Latin American Studies 

The Director 
Barbara Conboy, Communication Sciences & Disorders

The Advisory Committee
Shana Higgins, Armacost Library
Daniel Klooster, Environmental Studies
Liesder Mayea, Spanish
Andrea Muilenburg, Director of College of Arts and Sciences Study Away
Sara Schoonmaker, Sociology and Anthropology
Steve Wuhs, Political Science

The Major 
Latin American Studies allows students to bring together knowledge from environmental studies, the humanities, and the social sciences to build a foundation in the cultural, economic, environmental, geographical, historical, literary, and political contexts of Latin America. In addition to breadth in Latin American Studies through coursework in multiple disciplines, the program also emphasizes depth in understanding through concentration in a focused problem, topic, area, discipline, or method. Students develop significant language skills, cross-cultural understanding, an interdisciplinary approach, and the ability to incorporate Latin American perspectives in their analysis of fields including art, development, environmental conservation, history, literature, and politics. Both a major and minor are offered.

Learning outcomes for this program may be found at www.redlands.edu/BA-LAST/learning-outcomes.

Major Requirements 

Spanish-Language Requirement 
All students majoring in Latin American Studies must achieve communicative competence in Spanish or another language from Latin America. We require satisfactory completion of SPAN 202 or demonstrated proficiency in Spanish at this level. Demonstrated competence in a Latin American language other than English may be substituted for Spanish under exceptional circumstances.

Required Experiential Learning (Immersion Experience): 0 credits
All students majoring in Latin American Studies must complete one of the following:

  • Semester of Study Abroad in Latin America
  • University of Redlands Faculty-Led May Term Travel Course in Latin America
  • Approved Community-Based Internship with Latin American Immigrant Communities in the U.S.A.
  • Approved Community Service Activity with Latin American Immigrant Communities in the U.S.A

Students should consult their Latin American Studies advisor, the Director, and the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Study Away for program options.

Capstone Experience 
Majors are required to complete a culminating project in Latin American Studies, such as a portfolio of work and reflections, or a substantial project reflecting the learning outcomes of the major. The project should be completed while the student is enrolled in an upper-division seminar or capstone taught by a program committee member, preferably during the senior year.

Bachelor of Arts 
The major in Latin American studies consists of 12 courses (48 credits).

Core Course (1 course/4 credits)

LAST 101 Introduction to Latin America (4 Credits)

Explores the history, environment, and diversity of human cultures shaping Latin America. Untangles the interrelationships between Latin American regions and global systems, including conquest, colonialism, and globalization. Takes a geographical approach, synthesizing the influence of environment, culture, technology, history, and the influence of power at various scales.

Methods Course (1 course/4 credits)

Majors must take one methods course from the approved list, or another course approved by the LAST advisor or director. Methods courses without Latin American content may be used to fulfill the methods requirement, but do not count toward the credits needed to complete the major. Students are advised to use courses from their content areas for additional appropriate methods to build depth in the major. Note: many of these courses have prerequisites, so students should plan accordingly. The following are some suggested courses, but not a complete list of those that may count for this requirement. Consult the LAST advisor or director if you have questions.

ENGL 201 Critical Reading (4 Credits)

An introduction to close critical reading of texts in several genres and to argument about literary texts. Students will attend to the characteristics and effects of literary language and will explore varieties of form, structure, style, and genre. They will also be introduced to a basic vocabulary of literary critical terms. 
Recommended: one 100-level literature course or comparable first-year seminar or by permission.

EVST 235 Environmental Impact Assessment (4 Credits)

Comprehensive overview of environmental impact assessment. Federal and State legislative foundations governing the content and process of environmental review are examined. Culminates in preparation of an environmental impact report analyzing the potential impacts and mitigations. 
Prerequisite: EVST 100 and completion of a WA course.

