Majoring in Latin American Studies

Overview

Major in Latin American studies and you gain a solid understanding of the economics, politics, history and cultures of the region, along with proficiency in Spanish. You come to know and understand many global and multicultural communities. Your professors guide you in your projects, give you theoretical information and real-world resources, review your writing and discuss important contemporary issues with you. Armed with both academic and real-world experience, you can excel in education, business, government, social work, healthcare, law, media, travel and more.

International opportunities and study abroad

Most Latin American studies majors spend a semester or summer in the region. You might travel with your class and a Connecticut College professor, enroll in a separate program or take an internship to do work or research. Recently, our faculty have led semesters in Mexico and Spain. Our students have interned with grass-roots organizations in Chile and recorded oral histories of disenfranchised women in Nicaragua.

Special opportunities

Proyecto Comunidad gives you the opportunity to work three to six hours a week in New London's Hispanic community. You may also wish to try the Proyecto Comunidad Shadow Program, which can help you explore career interests, meet potential mentors, do research, gain insight into issues pertinent to the Hispanic community and better understand practical applications of classroom learning.

What can you do with a majorcertificate in Latin American Studies?

Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:

  • Latin America Partner – Support Representative, EMC Corp.
  • Reporting Analyst, United HealthCare
  • Product Manager, ATO Records
  • Law Student, University of Arizona
  • Second Grade Teacher, Pohakea Elementary School
  • Program Coordinator, EMC Corp.
  • Bilingual Outreach Worker, Housing Opportunities Unlimited at Harbor Point
  • Real Estate and Corporate Legal Assistant, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
  • Youth Service Trip Leader (El Salvador), Companion Community Development Alternatives
  • Sixth Grade Math Teacher, Harlem Village Academies
  • Senior Correspondent, Voice of America
  • Vice President, MicroFinance Transparency International
  • Green Business Program Coordinator, Sonoma County Economic Development Board
  • Technical Adviser, HIV/ AIDS Care & Treatment Program
  • Marketing Manager and Events Coordinator, Tanteo Spirits
  • Structured Credit Specialist, ICAP
  • Talent Acquisition Specialist, Pepsi Bottling Co.
  • Principal, GRID Impact
  • Senior Manager, Robert Allen Group

Faculty

Leo J. Garofalo, Associate Professor of History, Director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity Leo J. Garofalo, Associate Professor of History, Director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity

Leo J. Garofalo, Associate Professor of History, Director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity
Latin American and Caribbean history • The history of race and ethnicity • African diaspora and Afro-Latin America • Peru and the Andes

Robert Gay, Professor of Sociology Robert Gay, Professor of Sociology

Robert Gay, Professor of Sociology  (On sabbatical Spring 2015)
Democracy • Civil society • Organized crime • Violence • Brazil

Luis M. González, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Luis M. González, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies

Luis M. González, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
Peninsular literature • Spanish film studies • Spanish cultural studies • Culture and ideology

Frank Graziano, John D. MacArthur Professor of Hispanic Studies Frank Graziano, John D. MacArthur Professor of Hispanic Studies

Frank Graziano, John D. MacArthur Professor of Hispanic Studies  (On sabbatical 2014-2015 academic year)
Spanish American cultures • Popular Catholicism in Spanish America • Undocumented migration

Aida Heredia, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies Aida Heredia, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies

Aida Heredia, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies
Latin American literature and culture • Caribbean literature and culture • Critical theory

Alex Hybel, Susan Eckert Lynch '62 Professor of Government and International Relations Alex Hybel, Susan Eckert Lynch '62 Professor of Government and International Relations

Alex Hybel, Susan Eckert Lynch '62 Professor of Government and International Relations
U.S. foreign policy • International relations theory • Democracy in Latin America

Julia A. Kushigian, Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor of Hispanic Studies, Hispanic Studies Department Chair 2014-2015 Julia A. Kushigian, Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor of Hispanic Studies, Hispanic Studies Department Chair 2014-2015

Julia A. Kushigian, Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor of Hispanic Studies, Hispanic Studies Department Chair 2014-2015
Gender, culture and race studies in Spanish America • Orientalism in the Hispanic tradition

Jennifer L. Rudolph, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies Jennifer L. Rudolph, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Jennifer L. Rudolph, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies
Latino cultural studies • Critical race theory • Masculinity theory

Student profile


Taryn Kitchen Taryn Kitchen

Latin American studies, education


Q: Why Connecticut College?
A: Connecticut College hit all of my major qualifications: small, liberal arts, highly selective, residential. But what really got me hooked on Conn was the people. Visiting campus, everyone was so friendly, so interesting and so passionate about what they were studying and doing. I knew these were people I wanted to be surrounded by in college.


Q: Why Latin American studies?
A: One of my main college goals is to become functionally fluent in Spanish, and the Latin American studies major allows me to develop my fluency while learning about many topics relevant to Latin America and Latinos in the U.S. The major is interdisciplinary, so I can include classes offered in other departments to really get a dynamic understanding of the history, politics and social realities of the Spanish-speaking community.


Q: Favorite class?
A: Hands down the best class I have taken is “Proyecto Comunidad.” This class really connected us with the New London community and got us working hands-on with real people. We spent class periods traveling around the city, meeting with and interviewing various members of the Latino community – teachers, lawyers, priests, even the mayor – and completed a semester-long internship and research project with a community organization.


Q: Did you study abroad?
A: I completed a summer study abroad experience in Cuba. Cuba is a fascinating place to study, as its history and people present a very different way of viewing the world, and the opportunity to learn with Cubans is still very rare, with political tensions between our two nations as they are.

Selected courses


  • Advanced Grammar and Composition
  • Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Spanish America
  • Latin America in Film
  • Meditations on History, Arts and Politics in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Religion and Violence in Latin America
  • Growing up in Latin America: The Bildungsroman in Latin American Narrative
  • Literature of the Hispanic Caribbean

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