Writers: The Novelists (4)
  • LAS/ANTH 378 Blood, Pyramids, and the Tree of Life (4)
  • MLL 51 Contemporary Hispanic-American Literature (4)
  • MLL 53 The Hispanic World and Its Culture (4)
  • POLS 335 Latin American Political Systems (4)
  • POLS 336 US Foreign Policy and Latin America (4)
  • POLS 337 Religion and Politics in Latin America (4)
  • POLS/GS/WGSS 342 Gender and Third World Development (4)
  • SSP 346 Society and Democracy in Latin America (4)

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


Fall 2016 Courses

SPAN 012 Intermediate Spanish II (HU) 4 credits

Prerequisite: SPAN 011 or equivalent.  Professor Cortez
Section 10  - CRN 40690;  M, W, F; 11:10 - 12:00 p.m.
Section 11 - CRN 41613;  M, W, F; 2:10 -3:00 p.m.

LAS, ENGL 098-10 Introduction to Latino/a Literature and Culture CRN 44112 (HU)   4 credits
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 2:35 - 3:50 p.m.

SOC 115-10 A Nation of Immigrants: The American Experience CRN 43522 (SS)   4 credits
The course provides an introduction to contemporary immigration, conceptualizing it as a social and economic process, as well as a human experience that is simultaneously liberating and limiting. Through immigration we will analyze processes of assimilation and resistance, the construction of cultural boundaries, the development of modern nation-states, as well as the role race plays in current debates about immigrants. The course advances a critical perspective by questioning how immigration is framed in the West, particularly in the Unites States.  Professor Ceron-Anaya T, R; 2:35 - 3:50 p.m.

LAS, SPAN 152-10 The Cultural Evolution of Latin America CRN 41825 (HU)   4 credits
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 Pillado M, W; 8:45 - 10:00 a.m.

ART 175-10 Introduction to Museum Work CRN 43183 (HU)   4 credits
Professor Viera  T,R; 10:45 - 12:00 p.m.

**CANCELED** LAS, MLL, GS, ENGL 202-10 Latin American In Fact, In Fiction CRN 44072 (HU)   4 credits
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 This course fulfills the History/Culture credit for the minor in LAS. M, W; 11:10 - 12:25 p.m.

LAS, SPAN 211-10 Business Spanish CRN 42853 (HU)   4 credits
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; 12:45 - 2:00 p.m.

LAS, SPAN 213-10 Introduction to Hispanic Literature and Film CRN 43850 (HU)   4 credits
An introduction to the analysis of Latin American and Spanish cultural productions (mainly literature and film). Prerequisites: Span 151 or 152, Span 141. Department permission required. Professor Pillado M, W; 11:10 - 12:25 p.m.

**CANCELED** LAS, ART 296-10 Conversations and Practicum: The Business of Art CRN 44070 (HU)   4 credits
Conversations and Practicum: The Business of Art explores the realities of the current art scene from handling and preparing a work of art to appraisals, insurance and copyright. Through research, writing and discussions, students will focus on endless aspects and amusing details of the complex world of galleries, art fairs, auctions, museums, and solo and group exhibitions. If you are an aspiring artist, how do you break into this world and stay there long enough to establish yourself? Is success measured solely in financial terms? If you are a curator, what is your role and responsibilities; how do collectors collect; what is public art? How do you market yourself in a rapidly changing, highly competitive world? This course will appeal to emerging artists and business students alike.   The Final Exam is a class journal to be kept during the entire semester, plus (1) project, and (1) paper – topics and specifics to be determined. Department permission required. Professor Viera T, R; 1:10 - 2:25 p.m.

LAS, SPAN 323-10 Literature and Revolution in Contemporary Cuba CRN 43851 (HU)   4 credits
Study of works written after 1959 by dissident, nondissident, and exiled authors (Desnoes, Norberto Fuentes, Benítez Rojo, and Pedro Juan Gutiérrez, among others).  Professor Prieto M, W; 2:35 - 3:50 p.m.

ART 370-10 Independent Topics in Latin American Art CRN 40395 (HU) 4 credits
Department permission required.  Professor Viera

LAS, ANTH 378-10  Blood, Pyramids, and the Tree of Life CRN 43874 (HU)   4 credits
This course explores the ways of life of the Maya people. We will take a close look at their religion, their foods, their family life, music, medicine, festivals, etc. An important part of this class explores the long tradition of the Maya, making connections between the modern Maya and the Maya of their past.  Professor Small T, R; 1:10 - 2:25 p.m.


Archived 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