Undergraduate minor: Latin American studies
Undergraduate certificate: Latin American studies
Faculty: https://latinamericanstudies.uiowa.edu/people
Website: https://latinamericanstudies.uiowa.edu/

The Latin American Studies Program (LASP) is an interdisciplinary curriculum that introduces students to the cultures, arts, languages, histories, and social practices from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, and provides students with frameworks for making sense of the social, political, and economic challenges faced in those regions.

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.

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 World Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

Student sitting on colorful mosaic steps in Brazil.

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 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, round-table discussions, and lectures.

Dr. Evaristo poster about her presentation in May 2021 on Black Female Authorship Seeding Black Female Characters.

Recent events include an exhibit of mixed media Colombian contemporary art and public lectures on Brazilian black feminist theory, Afro-Brazilian female authorship, and cosmopolitanism in Mexican cinema as part of the annual Charles A. Hale Lectures in Latin American Studies.

Undergraduate Programs of Study



The Center for Language and Culture Learning provides a wide variety of facilities and services to the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures (DWLLC), including a 24-computer Instructional Technology Center (ITC) and five All-In-One Studios/small group study rooms equipped with video production and editing software, a Computer Assisted Language Learning Lab with 25 computers integrated with Sanako software for language practice, a SignALL lab for American Sign Language learning and practice, and virtual reality hardware and development space.

The center provides spaces for quiet study as well as for group meetings. Departments, programs, and student organizations are welcome to host conversation hours, film nights, study groups, workshops, and more. The center supports a robust peer tutoring program in many of the languages taught in DWLLC, with both in-person and online availability, as well as Directed Independent Language Study, through which faculty, staff, or students can be paired with a tutor to learn a language not taught in the DWLLC.

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:2220/LAS:2220The Olmec, Maya, and Aztecs: Archaeology of Mesoamerica3

Communication Studies

COMM:4171Community Media3


DANC:1150/LAS:1150Brazilian Culture and Carnival3
DANC:2150Brazilian Social Dance: The Samba2


ENGL:3525Literature and Culture of the Americas3
ENGL:3535/LAS:3535Topics in Literature and Culture of the Americas (when content is Latin America)3


HIST:3217/LAS:3217/LATS:3217Latina/o/x Immigration3
HIST:3501/LAS:3501Rebel Island: A History of Cuba3
HIST:3508/GHS:3508/LAS:3508Disease and Health in Latin American History3
HIST:3515/LAS:3515Introduction to Modern Latin America3
HIST:4502/LAS:4502/NAIS:4502History of Mexico3
HIST:4505Topics in Latin American History3
HIST:4510Colonial Latin America3


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/LAS: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


SPAN:1800Contemporary Spanish American Narrative3
SPAN:2200/LAS:2200Introduction to Spanish American Cultures3
SPAN:2500Readings in Spanish American Literature3
SPAN:2800/LAS:2800Screening Latin America3
SPAN:2900/LAS:2900Music of the Hispanic World3
SPAN:3020/JMC:3445/LAS:3020Journalistic Writing in Spanish3
SPAN:3060Introductory Workshop on Creative Writing in Spanish3
SPAN:3200Latin American Cultural Studies3
SPAN:3210Cultural Storytelling3
SPAN:3225/LAS:3225Latin American Women Writers3
SPAN:3230Modern Mexico3
SPAN:3240Mexico City3
SPAN:3310/LAS:3310Spanish American Short Story3
SPAN:3320Spanish American Poetry3
SPAN:3350Contemporary Spanish American Literature3
SPAN:4160/LATS:4160Language, Justice, and the Law3
SPAN:4330Colonial Spanish American Literature3
SPAN:4390/LAS:4390Topics in Spanish American Literature3
SPAN:4815/LAS:4815Lost Childhoods: Marginal Children of Latin America3
SPAN:4830The Hispanic World in the Digital Era3
SPAN:4950Advanced Workshop on Creative Writing in Spanish3

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/ENGL:3107Literature and Anthropology3
CINE:4618Topics in World Cinemas3
COMM:4157Advanced Topics in Communication Studies3
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 Carnival 3 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:2200 Introduction to Spanish American Cultures 3 s.h.

