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About the Minor

At Hamilton, Latin American studies offers an intense exploration of the history, culture, and politics of Latin America  — the more than 40 nations and independent states that stretch from Mexico and the Caribbean in the north to Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of the Americas. Students are challenged to see this emerging, energetic, and often contradictory region through new eyes. Those who want an immersion in a Latin American culture find ample opportunities to study abroad. 

A Sampling of Courses


Literature and Modernity in the Andes

The cultural representations of religion, history, means of transportation, media, photography, etc., provide distinct points of view on how modernity has been perceived in the Andes. This course will introduce students to the recognition of those perspectives by looking closely at novels, short stories, and movies, produced from the 19th century to the present day. This course also will explore the diverse ways in which the intensification of modernity has changed the nature of Andean cultural production itself: its language, style, the narrator’s and characters’ worldviews, etc.

Explore these select courses:

Intense focus on speech emergence and oral presentation. Study of diverse cultural readings and other aesthetic productions as a basis for refinement of grammar comprehension and as a means to further improve writing, reading and listening skills. Three hours of class, with additional activities, TA sessions and laboratory work. Taught in Spanish.

Study of interdisciplinary cultural discourses — art, music, journalism, literature, film — from Latin America and Spain. Focus on written and oral argumentation; introduction to the interpretation of literary texts. Advanced grammar in context and vocabulary building. Course emphasizes writing, oral presentation and the refinement of speech and pronunciation.

A selected overview of cultural concepts and literary movements and genres in Latin American literatures. Special emphasis on representative works of selected historical periods. Introduction to basic critical skills for literary and cultural analysis as applied to texts studied. Emphasis on oral performance, student participation and original application of critical methodology in writing projects. Taught in Spanish.

Studies novels published in the past 10 years, and questions that arise when neoliberalism exacerbates struggles for social justice. How does globalization affect our understanding of dissident sexualities? How does recent fiction reimagine family and kinship? How does it narrate migrant children, state terror, racism, and illness? How does economic crisis herald new kinds of citizenships that nationalistic projects have ignored? We consider language, race, ethnicity, gender, and age. Authors include Quintana, Luiselli, Molloy, Sainz Borgo, Herrera, Cueto, and Caputo.

Examines the emergence of the African culture in the Hispanic-Caribbean, taking into consideration some literary texts from the 19th and 20th centuries. Studies how the voice of the margins has been excluded or included, and consciously manipulated. Analyzes the concept of "race" and its intricate relations with gender, class and cultural politics. Also considered: the anthropological representation of the Other, the object/subject of slavery, racial stereotyping and oppression, religion, sexuality and interracial love.

Meet Our Faculty

Marissa Ambio

Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies, Acting Director of Latin American Studies

19th-21st century Latino literature and culture

Mackenzie Cooley

Assistant Professor of History, Director of Latin American Studies

history of science; early modern world; Colonial Latin America; environmental history; intellectual history; digital humanities; history of gender and sexuality; animal studies; genetics and history

Alex Bádue

Assistant Professor of Music

musical theater, popular music, Latin American music, 20th- and 21st-century music, and popular-classical crossovers

Jessica Burke

Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies

Latin American literature, Mexican literature, and culture and gender studies

Lacey Carpenter

Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology

household archaeology; Latin America; Mesoamerica; increasing sociopolitical complexity; craft production; public scholarship

international economic development and labor economics

Luis Miguel dos Santos Vicente

Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Medieval Iberian literatures and cultures; cross-cultural exchanges; medieval travel writing; Alfonso X of Castile; early modern Spanish travel; autobiography

Jack Martínez Arias

Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Andean indigenous cultures and literature, Latin American literature, Environmental Humanities, and Spanish as a second language

Heather Sullivan

Assistant Professor of Government

comparative politics, Latin American politics, protest and social movements, political violence, and state capacity

Explore Hamilton Stories

Savannah Kelly ’21

Kelly ’21 Studies Belize Border Dispute

Savannah Kelly ’21 conducted research through the Levitt Center on the effects of the Guatemala-Belize border dispute on Belize’s indigenous communities.

Andres "Fluffy" Aguilar '19

Creating Community for Underprivileged Youth

“I want to pay it forward. I want students to have opportunities.” Andres “Fluffy” Aguilar is a fellow at Pomona College, promoting a sense of community among high school students in the college's Academy for Youth Success.

Micaela Rostov ’19 in Mexico City.

Moving On After a Fulbright is Cut Short

There were (unexpected) lessons learned and knowledge gained during her abbreviated Fulbright Binational Internship in Mexico City, and Micaela Rostov ’19 is determined to make the best of the opportunity cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Careers After Hamilton

Hamilton graduates who took Latin American studies courses are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Audit Programs Manager, Elysian Energy
  • Senior VP of Strategic Marketing, Bank of America
  • Research Associate, George Washington University
  • Vice President, Global Recruitment, Protis Executive Innovation


Department Name

Latin American Studies Program

Contact Name

Mackenzie Cooley, Program Director

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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