Undergraduate Catalog

Latin American Studies

Director: Freddy Vilches

The minor in Latin American studies enables students to combine study of a major field in the arts, humanities, sciences, or social sciences with a focused study of Latin American and Hispanic/Latino history, culture, and contemporary affairs. The program includes a major component of overseas study integrated with courses from various disciplines on campus. Overseas study programs offered in Latin America allow students to spend up to a year studying in curricular areas not covered on the Lewis & Clark campus.

The interdisciplinary minor is supervised by a group of faculty from several departments. This group coordinates the curriculum, advises students, supervises major research projects, and plans special events.

Students may apply for admission to the minor only after being accepted for an appropriate overseas study program.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 24 semester credits, distributed as follows:

  • One of the following:

    HIST 141Colonial Latin American History
    HIST 142Modern Latin American History
    LAS 200Latin American Cultural Studies
    SOAN 266Social Change in Latin America
  • A minimum of four and a maximum of 12 credits (language courses do not apply) taken while participating in a Lewis & Clark overseas study program in Latin America.

  • Up to four additional courses from the following list. It is highly recommended that one of these be a Latin American literature course.

ART 207Pre-Columbian Art
Hispanic Studies
SPAN 230Hispanic Literature in Translation
SPAN 360Latin America and Spain: Pre-Columbian to Baroque
SPAN 370Latin America and Spain: Enlightenment to the Present
SPAN 440Topics in Hispanic Literatures (when focus is on Latin America)
SPAN 444Spanish Practicum (when focus is on Latin America)
SPAN 446Special Topics in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures (when focus is on Latin America)
SPAN 450Special Topics in Spanish (when focus is on Latin America)
HIST 141Colonial Latin American History
HIST 142Modern Latin American History
HIST 242Borderlands: U.S.-Mexico Border, 16th Century to Present
HIST 345Race and Nation in Latin America
HIST 347Modern Mexico: Culture, Politics, and Economic Crisis
HIST 348Modern Cuba
HIST 400Reading Colloquium (when focus is on Latin America)
HIST 450History Seminar (when focus is on Latin America)
International Affairs
IA 231Latin American Politics
IA 430International Affairs Seminar
MUS 137World Music: Latin America
SOAN 261Gender and Sexuality in Latin America
SOAN 266Social Change in Latin America
SOAN 349Indigenous Peoples: Identities and Politics
SOAN 400Senior Seminar and Thesis (when focus is on Latin America)

At least three of the courses used for the minor must be taken on campus at Lewis & Clark. 

A minimum of 12 semester credits must be exclusive to the minor (in other words, may not be used in any other set of major or minor requirements).

Forthcoming Overseas Study Programs

General Culture Offerings

Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic: every fall, every spring
Cuenca, Ecuador: every spring, every summer

Language-Intensive Offerings

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: every fall, every spring (with option of full year)
Santiago or Valparaiso, Chile: Annual: every fall, every spring (with option of full year)

For details, see Foreign Languages and Literatures and Overseas and Off-Campus Programs.


Matthew N. Johnston. Associate professor of art history, chair of the Department of Art. Modern art history. Ph.D. 2004, M.A. 1994 University of Chicago. B.A. 1992 Yale University.

Bruce M. Podobnik. Associate professor of sociology, director of the Political Economy Program. Environmental sociology, social movements, quantitative methods, Latin America. Ph.D. 2000, M.A. 1994 Johns Hopkins University. B.A. 1991 University of California at Santa Cruz.

Magalí Rabasa. Assistant professor of Hispanic studies. Latin American literature and culture, social movements and resistance. Ph.D. 2014 University of California, Davis. B.A. 2004 University of Oregon.

Matthieu P. Raillard. Associate professor of Hispanic studies. Hispanic studies, 18th- and 19th-century Peninsular Spanish literature. Ph.D. 2004, M.A. 2000 University of Virginia. B.A. 1998 Colgate University.

Juan Carlos Toledano Redondo. Associate professor of Hispanic studies. Hispanic studies, 19th- and 20th-century Spanish American literature, Hispanic-Caribbean literature. Ph.D. 2002 University of Miami. B.A. 1996 Universidad de Granada.

Freddy O. Vilches. Associate professor of Hispanic studies, director of the Latin American Studies Program. Hispanic studies, contemporary Spanish American literature, poetry, and song, Latin American cultural studies. Ph.D. 2006, M.A. 1993, B.A. 1991 University of Oregon.

Sarah D. Warren. Assistant professor of sociology. Race and ethnicity, social movements, nations and nationalism, gender, Latin America. Ph.D. 2010 University of Wisconsin at Madison. M.A. 2004 University of Texas at Austin. B.A. 2001 University of Arizona.

Elliott Young. Professor of history, director of the Ethnic Studies Program. Latin American and U.S.-Mexico Borderlands history. Ph.D. 1997, M.A. 1993 University of Texas at Austin. B.A. 1989 Princeton University.


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LAS 200 Latin American Cultural Studies

Faculty: Latin American Studies Faculty.
Content: Theoretical approaches to the study of Latin American culture. Focused study of particular writers, artists, and musicians. Topics include indigenismo, nationalism, postcolonialism, the African diaspora, borderlands, and hybridity. Interdisciplinary approach integrates literary, historical, and anthropological modes of inquiry in this team-taught, bilingual class. To earn Hispanic studies credit, students must do their papers in Spanish.
Prerequisites: SPAN 301 or 302.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.