EVST 399 Research Methods & Design (4 Credits)

A survey course of qualitative and quantitative research methods used by environmental scientists. We will learn techniques from both social and natural sciences. A research proposal that can double as the EVST capstone proposal will be an end-goal of the course. Students from outside EVST can apply to join. Numeric grade only.
Prerequisite: EVST 250. 

MATH 111 Elementary Statistics with Applications (4 Credits)

Descriptive and inferential statistics for students from diverse fields. Distribution, correlation, probability, hypothesis testing, use of tables, and examination of the misuse of statistics and relation of statistics to vital aspects of life. Computer packages used as tools throughout the course.
Prerequisite: Mathematics placement at MATH 100 / 101 level or by permission.

POLI 200 The Study of Politics (4 Credits)

Overview of approaches to the study of politics. Students develop skills necessary to read, assess, and produce works of social science. Coursework involves analytic reviews of monographs and articles, production of literature reviews, and the development of an independent research proposal.
Prerequisite: POLI 111 or POLI 123.

POLI 202 Statistical Analysis and Mapping of Social Science Data (4 Credits)

Principles of hypothesis development and testing, strategies for making controlled comparisons, principles of statistical inference, and tests of statistical significance. Development and testing of important research questions using such prominent data sets as the General Social Survey and the National Election Series.

Requisites: None

SOAN 300 Research Methods and Design (4 Credits)

Critical analysis of research methodology involving both quantitative and qualitative approaches to the collection of data. Practical experience in data collection and analysis accompanies discussion of ethical issues.
Prerequisites: SOAN 100, or SOAN 102, or SOAN 104; and junior standing plus two SOAN courses at the 200 level or above; or by permission.

SOAN 301 Fieldwork and Ethnographic Methods (4 Credits)

Examination of the nature of ethnography and the application of fieldwork methods for the development of an ethnography. Emphasis on practicing the method of participant observation for data formulation. Ethical and methodological issues of fieldwork are examined. 
Prerequisites: SOAN 100, or SOAN 102, or SOAN 104; and two SOAN courses at the 200 level or above; or by permission. 
Offered as needed.

SPA 110 Introduction to Spatial Analysis and GIS (4 Credits)

Introduction to concepts of spatial analysis and geographic information systems (GIS). Emphasis on spatial reasoning and analysis. Topics include the spatial data models, data requirements and acquisition, spatial analysis using GIS, implementation within an organization, and especially the application of GIS to problem-solving in other disciplines. 

SPAN 410 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics (4 Credits)

Synchronic investigation of the principles of articulatory phonetics, morphology, syntax, and semantics of Spanish. Includes a review of grammar and a discussion of how linguistic forms of Spanish and English compare and contrast. Taught in Spanish. 
Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 302 or higher, placement, or by permission. 
Offered as needed.

WGS 330 Feminist Research Methods (4 Credits)

Students learn how feminist scholars rethink analytic paradigms and create new theoretical models to guide their work. Examination of how knowledge is constructed and deployed, how interdisciplinary feminist perspectives inform research methods, what the practical implications are of those methods, and how feminist analysis redefines traditional categories and disciplinary concepts. 
Numeric grade only.
Prerequisite: sophomore status or above. 
Offered in alternate years. 

Content Areas (8 courses/32 credits)
LAST majors must take eight courses, distributed across three content areas: Environmental Studies, the Humanities, and the Social Sciences (see the list of “Content Area Courses,” below). To demonstrate breadth, at least one course must be taken from each content area. To demonstrate depth, LAST majors develop, in consultation with the LAST advisor, thematic, regional, or disciplinary emphases based on at least four courses, structured around their interests and experiences. Study abroad courses apply to specific content areas at the discretion of the LAST advisor or director.

Electives (2 courses/8 credits)
In addition to the above requirements, LAST majors must take another two courses. These include courses such as LAST 400 (Capstone in Latin American Studies), POLI 495, directed independent studies, additional methods classes, and other electives falling into a content area.

