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Latin American Studies

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.


For course descriptions not found in the UC San Diego General Catalog 2023–24, please contact the department for more information.

LATI 10. Reading North by South: Latin American Studies and the US Liberation Movements (4)

The purpose of this class is to study the multilayered relations between Latin American studies and the US liberation movements, particularly Third World movements, the Chicano movement, the black liberation movement, the indigenous movement, human rights activism, and trans-border activism. Students may not receive credit for LATI 100 and LATI 10.

LATI 50. Introduction to Latin America (4)

Interdisciplinary overview of society and culture in Latin America—including Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America: legacies of conquest, patterns of economic development, changing roles of women, expressions of popular culture, cycles of political change, and US-Latin American relations.

LATI 87. First-year Student Seminar (1)

The First-year Student Seminar Program is designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small seminar setting. First-year student seminars are offered in all campus departments and undergraduate colleges, and topics vary from quarter to quarter. Enrollment is limited to fifteen to twenty students, with preference given to entering first-year students.

LATI 150. Digital Oral History in Latin America (4) 

An introduction to the theory and practice of digital oral history in Latin America. Students will be exposed to the history of orality in the region as a hybrid genre between literature, history, and ethnography. This class will provide a strong theoretical background on oral history as a constant presence in the Latin American cultural scene from the colonial chronicles to the political testimony. Prerequisites: LATI 50; upper-division standing.

LATI 180. Special Topics in Latin American Studies (4)

Readings and discussion of substantive issues and research in Latin American studies. Topics may include the study of a specific society or a particular issue in comparative cross-national perspective. Topics will vary from year to year. Prerequisites: LATI 50 or permission of instructor, upper-division standing.

LATI 190. Senior Seminar (4)

Research seminar on selected topics in the study of Latin America; all students will be required to prepare and present independent research papers. (Honors students will present drafts of senior research theses, of no less than fifty pages in length; nonhonors students will present final versions of analytical papers of approximately twenty-five to forty pages in length.) Prerequisites: satisfactory completion of LATI 50 and a working knowledge of Spanish.

LATI 191. Honors Seminar (4)

Independent reading and research under direction of a member of the faculty group in Latin American Studies; goal is to provide honors students with an opportunity to complete senior research thesis (to be defended before three-person interdisciplinary faculty committee). Prerequisites: successful completion of LATI 50, working knowledge of Spanish; minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major.

LATI 199. Individual Study (4)

Guided and supervised reading of the literature on Latin America in the interdisciplinary areas of anthropology, communications, economics, history, literature, political science, and sociology. For students majoring in Latin American Studies, reading will focus around potential topics for senior papers; for honors students in Latin American Studies, reading will culminate in formulation of a prospectus for the research thesis. Prerequisites: LATI 50 and working knowledge of Spanish.

LATI 200. Core Seminar on Interdisciplinary Research and Methodology in Latin American Studies (4)

A team-taught course wherein members of the faculty group in Latin American Studies present diverse disciplinary and thematic approaches to the region. Topics vary from year to year. Grades are based on discussions and on a series of analytical papers. Prerequisites: enrollment in the master’s degree program in Latin American Studies or permission of instructor.

LATI 222A. Field Research Methods for Migration Studies: Seminar (4)

Survey of methods used by social and health scientists to gather primary data on international migrant and refugee populations, including sample surveys, unstructured interviewing, and ethnographic observation. Students serve as team leaders, design questionnaires, and conduct literature reviews. Prerequisites: permission of instructor, advanced competence in conversational Spanish (department authorization required).

LATI 222B. Field Research Methods for Migration Studies: Practicum (12)

Students collect survey and qualitative data in Mexican migrants’ communities of origin and destination, serve as team leaders, organize field data collection within specific subpopulations, and prepare a detailed outline of a proposed journal article to be based on field data. Prerequisites: LATI 222A, permission of instructor, advanced competence in conversational Spanish (department authorization required).

LATI 222C. Field Research Methods for Migration Studies: Data Analysis (4)

Serving as team leaders, students design and execute analysis of data they have collected in Mexican and US field research sites, and coauthor a publishable article. Methods for organizing field data, advanced techniques of quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and report preparation conventions are covered. Prerequisites: LATI 222B, permission of instructor (department authorization required).

LATI 298. Directed Reading (1–12)

Guided and supervised reading of the literature of the several areas included in the interdisciplinary fields of anthropology, communications, economics, history, literature, political science, and sociology. Prerequisites: graduate standing in Latin American Studies.

LATI 299. Independent Research (1–12)

Independent work by graduate students engaged in thesis research and writing under the direct supervision of a faculty adviser.

LATI 500. Teaching Apprenticeship (1–4)

The course is designed for teaching assistants to learn effective teaching methods through supervision and mentorship by the faculty. Student will learn handling of discussions; preparation and grading of examinations and other written exercises; and student relations.