Latin American Studies Courses
For a LAS Minor students need 21-23 credits as follows:
1. Core courses, 6 credits
2. Language requirement, 6-8 credits:
- Non-Spanish majors or minors must take at least 6-8 credits of Spanish. Placement Exam would transfer 3 credits.
- Spanish majors or minors take 6 credits in Latin American literature or culture from among the following Spanish courses: 310 Latin American Civilization; 336 Perspectives of Latin American thru Films; 312 U.S. Hispanic Cultures; 316 Latino Literature; 318 Literature of Spanish America; 410 Contemporary Issues in Latin America.
3. Elective courses, 9 credits:
Classes taught in Spanish
- SPAN 310. Latin American Civilization: This course introduces student to major cultures of the region and their evolution since pre-Columbian times to today.
- SPAN 336. Perspective of Latin America through film: This course examines recent Latin American films and
documentaries that reflect on contemporary issues such as dictatorships in the
20th century, neoliberal reforms, social movements, and immigration.
- SPAN 312. U.S Hispanic Cultures: This course explores Hispanic/Latinos' legacies in the United States through their experiences, and histories from colonial times to the present.
- SPAN 316. Latino/a Literature: This course focus on the literary production of Hispanic/Latinos and their full insertion in the American literary tradition.
- SPAN 318. Literature of Spanish America: This course surveys literary pieces written in Spanish across the western hemisphere.
- SPAN 410. Contemporary Issues In Latin America: This course emphasizes topics and issues happening in the region at the moment of the course using cultural lenses to critically approach to them.
Classes taught in English
- VUSM 140. Bartolomé de las Casas (1484-1566) Legacy: a Search for Peace and Justice in the 21th Century. This course presents the life and works of Las Casas, underlying its ethical and historical impact in the region and beyond.
- VUSM 280. Diversity and Social Justice. his course will
examine the background, structures and effects of bias, prejudice, and
discrimination in society. Social and cultural differences related to race and
ethnicity (e.g., Hmong, Native Tribes of Wisconsin, etc.), social class,
religion, sex, sexuality, ableism, age and their intersections will be
addressed, including an introduction to cultural competence. Students will begin
to develop servant leader characteristics and explore ways in which social
justice is created through empowerment, equity and liberation on three levels –
personal, institutional and societal. Prerequisite: any 100 level VUSM course.
- VUSM 281. Understanding and working with Mexican in the US. The objective of this course is to begin to
learn about the complex nature of the relationship between the United States of
Mexico and the United States
of America through the lived experience of
Mexican people. The focus of this course
is the present day realities of Mexican people working and living in the US. The course will offer knowledge, values and
skills necessary to understand and work with Mexicans in the US.
- VUSM 292. Awareness through Experience in the Spanish-speaking World. This is a study abroad course designed to develop an
awareness of the cultures and peoples in the Spanish-speaking world through
immersion. The experience includes opportunities to interact with the people in
rural and urban communities to learn from them about political, social,
religious, and economic realities. Prerequisite: any 100 level VUSM course.
Permission of department and study abroad committee required.
- VUSM 293. Intro to Latin American Studies. This course presents cultural theory tools to understand Latin America from a interdisciplinary perspective. Using a wide range of cultural products like film, literature, and music, among others, we will seek to delve into the cultural background of the region beyond a descriptive approach. We will take a closer look to Latin American socio-historical formation discussing issues of class, race, and gender as well as political and intellectual traditions. This course will also include materials exploring the Latino/a cultural identity.
- PHIL 365. Latin America philosophy. The purpose of the course “Philosophy in Latin
America” is to introduce students to the depth and diversity of philosophy in Latin America. The
course examines how philosophy in Latin America develops in response to the
larger socio-political context, re-thinking European ideas to make sense of the
unique realities of Latin America.
- POSC 382. Latin American politics. The course focuses on themes of political
culture, civil society, institutions and policy-making processes and policy
issues as these relate to the consolidation of democracy in Latin America and
the Caribbean. Some emphasis will be placed on the larger countries in the
- THTR 321. Modern Latin America Drama. An introductory
survey of late twentieth century drama in Latin America.
Representative plays will be read in translation. Beginning with a brief overview of US Latino
theatre and playwrights, as well as the work of Brazilian playwright and
theorist Augusto Boal, the course will explore how modern Latin American
dramatists focus on the unique national issues and concerns that have
confronted their individual countries.
- ENGL 360. Postmodern Latin American fiction. This course concentrates on the Latin American
boom of the 1960s, a period which saw the emergence of four writers whose
writing came to be seen as synonymous with the movement. In the fiction of
Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, students will
discover the same fragmentation, recursiveness, self-reflexivity, and formal
transgression that characterize the decade’s postmodernist technique outside of
- HIST 349 U.S. Mexico Borderlands. This course will examine the
border / la frontera between Mexico
and the United States. We will seek to connect the border’s
historical origins and contemporary border issues (changes over time and context). We will examine the forces, policies, people,
and events (causality) that produced the border, as well as the interconnections
of conditions (contingency) that will help us to understand more deeply the
paradoxical relationship between Mexico and the United States as one of
conflict and interdependence (complexity) that has continually shifted over
time, often corresponding to policy shifts within the United States and Mexico.
- LASP 336. Perspectives of Latin American thru Films. This course has been designed to introduce films focusing on
the social, historical, and political dimensions of Latin
America during the last three decades. The core of
the course will be devoted to the examination of recent Latin American films
and documentaries that reflect on contemporary issues such as dictatorships in
the 20th century, neoliberal reforms, social movements, and
immigration. This course is offered in English. Spanish majors must complete
their work in Spanish.
- LASP 486 Special topics
- LASP 487 Experimental learning: Internship
- LASP 488 Independent study
Only one course from this list would be counted toward the minor:
- Spanish for Business, Health Care, or Social Services
- Practicums or internships (Nursing, Social Work, Dietetics)
A Study Abroad program in Latin America is strongly recommended.