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Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies

Chair: Israel Reyes

Professors R. Bueno-Chávez (Spanish and Portuguese), M. Navarro (History), D. L. Nichols (Anthropology), B. Pastor (Spanish and Portuguese), K. L. Walker (French and Italian), R.A. Wright (Geography); Associate Professors L. Baldez (LALACS, Government), D. G. Becker (Government), J. A. Byfield (History), J. M. Carey (Government), R. A. Franconi (Spanish and Portuguese), I. Reyes (Spanish and Portuguese), J. M. Watanabe (Anthropology); Assistant Professors F. M. A’Ness (Spanish and Portuguese), P. Armstrong (Spanish and Portuguese), A. Merino (Spanish and Portuguese), T. Padilla (History); Instructor M. Dorsey (Environmental Studies); Senior Lecturer D. M. Runnels (Native American Studies, Spanish and Portuguese); Lecturer R. J. Tejada (LALACS); Visiting Professor R. Blancarte (LALACS); Visiting Assistant Professor C. Gómez (LALACS, Sociology); Visiting Instructor L. Gutiérrez Nájera (LALACS).

Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies (LALACS) is an interdisciplinary program.

We offer a standard major and minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS), (LACS) major modified with Latino Studies and courses in Latino Studies (LATS).

LACS is designed to ensure both a broad exposure to Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the theoretical and empirical rigor of study in a single discipline. The standard major consists of eleven(11) courses, not counting prerequisite.

Latino Studies (LATS) focuses on the study of the Latino population, soon to be the largest minority group in the United States. It seeks to begin to familiarize students with the experience and cultural expressions of the Latino communities in this country.


Language Competency—Demonstrated competency in Spanish or Portuguese equivalent to Spanish 3 or Portuguese 3. This requirement must normally be satisfied before the end of the sixth term. Students are strongly encouraged to study a second language, preferably Portuguese, Spanish, or French. Students planning to take a Foreign Study Program (FSP) must fulfill departmental requirements.


A. Introduction to Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS 1). LACS 1, taught in English, will include elements of geography, political science, history and anthropology.

B. Survey of Latin American and Caribbean Literature (LACS 4). Taught in English, this course will introduce students to major figures and trends in Latin American and Caribbean Literature.

C. (3 courses) To provide a broad base of regional studies, each student will select three courses from the LACS list so as to include:

1. 1 course in History

2. 1 course in other Social Sciences (Anthropology or Government)

3. 1 course in the Humanities

D. (4 courses) To provide concentration in a discipline, each student, after consultation with an advisor, will select four electives from a single department that participates in the Program.

E. (1 course) Senior Seminar (LACS 80). Required of all majors.

Students may fulfill their Humanities LACS requirement (under C) by taking the Spanish FSP in Argentina or the Portuguese FSP in Brazil. Of the three FSP credits, two may be counted towards the major. Those students choosing their electives (D) from the Spanish Department, may count one FSP credit toward the four courses required under D

The culminating experience in the major will involve either an independent study (LACS 89) or completion of the Honors Program.


Students wishing to pursue a minor in LACS must take LACS 1 and LACS 4, plus a total of four additional courses, normally from two different regions and two different disciplines.


Students wishing to modify another major with LACS must take LACS 1 and four additional courses from at least two different disciplines. The College language requirement should be satisfied with either Spanish or Portuguese.


Students wishing to modify their LACS major with Latino Studies must satisfy the normal prerequisites, breadth requirement in the LACS major and the senior seminar (E), but they may fulfill their four course concentration (D) with LATS courses chosen from the Latino Studies offerings in the program and associated LATS courses. Students choosing to modify their LACS major with LATS will not be allowed to count a LATS course toward any major requirements under the pre­requisite requirement.


Latin American and Caribbean Studies majors will be eligible to write an Honors thesis after having satisfactorily completed five major courses, with passing letter grades, prior to the fall term of the senior year and having achieved both an overall College GPA of 3.3 and a major GPA of 3.3. Others interested in the Honors Program should petition for admission as early as possible in their fourth term prior to graduation.

