The Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies program promotes a multidisciplinary approach to the history, politics, culture, and society of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Latino communities in the United States. By emphasizing the inter-dependence of the Americas, it seeks to help students understand civic and social responsibilities in terms that go beyond national borders, preparing them for participation in a multicultural world.
Gettysburg College offers a minor in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies and a combined major in Spanish and Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies, which draw on courses in the humanities and social sciences. Students who minor in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies are required to take six courses and are encouraged to spend a semester studying abroad in Latin America or the Caribbean. The combined Spanish/LACLS major requires a total of twelve courses, including one semester of study abroad in a College-affiliated program in a Latin American country. Approved College-affiliated programs currently include sites in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru.
The College, the town of Gettysburg, and the greater Washington, D.C. area provide a stimulating environment for the study of Latin America. On campus, the program of activities includes lecture series, musical performances, panel discussions, art exhibits, and films focused on Latin America. Students have opportunities to interact with the growing Latino community in Gettysburg by participating in heritage festivals and service-learning-based courses and by volunteering with local community groups. Students can also pursue internships in Washington, D.C., with organizations such as the Organization of American States and the Washington Office on Latin America.
To minor in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies, students must fulfill the College's language distribution requirement in Spanish or one of the other principal languages spoken in Latin America. Students on the alternate-language track may also minor in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies.
Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies Course Options:
Core Courses (required of all LACLS/Spanish majors):
Elective Courses (select three of the following):
Spanish Department Course Options
Core Courses (required of all LACLS/Spanish majors):
Elective Courses (select four of the following):
LAS-140 Introduction to Latin America: Social Sciences
This course introduces students to Latin American Studies via disciplinary approaches from the Social Sciences, including Sociology, Anthropology, Political Sciences, and Economics. It explores the formation and development of Latin American and Caribbean societies by looking at a number of topics, including the conquest of Amerindian civilizations, colonialism, neocolonialism, nationalism, revolution, modernization, social movements, democracy, and neoliberal globalization.
LAS-145 Introduction to Latinx Studies
This course introduces students to the range of issues and analytical approaches that form the foundation of Latinx studies. By tracing the history of the “Latina/o or Latinx” concept in relation to key elements of sociocultural life, such as time, space, identity, community, power, language, nation, and rights, students develop understandings of the particular ways in which Latina/o and Latinx studies takes shape as an intellectual and political enterprise.
LAS-147 Introduction to Latin America: Cultural Studies
This course introduces students to Latin American Studies via disciplinary approaches from Cultural Studies, including Music, Visual Arts, Literature, History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. It explores the construction of Latin America and the Caribbean by looking at aesthetics and cultural artifacts from pre-Columbian times to our days in order to understand the ongoing formation of cultural communities, sensibilities, and imaginaries.
LAS-214 Latin American Economic History and Development
Intensive examination of Latin America, using the framework of economic analysis and political economy to consider economic history, growth, and development. Economic theory provides the primary paradigm within which this region is studied, but consideration is also given to historical events that conditioned the economic outcomes. Reviews the pertinent theory and focuses on application of that theory to specific historical events. Prerequisites: Economics 103 or 104.
LAS-220 Topics in Latin American Literature
Study of Latin American literature and related arts from varying perspectives. Taught in English.
LAS-222 Bridging the Borders: U.S. Latina and Latin American Women Writers
This course will explore the identity and the condition of women in Latin America and the United States. Latina and Latin American-women writers have illustrated women’s lives and experiences through their works and criticism. Their works have created women’s’ identities primarily from a borderline perspective, and sometimes from what Gloria Anzaldúa or Mary Louise Pratt refer to as a third space. For writers, the concept of space, gender, race, and class--as well as intersections and borderlands--play an important role when depicting Latin American women’s’ representation and Latina women in the United States and their experiences. We will use a comparative analysis utilizing texts from Latina and Latin American women writers to look feminist discourse across physical, geographic or abstract borders. The concept of space as an analytical tool will facilitate our textual analysis, and will serve to establish a common ground to discuss similarities and difference regarding women’s identity and their condition in Latin America and the United States. WGS 221 and LAS 222 are cross-listed.
LAS-223 Mapping Caribbean Identities
Study of the evolution of the Caribbean people from colonial to post-colonial times through careful reading of literature. Course includes novels from the English, Spanish, and French Caribbean. A small and accessible body of post-colonial theory supplements the works of fiction. Focus is on the different political, economic, and cultural realities imposed on the various islands and their populations by the respective colonizing powers. AFS 236 and LAS 223 are cross-listed.