Minor Requirements 

Spanish-Language Requirement 
All students minoring in Latin American Studies must achieve communicative competence in Spanish or another language from Latin America. We require satisfactory completion of SPAN 202 or demonstrated proficiency in Spanish at this level. Demonstrated competence in a Latin American language other than English may be substituted for Spanish under exceptional circumstances.

Required Experiential Learning (Immersion Experience): 0 credits
All students majoring in Latin American Studies must complete one of the following:

  • Semester of Study Abroad in Latin America
  • University of Redlands Faculty-Led May Term Travel Course in Latin America
  • Approved Community-Based Internship with Latin American Immigrant Communities in the U.S.A.
  • Approved Community Service Activity with Latin American Immigrant Communities in the U.S.A

Students should consult their Latin American Studies advisor, the Director, and the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Study Away for program options.

Core Course (1 course/4 credits)

The minor in Latin American Studies consists of six courses emphasizing breadth in Latin American Studies.

LAST 101 Introduction to Latin America (4 Credits)

Explores the history, environment, and diversity of human cultures shaping Latin America. Untangles the interrelationships between Latin American regions and global systems, including conquest, colonialism, and globalization. Takes a geographical approach, synthesizing the influence of environment, culture, technology, history, and the influence of power at various scales.

Content Area and Methods Courses (5 courses/18-20 credits)
Minors must take an additional five LAST, cross-listed, or study-abroad courses approved by the LAST advisor or director. At least two of the three LAST content areas (Environmental Studies, the Humanities, and the Social Sciences) must be represented by at least one course. Study abroad courses apply to specific content area at the discretion of the LAST advisor or director. 

Suggested Content Area Courses for the major and minor (other courses, such as Study Abroad courses and other electives, may be substituted with the LAST program Director's Approval)

Environmental Studies Content Area

EVST 220 Physical Geography (4 Credits)

Exploration of the physical geography of Earth by examination of lithospheric, atmospheric, hydrological, and biological processes. Laboratory includes field methods, topographic map reading, and in-depth discussion of these principles. 
Prerequisite: EVST 100 or by permission.

EVST 242 Food and Nature (4 Credits)

Examines the ways production, trade, and consumption of food affects workers, consumers, and ecosystems. Topics include the political economy of food systems, genetically modified food, biofuels, the carbon footprints, the modern meat system, and potential solutions such as fair trade, organic certification, the slow food movement, and local food. 
Prerequisite: EVST 100 recommended.

EVST 276 Market-based Conservation Policy (4 Credits)

Conservation policy increasingly relies on markets. Examples include non-governmental labels such as organic and fair trade as well as various payment for environmental services policies promoted by governments and international treaties. Concepts like equity, efficiency, the commodity chain, and the commodification of nature will be mobilized to analyze these policies. 
Recommended: EVST 100.

EVST 277 Environmental Justice (3-4 Credits)

This course will focus on issues of environmental justice with a particular emphasis on racism, classism, and sexism—both in the U.S. and globally—and how situations of environmental degradation impact some groups more significantly than others. Aspects of global capitalism will be examined as a contributing factor to environmental injustice.

EVST 351 PanaMapping: GIS in the Jungle (3 Credits)

Nicknamed 'GIS in the Jungle', students work in Panamanian rainforest preserve to gather original empirical evidence of forest growth, carbon content, watersheds, land cover, and land cover change. They produce maps and present their data and interpretations to conservation area stakeholders. Conservation challenges in indigenous areas are also addressed.

Requisites: SPA-110 or similar GIS course
Offered: May Term Only
 

EVST 315 Environmental Nonfiction (4 Credits)

This course prepares students to write nontechnical essays, reports, and articles on environmental topics and in various forms, including documentary, lyric, advocacy/public engagement, and experimental. Students read and discuss published nonfiction, write drafts and a final portfolio, and participate in group critiques.

