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Latin American Studies

2013-14 FINALIZED 2-3-14 

MARIANO MAGALHÃES , Associate Professor (Political Science)
B.A., Iowa; Ph.D. Iowa

ARACELI MASTERSON, Assistant Professor (Spanish)
B.A., Miami University (Ohio); M.A., Ph.D., University of Arizona

CHRISTOPHER R. STRUNK, Assistant Professor (Geography)
B.A., Wesleyan University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Program Overview

Augustana's Latin American studies program offers an opportunity for students to expand awareness and understanding of Latin America, the Caribbean and the Latino/a United States. This, in turn, allows them to better engage with and act in an increasingly interconnected world.

The college offers a minor in Latin American Studies, requiring 18 credits and a capstone essay.

Course work in several disciplines, augmented by experiential learning opportunities, encourages analysis of how such things as historical experience and physical environment interact to influence the ways Latin Americans have expressed themselves both individually and collectively through languages and arts, social and political behaviors, cultural priorities, and responses to community and national problems.

The interdisciplinary approach of the Program

• fosters an understanding of contemporary issues facing Latin American nations and peoples
• increases awareness of the challenges of Latin America's relations with other world regions, including the United States
• encourages the application of knowledge through study away, internship, volunteer and work experiences
In addition to course work, the Latin American Studies Program integrates co-curricular activities, including student organizations, lecture and film series, workshops, and conferences.

Area studies complement traditional disciplinary concentrations, making Latin American Studies appropriate for students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Latin American Studies set a strong foundation for careers in many different areas including education, government and international service, and other fields. For some areas of employment, additional study and training may be necessary. (For a sampling of the different paths pursued by recent Latin American Studies graduates, click here .)

Numerous resources exist at Augustana College to support students in their Latin American Studies endeavors. Faculty and advisors come from departments across campus, from art and world literature to biology and political science. The Tredway Library provides access to a dozens of print and electronic resources in a numerous languages, and assists students with interlibrary loans and other research- and course-related needs. The Office of International and Off-Campus Programs links students with study and volunteer abroad opportunities, and accompanies students throughout their experience—from before they depart to their reentry into the Augustana community. Latin American Studies students have held research assistantships with faculty members, and have acquired funds for language study, participation in conferences, and independent research in Latin America through Augie Choice and various campus departments and programs.
Program Requirements


Students must demonstrate proficiency in a second language by completing one of the following:
• pass a language proficiency exam at the second-year level
• successfully complete two years of course work in Spanish (through SPAN-203)
Note: In appropriate circumstances, an alternate language (e.g., Portuguese, Quechua, etc.) may be substituted with the consent of program coordinators.

(2) COURSE WORK - 18 credits (6 classes)

Students must complete 18 credits of course work, with at least six credits (2 courses) in each of the following areas: (a) history & social sciences, and (b) arts & humanities. Students are encouraged, though not required, to explore the offerings from the list of complementary courses.

Note: The following course lists are not exhaustive and changes may occur without notice. Please direct questions to the Latin American Studies advisors.

(a) History & Social Sciences
ECON-406 (PH, G) - Development Economics
GEOG-331 (G) - Latin America
HIST-120 (PP,G) - Colonial Latin America
HIST-121 (PP,G) - Modern Latin America
HIST-241 (PP) - Colonialism and Imperialism (when topic is Latin American)
HIST-361 - Modern Latin America
HIST-365 (PP,G) Political Violence in Latin America
HIST-369 (PP) Oral History and Testimony (when topic relates to Latin America)
LTAM-400 - Directed Study
POLS-346 (PS,G) - Politics in Latin America
POLS-373 - International Relations of Latin America

(b) Arts & Humanities
ART-343 (PA, D) - Art of the Americas
LTAM-400 - Directed Study [pending approval]
SPAN-326 (PP, G) - Spanish-American Culture & Civilization I
SPAN-327 (PP, G) - Spanish-American Culture & Civilization II
SPAN-332 (PL) - Representative Spanish-American Literature I
SPAN-333 (PL) - Survey of Spanish-American Literature II
SPAN-344 (PL) - Topics in Hispanic Literature
WGST-380 - Special Topics (when topic is "Women's Writing in Latin America")
WLIT-219 (PL) - Hispanic Literature in Translation
WLIT-310 - Topics in World Literature (when literature selected is Latin American)
WLIT-327 (PL, G): Francophone Literature (when literature selected is Caribbean)

(c) Complementary Courses
Note: It is expected that students who enroll in the following courses for credit toward a Latin American
Studies minor will select a Latin American theme for any independent research projects in the course.
BIOL-385 (PN) - Applied Ecology (when taught on Latin America term)
AFSP-101 (PP, G) - Introduction to Africana Studies
HIST-177 (PP, G) - World History since 1500: The Age of Globalization
HIST-330 - Colonial Borderlands
POLS-340 (PS, G)- Politics in the Developing World (when primary theme is Latin
PSYC-471 - Childhood in the Developing World [Currently offered as Special Topics; faculty intend to propose as regular course focusing more on Guatemala]
COMM-330 (PH, G): Intercultural Communications (when not focused on specific Internship Learning Community)

Additional notes regarding course requirements:
• at least 9 credits (3 classes) at the 300-level or above
• no more than 6 credits (2 classes) in one department will count toward LAS minor
• no more than 3 credits (1 class) from complementary courses may count toward LAS minor
• courses (level 250 and higher) from Augustana's summer language program in Ecuador may be applied toward requirements (a) and/or (b) above


Students must complete an experiential learning component for the Latin American Studies minor. These include, but are not limited to the successful completion of at least one of the following:
• a study abroad program in a Latin American or Caribbean nation, through the Augustana
• College International Programs offerings (examples: Ecuador, Mexico).
• an Augustana College Latin America Term.
• a field program offered through Augustana College. Options include, but are not limited to:
• JETS medical service learning in Nicaragua, Childhood in Developing World (currently PSYC-471) field experience in Guatemala, SAFARI immersion program at the U.S.-Mexico border.
• a study abroad program in a Latin American or Caribbean nation through an accredited program, the credits for which have been transferred to Augustana.
• an internship/volunteer experience (minimum 40 hours). Internships may be completed in a Latin
• American or Caribbean country, or in the United States with an organization that works with Latin American immigrants or local Latin@ and Chican@ communities. Arrange with the coordinators of the Latin American Studies Program.
• independent field research in Latin America or the Caribbean linked to a Senior Inquiry or other capstone project.

Arrange for completion of this requirement via enrollment in LTAM FLDXP, a zero-credit course. (See advisor; advisor permission required)


After completing the above requirements and prior to graduation, students must submit (and the program advisors must approve) a brief essay in which they reflect on the importance and relevance of their study of Latin America while at Augustana College. Additional information on essay requirements and deadlines will be provided by the Latin American Studies advisors.

Arrange for completion of this requirement via enrollment in LTAM CAPSTN, a zero-credit course. (See advisor; advisor permission required)

Courses (LTAM)