Latin American Studies

Latin American cultures encompass music, dance, food, the arts, religion, and strong familial traditions. Against this vibrant cultural backdrop, Latin America is trying to live down a history of underdevelopment, dependency, and inequality. Fledgling democracies across the region are pursuing various ways to address these deeply rooted problems, ranging from neo-liberal capitalism to socialism and populism.

Latin American Studies offers a major and a minor that provide an interdisciplinary perspective on this vibrant and diverse region of the world, with a special focus on Mexico and Central America. A major or minor in Latin American Studies is a valuable complement to a major in such related fields as anthropology, foreign language, geography, history, international relations, and political science.

The Latin American Studies program allows you to study with experts in the region from departments across the campus. It can help prepare you for a variety of careers in our rapidly globalizing world, including business, education, journalism, sustainable development, recreation and travel. In addition, it can enhance your job opportunities with both government and non-governmental agencies.

Students are highly encouraged to take advantage of CSU, Chico Study Abroad opportunities in Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

For more information, contact: Dr. Sarah Anderson

at or (530) 898-4741

Office hours: M 12:00-2:30 and F 12:00-2:30.  

Office ARTS 356

Latin American Studies Classes Spring 2019

Language Proficiency Courses

SPAN 101-201: First-Semester through Fourth-Semester Spanish

See Course Schedule for more information

Core Courses

LAST 110: Introduction to Latin American Studies

Prof. Sarah Anderson / MWF 11:00-11:50 / PAC 210

This class meets the following General Education requirements:

  • Societal Institutions (D2)
  • Global Cultures Course

A survey of the history, geography, culture, and society of Latin America. This course is designed to provide students who are majoring in Latin American Studies, as well as General Education students, with an initial orientation in the study of Latin America on an interdisciplinary basis. 

LAST 495W: Seminar in Selected Topics (Indians and Indigenismo)

Prof. Stephen Lewis / R 5:00-7:50 / ARTS 105

This class is also offered as: HIST 498-01

This course will offer an historical sweep of Latin America’s indigenous populations and the twentieth-century cultural and political phenomenon known as indigenismo. After spending four weeks on the colonial period and the nineteenth century, we will focus on the indigenista turn in postrevolutionary Mexico. We will then study the period from 1940-1970, the glory years of Pan-American indigenismo. Indigenista policy in the Andes, in Guatemala, and in Mexico will receive the bulk of our attention. We will then read the iconic testimonio I, Rigoberta Menchú and study the controversy that ensued following the publication of David Stoll’s work in 1999. From there, we’ll spend a week on the Zapatistas of Chiapas and a week on the contemporary Andes. We’ll devote the last four weeks of the class to individual research and writing projects.

Group A (Art & Literature)

ARTH 472W: Maya Art

Prof. Matthew Looper / T 5:00-7:50 / AYRS 201

An investigation of the art of the ancient Maya of Mexico and Central America prior to European contact, from the Preclassic to Postclassic periods. The relationship of art to religious beliefs and practices will be explored, as well as the development of local styles associated with royal courts. Sites discussed include Tikal, Palenque, Copan, Uxmal, and Chichen Itza.

SPAN 332: Latin American Culture & Civilization

Prof. Antonio Arreguín Bermúdez / W 4:00-6:50 / BUTE 309

This course also counts for the Spanish major and minor.

A survey of the cultural, social, economic, and political heritage of Latin America and its evolution into contemporary Latin American society. 

SPAN 441: Hispanic Short Story

Prof. Rony Garrido / TR 12:30-1:45 / AJH 112

Prerequisites: SPAN 301; SPAN 341 or SPAN 342; or faculty permission.

This course also counts for the Spanish major and minor.

Study of leading short story writers from Spain and Latin America, with background readings and reports on representative authors. Emphasis on contemporary works.

Group B (History)

LAST 350: Modern Mexico

Prof. Jerrad Benedict / TR 9:30-10:45 / PLMS 106

This class is also offered as: HIST 382-01

This class meets the following General Education requirements:

  • Upper-Division Arts/Humanities (UDC)
  • Global Cultures Course

An interdisciplinary approach to the history and politics of Mexico. This course will introduce students to the panorama of Mexican history while delineating the roots and development of the current Mexican political system.

Group C (Social and Natural Sciences)

LAST 357: Lands/Peoples/Latin America

Prof. Scott Brady / MWF 1:00-1:50 / BUTE 103

This class is also offered as: GEOG 357-01

This class meets the following General Education requirements:

  • Upper-Division Social Sciences (UDD)
  • Global Cultures Course

Study of the physical environment, human settlement, development, and modern problems of the nations of Latin America.

Check the Spring 2019 Schedule for class availability.





DeYoung Museum - San Francisco

Latin American Studies and History students in San Francisco on a trip to the DeYoung Museum for an exhibit on Teotihuacan

Maya hip-hop artist Tzutu Kan

Maya hip-hop artist Tzutu Kan visits Dr. Hannah Burdette’s capstone course on Latin American Counterculture and the Art of Protest.

Outstanding Student

Latin American Studies Outstanding Student: Ana Zepeda

Ana Zepeda

Ana Zepeda- Outstanding Latin American Studies Student