Latin American Studies

Director: Paola Fajardo-Heyward, PhD

Introduction

The Latin American Studies Program (LAS) is a multi-disciplinary program that students adopt as a second or third major. Its primary focus is to promote intellectual discussion, teaching and research on Latin America and the Caribbean. The program also includes the study of Latinos in the United States. Moreover, LAS engages in a wide array of community outreach activities and programming, such as colloquia, K-12 collaboration, student conferences, and visits by renowned speakers. This complements the program’s academic offerings and provides students, faculty and the local community with timely and relevant opportunities to learn about and become actively involved in issues relevant to Latin American Studies. LAS also serves to provide career opportunities for students interested in this geographical region and helps to establish stronger linkages with the Latin American and Latino communities in Western New York. For a more detailed description of the program, faculty, facilities, academic and co-curricular opportunities please go to the Latin American Studies website.  

The flexible structure of the major and minor enables students to appreciate the social, economic, political, cultural, and historical context of the subject matter, encouraging them to develop critical interdisciplinary skills. While the LAS program will include attention to the Latino communities in Western New York and the United States, its coursework and extracurricular experiences will move beyond these boundaries to view these communities as being embedded within global processes.

General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum.

Free Electives

Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum or Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum of 120 credit hours required for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours.

Major Requirements

General Requirements

  • The Latin American Studies major must be combined with another major at Canisius;
  • There are no limits on the number of courses that count for this major that also apply to another major;
  • Modern Language Requirement: At least a C in SPA 217 or its equivalent;
  • The Program Director can allow students to pursue French on an exceptional basis to take into account the French-speaking parts of “Latin America”;
  • The Program Director can also allow a lower level of coursework in Portuguese to fulfill this requirement (e.g., if combined with a study abroad in Brazil);
  • Study Abroad Requirement: an approved short term or semester-long program in Latin America or the Caribbean.

Ten Required Courses

Social Science and History – 3 courses

  • all three courses must be taken at Canisius; students must choose to take one of each of the following two academic disciplines:
    HIS 131Latin American History to 18303
    HIS 132Latin American History since 18303
    PSC 150Comparative Government and Politics3
    PSC 250Politics in Latin America3
    The third course must be taken from any of the following academic departments/disciplines: Business, Education, History, Political Science and Honors.

Language, Literature, and Culture – 3 courses

  • Must be taken at Canisius from at least two of the following academic departments/disciplines: Modern Languages, Literature and Culture, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Fine Arts History, Fine Arts Music, and Honors.

Major Electives – 3 courses

  • may be taken in any discipline and/or abroad;
  • could include a service-learning course at Canisius involving the Latino community in Western New York.

Senior Capstone – 1 course

  • Core or major capstones fulfill this requirement if students complete a major project on Latin America and/or Latin@s in the United States.

Learning Goals & Objectives

Student Learning Goal 1

Latin American Studies majors think critically about Latin American societies, governments, and policies through both historical and contemporary lenses.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Interpret important political concepts, theories, events, actors, and processes pertinent to Latin American analyses;
  • Objective B: Apply knowledge of Latin American history and diverse cultures to contemporary social and political themes;
  • Objective C: Identify regional political, social, and economic trends and the impact of colonialism, globalization, and U.S. foreign policy towards Latin America.

Student Learning Goal 2

Latin American Studies majors use research to articulate ideas and arguments clearly and effectively in the field of Latin American Studies.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Integrate knowledge from different academic disciplines into a coherent paper, presentation or project that addresses a topic in Latin American Studies;
  • Objective B: Conduct independent research and follow appropriate formats in documenting resources;
  • Objective C: Communicate information, ideas, and research results effectively.

Student Learning Goal 3

Latin American Studies majors communicate in a modern language that is appropriate to the area of studies and necessary for professional success.

 Students will:
  • Objective A: Display competency of a Latin American language at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) intermediate level.

General Requirement

  • Modern Language Requirement: At least a C in SPA 217.

Six Required Courses

Social Science & History – 3 courses

  • must be taken from at least two of the following academic departments/disciplines: Business, Education, History, Political Science and Honors.

Language, Literature, and Culture – 3 courses

  • must be taken from at least two of the following academic departments/disciplines: Modern Languages, Literature and Culture, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Fine Arts, History, Fine Arts Music, and Honors.