The Honors Program consists of two terms of thesis work (LACS 98 and LACS 99), normally taken consecutively in the senior year with the first course receiving a standing of On-Going until work in the second is completed. LACS 98 (Honors Research) may replace one of the electives (under C) and count toward the minimum group of major courses. LACS 99 (Honors Thesis) counts as one credit toward the College degree requirement, but does not count toward the major. The first week of fall term in the senior year students admitted to the honors program shall submit to the LALACS office a one to two page thesis proposal with bibliography signed by the advisor. At the end of Fall term students will write a five to seven page thesis prospectus. The prospectus should be presented to the LALACS Program Office no later than the first week of winter term to be examined by the LALACS Steering Committee. Theses must be completed by the eighth week of spring term of the senior year. Students missing this deadline may be liable to lose eligibility for honors. Guidance in the selection of a thesis topic and in research and writing will be provided by the student’s thesis advisor. All prospective majors must have course plans approved by the Chair.


During their junior year, LACS majors may attend a summer program offered by Georgetown University at the Georgetown Center for Latin American Studies in Santiago, Chile or the Colegio de México, Mexico. Applications for the program may be obtained from the LALACS office. These summer courses carry Georgetown credit. Students may apply for transfer credit from this program by contacting the registrar’s office for transfer application forms. All transfer terms and credit must be pre-approved by the Committee On Off-Campus Activities. The deadline for COCA transfer applications is one term in advance of the transfer term.

Students who take this program may apply to Georgetown to matriculate the summer after they graduate from Dartmouth. These students may be able to complete a Masters degree in Latin American Studies in two semesters instead of three.

For additional information contact Sheila Laplante in the LALACS office.


1. Introduction to Latin America and The Caribbean

05S, 06S: 11

This interdisciplinary course introduces students to the geographical conditions, historical roots, and enduring cultural diversity of Latin America and the Caribbean. After a brief survey of the physical and cultural geography of the region, the course examines the history of selected countries to highlight the way European conquest and colonialism have molded Latin American institutions and attitudes. The course then turns to particular case studies of contemporary life and society to analyze the ongoing problems of ethnicity, inequality, and political repression engendered by the region’s colonial past. Finally, the course draws on these historical and anthropological understandings to assess recent economic, social, and political developments in Latin America. By juxtaposing historical realities with their living consequences, the course presents a multi-disciplinary perspective on the nature, dynamics—and future prospects—of the many peoples who inhabit this vast and diverse continent. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Watanabe, the staff.

4. History, Culture and Society: The Many Faces of Latin America (Identical to African and African American Studies 16 in 05W)

05W, 06W: 12

The Spanish discovery and conquest of this continent created Latin America and the Caribbean out of the diverse and complex realities of the pre-Columbian world. Since colonial times Latin American and Caribbean cultures have developed against a background of cultural repression, racial conflict, political domination, colonial exploitation, and gender inequality. And yet, in the midst of all this turmoil, Latin America and the Caribbean have produced an extraordinary variety and wealth of artistic creations, ranging from literature to the visual arts, from music to film. In this course we will turn to some of the works by Latin American and Caribbean artists and writers in an attempt to illuminate and explore some of the wonders of the cultural dynamics that shape the many faces of what we call Latin America and the Caribbean. Dist: LIT; WCult: NW. Franconi, Pastor (05W), Bueno, Walker (06W).

7. First-Year Seminars in Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies

Consult special listings

10. Precolumbian and Colonial History (Identical to History 5.6)

06W: 11

32. State and Society in Latin America (Identical to Government 49.2)

06S: 12

This class provides an introduction to the political and economic development of Latin America in the latter half of the 20th century. We will focus on only six of the countries in this vast and diverse region: Argentina, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, Colombia and Mexico. Our analysis will emphasize the following themes: political systems and regime change; economic strategy; U.S. foreign policy; social movements and revolution; democratization; identity politics; and human rights. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Baldez.

33. The Politics and Culture of Cuba (Identical to Government 49.3)

05W: 12

As one of the world’s few remaining socialist regimes and the only surviving socialist regime in Latin America, Cuba is unique. But Cuba is also subject to many of the forces that have shaped other countries in Latin America and the third world: a heritage of Spanish colonialism and slavery, a geography that contains a limited array of natural resources and a system of government that has evolved under the constant shadow of the United States. To that extent we can learn something about Latin American politics—and politics more generally—by studying Cuba. Dist: SOC or INT. Baldez.

