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LAIS Resources

Program Director: Nicole Caso


The Latin American and Iberian Studies (LAIS) concentration incorporates such diverse disciplines as literature, political studies, anthropology, history, economics, art history, and dance. It provides an academic setting for the study of two regions inextricably bound by historical, cultural, linguistic, economic, and political ties. LAIS students emerge with the linguistic and analytical preparation necessary to understand the literatures and cultures of Latin American and Iberian countries; the history of Latin America in the pre-Columbian, colonial, and national periods; the formation of social and economic structures throughout the Hispanic world; the history and ethnography of Mesoamerica and the Andes; contemporary Latin American and Iberian politics; and the Hispanic experience in the United States.


Students may moderate into LAIS, but they must also moderate into a primary divisional program. Prior to or concurrent with Moderation, students are required to take at least two designated LAIS core courses. After Moderation, students are expected to take two additional elective courses and one 300-level seminar; these courses may be listed primarily in another discipline and cross-listed with LAIS. At least one and preferably two of the five required LAIS courses should be taken outside the student’s primary division. Students also complete the Senior Project, which must have a geographical, linguistic, or conceptual link with Latin America, Spain, or Portugal.


Core LAIS courses include Spanish 301, Introduction to Spanish Literature, or Spanish 302, Introduction to Latin American Literature; Political Studies 222, Democracy in Latin America; Art History 160, Survey of Latin American Art; LAIS 110, Colonial Latin American since Conquest; and LAIS 120, Modern Latin America since Independence.

Additionally, recent electives include: Religious Imagery in Latin American Art; Crossroads of Civilization: The Art and Architecture of Medieval Spain; El Greco to Goya: Spanish Art and Architecture; Spanish Literary Translation; Cervantes’s Don Quijote; The Hispanic Presence in the United States; Testimonial Literature; Perspectives from the Margins; Between the Acts: Spain’s Teatro Breve; Latin American Surrealism; Populism and Popular Culture in Latin America; United States–Latin America Relations; and Gender and Sexuality in Brazil.