Latin America is a region of enormous diversity stretching from the Sonora Desert of northern Mexico through equatorial rainforests and the snow-covered Andes to the vast pampas of Argentina in the south. For more than five centuries, historical change here has been entangled with political, economic, social, and cultural developments far away. Not surprisingly, Latin American and Caribbean intellectuals made crucial early contributions to the theorization of global connection in history.
Latin America-based research often has vital policy implications as well. There is no region of the world where U.S. actions have had such profound impact, and no region’s future is more closely entwined with that of the United States. In recent years Latin American nations have made strides towards reducing socio-economic disparities even as the United States has seen inequality rise. The local, national, and supranational processes that have brought this hemisphere’s 800,000,000 people to the lives they live today pose urgent questions that our discipline is uniquely well-placed to answer.
For students seeking to tackle that task, the Department of History's Latin America program provides extraordinary resources. For undergraduates, we offer introductory surveys of the region's colonial and post-independence history, and more specialized courses on comparative revolutions, Afro-Latin American history, U.S.-Latin American relations, women’s history, historical memory, and other topics. At the graduate level we offer seminars on race and slavery; gender, social and political history; and macro-level theories and models of Latin American history. At both levels, undergraduate and graduate, faculty work closely with students to help them achieve their personal and professional goals. The result is a course of training in Latin American history that qualifies as one of the very best in the world.