LAS-228 Latin American Cinema
Overview of the development of Latin American Cinema from its early decades to the 21st century. The course examines how films are part of, represent, and respond to Latin American historical, political and cultural contexts, as well as the ways in which filmmakers have used cinema as a tool in social struggles. The course traces the evolution of film style, and how formal aspects contribute to the construction of the films' meanings in the Latin American context.
LAS-231 Gender and Change in Africa and Afro-Latin America
An exploration of the diversity of women's familial, political, economic and social realities and experiences in West Africa and the African Diaspora in South America and the Caribbean. Particular attention is given to the processes by which indigenous West African gender and cultural patterns and their inherent power relations have shifted since pre-colonial times and across the Atlantic into the New World. Finally, the course examines the concept of Diaspora and theories relative to processes of cultural change, resistance, and retentions, as well as the role gender plays in these processes. No prerequisites. ANTH 231, WGS 231 and LAS 231 are cross-listed.
LAS-232 Precolumbian Civilizations of Mesoamerica
Introduction to the organization and development of Native American civilizations in Mexico and Central America. Evidence from archaeological and ethnographic research, Native texts and art, and Spanish Colonial writings is used to study religious beliefs, sociopolitical organization, economic relationships, and intellectual achievements of such groups as the Olmec, Maya, and Aztecs. Period prior to the sixteenth-century Spanish conquest is emphasized, but modern indigenous cultures are also studied. Prerequisites: Anthropology 103 or 106; or Latin American Studies 140 or 147. Anth 232 and LAS 232 are cross-listed.
LAS-236 Precolumbian Civilizations of South America
Introduction to the organization and development of Native American civilizations in South America. Evidence from archaeological and ethnographic research, Native texts and art, and Spanish Colonial writings is used to study religious beliefs, sociopolitical organization, economic relationships, and intellectual achievements of such groups as the Inka, Moche, and Chavin. Period prior to the sixteenth-century Spanish conquest is emphasized, but modern indigenous cultures are also studied. Prerequisites: Anthropology 103 or 106; or Latin American Studies 140 or 147. Anth 236 and LAS 236 are cross-listed.
LAS-251 Topics in Musicology: Global - Music of the Caribbean
An examination of music in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Trinidad. Disciplinary perspectives come from ethnomusicology (the study of music as culture), Africana Studies, and Latin American Studies. Covers recreational musics (such as reggae and salsa) as well as religious musics (such as bata drumming) in relation to broader cultural currents such as national identity, race, social class, gender, sexuality, and religion. MUS 251, AFS 251, and LAS 251 are cross-listed.
LAS-261 Colonial Latin American History
Exploration of Spanish and Portuguese America from its roots in Iberia and indigenous America through three centuries of change. During the period, Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans transformed their economies and cultures and created new societies. Hist 261 and LAS 261 are cross-listed.
LAS-262 Social Development of Latin America
A study of the development of Latin American states and societies. It first examines the various strategies employed by Latin American elites to develop capitalist societies that serve their interests. Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina are used to illustrate the implementation of these strategies. The second part of the course focuses on social movements to analyze the popular reaction to elites’ strategies of social development. It looks at social movements generally in the region, but it pays particular attention to Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. Soc 262 and LAS 262 are cross-listed.
LAS-263 Modern Latin American History
Survey of Latin American history from independence through the formation of national identity and the quest for modernity to dictatorship, democracy, and neoliberalism. Hist 262 and LAS 263 are cross-listed.
LAS-264 Brazil: Earthly Paradise to Industrial Giant
Major themes in Brazilian history from early Portuguese-indigenous relations, expanding frontiers, colonial society, and the development of African slavery, through nineteenth-century formation of national identity, to twentieth-century industrialization, political struggle, and cultural change. Hist 264 and LAS 264 are cross-listed.
LAS-265 U.S. Latino Voices
The study of selected masterpieces of Latino literature from the United States. Special emphasis is given to writers representing the largest segments of the U.S. Latino population: Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Dominicans. Other Latino communities are represented in shorter reading selections. This is primarily a literature course engaging students in literary analysis of each text’s themes, structure and style. ENG 265 and LAS 265 are cross-listed.
LAS-267 Society and Politics in Latin America
A study of historical, social and political development of the Dominican Republic. The course looks at the tensions between dictatorship, democracy, social development, and international migration to explain contemporary Dominican society. These factors are seen in the context of international capitalist development and the nation’s re-insertion into globalization. Soc 267 and LAS 267 are cross-listed.