Introduction to study of cultural history of Spanish America; topics range from precolombian times to present; for students who are just starting work on the Spanish major or minor. Requirements: SPAN:1502 or SPAN:1503. Same as SPAN:2200.

LAS:2220 The Olmec, Maya, and Aztecs: Archaeology of Mesoamerica 3 s.h.

Archaeological data related to the evolution of civilization in Mesoamerica; sequence from hunter-gatherers to A.D. 1519; emphasis on Central Mexico, Maya area, Oaxaca. Same as ANTH:2220.

LAS:2311 Music of Latin America and the Caribbean 3 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 Politics 3 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 Studies 3 s.h.

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

LAS:2800 Screening Latin America 3 s.h.

Basic introduction to contemporary Latin American societies and cultures through fiction feature films (i.e., comedies, dramas) and documentaries by major filmmakers; previous knowledge of film analysis not required. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: SPAN:1502 or SPAN:1503. Same as SPAN:2800.

LAS:2850 Brazilian Narrative in Translation 3 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:2900 Music of the Hispanic World 3 s.h.

Introduction to music of Spain and Latin America, including the United States; listening skills, music appreciation, continuing development of Spanish language skills. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: SPAN:1502 or SPAN:1503. Same as SPAN:2900.

LAS:3020 Journalistic Writing in Spanish 3 s.h.

Spanish writing skills; introduction to style and practice of journalistic reporting and writing. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: at least one course taught in Spanish at the 2000 level or above. Same as JMC:3445, SPAN:3020.

LAS:3104 Immigration Politics 3 s.h.

United States immigration policy and political consequences of Latina/o/x population growth; contrast of political experiences of Latina/o/x 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:3215 Medellin 3 s.h.

Medellin, Colombia has been transformed from one of the most violent places on Earth to an award-winning city of innovation in only 20 years; introduction to the city and its people through literature, music, and a digital map project. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: at least one course numbered SPAN:2000 or above. Same as SPAN:3215.

LAS:3217 Latina/o/x Immigration 3 s.h.

Immigration experiences of people arriving in the United States 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 United States 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-Latina/o/x identity in the United States. Same as HIST:3217, LATS:3217.

LAS:3225 Latin American Women Writers 3 s.h.

Focus on long tradition of strong female writers in Latin America; materials may include poetry, theater, fiction, and essay from the Spanish-speaking countries of Mexico, Central America, South America, and Brazil. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: at least one course taught in Spanish at the 2000 level or above. Same as SPAN:3225.

LAS:3310 Spanish American Short Story 3 s.h.

Works by 19th- and 20th-century Spanish American writers; emphasis on reading strategies and historical, cultural, literary backgrounds. Requirements: at least one course taught in Spanish at the 2000 level or above. Same as SPAN:3310.

LAS:3501 Rebel Island: A History of Cuba 3 s.h.

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

LAS:3508 Disease and Health in Latin American History 3 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 America 3 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 Topics in Literature and Culture of the Americas 3 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 History 3 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:4390 Topics in Spanish American Literature 3 s.h.

Taught in Spanish. Requirements: one literature course in Spanish numbered SPAN:3200 or above. Same as SPAN:4390.

LAS:4502 History of Mexico 3 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:4700 Latin American Studies Seminar 3-4 s.h.

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

LAS:4815 Lost Childhoods: Marginal Children of Latin America 3 s.h.

Focus on lost childhoods from a cultural studies perspective; analysis of marginal perspectives that emerge from a globalized urban landscape; evolution of literary, artistic (art, photography, comics), and film productions about dispossessed children, the construction of childhood by nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations, and how these cultural productions denounce social violence. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: two courses numbered SPAN:3000 or above. Same as SPAN:4815.

LAS:4990 Independent Project in Latin American Studies arr.

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