Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies Concentration

Haverford’s Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies concentration offers students the opportunity to explore in depth the cultures of Spanish America, Brazil, and the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal).

Designed to supplement the course work undergraduates are engaged in as majors in one of our cooperating departments (among them, History, Religion, Political Science, Anthropology, and Spanish), the concentration brings together students and faculty from a wide range of academic backgrounds. Together, we create a highly interdisciplinary and exceedingly vibrant learning environment.

Curriculum & Courses

Our strengths in the study of the Spanish language, Latin American politics, and Latin American history are well-established. At the same time, we are opening new areas of inquiry—including, most recently, courses on the Latinx experience in the U.S.

We provide our students with great flexibility as they pursue their interests within the concentration. We do that by keeping our requirements minimal and our course offerings wide-ranging and diverse. Our academic partnerships with Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and University of Pennsylvania open an even broader array of classes to our concentrators.

As concentrators pursue their individual courses of study, all of them must achieve competence in the Spanish language and complete Latin American and Iberian Cultures and Civilizations, our one-semester introductory course. In addition, they must complete four courses connected to Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies, two of which must be outside their own major.

  • Concentration Requirements

    Requirements for the concentration (six courses and one essay):

    • Concentrators must demonstrate competence in Spanish to be achieved no later than the junior year, demonstrated by the completion of at least one course in Spanish at the 200 level or above.
    • SPAN H240 at Haverford, or GNST B245 at Bryn Mawr. One of these two courses will be taught every year, usually in spring, alternating between Haverford and Bryn Mawr.
    • At least two, and no more than three, courses must be completed in the departmental major.
    • At least two other courses in Latin American or Iberian Studies, representing at least two departments outside of the major. These courses are to be chosen from the offerings listed under the concentration in the Catalog or the Course Guide. Students should consult with their advisors as to which courses are most appropriate for their major and special interests: some apply more to Latin America, some to the Iberian Peninsula and others to the United States. Students may have other courses approved to fulfill this requirement if they can demonstrate their pertinence to the concentration. The concentration coordinator will approve courses not listed in the Catalog or Course Guide on a case-by-case basis. These can include courses offered at Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, the University of Pennsylvania, or in approved study abroad programs.
    • One of the courses fulfilling the third or fourth bullet point must be at the 300 level.
    • A long paper (at least 20 pages) on Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, or the Latinx experience in the United States to be completed no later than the first semester of the senior year, as part of the work for a course in the student’s major or the concentration. Students must submit in advance a proposal for the paper topic, accompanied by a bibliography, for the concentration coordinator’s approval. Although the topic is open and should reflect the student’s interests in a particular discipline, the paper should demonstrate the student’s ability to discuss cogently the history, literature, social, or political thought of Latin America or Spain as it applies to the individual student’s research project. The concentration coordinator may on a case-by-case basis approve creative works, such as films and other types of art requiring work comparable to a long paper, to fulfill this requirement.
    • A 2-page reflection on how the courses students took for the LAILS concentration helped them understand the topic of research, and/or other specific issues in Latin America and Spain more deeply.
    • A brief presentation of the project and reflection to be scheduled at the end of the Spring semester.
    • No more than two credits towards the concentration will be awarded for work done beyond the Tri-Co, whether abroad or in the U.S.

Research & Outreach

Our program is rich in learning experiences that happen outside the classroom—among them, an eclectic array of visiting speakers and extensive study abroad and internship opportunities throughout Latin America.

All students in the concentration must produce a research paper, at least 20 pages long, on Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, or Latinx culture. For many of our students, this is the culmination of their work within the concentration. In it, they explore a particular area of interest, situating it within the history, literature, or social and political thought of Latin America, Spain, the Iberian Peninsula, or Latino culture. The paper is developed in conjunction with a course in the student’s major or the concentration and in close collaboration with a faculty member. In some cases, our students prepare creative work such as a film in fulfillment of the research requirement.

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