The major in Latin American and Latino Studies is designed to respond to the increasing interest in the societies of the region and to the need to understand the complexity of their history, political and economic systems, social structures, and literary and artistic expression. The history of the Latin American nations and the development of their distinctive identities, the struggle for independence, and the establishment of modern democracies offer a challenging range of areas to explore. The presence of Latin America within the United States in the Latino communities gives another dimension to the study.
Through a program that focuses on this significant region of the world, students will have the opportunity to increase familiarity with the dynamics of other societies while strengthening their awareness of cultural diversity. The program provides a comprehensive course of study. Since no single discipline affords full study of any area, the interdisciplinary approach will give coherence to the major, fostering scholarship. The goal is to provide students with methodologies and modes of inquiry derived from different academic disciplines. This major draws upon courses from the departments of Modern and Classical Languages and Cultures, History, Economics and Global Studies, Political Science, Sociology and Criminology, and Art, Music, and Theatre.
The major in Latin American and Latino Studies prepares students for graduate work or employment in fields such as government, business, industry, media, law, and community services. The major is also excellent preparation for a teaching career. Students interested in pursuing this major must discuss their intention early in their sophomore year in order to plan their program and have access to a wider range of course selections, since most of the courses are offered within departmental cycles. Students may also select courses from the listing of the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts (HECCMA) with previous approval by the director of the program.
The study of Spanish is vital to any training in Latin American and Latino studies. Language courses, therefore, are an integral part of the major. Students are strongly encouraged to pursue language study beyond the required level V. The major includes foundation courses in History and Literature. These survey courses provide the connections to other courses. The listing of other Latin America-related courses will give students flexibility to pursue specific interests and in many instances to combine the major with another major or minor. Electives offer a broader scope of study which will help students explore a specific aspect or issue related to Latin America.
Students are expected to participate in co-curricular activities, which may include films, lectures, field trips, art exhibitions, concerts, and other academic or cultural events.
Double Major with Latin American and Latino Studies
Spanish majors are encouraged to pursue a double major in combination with the major in Latin American and Latino Studies. The major is designed to respond to the increasing interest in the societies of the region. The program provides an opportunity for study of their history, political and economic systems, social structures, and literary and artistic expression. Latin American and Latino Studies majors will be prepared for graduate study or employment in fields such as government, business, industry and education. For a full description of requirements, see the Latin American and Latino Studies listing under Interdisciplinary programs.
Minor in Latin American and Latino Studies
A student may complete the Minor in Latin American and Latino Studies with one intermediate level Spanish course, and 6 one-semester courses (18 credits) acceptable for the major. For a full description of requirements, see the Latin American and Latino Studies listing under Interdisciplinary Programs of Study.