Undergraduate minor: Latin American studies
Undergraduate certificate: Latin American studies
Faculty: https://clas.uiowa.edu/latin-american-studies/people
Website: https://clas.uiowa.edu/latin-american-studies/

The Latin American Studies Program (LASP) is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the history, society, language, art, and culture of Latinos/as in Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, the United States, and elsewhere. Faculty members from across the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences participate in the Latin American Studies Program as affiliated faculty members. Other University of Iowa faculty members occasionally offer courses and participate in the program's research, study, and interdisciplinary activities.

The Latin American Studies Program prepares students for graduate study or for Latin America-related careers in business, communications, government, bilingual/bicultural education, secondary teaching, community organizing, and international work.

In addition to its instructional activity, LASP sponsors a wide variety of activities, brings scholars of Latin America to campus, and fosters institutional linkages.

Latin American Studies is one of the academic units in the Division of Interdisciplinary Programs.

Study Abroad

The Latin American Studies Program highly recommends, but does not require, that students have an in-depth Latin American cultural experience, usually through study abroad, before completing their undergraduate requirements.

In cooperation with International Programs Study Abroad, LASP faculty members facilitate student participation in programs in many Latin American countries. University of Iowa students may enroll in programs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, and Uruguay. Programs range from intensive language study to group programs with a special focus. The University of Iowa cosponsors these programs through various consortiums.

Study abroad courses may be counted toward requirements for the certificate and the minor with prior approval from a LASP director.

Financial Support

Students are encouraged to apply for a Stanley Undergraduate Award for International Research/Fieldwork through University of Iowa International Programs. The awards are given to outstanding University of Iowa undergraduates who, in close consultation with a faculty member, propose well-conceived, small-scale research or fieldwork projects that require travel abroad. Students may conduct projects while participating in a study abroad program and may combine the award with other awards and financial assistance. For information regarding other scholarships, contact LASP advisors, International Programs staff, and the LASP director.


In addition to its instructional activity, LASP organizes a range of public programming activities each semester, including film series, photography and art exhibits, conferences, roundtable discussions, and lectures. Recent events include public lectures on community media and violence in Mexico and Colombia and on the cultural legacies of the 1960s in Latin America, and the annual Charles A. Hale Lecture in Latin American Studies.

Undergraduate Programs of Study



Associated Courses

The following courses are approved for the Latin American studies certificate and minor. Students may petition to include other courses that have significant Latin American content; consult the Latin American Studies Program.


ANTH:2220The Olmec, Maya, and Aztecs: Archaeology of Mesoamerica3
ANTH:3111/GHS:3040/LAS:3111Health in Mexico3


ARTH:3120/LAS:3120The Art of Ancient Mexico3

Cinematic Arts

CINE:4678/LAS:4678/SPAN:4810Topics in Latin American Cinema3

Communication Studies

COMM:1898/LAS:1898/LATS:1898Introduction to Latina/o/x Communication and Culture3
COMM:2052/LAS:2052Latin American Media3


DANC:1150/LAS:1150Brazilian Culture and Carnival3


ENGL:3525Literature and Culture of the Americas3
ENGL:3535/LAS:3535Inter-American Studies (when content is Latin American)3

Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies

GWSS:2400/CPH:2240/LATS:2400Health Disparities and Intersectionality with U.S. Latina/o Peoples3


HIST:3501/LAS:3501Rebel Island: A History of Cuba3
HIST:3508/GHS:3508/LAS:3508Health in Latin America3
HIST:3515/LAS:3515Introduction to Modern Latin America3
HIST:4216/LAS:4216Mexican American History3
HIST:4217/LAS:4217/LATS:4217Latina/o Immigration3
HIST:4334Topics in American Borderlands History3
HIST:4502/LAS:4502/NAIS:4502History of Mexico3
HIST:4505Topics in Latin American History3
HIST:4510Colonial Latin America3
HIST:4520Latin America and the United States: The Historical Perspective3
HIST:4525Latin American Revolution3

Latina/o Studies

LATS:2280/HIST:2280/SPAN:2280Introduction to Latina/o Studies3
LATS:3550Topics in Latina/o Studies: History and Culture1-3


MUS:2311/LAS:2311Music of Latin America and the Caribbean3
MUS:3163Intermediate Steel Band1

Political Science

POLI:2415/LAS:2415Latin American Politics3
POLI:3104/LAS:3104/LATS:3104Immigration Politics3


