The Latin American Studies Major at Davidson

Majors benefit from a structured interdisciplinary approach to Latin America that highlights the region-specific expertise of Davidson faculty across the curriculum.

Students are offered the tools to conceptualize the region as a whole so they can engage in critical comparisons of cultures, integrate Latin America's past into the evaluation of its present, and problem-solve contemporary issues.

Approved education abroad or other significant off-campus experience in Latin American/Latinx communities are required prior to graduation. Extended stay in the region is essential for gaining linguistic and cultural fluency associated with an area studies major.

If you have any questions about majoring in Latin American Studies, please contact Prof. Matt Samson, program chair, at masamson@davidson.edu.

Latin American Studies vs. Hispanic Studies

There are key differences between the major in Latin American Studies and the major in Hispanic Studies. First, while the Hispanic Studies major requires classes on the literature and culture of both Spain and Latin America, the Latin American Studies major requires classes that focus on Latin America from the perspectives of several disciplines, including not only Hispanic Studies, but also Anthropology, History, Music, Political Science, and others.

Second, while all courses for the Hispanic Studies major are conducted in Spanish, most of the courses taken for the interdisciplinary LAS major are taught in English, with the notable exception of study abroad courses and the Hispanic Studies courses on literature and culture that also count toward the LAS major.

If you are interested in a major that focuses on the literature and culture of both Latin America and Spain through classes conducted exclusively in Spanish, you may wish to view the Hispanic Studies major.

Courses You Might Take

SPA 358

20th-21st C Spanish Theatre

Instructors
Pasero-O'Malley

This course surveys foundational plays and performance groups from the Spanish theatre landscape of early twentieth-century Spain through to the present day. We will explore the efforts made at innovation in playwrighting and stagecraft, examining how these works…

ANT 323

Human Rights in Latin America

Instructor
Samson

Anthropological perspectives on human rights agendas in Latin America. Case studies examine the tension between universal and culturally relative conceptions of human rights in relation to issues such as state violence, violence directed toward minorities, and social justice…

LAS 241

Latin Amer Social Movements

Instructor
Stuartevant

Throughout Latin America, social movements extend democratic participation far beyond the ballot box and transform political possibilities for those who had previously been excluded from power. In this course, we will examine how social movements convince national populations…