Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies (LAS)Academic Catalog: 2019–2020

  • Angelique Dwyer, Program Director

The Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies (LALACS) Program offers an interdisciplinary concentration that joins students and faculty in a meaningful study of the Americas with a focus on the effects globalization has on identity and community. As its name suggests, Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies is an inclusive program that combines area studies in Latin America and the Caribbean with recognition of the growing cultural plurality of the United States—diversity that is increasingly evident in Minnesota and the Gustavus community.

A major or minor in LALACS offers students the opportunity to study the Americas across a wide spectrum of the humanities and the social sciences through a variety of geographical and cultural emphases. It also offers students the technical tools needed for in-depth experiential learning through language courses and cultural immersion in study abroad programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. A unique aspect of the program is the exploration of historical and cultural ties to the countries of the Iberian Peninsula.

Requirements for the major:

Nine courses, including:

  1. HIS-160 Introduction to Latin America.
  2. SPA-200 Intermediate Spanish, or above or FRE-202, Intermediate French II, or above.
  3. Take five courses: at least one in Latin American Arts in Context, one in Humanities, and one in Social Sciences and Religion. At least one course must be a level three course.

Latin American Arts in Context:

  • ART-265 Maya and Mexican Art and Archeology
  • SPA-320 From Latin America to Latinos in the U.S.
  • SPA-390 Through the Lens: Film in Spanish
  • T/D-265 Performance in the Americas


  • ENG-226 U.S. Latino/a Literatures
  • FRE-364 Francophone African/Caribbean Literatures and Cultures
  • HIS-261 Colonial Latin America
  • HIS-265 Mexican American History
  • HIS-361 Latin America and the United States
  • SPA-250 Negotiating Difference in the Hispanic World
  • SPA-280 Literature, Film, and Society
  • SPA-322 Masterworks of Spanish American Literature
  • SPA-375 Gender and Sexual Identities in the Spanish-Speaking World

Social Sciences and Religion:

  • GEG-225 Race and Space in the US
  • GEG-243 Hydrology and Water Resources (if project is on LALACS)
  • GEG-343 Problem-Solving Using GIS (if project is on LALACS)
  • GEG-350 Political Ecology
  • POL-230 Latin American Politics
  • REL-273 Religion and Politics in Latin America
  • REL-383 Liberation Struggles
  • S/A-243 Globalization
  • S/A-258 African Culture in Latin American and the Caribbean
  1. LAS-368 or LAS-391, chosen in consultation with the LALACS advisor.
  2. LAS-399 Senior Capstone

Requirements for the minor: Minimum 6 courses, including:

  1. HIS-160, Introduction to Latin America.
  2. SPA-200, Crossing Borders, or above or FRE-202, Intermediate French II, or above.
  3. Four courses from three departments, selected from the approved list above.

LALACS Courses

244, 344 Special Topics in LALACS (Course value to be determined) Course content varies and explores a topic or problem in depth through reading, discussion, and writing. More than one special topics course may be taken.

268, 368 Career Exploration, Internship (course value to be determined) Off-campus employment experience related to the student’s major. See description of the Internship Program. Internship prerequisite: junior or senior status. Fall and Spring semester.

291, 391 Independent Study (course value to be determined)

399 Senior Capstone (1 course) This course offers students directed practice in completing an independent research/artistic project that deepens their knowledge of Latin America. The research project will involve the study of primary and secondary materials, including primary source research, data collection, analysis, and scholarly writing. The artistic project will involve the study of primary and secondary materials in addition to the creation of an individual artist project with a written statement of purpose and scholarly essay describing the aesthetic and cultural issues at stake in the project. The project will be presented in front of a LALACS faculty panel. Prerequisites: HIS-160 and senior status. Spring semester.