BA in Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies (LAS) is a major offered by the Pardee School of Global Studies to students enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences. It provides students with a versatile and powerful vehicle for developing an in-depth understanding of the complexities and remarkable diversity of the Latin American region, defined as the 20 independent countries in the Western Hemisphere that are south of the United States, with Spanish, French, or Portuguese as their official languages. The major is broadly interdisciplinary, drawing on a wide range and variety of regionally focused courses taught by faculty experts in fields including archaeology, economics, history, history of art and architecture, international relations, political science, romance studies, and sociology.

The major combines coursework across historical, artistic and literary, and contemporary contexts with an integrating course taught jointly by members of the LAS faculty, as well as substantial study of Spanish or Portuguese to gain functional proficiency in a language used extensively in the region. LAS faculty closely advise each student in the major to ensure intellectual coherence between the student’s interests and coursework.

Study abroad in Latin America for at least a semester is strongly encouraged. Boston University has five Study Abroad programs in Latin America: a semester or academic year in Quito, Ecuador, at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito; a summer Contemporary Politics program in Lima, Peru; an intensive summer Portuguese Language Program in Rio de Janeiro; a summer Cultural Studies Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the Universidad de Palermo; and a semester in Guatemala through the Guatemala Archaeology Program (offered in the spring semester of even-numbered years). Courses in all of these programs count toward Latin American Studies Studies major requirements.

Requirements

Ten principal courses, including one integrating course, with a final grade of C or higher, of which eight must be at the 300-level or above:

  • Two courses from Group 1 (Historical Context)
  • Two courses from Group 2 (Literary, Artistic, and Cultural Contexts)
  • Two courses from Group 3 (Contemporary Context)
  • Three electives from LAS course offerings chosen in consultation with an advisor
  • One integrating course, usually taken in the student’s junior or senior year: CAS IR 410 Latin America Today: An Interdisciplinary Approach (topic changes every year)

Foreign Language Requirement

Completion of a fifth-semester course in either Spanish or Portuguese (one course beyond the College of Arts & Sciences language requirement).

Courses

Consult departmental listings for complete course descriptions. Unless otherwise indicated, all required courses are 4 credit hours.

Group 1: Historical Context

  • CAS AH 222 Art and Architecture in Ancient America
  • CAS AA 385 Atlantic History (meets with CAS HI 350)
  • CAS AA 489 The African Diaspora (meets with CAS HI 489)
  • CAS AR 222 Art and Architecture in Ancient America
  • CAS AH 322 Ancient Aztec and Inca Civilization (meets with AR 322)
  • CAS AR 201 Americas Before Columbus
  • CAS AR 250 Aztecs, Maya, and their Predecessors
  • CAS AR 251 Ancient Maya Civilization
  • CAS AR 270 New World Rediscovery: Archaeology of the Age of Exploration
  • CAS AR 322 Ancient Aztec and Inca Civilization
  • CAS AR 351 Mesoamerican Archaeology
  • CAS AR 352 South American Archaeology
  • CAS AR 353 Urbanism in Ancient Mesoamerica
  • CAS AR 451 Seminar: Mesoamerican Archaeology
  • CAS AR 551 Studies in Mesoamerican Archaeology
  • CAS AR 552 Studies in South American Archaeology
  • CAS HI 211 The Age of Discoveries
  • CAS HI 350 Atlantic History (meets with AA 385)
  • CAS HI 397 Modern Latin America
  • CAS HI 489 The African Diaspora in the Americas (meets with AA 489)
  • CAS HI 582 Social Movements in 20th-Century Latin America
  • CAS HI 584 Labor, Sexuality, and Resistance in the Afro-Atlantic World (meets with AA 514)
  • CAS IR 394 Power, Leadership, and Governance in Africa and the Caribbean (meets with AA 395 and HI 352)

Group 2: Literary, Artistic, and Cultural Context

  • CAS AH 242 Latin-American Art Since Contact
  • CAS AH 342 Art of Cuba (Spring 2015)
  • CAS AH 527 Art & Society: Images and Power Relations in Latin America
  • CAS AH 543 Latin-American Art and the Cold War
  • CAS AH 742 Latin-American Art Colloquium
  • CAS LP 305 Topics in Portuguese Language and Culture
  • CAS LP 310 Introduction to Brazilian Cinema
  • CAS LS 452 Topics in Latin-American Literature and Culture
  • CAS LS 455 Spanish-American Literature Through the Nineteenth Century
  • CAS LS 457 Twentieth-Century Spanish-American Literature
  • CAS LS 554 Jorge Luis Borges
  • CAS LS 569 Nineteenth-Century Spanish-American Literature
  • CAS LS 572 The Spanish-American Colonial Experience: Early Texts, New Interpretations
  • CAS LS 573 Spanish-American Literary Modernism and Modernization
  • CAS LS 576 Topics in Spanish-American Literature
  • CAS LS 577 Topics in Hispanic Thought and Criticism
  • CAS LS 579 Topics in Hispanic Cinemas
  • CAS LS 580 Mexico City in Literature and Film
  • CAS LS 581 The Mexican Revolution Revisited

Group 3: Contemporary Context

  • CAS AN 314 Cultures of Latin America
  • CAS EC 369 Economic Development of Latin America
  • CAS HI 394 US-Mexican Borders
  • CAS HI 396 Introduction to Latin-American History
  • CAS HI 397 Modern Latin America
  • CAS HI 398 Protest, Revolution, and Human Rights in Latin America
  • CAS HI 582 Social Movements in Twentieth-Century Latin America
  • CAS IR 242 Globalization and World Poverty (meets with SO 242)
  • CAS IR 251 Introduction to Comparative Politics (meets with PO 151)
  • CAS IR 302 Campaigns and Elections Around the World (meets with PO 325)
  • CAS IR 367 Introduction to Latin American Politics and International Relations (meets with PO 360)
  • CAS IR 395 North-South Relations (meets with PO 328)
  • CAS IR 411 Conflict and Conflict Resolution in Latin America (meets with PO 566)
  • CAS IR 425 Seminar: Women and Social Change in the Developing World (meets with SO 420)
  • CAS IR 502 Latin-American Political Parties (meets with PO 561)
  • CAS IR 524 Cold War in Latin America (meets with HI 524)
  • CAS IR 529 Cuba in Transition
  • CAS IR 566 Democracy in Latin America and its Challenges (meets with PO 567)
  • CAS IR 567 Latin-American Politics (meets with CAS PO 564)
  • CAS IR 568 US–Latin-American Relations (meets with CAS PO 565)
  • CAS IR 572 The Latin-American Military (meets with PO 597)
  • CAS IR 575 Political Economy of Mexico and NAFTA (meets with CAS PO 563)
  • CAS IR 590 Political Economy of Latin America (meets with CAS PO 562)
  • CAS IR 597 Sustainable Development in Latin America (meets with GE 597)
  • CAS PO 281 Natural Resource Politics in the Andes
  • CAS PO 581 National Development & International Politics
  • CAS PO 366 Conflict and Conflict Resolution in Latin America (meets with IR 411)
  • MET UA 590 International Comparative Urbanization & Planning

Integrating Course

  • CAS IR 410 Latin America Today (topic changes each year)

Note: Courses not listed above may fulfill Latin American Studies major requirements with approval from the program director.