Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Academic Programs

Preparing to Write the Dissertation

Topic Selection

From the moment students enter the doctoral program in Latin American Studies at Tulane, and possibly before, they should be thinking about potential dissertation topics. A viable project will be one that transforms a focused and feasible research investigation into a valuable and unique academic contribution.

Dissertation Committee

By the beginning of the semester after completing the General Preliminary Examinations, students should decide in consultation with the Graduate Advisor the constitution of their Dissertation Committee. Once chosen, each committee member is given one of the following assignments: Director, Second Reader, or Third Reader. The Dissertation Director has primary responsibility for deciding how the committee will distribute responsibilities and will function. The Dissertation Director is usually the faculty member with whom a student has worked very closely and who has significant expertise in the student’s primary concentration.

Prospectus

Within three months of completing the General Preliminary Examinations, students should present a Dissertation Prospectus. The prospectus constitutes the first formal synthesis of the research project that culminates in the Dissertation. Students should use it to organize and structure the content of the proposed research, to describe how and where it will be conducted, to analyze its feasibility and specific methodology, to define the importance of the topic as a unique contribution to knowledge, and to create a timetable for completion. Students prepare the Dissertation Prospectus in close consultation with their Dissertation Director, the Graduate Advisor, and other members of their Dissertation Committee.

The Dissertation Prospectus to be submitted to the Dean of Liberal Arts should be approximately five doubled-spaced pages in length. The cover sheet includes the student’s name, department, the title of the proposed dissertation, and the names of the Dissertation Director and the other members of the committee. The introduction of the prospectus should contain a summary of previous scholarship on the problem. The body should include an orderly description of the plan for the investigation. The conclusion should clearly state the anticipated nature of the investigation results. Major sources of information should be indicated and a selective bibliography attached. The prospectus is usually subject to a defense in front of the Dissertation Committee. Once the prospectus is approved by the full Dissertation Committee, three copies are prepared and are delivered to the Graduate Advisor with signatures of all members of the Dissertation Committee. The Graduate Advisor submits these documents to the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts.

Funding for Dissertation Research

University Fellowships and Financial Aid are tied structurally to university appointments as Teaching Assistants or Project Associates that can only be fulfilled while in residence at Tulane. Furthermore, these positions are made available to continuing students for only two years and to new or transfer students for a maximum of four years (five years for students in the Joint LAST/Art History Ph.D. program). Consequently, where field research is a fundamental component of the dissertation project and where it cannot be accomplished with summer research grants that the Stone Center funds each year, students must solicit outside funding to support that work.

The Graduate Advisor is available to work with each student to identify additional sources of support and to prepare applications as soon as the student formulates his or her proposal. Many application deadlines occur in the early Fall, so doctoral students are advised to schedule meetings with the Graduate Advisor at least one year before they plan to begin field research.

Advancement to Candidacy for the Ph.D.

After the successful completion of all required coursework, language examinations, the General Preliminary Examination, and the Dissertation Prospectus, doctoral students officially apply for Admission to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The application form is completed and submitted by the Graduate Advisor.

After this formality is complete, the Graduate Advisor secures the signed approval of the Dissertation Chair and submits a recommendation for Admission to Candidacy to the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts certifying that all requirements for the degree have been met. Once the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts has certified that all requirements for the degree have been met, he or she will advance the student to Candidacy for the Degree of Ph.D. in Latin American Studies.

The recommendation for Admission to Candidacy must be submitted to the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts no later than September 15 for those expecting to receive the degree in December, December 15 for those expecting to receive the degree in May, or March 15 for those expecting to receive the degree at the end of the Summer Session.

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Upcoming Events

Michael Skinkus and Moyuba at the Delgado Music Festival

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The Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane presents Michael Skinkus with Moyuba at the first annual Delgado Music Festival on Saturday, April 1 at 5:30 pm. The performance is part of a two day inaugural festival that is the culminating event of a week of educational music activities and will include master classes and a songwriting contest. Moyuba is a group that performs “Modern Jazz compositions based upon the Yoruba sacred songs and Bata drum rhythms that form the ceremonial music of Santería or Regla de Ocha in Cuba. The band uses the sacred songs and rhythms as a basis for it’s original compositions that are in fact suites of songs dedicated to orishas such as Eleguá, Ogún, and Ochósi.” (from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival website where they will perform on Friday, April 28). The performance is supported with funds from the Stone Center for Latin American Studies’ US Department of Education’s Title VI National Resource Center grant.

For more information on Delgado Community College’s first annual music festival, visit the website here.

Hermes Mallea presenting Great Houses of Havana

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Hermes Mallea presenting Great Houses of Havana: A Century of Cuban Style
An insider’s tour of Havana’s exceptional houses built between 1860 and 1960 and their fascinating personal histories, alongside Havana’s architectural patrimony.

Lecture at 6:00 PM and book signing at 7:30 PM.
For more information visit www.nohhf.org

This presentation is sponsored by the NOHHF in collaboration with the New Orleans Museum of Art, Beatriz Ball, JW Marriott, Jahncke & Burns Architects, the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, Ileana and José Suquet, Tulane School of Architecture-Master of Preservation Studies and Tulane University-Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

The Battle of New Orleans: Political Economy of Post-Katrina Development

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CIPR presents a talk by Dr. Aaron Schneider, Associate Professor at the School of International Studies of University of Denver, titled “The Battle of New Orleans: Political Economy of Post-Katrina Development”.

The talk, based on in part fieldwork performed by Dr. Schneider while he was on the Tulane faculty, will explore how politics and the local economy have reformed since Hurricane Katrina.

Please RSVP to CIPR at cipr@tulane.edu or 504.862.3141.

Teaching Haiti: K-12 Educator Workshop

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This educator workshop will explore the culture of Haiti, focusing on music and dance. This unique workshop focuses on an important, but often understudied area of the Caribbean, and will provide K-12 educators with exciting opportunities to diversify the classroom.

Participants will receive lunch, teaching materials and CEUs.

Check out LARC’s curriculum on Haitian Folktales or the Haiti part of the Day of the Dead Across the Americas to get ready for the workshop.

Special offer on registration!:
Bring a friend! Register with a colleague from the same institution and you can receive a 2 for 1 registration. Please register only one time and follow instructions on the registration form to provide your colleague’s information.

Schedule Coming Soon!

La Hora del Cuento: Bilingual Story Hour at the Children's Resource Center

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Join the Pebbles Center at the Children’s Resource Center branch of the New Orleans Public Library for bilingual story time.

On April 10th at 4:30 PM we will be featuring the book Ada’s Violin, about an orchestra made of recycled instruments, and doing a craft.

Alumni & Friends of the Band Dinner

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Please join Barry Spanier, Director of Bands, Tulane University for the Alumni & Friends of the Band Dinner. The Tulane Concert Band 7th Annual Spring Concert will immediately follow at 7:30 pm in the Dixon Hall Theater. Explore the musical cultures of the Latin world. Feel the passionate rhythms and be transported by the sweeping melodies that have made this music beloved by audiences around the globe. Enjoy the repertoire of Latin composers and others: Malegueña, Amparito Roca, La Virgen de la Macarena, Libertango, Mambo, Danzon No. 2, Puebla de Los Angeles, El Camino Real and Bolero.

For more information, please contact Patricia McWhorter-Broussard 504.314.BAND or patmcwbr@tulane.edu
www.tulaneband.org