LALACS is launching a new major!

Posted on August 17th, 2012 by

Mela Shah ’12, LALACS student, in Buenos Aires
Mela spent the 2011-2012 academic year in Valparaíso, Chile

In the Fall of 2012, students can declare a major in Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies!

Be among the first to graduate with the new major, which examines issues such as globalization, identity, and community in Latin America. Learn about Latin American culture and history, study abroad, and serve others while you prepare yourself for our diverse global community.

LALACS students study abroad across Latin America:  in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Perú, Cuba, México, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and more. As part of the sister-city relationship between Saint Peter, Minnesota and Petatlán, México, LALACS students have traveled to Petátlan as members of a city-college delegation and on a Spring Break trip serving in clinics and hospitals.

Saint Peter itself has a large Hispanic population, and LALACS students tutor in schools, translate at parent-teacher conferences, and participate in language-exchanges that deepen the bond between the college and the community.

On campus, you can involve yourself in student groups like OLAS or El Tintero, our new Spanish-language literary journal.You may find yourself organizing a Brazilian carnival, participating in traditional celebrations of Day of the Dead, or traveling to the Twin Cities with your profs to attend a Cuban film festival.

As a LALACS major you will graduate with the cultural knowledge and critical thinking skills needed now and in the future. Because LALACS is an interdisciplinary major you will learn to make connections between disciplines, become a more vibrant thinker, and you will have the deep cultural knowledge  in demand by employers and graduate programs.  See the requirements below!

Chaz Brown ’11 in Petatlán, México, as part of a Spring break trip to serve in the local clinics of our sister city

Here’s a brief summary of the requirements:

1) Intro to Latin American History (core course)

2) Electives:  Choose 5 courses from three different areas (Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences/ Religion)
See course list below.

3) Field Study (Must be taken during or after sophomore year) This is an experiential learning one-credit course fulfilled through an independent study for sophomores or juniors or an internship (done domestically or internationally) for seniors. You choose this in consultation with the LALACS adviser.

4) Capstone:  Must be taken your senior year. This is a one-credit course offered regularly. The capstone is an intensive course where each student in the class produces a senior thesis: an individual, independent project that will deepen your knowledge of Latin America. With lots of guidance and help from LALACS faculty, you write  a substantial scholarly paper and/or produce an original creative work. Class time will be spent discussing research methods, sharing ideas, discussing articles.

5) Language requirement: While at Gustavus you must take a language course:  Spanish 200 or French 201 or above. If you study Portuguese or another language spoken in Latin America, you also need to reach the intermediate level.

Electives: Choose 5 courses:  at least one in Latin American Arts in Context, 1 in Humanities, and 1 in Social Sciences and Religion. At least one in the 300 level.
Latin American Arts in Context
Maya and Mexican Art and Archaeology ART-265 (WRIT D)
Film in Spanish SPA-390
Performance in the Americas – T/D 265 (WRIT-D)
Spanish American Culture SPA-320
Francophone African/Caribbean Literatures and Cultures FRE-364 (WRIT-D)
Colonial Latin America HIS-261
Argentina HIS-262
Cuba HIS-263
The Mexican Revolution HIS-264
Mexican American History HIS-265
Latin America and the United States HIS-361(WRITD)
The Age of Conquest HIS-362 (WRIT-D)
Introduction to Literature in Spanish SPA-280 (WRIT-D)
Masterworks of Spanish American Literature SPA-322
Women Writers in Spanish SPA-375
Social Sciences and Religion
Central America/Caribbean GEG-233
Latin American Politics POL-230
Religion and Politics in Latin America REL-273
Globalization S/A-243
African Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean S/A-258
God and Globalization REL-293
Liberation and the 2/3 World REL-383 (WRIT-D)

Any questions? Call Professor Hanway at 933-7388 or email her at


One Comment

  1. Angelique Dwyer says:

    Congratulations to Rachael Chase the First LALACS Major!!!