Humanities Content Area

ENGL 239 Chicana/o Literature (4 Credits)

Serves as an introduction to contemporary Chicana/o literature, emphasizing historical and cultural contexts. This class will focus on a body of work that emerges from the Chicana/o movement in the 1960s and continues to evolve as an expression of artistic and sociopolitical self-determination. 
Offered as needed.

HIST 131 Latin American Civilizations (4 Credits)

Introduction to Latin America through analysis of selected social, economic, and political themes. Topics include the colonial heritage, economic dependency, a stratified society, the role of the church, the Latin American military, and the influence of the United States in the region. 
Offered as needed.

SPAN 424 Introduction to Hispanic Literature (4 Credits)

Reading and introduction to Hispanic literary texts to develop skills in literary analysis and critical writing using examples from Hispanic literature in the three genres. Students will read such authors as Márquez, Cortázar, Poniatowska, Garro and Fuentes. This course is intended to introduce students to in-depth understanding of literature and writing. 
Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 302 or higher, placement or by permission.

SPAN 425 Spanish-American Civilization (4 Credits)

Geography, history, art, literature, and society of Spanish-American lands. Class discussion and oral and written reports required. 
Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 302 or higher, placement or by permission.
Offered in alternate years.

SPAN 426 Survey of Spanish-American Literature (4 Credits)

Development of Spanish-American literature from the pre-Columbian to the present day. Emphasis on relating literary works to historical events and cultural values. 
Prerequisite: Majors only. Completion of SPAN 302 or higher, placement or by permission.
Offered in alternate years.

SPAN 427 Survey of Spanish-American Literature (4 Credits)

Development of Spanish-American literature from the pre-Columbian to the present day. Emphasis on relating literary works to historical events and cultural values. 
Prerequisite: Majors only. Completion of SPAN 302 or higher, placement or by permission.
Offered in alternate years.

SPAN 440 Spanish-American Narrative (4 Credits)

Contemporary novelists from early beginnings to present day. Addresses principal political and social Latin American problems. 
Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 302 or higher, placement or by permission.
Offered in alternate years.

SPAN 441 Hispanic Women Novelists (4 Credits)

Study of Hispanic novels written by women during the last decades to reflect on the problems faced by women in present-day Spain and Latin America. The chosen works exemplify different aspects of women’s liberation, contrasting the situation of Hispanic women of the past and in the present. 
Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 302 or higher, placement or by permission.
Offered as needed.

SPAN 442 Latin American Literature of the 20th (4 Credits)

This upper division class, taught completely in Spanish, is an overview of Latin American literature of the 20th Century. In addition to reading works that have traditionally been considered canonical masterpieces, we will also analyze non-canonical works. In this course, we will analyze a series of topics and concepts from four different genres (short story, poetry, theater and novel) that are relevant for the understanding of Latin American literature.
Offered as needed. 

SPAN 450 Hispanic Poetry: Genres (3-4 Credits)

Examination of poetry through its varied expressions in Hispanic literature. Successive offerings focus on the historical development of the poetry of Latin America or Spain. Exploration of selected topics in literary themes in the genres. May be repeated for degree credit given different topics.
Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 302 or higher, placement or by permission.
Offered as needed.

SPAN 452 Hispanic Theatre (4 Credits)

A study of dramatic and theatrical Hispanic works, combining both canonical and non-canonical texts. Includes drama theory, videos of dramas, live plays, and the process of “mise en scéne” or staging. 
Prerequisite: Completion of SPAN 302 or higher, placement or by permission.
Offered as needed.

Social Science Content Area

CDIS 260 Latin America: Focus on Language, Culture, and Education (3 Credits)

This travel course uses experiential learning, self-reflection, reading, writing, and discussion to provide students with a foundation for understanding cross-cultural differences in language and education. Students work with children in community-based educational programs, focusing on language-development issues (e.g., bilingualism, literacy, and the broad impact of difficulties with language on education). Open to non-majors. Previous coursework in Spanish is strongly recommended. 
Offered as needed.

