Study the people and culture of Latin America through its history, literature, politics and economy. Then, gain first-hand experience through study abroad.

The Latin American Studies (LAS) major explores Latin American culture through language study, the humanities and the social sciences. Core courses in history, literature and politics will give you a base for understanding the life of the region.

Then, you’ll take five courses in a more narrowly focused track, choosing from Gender and Sexuality, Race and Ethnicity, Politics and International Relations, History, Literature and Cultural Studies and the Latin American Diaspora.

Two years of Spanish language and a semester of study abroad in Central or South America are required, as is a senior exercise.

  • In class with Professor Miguel Tinker Salas
    In class with Professor Miguel Tinker Salas
  • In class with Professor April Mayes
    In class with Professor April Mayes

What You'll Study

  • Latin American culture and people
  • History of the region
  • Representations in literature or film
  • Spanish language
  • A specialized track of your choosing
Latin American Studies courses offered across The Claremont Colleges

Researching at Pomona

  • Silvia Martinez ’19
    The Violence in Mexico: A Study of Three Massacres

    Silvia Martinez ’19 reviewed the history of the 1968 massacre of protesters in Tlatelolco and the 1995 massacre of Aguas Blancas, which she argues set the historical precedent for the 2014 slaying of 43 college students in Ayotzinapa.

  • Cristian Padilla
    Black Caribbean Scholars and Revolutionaries

    Cristian J. Padilla Romero ’18 is interpreting how Black Caribbean scholars and revolutionaries like Aimé Césaire, Walter Rodney and Jean-Bertrand Aristide conceptualized European colonialism and what they suggested must be done to rectify the historical injustice done to colonized peoples. 

  • Joseph Chafkin
    The Puerto Rican Debt Crisis

    Joseph Chafkin ’18 is working on an independent study project with Professor Grace Dávila López researching cultural reactions to the Puerto Rican debt crisis, a topic he plans to pursue for his thesis project.

Cristian Padilla
Cristian J. Padilla Romero ’18

I chose the Latin American Studies major because I saw it as the most relevant to myself, the academic material I want to study, and the work I want to do in the future. I love the department’s interdisciplinary framework that it uses to critically analyze and interpret historical as well as contemporary developments in the region that is now called Latin America. With an important emphasis on African diasporic and Indigenous narratives, the department does a fantastic job at highlighting the monumental contribution of Indigenous and African peoples on the larger Latin American culture and society. The sort of critical analyses found in this department highlights counter-hegemonic narratives that in effect does more justice to the people who are the object of such representation within the wider knowledge-producing institutions.

Faculty & Teaching

Our affiliated Latin American Studies faculty have a wide range of expertise including Latin American and Caribbean history, literature, culture, the politics of Mexico and Venezuela, U.S.-Latin American relations, Afro-Latin America, slavery in the Americas, and Chicanas/os and Latinas/os in the United States.

Professor Miguel Tinker Salas

In the past two decades, Latin America has reasserted its role on the world stage challenging traditional interpretations of the region. The Latin American Studies major provides student with the tools to analyze one of the most dynamic and ever-changing regions of the world that is increasingly no longer defined by traditional political borders.