The Program

General Education Requirements

The Department offers three courses that fulfill the International component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, LTST 353, 354 and 368. The Department may offer an occasional Earlham Seminar, LTST 150.

The Major

Students wishing to major in Latin American Studies should submit an application to the Latin American Studies Committee by the end of the Sophomore year.

All Latin American Studies majors take:

Six core courses:

  • SOAN 321 Latin American Culture and Society
  • LTST 353 Latin America to 1825
  • LTST 354 Latin America since 1825
  • LTST 368 The Political Economy of Development: Latin America
  • LTST 488 Senior Capstone Experience
  • One Latin American Literature course at the 300/400 level
  • Two additional courses chosen in close consultation with a Latin American Studies adviser from a list of choices.
  • Off-Campus Study (field study)

* Key

Courses that fulfill
General Education Requirements:

  • (A-AP) = Arts - Applied
  • (A-TH) = Arts - Theoretical/Historical
  • (A-AR) = Analytical - Abstract Reasoning
  • (A-QR) = Analytical - Quantitative
  • (D-D) = Diversity - Domestic
  • (D-I) = Diversity - International
  • (D-L) = Diversity - Language
  • (ES) = Earlham Seminar
  • (IE) = Immersive Experience
  • (RCH) = Research
  • (SI) = Scientific Inquiry
  • (W) = Wellness
  • (WI) = Writing Intensive
  • (AY) = Offered in Alternative Year

*LTST 150 EARLHAM SEMINAR (4 credits)
Offered for first-year students. Topics vary. (ES)

*LTST 353 LATIN AMERICA TO 1825 (3 credits)
Examines the origin and development of Latin American civilization, with particular attention to the European Conquest and its effect on Native Americans; and the origin and development of colonial institutions and conditions which led finally to the demise of the colonial system. Also listed as HIST 353. (D-I) (AY)

*LTST 354 LATIN AMERICA SINCE 1825 (3 credits)
Emphasizes the 20th century, examining particularly patterns of modernization, development and resistance. Sources include literature, religion and popular culture. Also listed as HIST 354. (D-I) (AY)

Using an anthropological lens, examines "development" as a type of discourse formed under specific historical and sociological conditions. Examines the way relations between nations are imagined, the kinds of institutions that are born in the context of development, and the roles of those institutions in structuring power relations. Also listed as SOAN 368. (D-I)


LTST 482 SPECIAL TOPICS (3 credits)
Selected topics determined by the instructor for upper-level study.


Collaborative research with faculty funded by the Ford/Knight Program.

LTST 485 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3 credits)
Investigation of a specific topic conceived and planned by the student in consultation with a faculty supervisor. Culminates in a comprehensive report prepared in the style of a thesis or research paper.

Students complete a significant, final research project/thesis on an area of choice in consultation with the instructor, and share research with other Latin American Studies majors.

Courses Off Campus

Courses in Mexico. Majors study Spanish language and culture, engage in a field study, Mexican literature, history and contemporary society while living with families in Cuautla, Morelos, where Earlham's Academic Center, Casa Sol, is located. An Earlham faculty member leads this program, working with a long-standing team of Mexican teachers. A week-long trip to study social issues and Mexican history is a significant component of the program. A spring program focusing on resistance movements in Mexico recently has been introduced for students with high levels of Spanish language.

Courses on the Border. Majors engage in a field study and take courses relating to globalization, immigration, human rights and the environment. The fall program, Transborder Political Ecology, is designed for students with a keen interest in environmental studies, food justice, political ecology and the movement toward locally-based, sustainable economic and agricultural practices. The spring program, Roots and Routes of Migration, is designed for students with high levels of Spanish who wish to engage deeply with the subject of migration in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands and throughout Mexico.

Off-Campus Study

FieldcasamigaEarlham’s Latin American Studies major requires students to study in an off-campus program. Study in an international program enables students to relate the theories learned in class and their experiences on campus to fieldwork off-campus.

The Mexico Program is structured to provide both an intellectual encounter with Mexican society and hands-on field experiences. Students take classes in Spanish language, and Mexican literature as well as participate in a field study program. Based in Cuautla, Morelos, southeast of Mexico City, the program includes cultural excursions to such cities as Puebla and Cuernavaca and to such important archaeological sites as Chalcatzingo and Cholula.

Border Studies Program: Majors choosing to study at the U.S.-Mexico Border may take classes at University of Texas, El Paso; La Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de Juárez; New Mexico State University, and El Colegio de La Frontera. These classes focus on issues relating to the border and cultural identity. Earlham students live with families in either El Paso, Texas, or Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Sponsored by the Great Lakes Colleges Association and managed by Earlham, the Border Studies Program provides Earlham students with the opportunity to interact with students from other colleges. Students also have opted to study in other parts of Latin America.

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