About Latin American Studies

Our Program and Courses

At F&M, you can minor in Latin American and Latinx Studies. You can tailor your studies by choosing from courses within anthropology, environmental studies, government, history, American Studies, and Spanish that relate to Latin American and Latinx experiences and culture. These courses range in scope from investigations in Latin American archaeology, sexuality, colonialism, and politics — both past and present — to courses that center the experiences and culture of Latinx communities in the U.S.

By the time you graduate, you will be able to demonstrate: 

  • An understanding of Latin American and Latinx cultures, histories, and politics, and how they relate to the world at large.
  • A more holistic understanding of Latin America as both a region and its unique, individual societies.
  • Critical and analytical thinking and the ability to empathize outside of your lived experiences.
  • The ability to collaborate effectively in a manner that translates to the professional arena.

Curious what Latin American and Latinx Studies courses are like? Explore our course catalog to see the depth and breadth available to you.

Our Faculty and Staff

Eric Hirsch

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

Latin American Studies

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Stephanie McNulty

The Honorable & Mrs. John C. Kunkel Professor of Government

Latin American Studies

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Sofia Ruiz-Alfaro

Professor of Spanish, Program Chair of Latin American and LatinX Studies

Latin American Studies

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Laura M Shelton

Associate Professor of History

Latin American Studies

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Scott C Smith

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Latin American Studies

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Carmen Tisnado

Professor of Spanish

Latin American Studies

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Shari Vegso

Academic Department Coordinator

Chinese Language Program; Comparative Literary Studies; French; German and Russian Studies; International Studies; Italian Studies and Hebrew; Japanese Language Program; Latin American Studies; Spanish

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Mark R Villegas

Associate Professor of American Studies

Africana Studies; Latin American Studies

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Learning Outside the Classroom

While learning about the rich cultures of Latin America and the Latinx diaspora in F&M classes is essential to the minor, our program emphasizes the value of hands-on experiences. With our many research and study-abroad opportunities, you’ll have plenty of chances to step outside the structure of the classroom and embark on your own explorations in Latin American and Latinx Studies.

Research Opportunities

Every student at F&M has extraordinary opportunities to engage in independent or faculty-led research. With faculty guidance, you can do a more in-depth dive into the topics that interest you most. There are also many research seminars you may choose to participate in, including studies in Latin American detective fiction, theater, and migration.
Explore research at F&M

Off-Campus Study

It’s only natural that while studying the history and cultures of Latin America, you may wish to experience it for yourself. Previous students have visited Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru.
Explore off-campus study at F&M

Success Beyond F&M

Latin American and Latinx Studies at F&M prepares you for any number of careers, post-graduate fellowships or graduate school programs. The intellectual and analytical activities that make up the work of Latin American and Latinx Studies — including cultural understanding and communication skills, collaborating with others, and critical thought — help you develop useful and productive skills, which are valuable for any post-college plan.

Alumni Spotlight

“This seemed like the perfect opportunity.”

Jean-Paul Rojas ’23 spent a summer interning with Proyecto Arqueologico Rios Culebra-Colin (PARCC) in Dos Mangas, Ecuador. "As an anthropology major and Latin American studies minor with previous academic experience in Ecuador and a passion for Andean archaeology, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to gain fieldwork experience and form connections with other students and professors from Ecuadorian and American institutions, apply academic concepts in a specific context, and form bonds with community members," he said.
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Course Spotlight

“It's important to continue offering rich learning environments and to bridge gaps across communities.”

At Franklin & Marshall College, students taking Spanish classes are practicing their language skills outside of the classroom. Through myriad community-based learning courses (CBL), the Department of Spanish connects students with speakers of the language in Lancaster. “It's important to continue offering rich learning environments and to bridge gaps across communities," said Jessica Cox, assistant professor of Spanish and linguistics.
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Related Fields of Study


Encounter world cultures, examine the human experience, and gain new perspectives to help guide you through the field and in life. By studying anthropology at F&M, you’ll explore humanity through anthropological theory and research, inspecting questions like the natural roles of parents, the meaning of work, the function of ritual, and more.


F&M’s Department of Government has earned a reputation as one of the finest in the country. Study government at F&M and examine power, politics, justice, equity, and change while developing skills in language, economics, mathematics and philosophy.


With over 572 million speakers in the United States and in Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, knowledge of Spanish is not only a valuable skill to have for your own benefit, but an important tool for understanding and communicating with your fellow humans. By studying Spanish at F&M, you’ll hone your language skills while learning about the varied people and cultures that speak Spanish around the world.

Explore Latin American and LatinX Studies at F&M

May 23, 2024

Ten Faculty Earn Tenure, Promotion

At its May meeting, the Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed the recommendations of the Professional Standards Committee and the Provost, granting four F&M faculty tenure and promotion to associate professor, while six others were promoted to full professor.

July 6, 2022

Six Students' Quests for Summer Fieldwork and Experience

What does a Franklin & Marshall College student do during the summer? Many take the 15 weeks before the start of their next academic year to dive into the fields and industries they're studying in the classroom.

November 15, 2019

Mueller Fellow Tells Stories to Illustrate Immigration Debate

Sandra Cisneros, a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico and a noted author and activist, chose a different way to discuss the immigration question during her recent visit to Franklin & Marshall.