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.

Meet Our Faculty

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

Marissa Ambio

Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies


19th-21st century Latino literature and culture

Alex Bádue

Assistant Professor of Music


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

Jessica Burke

Chair, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies


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

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

A student typing on a laptop with a Wikipedia page displayed

Politics in Latin America Class Takes on Wikipedia

Communications and Marketing Office student intern Anna Richardson ’26 talks here about an unusual assignment in her Politics in Latin America class with Professor Heather Sullivan.

Savannah Kelly ’21

Kelly ’21 Studies Belize Border Dispute

Her Hamilton-funded research project took her to Belize. Savannah Kelly ’21 looked at the effects of the Guatemala-Belize border dispute on Belize’s indigenous communities.

Natasha Espinosa '18, far left, and a student media panel.

Connecting the Dots: Latin America, Sociology, Media

Natasha Espinosa ’18 went into her first year at Hamilton with the goal of taking full advantage of the open curriculum. For Espinosa, this meant exploring her long-held interest in and personal connection to Latin America.

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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