LAS-268 Gender and Sexuality in Latino/a Cinema
Critical exploration of the representation of gender and sexuality in Latino/a cinema in the United States. The course invites students to ponder questions like: How has the cinematic representation and self-representation of Latinos/as evolved since the 1920s? How do gender and sexuality interact with race, class, and the politics of language to construct specific images of Latinos/as in film? How do gender, sexuality, and politics interact to construct different representations of Latino history on film?
LAS-276 Contemporary Mexican State and Society
Study of the development of Mexico’s economic and social development in the Twentieth Century. The course focuses on two tasks: it provides an outline of economic and social development since independence and evaluates the process of industrialization in the twentieth century. The basic conceptual framework is that a socio-historical approach may help us understand the successive periods of growth and stagnation in Mexican society. What does the sociological analysis teach us about the current obstacles to social and economic development?
LAS-300 Topics in Latin American Studies
A study of Latin American societies as seen through the lenses of Anthropology, Political Science, Literature, History, Economics or Sociology.
LAS-304 Film & Revolution in Latin America
Investigation of Latin American movies that urge revolutionary change. Special attention to films of the Cuban Revolution and to underground cinema, neorealist films, and indigenous film movements in other Latin American countries. Attention to the social and political context in which the films were made. Analysis of the contrasting presuppositions and assertions in revolutionary filmmakers’ theoretical writings, of the impact of their theories on their films, and of the evolution of revolutionary movies.
LAS-322 The Hispanic Heritage in the United States
Study of the Hispanic experience in the territory that is now the United States, from the early Spanish explorations to the present. This course examines the historical roots of the various groups that belong to this large and diverse segment of the U.S. population, looking at the issues that distinguish each group, as well as those that join all the groups under the Hispanic umbrella. Readings, films, guest speakers, and contact with the local Hispanic community provide sources of information for reflection on the ways in which the various groups have faced the challenges of integration into American society.
LAS-331 Reinventing Latin American Societies
A study of the changing pattern of democratic development in Latina America. It will first analyze the processes of transition and consolidation of the region’s democracies from the 1980s to 2009 and, then, focus, on issues of clientelism, citizenship, and populism. What is holding back the consolidation of democracy in the region? Prerequisite: LAS 140 or any other course with a focus on Latin America. Soc 331 and LAS 331 are cross-listed.
LAS-337 Borderlands of the Americas
Explores geographical regions from the Great Lakes to the South American pampas beyond the effective control of Spanish, Portuguese, British, or French empires or early nation states. Often transitional environmental zones, ecological and human variables shaped these spaces of ethnic, cultural, and economic exchange, where competing spheres of indigenous and European influence overlapped. The histories of these places have often been memorialized and mythologized in the development of national identities.
LAS-361 The Mexican Revolution
Study of the background, precursor movements, participants, events, and outcome of the violent social revolution; that swept the Mexican countryside between 1910 and 1917. Hist 361 and LAS 361 are cross-listed.
LAS-362 The U.S. & Latin America since 1898
The United States and Latin America since 1898. This course examines the evolution of U.S. policy toward Latin America, identifying the historical developments that have shaped that policy. It also investigates the effects these policies have had in the region and the ways in which Latin Americans have reacted to them. While the course centers on traditional diplomatic history in its orientation, it also examines interactions among non-state actors and the broader cultural and social dimensions of international relations.
LAS-364 Social Difference in Brazilian History
Intensive study of Brazilian history with an emphasis on the creation of social difference, the formation of concepts of race and ethnicity, and the construction of colonial, imperial, and national identities. Exploring historiographical trends and recent scholarship, the course emphasizes topics such as early contact, colonial society, Indian and African slavery, immigration, religion and culture, and indigenism. Prerequisite: HIST 106, LAS/Hist 261, LAS 263/Hist 262, HIST/LAS 264, HIST 300; or instructor permission. Hist 364 and LAS 364 are cross-listed.
LAS-450 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.
LAS-451 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U.
LAS-452 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.
LAS-453 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U.
LAS-460 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.
LAS-461 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U.
LAS-462 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.
LAS-463 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor graded S/U.
LAS-464 Individualized Study-Research
LAS-470 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.
LAS-471 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U.
LAS-472 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.
LAS-473 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U.
LAS-474 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded A-F, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.
LAS-475 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded S/U, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.