Minor in Latin American Studies

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Dean: Dr. Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo

Latin American Studies Program

Humanities Building, Room 427
Phone: (415) 405-3492
Coordinator: Juanita Darling

Program Scope

The Minor in Latin American Studies is a multidisciplinary program designed to provide undergraduate students with an understanding of Latin American societies, including their history and literature, as well as economic and political developments. The minor emphasizes the hybrid nature of Latin American societies, their shared cultures and history, their influence on other parts of the world, and the region’s multi-layered relations with other countries. With a selection of courses drawn from disciplines or fields such as ethnic studies, the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences, students have the flexibility to explore a wide range of subjects including ancient and modern civilizations, ethnic relations, the literary “boom” of the 1960s, doing business in present-day Latin America, and more. The minor will be useful to students planning careers in education, humanities, and the arts, the Foreign Service, international organizations, overseas corporations, and banking, as well as for those who simply desire a better understanding of Latin America. The multidisciplinary nature of the program also prepares students for further work in a number of academic fields at the graduate level.

The minor consists of a core curriculum of three courses (9 to 10 units) that deal with the region as a whole from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, plus 12 to 14 units of elective upper-division coursework. No more than 6 units can be taken on a CR/NC basis. Students planning to take courses other than those listed below must get prior approval from the program director. Students completing the Latin American Studies minor are encouraged to participate in the study abroad programs at SF State. Courses taken in certified SF State study abroad programs may be substituted for the minor’s requirements.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop an understanding of the varied aspects of Latin American societies.
  2. Critically evaluate the inter-relationships among history, language and literature, social, economic, and political developments, and their influence on the place that the nations of the region occupy in the international order as a reflection of social justice and global perspectives.
  3. Explore a wide range of subjects as well as specialize in particular areas such as the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and South America.


Gustavo Adolfo Calderon (1989), Professor in Modern Languages and Literatures. Ph.D. University of Iowa.

Juanita Darling (2008), Professor in International Relations. Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Laura Garcia-Moreno (2004), Professor in Liberal Studies. Ph.D. Cornell University.

Katherine Gordy (2008), Professor in Political Science. Ph.D. Cornell University.

Dane Johnson (1995), Professor in Comparative and World Literature. Ph.D. Stanford University.

Katynka Martinez (2007), Professor in Latina/Latino Studies. Ph.D. University of California at San Diego.

Kitty Millet (2004), Professor in Jewish Studies. Ph.D. University of Minnesota.

Raquel Rivera Pinderhuges (1992), Professor in Urban Studies and Planning. Ph.D. Graduate Center of New York.

Associate Professor

Jason Ferreira (2005), Associate Professor in Race and Resistance Studies. Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley.

Logan Hennessy (2007), Associate Professor in Liberal Studies. Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley.

Karen Morrison (2016), Associate Professor in History. Ph.D. University of Florida.

Assistant Professor

Ana Luengo (2015), Assistant Professor in Modern Languages and Literatures. Ph.D. Hamburg Universität.


Brigitte I. Davila (1994), Lecturer in Latina/Latino Studies. J.D. University of California, Berkeley.

Latin American Studies Minor — 21 units minimum

A minimum of 6 upper-division units are required to complete the minor.

All coursework used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Core Courses (9-10 units)

ANTH/LTNS 501/HIST 358Latin America: The National Period3
Select One:3-4
History of Women in Latin America
Policy Analysis: The Latin American Cases
Sociology of Latin America
Select One:3
Humanities of the Americas
Culture and Civilization of Spanish America

Electives (11-12 units)

Take enough electives to reach 21 units for the minor. Two courses must be selected from each group and no more than 9 units can be from any one discipline.

Group I: Social Perspectives, Politics, and International Relations
HIST 353History of Mexico3
HIST 357Colonial Latin America3
I R/C J 306Crisis in Central America: U.S. Policy and the Root Causes of Chaos4
LS 430Future of the Forests3
LTNS 350Gender and Latina/x Feminisms3
LTNS 460Central Americans of the U.S.: History and Heritage3
LTNS 467Caribbeans in the U.S.: History and Heritage3
LTNS/SOC 640Sociology of Latina/x/o Experiences3
LTNS 660Latina/o Politics3
LTNS 670/PLSI 408Mexican Politics and Society3
LTNS 692Cuba: Health, Education, and Culture3
PLSI 389Latin American Revolutionary Societies4
RPT 470Travel with Purpose3
Group II: Arts, Humanities, and Culture
CWL 440"Typical American": Narratives of Multiculturalism in the Americas from 1492 to the Present3
CWL 520Modern Prose of the Americas3
CWL 540Faulkner, García Márquez, and Morrison3
HUM 371Biography of a City: Latin American Cities3
JS/CWL/ENG 451Jewish Literature of the Americas3
LTNS 409/CINE 309Latina/o/x Cinema3
LTNS 425Popular and Traditional Music of the Latinx U.S. (CSL)3
LTNS 450Critical Latinx Indigeneities3
LTNS 475Aztec Philosophy3
LTNS 560Contemporary Latina/o Literature3
MUS 532Music of Latin America3
SPAN 326Applied Spanish Linguistics: Morphology and Syntax3
SPAN 341Introduction to the Reading of Literary Texts3
SPAN 543Spanish American Literature: Romanticism to Modernism3
SPAN 54520th Century Spanish American Literature3
SPAN 595Senior Survey in Spanish or Spanish American Literature3

Latin American Language Requirement 

All students completing this area studies minor are required to demonstrate intermediate-level competency in a language other than English and that is relevant to the region. This requirement may be met by the University entrance requirement of two years of high school language study, scoring at the appropriate level on the Spanish placement exam, study abroad in the region or the Iberian peninsula, or by demonstration of equivalent competency. Please see the Latin American Studies coordinator or faculty advisors to determine if this requirement is met.