PORT:2850/SPAN:2850Brazilian Narrative in Translation3
PORT:3400Brazilian Literature After 19003
PORT:3850/SPAN:3850Topics in Cultural Studies3
PORT:4000Topics in Luso-Brazilian Literature (when topic is Latin American)3
PORT:4100Topics in Luso-Brazilian Culture (when topic is Latin American)3

Religious Studies

RELS:1765/LAS:1765/LATS:1765U.S. Latino Religions3


SPAN:1700/LATS:1700Latino/a Literature in the U.S.3
SPAN:1800Contemporary Spanish American Narrative3
SPAN:2050/LATS:2050Spanish in the U.S.3
SPAN:2200Introduction to Spanish American Cultures3
SPAN:2500Readings in Spanish American Literature3
SPAN:2800Screening Latin America3
SPAN:3060Introductory Workshop on Creative Writing in Spanish3
SPAN:3200Latin American Cultural Studies3
SPAN:3210Cultural Storytelling3
SPAN:3230Modern Mexico3
SPAN:3240Mexico City3
SPAN:3310Spanish American Short Story3
SPAN:3320Spanish American Poetry3
SPAN:3350Contemporary Spanish American Literature3
SPAN:3400/LATS:3400Chicano Literature and Culture3
SPAN:3440/LATS:3440Topics in Latino/a Literature and Culture3
SPAN:3550Doing Business in Latin America3
SPAN:4160Language, Justice, and the Law3
SPAN:4330Colonial Spanish American Literature3
SPAN:4360The Orient in Contemporary Latin American Literature and Culture3
SPAN:4390Topics in Spanish American Literature3
SPAN:4815Lost Childhoods: Marginal Children of Latin America3
SPAN:4820/LATS:4800Latino/a Popular Culture3
SPAN:4830The Hispanic World in the Digital Era3
SPAN:4950Advanced Workshop on Creative Writing in Spanish3

Theatre Arts

THTR:2405Staging Americans: U.S. Cultures Through Theatre and Performance3

Rotating Topics

The focus of these courses changes from semester to semester. With prior approval, students may use these courses to satisfy requirements for the Latin American studies certificate or minor when the course focuses on Latin America.

ANTH:3107/CL:3107/ENGL:3107Literature and Anthropology3
CINE:4618Topics in World Cinemas3
ENGL:4000English Honors Seminar3
HIST:2151Introduction to the History Major3
SPAN:3290Topics in Cinema and Society3
SPAN:3370Topics in Literatures and Cultures3
SPAN:4850Topics in Cultural Studies3
SPAN:4910Topics in Literary Studies3
SPAN:4920Topics in Film Studies3

Latin American Studies Courses

All Latin American Studies Program courses are approved for the certificate and minor.

LAS:1150 Brazilian Culture and Carnival3 s.h.

Dance, music, historical, and social contents of Brazilian Carnival production, critical theories of performance, religious backgrounds, and theatre making in carnival parades. GE: Engineering Be Creative; Values and Culture. Same as DANC:1150.

LAS:1765 U.S. Latino Religions3 s.h.

Beliefs and practices of U.S. Latinos and Latinas, ways that their beliefs and practices are unique and where they overlap with mainstream U.S. society; beliefs, symbols, and practices among U.S. Latinos and Latinas on national and local level; field visits to local churches and religious sites; class visitors share insights. Same as LATS:1765, RELS:1765.

LAS:1898 Introduction to Latina/o/x Communication and Culture3 s.h.

Introduction to fundamentals of communication by and about Latina/o/x in the U.S.; Latina/o/x as one of the fastest growing demographics; how Latina/o/x history, politics, and culture remain little understood despite a longstanding and growing presence in Iowa and across the nation; historical orientation; Latina/o/x social movement and protest (e.g., Chicana/o/x movements, Young Lords Organization), institutional discourses (e.g., congressional, presidential, legal discourses), and Latina/o/x in popular culture (film, television, music, sports). GE: Diversity and Inclusion. Same as COMM:1898, LATS:1898.

LAS:2052 Latin American Media3 s.h.

Development of media institutions, texts, and audiences across a number of Latin American countries; focus on broadcast media (radio and television) and situates them within larger historical context of 20th- and 21st-century Latin America; readings, discussions, and assignments with particular attention to influence of U.S. corporate and state interests on Latin American media; debates over cultural dependency, globalization, and hybridity in region. Same as COMM:2052.

LAS:2311 Music of Latin America and the Caribbean3 s.h.

Folk and popular musical traditions and their social contexts in Latin America, the Caribbean; listening skills; video/film screenings. GE: Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts; Values and Culture. Same as MUS:2311.