41. Culture, Class, and Community in Contemporary Mesoamerica (Identical to Anthropology 35)

05S: 9L

Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Watanabe.

42. The Aztecs (Identical to Anthropology 21)


Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Nichols.

43. Prehispanic Civilizations of Mesoamerica (Identical to Anthropology 22)

Not offered in the period from 04F through 06S

45. Legacies of Conquest: Latin America (Identical to Anthropology 37)

04F: 12

Dist. SOC. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NW. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Watanabe.

50. Topics Course

05S: 10A

In 05S, Religion and Society in Mexican History (19th and 20th Centuries). This course will analyze the crucial role of religion in Mexican political and social history. Themes that will be discussed are Prehispanic cultures, Christianity, religion, national identity, independence, liberalism, revolution and the church, religious pluralism, tolerance, discrimination, secularization, religious freedoms vs. civil liberties. The focal point will be religion and politics and church-state relations. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Blancarte.

52. Gender Politics in Latin America (Identical to Government 49.4 and Women’s and Gender Studies 32)

06W: 12

This course examines women’s movements in Latin America. Women in Latin America are perhaps the most highly mobilized population in the world. Throughout the region women have organized around myriad issues, including the right to vote, human rights, poverty, legal rights, anticommunism, the workplace, race, ethnicity and war. Women’s efforts to challenge fiercely repressive regimes, deeply entrenched norms of machismo and extreme poverty defy conventional stereotypes about women and provide us with inspiring examples of how to sustain hope during difficult times. The seminar will introduce students to recent scholarship on women’s movements in Latin America in the 20th century and seek to understand the emergence, evolution and outcomes of women’s movements in particular countries and crossnationally. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Baldez.

53. Protests and Parties in Latin America (Identical to Government 49.5)

04F: 10A

For many people, Che Guevara remains the key symbol of protest in Latin America. His passionate belief in social justice, his refusal to compromise and the extraordinary personal sacrifices he made on behalf of the poor all contribute to his enduring legacy. While this legacy continues to inspire people to engage in protest and revolutionary movements, it does little to help us understand the conditions under which organized movements will succeed in their goals-or even form in the first place. Under what conditions do people organize on behalf of their collective interests? Under what conditions will efforts to mobilize succeed? We compare revolutionary movements, social movements, political parties and other forms at political action in various countries throughout the region Dist: SOC or INT; WCult: NW. Baldez.

75. The Other Drug War: Biodiversity and Bio-prospecting in Amazonia (Identical to Environmental Studies 75)

05W, 06W: 2A

Dist: SOC. Dorsey.

76. History of Mexico, 1876 to the Present (Identical to History 87)


Class of 2007 and earlier: Dist: PHR; WCult: NW. Class of 2008 and later: Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Padilla.

77. Institutions and Accountability in Latin America (Identical to Government 84.11)

06W: 2A

Dist: SOC. Carey.

80. Seminar

05S: 2A

In 05S, Secular State and Religious Freedom in Latin America (Identical to Sociology 39 in 05S). This course will approach the question of the Secular State (or other forms of Church-State relations in Latin America) and recent developments concerning the definition of Religious Freedom. Theoretical discussions over Lay State and Secularization will be treated as the backbone of the course. We will discuss particularly the role of the Secular State and religious groups in the development of social and political systems, such as democratic or authoritarian regimes Class of 2007 and earlier: Dist: PHR; WCult: NW. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: NW. Blancarte.

89. Independent Study

All terms: Arrange

Students wishing to pursue intensive supervised study in some aspect of Latin American and Caribbean Studies should consult the appropriate member of the LACS faculty to design and carry out an independent study project. Students are required to submit a short description proposal to the program office in the term prior to doing the independent study. This course fulfills the ‘culminating experience’ requirement for all majors who do not complete the Honors Program.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

98, 99. Honors Thesis I and II

All terms: Arrange

Guidance in the selection of a topic and in research and writing will be provided by the student’s thesis adviser. Only students accepted into the Honors Program may take this sequence.


