Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Academic Programs

The M.A. Thesis

The M.A. thesis is intended to be a full explication of a significant problem using original sources, interviews, or analogous materials. Its length depends upon the expectations of the Thesis Committee. Before submitting the application for the thesis, students should discuss their plans with the Stone Center Graduate Advisor in order to insure that projects are designed with feasible scope, appropriately interdisciplinary content, and proper support and supervision.

Students should be advised that credit for thesis is awarded for one semester, but theses are rarely defined, researched, written and successfully defended in one semester. Ideally, a potential thesis topic should be developed as early as the first semester of coursework and a thesis director and committee structure planned by the end of the second semester. Preliminary field explorations and research should be conducted in the summer after the end of the second semester. The thesis topic should be advanced in concept during the third semester; a final thesis prospectus should be approved by both the thesis director and the full thesis committee by October 15 of the third semester; and the actual thesis should be written and defended by the appropriate deadlines in the fourth semester. Students should also be warned that the deadline for submission is in the middle, not at the end, of this fourth semester. The Graduate Advisor will work closely with the degree candidate to insure that the thesis is advanced and completed in the recommended time frame.

Application to Write Thesis

By March 1 of the second semester of residence, M.A. students must formally decide whether they will pursue the thesis or the non-thesis option. For those who commit to write a thesis, a thesis commitment form and 4-6 page prospectus (see Appendix) should be submitted to the Center Graduate Advisor no later than October 15 of the third semester of residence.

The Graduate Advisor, after reading and discussing the prospectus with the student, will facilitate meetings of students with recommended faculty directors for their theses, where students have not already chosen their director. Then, these faculty will help students restructure their prospectuses, give critical advice, affirm the viability of the research project, and agree formally to serve as either director or as a reader.

The Thesis Committee

The thesis committee consists of a director, ordinarily representing the field of the student’s primary concentration, and two other faculty members whose interests are germane to the project. The director must be tenure or tenure track rather than adjunct or visiting faculty. Consult with the Graduate Advisor for initial advice about committee selection and again before finalizing your committee.

The Thesis Style and Format

Information regarding proper thesis formatting, style guidelines, and submission deadlines can be found at the website of Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts Graduate School.

Registration and Credit for Thesis

Students who commit to write the thesis must register for LAST 8990 in the fourth semester in the LAST Center under the title of the thesis project (See the Graduate Advisor) and with the consent and approval of the thesis director. Thesis writers will earn 3 credits upon successful completion and defense of the thesis. Completion of the thesis is required for graduation. Students must also register for LAST 9980 (Master’s Research) in the fourth semester to maintain full-time student status.

The Defense

There is an oral defense of the M.A. thesis. The Graduate Advisor, the Thesis Committee and the degree candidate will work together to schedule the thesis defense. The actual defense date should be scheduled as early in the thesis semester as possible so as to avoid scheduling complications at the last minute. Since the defense must take place before the thesis is submitted and because the dates for submission are midway through the semester, the examination ordinarily occurs in early/mid March (or early/mid November for those rare instances when a thesis is completed in the Fall semester). All three committee members interview the candidate. Students usually find the defense a positive learning experience. The committee generally helps the author place the work in context and often offers advice on additional directions to take if the same topic is developed into a dissertation or for publication.

To find all necessary materials regarding procedures and deadlines, thesis application forms, formatting guidelines and applications for degree, visit the website of Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts Graduate School.

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Upcoming Events

Graduate Student Writing Group

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Weekly structured writing sessions for Latin Americanist graduate students in all departments. Students, who arrive with a project and a goal, work in communal silence during two 45 minute blocks separated by a 10-minute coffee break. All meetings will be held in the Latin American Library Seminar Room. Co-sponsored by the Stone Center and the Latin American Library.

Latin American Writers Series: Alberto Barrera Tyszka

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Ecuadorian writer and Tulane Visiting Scholar Gabriela Alemán interviews Venezuelan writer Alberto Barrera Tyszka about his life, interests, and influences. Their discussion will be followed by an open Q&A and an informal reception. This event will be held in Spanish.

About the Latin American Writers Series

This series brings together Latin America’s most representative creative voices and the editorial entrepreneurs that publish them. By way of interviews conducted by renowned Ecuadorian writer Gabriela Alemán and presentations of various editorial missions, the guests will shed light on a literary world shaped by the contemporary issues of the continent. Moving forward, their conversations will comprise the centerpiece of a digital archive that introduces their ideas to a global audience.

Este serie reúne a los autores más representativos de la escritura continental y los editores que los publican. A través de entrevistas con la reconocida escritora ecuatoriana Gabriela Alemán y presentaciones de proyectos editoriales, los invitados explorarán los vínculos entre el mundo literario y la realidad continental. Sus conversaciones se convertirán después en el eje de un archivo digital que busca llevar estas ideas a un público global.

About the Author

Born in Caracas, Alberto Barrera Tyszka has published over a dozen works of poetry, short story, chronicle, novel, and biography. His most recent publications include the novels Patria o Muerte (2015) and Rating (2011), the poetic anthology La inquietud (2013), the collection of chronicles Un país a la semana (2013), and the short story collection Crímenes (2009). In 2005, he collaborated with Cristina Marcano to write the definitive biography of Hugo Chávez, Hugo Chávez sin uniforme: una historia personal (2005). Patria o muerte won the 2015 Premio Tusquets de Novela, and his novel La enfermedad, translated into English as The Sickness (2010), received the 2006 Herralde Award. Barrera also writes for television and has scripted soap operas for Venezuelan, Mexican, Colombian, and Argentinian networks.

Pan-American Life in New Orleans: Exhibition Opening and Reception

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Pan-American Life Insurance Group and The Latin American Library at Tulane University cordially invite you to an exhibit opening and reception to unveil the Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG) Collection. The PALIG Collection, generously donated to The Latin American Library, documents the company’s 109 years connecting New Orleans with Latin America. The exhibit will feature photographs, manuscripts, and other materials from the PALIG archives as well as other holdings from the LAL that shed light on the long history of commercial and cultural ties between New Orleans and Latin America.

See the LAL Facebook page for more details and updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/454592075187553/

Bate papo!: Portuguese Conversation Hour

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A weekly hour of Portuguese conversation and tasty treats hosted by Prof. Megwen Loveless. All levels are welcome!

The theme for this semester will be Passion Fruit. So bring your sweet tooth to try this week’s homemade delicacy: Bala de maracujá.

Latin American Writers Series Fall 2019 Book Display

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The Latin American Library has put together a display of books written by authors participating in the Fall 2019 Latin American Writers Series: Luis Negrón, Power Paola, Alberto Barrera Tyszka, and Gabriela Weiner. All books on display are available for check out. When you visit, be sure to grab a free bookmark commemorating the series!

Café con Alberto Barrera

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The Stone Center invites you to Café con Alberto Barrera. This intimate meet and greet will be an opportunity to connect with Barrera, an influential writer and thinker from Venezuela. In addition to his creative work as a poet and novelist, he has co-authored, with journalist Cristina Marcano, Hugo Chávez sin uniforme: una historia personal, the first biography written on this controversial figure. He has also penned Alta Traición and Un país a la semana, two texts that chronicle the tumultuous political landscape in the Venezuela of recent years. Barrera will be answering questions about his non-fiction work during this casual conversation with faculty and students.