POLI 230 Latin American Politics and Development (4 Credits)

Introduction to the dynamics of politics in Latin America and contemporary issues of concern. Examination of political stability and recent trends toward democratization. Assessment of the success and/or failure of the different types of political systems in 20th-century Latin America, focusing on the role of landowners, the military, political parties, labor unions, and the church.
Offered as needed.

POLI 323 Mexican Politics/Politica Mexicana (4 Credits)

México es de alto significado político: hubo allí una revolución social, tenía el regimen autoritario más largo del siglo XX y ahora una democracia débil. En este curso exploramos estos temas para entender lo Bueno y lo malo, lo historico y lo presente, de la política Mexicana del siglo pasado.
Recommended: Advanced Spanish skills required.
Offered in alternate years.
Numeric and Evaluation grade only.

POLI 495 Political Science Capstone (4 Credits)

Four-credit guided research seminar for graduating seniors. Students will produce and present individual research projects with a common theme. Work must reflect best practices and mastery of the Department's learning outcomes required for major; students must pass to graduate.

REST 260 Topics in Race and Ethnic Studies (4 Credits)

Topics of current interest in race and ethnic studies. May be repeated for degree credit given different topics. 
Offered as needed.

SOAN 257 Latin American Societies and Cultures (4 Credits)

A historical and comparative analysis of society, culture, and politics in a range of Latin American countries. Emphasis on the effects of global power relations on social and political institutions, as well as economic development. Exploration of relationships between racial and ethnic groups in Latin American societies. 
Offered as needed.

WGS 165 Special Topics in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (2-4 Credits)

Topics of current interest in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. May be repeated for a maximum of 8-degree credits, given a different topic. 
Offered as needed.

WGS 365 Special Topics in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (2-4 Credits)

Topics of current interest in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. May be repeated for a maximum of 8-degree credits, given a different topic. 
Offered as needed.

Advising 
Both major and minor students must have a faculty advisor in the LAST program. They can choose from the director or those on the Advisory Committee. Advisors will aid students in choosing a range of courses, fulfilling their respective requirements, and focusing on their concentrations. Students declaring either a major or minor will need to fill out a declaration form with the director.

Internships
A semester-long internship or service-learning project can count toward the completion of the major or minor. Students should consult with their Latin American Studies advisor or the LAST director, who can aid them in finding and/or setting up their internship. Internships need to be focused on some aspect of Latin American society, language, or culture. If conducted in Spanish, the internship may count toward the language requirement.

Course Descriptions (LAST)

LAST 101 Introduction to Latin America (4 Credits)

Explores the history, environment, and diversity of human cultures shaping Latin America. Untangles the interrelationships between Latin American regions and global systems, including conquest, colonialism, and globalization. Takes a geographical approach, synthesizing the influence of environment, culture, technology, history, and the influence of power at various scales.

LAST 160 Special Topics (4 Credits)

Topics of current interest in Latin American Studies. May be repeated for degree credit, given a different topic, for a maximum of 8 credits.

LAST 260 Topics in Latin American Studies (4 Credits)

Diverse topics in Latin American studies dealing with either specific themes, currents of thought, or any other economic, political, social, or cultural manifestation coming from Latin America. May be repeated for degree credit, given a different topic, for a maximum of 12 credits.

LAST 360 Advanced Topics in Latin American Studies (4 Credits)

Interdisciplinary approaches to key issues, periods, personalities, movements, or tendencies in Latin American intellectual, political, social, or cultural history. Topics chosen tend to be examined from a cultural studies perspective. May be repeated for degree credit, given a different topic, for a maximum of 12 credits. 

LAST 400 Capstone in Latin American Studies (4 Credits)

This course integrates the interdisciplinary work of Latin American Studies majors and minors, including their on-campus classes and study abroad coursework. Students engage in the production and consumption of original research in Latin American Studies and begin to plan post-collegiate professional lives as Latin Americanists. 
Prerequisite: LAST 101.
Offered as needed.