Major program: Latin American Studies (LAST) is an interdisciplinary program that is designed to provide an integrated view of Mesoamerica, South America, and the Caribbean. This interdisciplinary approach is complemented by concentration in a specific department. The purpose of the concentration is to assure that the student majoring in LAST, an interdisciplinary program, has mastered the substance and methods of at least one established academic discipline.

Twelve semester courses are required to complete the LAST major.  There are two ways to get the twelve courses:

  • 6 in LAST and 6 in a department of concentration (e.g., History, Government, Spanish)
  • 7 in LAST and 5 in a department of concentration

Sample Courses:  Colonialism and Its Consequences in the Americas; Colonial Fantasies: Rethinking the Conquest through Film; Political Economy of Developing Countries; Survey of Latin American History

Number of Professors: 4

Latin American Studies
Title: Faculty Spotlight
Latin American Studies

James W. McGuire

Professor of Latin American Studies, Professor of Government


Research Interests: Parties, unions, and strikes in Argentina; transitions from authoritarianism in Latin America; determinants of economic growth and income distribution in East Asia and Latin America; determinants of the pattern and pace of mortality decline in developing societies, including Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, South Korea, and Taiwan. His new book, Wealth, Health, and Democracy in East Asia and Latin America (Cambridge, forthcoming January 2010), explores why some East Asian and Latin American societies have done better than others at raising life expectancy and reducing infant mortality. It draws on a cross-national analysis of more than 100 developing countries; case studies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand; and historical comparisons among the eight societies .