5. Complexities of Latino Identity in the United States (Identical to Sociology 44)

Not offered in the period from 04F through 06S

31. Constructing Race and Ethnicity in the United States (Identical to Sociology 42)

Not offered in the period from 04F through 06S

Dist: SOC. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W.,Gomez

40. Immigration, Race and Ethnicity (Identical to Geography 28 and Sociology 64)

05S: 1106S: 12

Dist. SOC. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Wright.

44. Crossing Over: Latino Roots and Transitions (Pending faculty approval)

05W: 2

This course focuses on the experiences of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, and Central American migrants living in the U.S. The literature will draw from anthropology and its neighboring disciplines in an attempt to understand the social, political, and economic processes that shape the varied experiences of Latino migrants living in the United States. In doing so, the class will examine Latino migrant experiences in relation to issues such as the changing character of capitalism as an international system, the organizing role of networks and families, changing patterns of gender relations, the emergence of a second generation, and the cultural politics of class formation. The course combines the close reading of required texts with detailed classroom discussion. The final grade is based on contributions to discussion and on two papers that should expand on issues raised by the readings. Gutiérrez.

45. Welcome to Amexica: Comparative Perspectives on the U.S. Mexico Borderlands (Identical to Anthropology 12.2)

04F: 11

The U.S.-Mexico borderlands will be examined in ways that take us from a concrete analysis of the region, including conflict and organizing efforts at the border to more abstract notions that include strategies of cultural representations and the forging of new dietetics. We will consider several analytical perspectives relevant to anthropology including: gender, identity, resistance, economics, globablization, migration, and the politics of everyday life. Dist. SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Gutiérrez.


Courses with a central focus on Latin America and the Caribbean offered by various departments.

Government 49.1: Latin American Politics and Government

Government 57: The Foreign Relations of Latin America

[1]Government 80: Readings in Government

Government 84.11: Democracy and Accountability in Latin America

History 46: Spain in the Golden Age

History 82: Popular Struggle, Political Change and United States Intervention in Central America

History 83: Twentieth Century Latin America

History 86: Caribbean History

History 96.5 Topics in Modern Latin American History

Portuguese 10: Language Study Abroad (LSA+)

Portuguese 12: Language Study Abroad (LSA+)

Portuguese 20: The Portuguese-Speaking World and its Literatures and Cultures: The Definition of an Identity

Portuguese 35: Brazilian Language and Culture

Portuguese 36: Brazilian Literature

Portuguese 61: Brazilian Literature I: Sixteenth to Early Nineteenth Centuries

Portuguese 63: Brazilian Literature II: Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Portuguese 80: Seminar (Brazilian content)

Portuguese 87: Independent Study

Spanish 23: Argentine Culture: Contemporary Issues (FSP)

Spanish 33: Argentine Civilization: The Cultural Heritage (FSP)

Spanish 35: Studies in Spanish-American Literature: Contemporary Argentine Literature

Spanish 65: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Spanish 67: Romanticism and the Formation of National Identities in Latin America

Spanish 70:Contemporary Latin American Poetry(1936-present)

Spanish 73: Literature and Social Protest: Alienation, Dictatorship, Revolution and Disillusionment in Twentieth-Century Latin America

Spanish 74: Old World/New World: Tradition and Change in Contemporary Latin American Culture

Spanish 76:  The Fabrication of Images:Mass Media in Latin America

Spanish 80: Latin American Literature Seminar

Departmental Seminars: These will vary from year to year. Consult the program office for a list of seminars available in 2004-2005

LACS students are strongly advised to take courses in economics, especially Economics 1, The Price System: Analysis, Problems, and Policies, Economics 21, Microeconomics, and Economics 39, International Trade.


Comparative Literature 52: The Borderlands: Latina/o Writers in the United States

History 31: Latinos in the United States: Origins and Histories

Spanish 78: Living in the Borderlands, Latino/a Culture and Identity

Spanish 79: Latino/a Literature: Between Literary Traditions, Languages and Cultures

[1]Students taking Government 80, Readings in Government may receive LACS credit if the instructor approves independent study or a seminar paper dealing with the politics of Latin America or the Caribbean.