Minor in Latin American and Latino/a Studies

The Minor in Latin American and Latino/a Studies is designed for students interested in the languages, history, politics, and cultures of Latin America and in its presence in the United States. Students are encouraged to develop a program that is both international and comparative in perspective, and that takes into account the heterogeneous cultural experiences of people living in the vast territory encompassed by the term Latin America, as well as of those living in the United States who identify themselves as Latino/a.

The minor consists of six subjects (at least three of which must be MIT subjects, including required subject 17.55[J] Introduction to Latin American Studies), arranged in four areas of study:

  • Area I: Language
  • Area II: Humanities and the Arts
  • Area III: Social Sciences
  • Area IV: Historical Studies

Subjects in Latin American and Latino/a Studies are also available from Harvard University and Wellesley College through cross-registration. Students must receive permission from the minor advisor prior to registering for a class at another institution.

Five of the six subjects taken for the minor may be counted toward the eight-subject HASS Requirement. Of these five, at most one may count toward the distribution component of the HASS Requirement. Of the six subjects required for the minor, at least four cannot be counted toward a major or another minor.

Area I: Language 1
Select two from among the following:24
Spanish III
Spanish III in Madrid
Spanish IV
Advanced Communication in Spanish: Topics in Language and Culture
Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition: Perspectives on Technology and Culture
Spanish Conversation and Composition
Spanish through Film: Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Spain
Spanish for Heritage Learners
Topics in Medicine and Public Health in the Hispanic World
Advanced Spanish Communication in Spain
Portuguese III
Portuguese IV
Select four subjects, including 17.55[J], from at least two of the following areas: 2, 348
Area II: Humanities and the Arts
Subjects taught in English:
Latin America and the Global Sixties: Counterculture and Revolution
The New Latin American Novel
Introduction to European and Latin American Fiction
The Latina Experience in Literature, Film and Popular Culture
Subjects taught in Spanish:
Creation of a Continent: Media Representations of Hispanic America, 1492 to present
The Making of the Latin American City: Culture, Gender, and Citizenship
Advanced Topics in Hispanic Literature and Film
The Short Form: Literature and New Media Cultures in the Hispanic World
Introduction to Contemporary Hispanic Literature and Film
Power and Culture: Utopias and Dystopias in Spain and Latin America
Literature and Social Conflict: Perspectives on the Hispanic World
Globalization and its Discontents: Spanish-speaking Nations
The New Spain: 1977-Present
Subject taught in Portuguese:
Conversational Portuguese
Topics in Modern Portuguese Literature and Culture
The Beat of Brazil: Portuguese Language and Brazilian Society Through its Music
Area III: Social Studies
Introduction to Latin American Studies (Required)
Additional options:
The Ancient Andean World
Ancient Mesoamerican Civilization
The Anthropology of Politics: Persuasion and Power
Hacking from the South
Area IV: Historical Studies
Select from among the following:
Latin America Through Film
Socialism in Latin America, from Che Guevara to Hugo Chávez
From Coca to Cocaine: Drug Economies in Latin America
Appropriate subjects offered at Harvard or Wellesley
Total Units72

Two language subjects beginning at Levels III and IV, either in Spanish or Portuguese, satisfy the Area I language requirement. MIT offers Levels III and IV of Spanish every semester and offers Level III of Portuguese every fall semester and Level IV every spring semester. Students who demonstrate competence beyond Level IV may either take two advanced language subjects (highly recommended) or two more subjects from Areas II, III, and IV.


For students who are not required to take Area I subjects and opt not to take advanced language subjects (see footnote 1 above), all six subjects for the minor must be taken from Areas II, III, and IV, with at least one subject from each area. 


Students may not take more than one subject focused on the Iberian Peninsula.

The subject list above is not exhaustive. Additional information can be obtained from the minor advisor, Professor Eden Medina, E51-180, 617-253-1943, or from the SHASS Dean's Office, 4-240, 617-253-3450.