• Peru Argentina


Comprising one of the most culturally diverse regions on the planet, the countries that constitute Latin America present a dynamic social, historical, and aesthetic panorama. Offering courses in Anthropology, Art, Architecture, and Design, History, International Relations, Political Science, Sociology, and Spanish, the Latin American Studies (LAS) program at Lehigh University offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latin America. LAS also features a Predoctoral/Postdoctoral Fellowship, and routinely offers a Latin American Film Series and lectures by LAS faculty and invited speakers. Learn more about the Minor in Latin American Studies

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.

Faculty Research and Program News 2015

Alyssa Autieri, Kathleen Costello, Maria Cuenca, Cristina DeScisciolo, Susan Jensen, Paige Mandy, Brenda Martinez, Holly Meister, Jessica Moore, Shannon Nelson, Kevin Portillo-Ramirez, Angee Ruiz-Carrillo, Jordan Smith, Kimberly Villacis and Marni Zahorsky.


Melodrama and the Social Imagination (University Relations, March 11, 2015)

Melodrama, says Matthew Bush, does not get the respect it deserves in the world of literature.



Javier Puente Valdivia, current LAS Postdoctoral Fellow, has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The UC is one of Latin America's premier research institutions and Javier will join their Institute of History this summer. 


Congratulations to Professor Matthew Bush, Director of Latin American Studies on the publication of his book, Pragmatic Passions: Melodrama and Latin American Social Narrative 

From the era of the wars for independence onward, the emotionally heightened and ethically charged theatrics of melodrama have played a substantial role in the framing of Latin American fictional narrative. Over that same time period, melodramatic reasoning has influenced the critical models through which the countries of the region conceive their respective histories and political landscapes. Pragmatic Passions: Melodrama and Latin American Social Narrative demonstrates how melodrama is deployed as a convincing means of affectively narrating socio-political messages, yet how it also unwittingly undermines the narrative structure of paradigmatic works by Rómulo Gallegos, César Vallejo, Roberto Arlt, Jorge Amado, and Carlos Fuentes.  


Faculty Research and News 2014

Professor Ricardo Viera, Recipient of Latino Lifetime Achievement Award Sept. 9, 2014
Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce will be honoring Professor Viera at their upcoming Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of the Lehigh Valley Annual Gala on Saturday, October 11. 

The final word on New Spain's José de Gálvez June 11, 2014
Barbara Zepeda Cortes, Assistant Professor of History and Latin American Studies

Congratulations to Javier Puente, LAS Pre/Postdoctoral Fellow, on the successful defense of his dissertation entitled "Closer Apart: Indigenous and Peasant Communities and the State in Capitalist Peru, 1700-1990." March 27, 2014

Lehigh University Latin American Studies - Rebel MexicoCongratulations to Jaime Pensado, former LAS Postdoctoral Fellow, on the publication of his book, Rebel Mexico (Stanford UP). March 18, 2014
In the middle of the twentieth century, a growing tide of student activism in Mexico reached a level that could not be ignored, culminating with the 1968 movement. This book traces the rise, growth, and consequences of Mexico's "student problem" during the long sixties (1956-1971). Historian Jaime M. Pensado closely analyzes student politics and youth culture during this period, as well as reactions to them on the part of competing actors. Examining student unrest and youthful militancy in the forms of sponsored student thuggery (porrismo), provocation, clientelism (charrismo estudiantil), and fun (relajo), Pensado offers insight into larger issues of state formation and resistance. He draws particular attention to the shifting notions of youth in Cold War Mexico and details the impact of the Cuban Revolution in Mexico's universities. In doing so, Pensado demonstrates the ways in which deviating authorities—inside and outside the government—responded differently to student unrest, and provides a compelling explanation for the longevity of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional.
To purchase a copy at Amazon, click here...



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