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The Latin American and Caribbean Studies program in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington was established in 1992 and is committed to the advancement of scholarship and applied knowledge about Latin America and the Caribbean. The program is built around several region-specific themes. These include the creative arts, the impact of colonialism and slavery, Indigenous politics, ecologies of development, and efforts to promote democracy, justice, and equitable growth. LACS is committed to creating opportunities and activities that link students, faculty, staff, and community with broad currents of solidarity, scholarship, and action across the Americas.
The Latin American and Caribbean Studies major has become one of the largest and fastest-growing area studies programs in the School of International Studies. Graduates from this program go on to successful careers in business, government, education, non-governmental organizations, law, and other fields. Many also use the degree as a step toward graduate study in history, geography, development studies, business administration, economics, anthropology, and other fields at top universities. The major’s popularity stems from an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines the strengths of regional and comparative international studies with study and research opportunities in specific academic disciplines. Students graduate with both a comprehensive understanding of Latin America and a rich knowledge of the global processes affecting the region and its people. Students can also pursue practical training in a thematic area of choice such as Media Studies, NGO Management, Immigration, or Gender Studies.
The Latin American and Caribbean Studies faculty is composed of individuals with expertise in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most also have cross-regional and interdisciplinary interests. Faculty members are distinguished scholars and teachers in their respective area of specialization, and hold appointments in diverse departments including American Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, Economics, History, Geography, Women Studies, Fisheries, International Studies, Music, Health Sciences, Political Science, Romance Languages, Comparative Literature, Sociology, and in the Schools of Social Work, Business Administration, and Forestry. Latin American and Caribbean Studies also organizes colloquia, conferences, special events, and visits by renowned speakers to complement academic offerings and provide students, faculty and the local community with timely and relevant opportunities to learn about and become involved in issues relevant to Latin America and the Caribbean.
Seminars or colloquia are offered on selected topics, which in the past have included Latinos in the U.S. Labor Market (Chicano Studies); Mexico, the U.S. and Canada: Towards a New Partnership (International Studies); Comparative Law: Europe, Latin America and East Asia (Law and International Studies); Labor and Popular Movements in Latin America (International Studies and History); and Photography and Cultural Studies in Latin America (Spanish). Other courses are occasionally taught by visiting professors who can offer new perspectives on the study of Latin America and the Caribbean.
-Jose Antonio Lucero, Chair
Any undergraduate admitted for study as a matriculated student in the College of Arts and Sciences may declare Latin American and Caribbean Studies as a major or minor and work toward the B.A. degree.
A major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies shall consist of appropriate language training and not less than 52 credits, as follows:
Training in two foreign languages of Latin America, to include the sixth quarter (or equivalent) of one language chosen from Spanish, Portuguese, or French, and the third quarter (or equivalent) of a second of these languages.
JSIS 201 Making of the 21st Century (5 credits)
Latin American History (10 credits): Courses selected from an approved list.
Contemporary Latin America (15 credits): Courses drawn from a range of disciplines including anthropology, comparative literature, geography, international studies, and Spanish. See website for a complete list of courses (URL below).
Electives (15 credits): Courses on Latin America and international studies selected from an approved list.
Interdisciplinary seminar (5 credits): JSIS A 486, 492, or another course chosen from an approved list of research seminars.
JSIS 493 Senior Paper/Project (2 credits ): Majors will satisfy the senior paper/project requirement by writing an analytical or research paper in conjunction with one of the interdisciplinary seminars. This paper is considered the capstone of the student's academic experience in the Latin American Studies major. In the quarter in which the senior paper is written, majors register for JSIS 493 an independent study course (Senior Research). For detail about signing up, see: SENIOR PAPER FORM.
The List of Latin American and Caribbean Studies courses will be maintained by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program as part of its website.
Overlapping credits with other majors: A maximum of 15 credits that are used to fulfill minimum requirements of any other UW major can be counted in this major.
Seminars or colloquia are offered on selected topics, which in the past have included Social Movements in the Americas, The Cultural Politics of Violence in Latin America, Race, Nation, and Empire, and Photography and Cultural Studies in Latin America. Other courses are occasionally taught by visiting professors who can offer new perspectives on the study of Latin America.
Senior Paper/Project: Most majors will satisfy the senior paper/project requirement by writing an analytical or research paper in conjunction with one of the interdisciplinary seminars. This paper is considered the capstone of the student's academic experience in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies major. In the quarter in which the senior paper is written, majors should register for JSIS 493, an independent study course (Senior Research).
30 credits as follows, plus foreign language:
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