LAS:2415 Latin American Politics3 s.h.

Governmental institutions, major interest groups; focus on area as a whole. GE: International and Global Issues; Social Sciences. Same as POLI:2415.

LAS:2700 Introduction to Latin American Studies3 s.h.

Cultures of Latin American countries with emphasis on cultural history and cultural production; interdisciplinary survey. Same as COMM:2800, IS:2700, PORT:2700, SPAN:2700.

LAS:2800 Screening Latin America3 s.h.

Latin American film; histories of the four major national film industries; aesthetic and political debates surrounding the New Latin American Cinema movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Requirements: SPAN:1502 or SPAN:1503. Same as SPAN:2800.

LAS:2850 Brazilian Narrative in Translation3 s.h.

Representative readings of modern and contemporary novels, short stories, and other narrative forms; cultural background; focus on major writers. Taught in English. Prerequisites: ENGL:1200. GE: Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts. Same as PORT:2850, SPAN:2850.

LAS:3104 Immigration Politics3 s.h.

United States immigration policy and political consequences of Latino population growth; contrast of political experiences of Latinos with groups and ideals of democratic political systems; analyses of past immigration policies; studies of public opinion, voter turnout, and campaign tactics. Same as LATS:3104, POLI:3104.

LAS:3111 Health in Mexico3 s.h.

Use of anthropological perspectives to examine disease, healing systems, and ideas about health and the body in Mexico and its diaspora; relationships between structural conditions and historical and political transformations; ideas about gender and race; chronic and acute disease in Mexico; conquest and disease; racialized bodies; sexual health; biomedicine; shamanism; immigration and health; pollution and narcoviolence; readings in English. Same as ANTH:3111, GHS:3040.

LAS:3120 The Art of Ancient Mexico3 s.h.

Art and architecture of Mexico and Peru before Cortéz. Same as ARTH:3120.

LAS:3501 Rebel Island: A History of Cuba3 s.h.

Cuban society and revolutionary movements since the late colonial period, including the years since 1959. Same as HIST:3501.

LAS:3508 Health in Latin America3 s.h.

Survey of major topics in Latin American history in relation to development of medicine and public health. Same as GHS:3508, HIST:3508.

LAS:3515 Introduction to Modern Latin America3 s.h.

Introduction to modern history of Latin America from independence movements of the early 19th century to present; topics include race and ethnicity, slave emancipation, gender, labor relations, and foreign interventions; exploration of relationship between economic, social, and political structures over time to explain difference and commonality between Latin American people and societies; focus on topics pertaining to histories of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. Same as HIST:3515.

LAS:3535 Inter-American Studies3 s.h.

English majors and English and Creative Writing majors may apply this course to the following area and/or period requirement. AREA: Transnational Literature and Postcolonial Studies. PERIOD: 20th/21st-Century Literature. Same as ENGL:3535.

LAS:4216 Mexican American History3 s.h.

Survey of Chicana/o (Mexican American) history from 18th century to present; Mexican American society's diverse nature, explored through class, ethnic, gender, and regional divisions. Same as HIST:4216.

LAS:4217 Latina/o Immigration3 s.h.

Immigration experiences of people arriving in the U.S. from other regions of the Americas (e.g., Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, South America); what has fueled immigration—social, political, and economic developments in the U.S. and other nations; territorial conquest, colonialism, real and imagined borders, chain migration, formation of immigrant communities, acculturation, circular migration, social networks; how migration restructures gender relations; immigrant communities and pan-Latino identity in the U.S. Same as HIST:4217, LATS:4217.

LAS:4502 History of Mexico3 s.h.

Mexican history since the eve of the Spanish invasion, with focus on the national period; may include ethnic groups, conquest and demographic disaster, native survival, labor and migration, social protest and rebellions, nationhood, regional differences, religions, popular culture, economic growth and distribution, state building, international relations; survey. Same as HIST:4502, NAIS:4502.

LAS:4678 Topics in Latin American Cinema3 s.h.

Taught in English. Prerequisites: CINE:1601. Requirements: one Spanish literature or culture course numbered above SPAN:3200 or one film studies course. Same as CINE:4678, SPAN:4810.

LAS:4700 Latin American Studies Seminar3 s.h.

Examination of past, present, and future of Latin America; interdisciplinary. Taught in English. Same as ANTH:4700, CL:4700, HIST:4504, PORT:4700, SPAN:4900.

LAS:4990 Independent Project in Latin American Studiesarr.

Independent work completed under the supervision of Latin American studies faculty.