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Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Associate Professor Elizabeth W. Kiddy, Ph.D., Director


Latin America and the Caribbean have always occupied a place of unique and singular importance for the United States. For instance, the Panama Canal, the economic embargo of Cuba, NAFTA, preservation of the Amazon rainforests, drug trafficking, etc., are just a few of the many subjects that have consumed the imaginations, the interests, and the energies of U.S. business people, politicians, students and even tourists. In fact, the regions of North, Central, and South America, including the Caribbean, are becoming ever more intertwined culturally, linguistically, economically and politically.

For the student interested in issues of bi-lingualism in secondary education, international trade and finance, foreign affairs, diplomatic history, modern foreign languages, etc., knowledge of Latin America and the region's relationship to the United States is becoming ever more indispensable. The Latin American studies curriculum offers students the opportunity to learn about Latin America from a broad-based interdisciplinary perspective.

Students interested in pursuing a course of study at Albright with the primary focus on Latin America have the option of selecting Latin American and Caribbean Studies as an interdisciplinary major.

Students wishing to complement a traditional disciplinary focus with a Latin American contextualization can choose to combine Latin American and Caribbean Studies with another major. And finally, students who are pursuing other majors, but who would like to become more familiar with Latin America in a very general way, may choose to participate in the five-course Latin American and Caribbean Studies Minor. Students interested in any of the Latin American Studies curricular options should consult Professor Elizabeth Kiddy, Director of the Johnson Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

The Johnson Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, located in Masters Hall, Room 128, houses a collection of Latin American journals, magazines and other resources, as well as a small computer lab with subtitling and video production capabilities. It is open for use for any campus constituency working on a project relating to Latin America and the Caribbean.

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The Latin American and Caribbean Studies Minor:

The Latin American and Caribbean Studies minor is a five-course curriculum. In either the first or second year of study, students must take the “Introduction to Latin American Studies” course (LAS 225). In the third or fourth year of study, students must take the core “Seminar on Latin America” (LAS 400). Students must also take, at any point in their four years at Albright, three Latin American and/or Caribbean content courses listed across the curriculum. For the minor option only, students are permitted to "double-count" these courses as fulfilling both the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program requirements and either general studies requirements or the particular requirements of any degree program.

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Combined Major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies:

Latin American and Caribbean studies as a combined major is a seven-course curriculum. Students take the “Introduction to Latin American Studies” course (LAS 225) in their first or second year and then the core “Seminar on Latin America” (LAS 400) in their third or fourth year. Students must also take, at any point in their four years at Albright, five Latin American and/or Caribbean content courses listed across the curriculum.

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The Interdisciplinary Major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies:

The interdisciplinary major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies is a 12-course curriculum that combines core, track and elective courses.

The core requirements are “Introduction to Latin American Studies” (LAS 225), which should be taken within the first two years of academic work at Albright, and the “Senior Seminar in Latin American Studies” (LAS 400), which should be taken in the junior or senior year.

After taking Introduction to Latin American Studies (LAS 225), students will declare a primary and secondary track from the two tracks (Group A or Group B). Group A consists of courses that focus more on the arts and humanities, and Group B consists of courses that focus more on the social and natural sciences.

The track is an eight- course sequence in which students choose five courses from one group and three courses from the other group to complete the track requirement. Note:  The Director may add additional courses to the groups.

Group A courses: LAS 160, 195, 201, 215, 220, 224, 228, 235, 240, 259, 275, 280, 285, 308, 319, 320, 321, 322, 325, 330, 340, 352, 380

Group B courses: LAS 215, 228, 270, 275, 280, 307, 322, 325, 330, 340, 345, 360

The major is also required to take two elective courses in Latin American Studies.

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