Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Academic Programs

General Preliminary Examinations

The general preliminary examinations are designed to evaluate a student’s subject mastery, scholarly competence, and analytical ability. These examinations are tailored for each individual’s particular academic and professional aspirations, theoretical and methodological needs, and field of research. They are designed to demonstrate students’ abilities to place their own research into context.

In February of the first year of doctoral study, the Graduate Advisor and each student meet to discuss the formation of the Examination Committee. This committee consists of three or four members: For the primary concentration, one to two tenured, tenure-track, or permanent administrative faculty at Tulane University, who serves as the de facto examination committee chairperson; and for each of the two supporting concentrations, one professor (at least one of which must be a tenured, tenure-track, or permanent administrative Tulane University faculty member). Ordinarily at least three of these committee members later serve as the student’s Dissertation Committee. When exceptional circumstances or programmatic logic warrant it, one external committee member (i.e. a non-Tulane professor with an earned Ph.D.) is allowed to serve as a voluntary examination and dissertation committee member, but only following consultation with and approval by the Committee chairperson and the Graduate Advisor at the Stone Center. The Stone Center does not offer any travel subsidies or financial compensation for participation on doctoral examination and dissertation committees, and any voluntary external committee members should agree to serve on any doctoral examination or dissertation committee with this understanding.

Once a committee has been appointed, students prepare for the examinations by compiling professional bibliographies and critical reading lists in each of their three concentrations in consultation with the professor(s) overseeing the concentration field. These bibliographies are reviewed in-depth with each committee examiner so that the examiner can suggest modifications and additional readings as necessary. The committee will inform students of the parameters and scope of their questions well in advance of the examination.

The examinations include an 8-hour written exam in the first concentration and an 8-hour written exam in each of the other two supporting concentrations (total of two 8-hour written exams for the secondary concentrations). These written examinations are followed by an oral examination administered by the entire committee; the latter takes the form of a general discussion and lasts a maximum of two hours.

All General Preliminary Exams are normally given in either October or March and are usually completed within the space of one calendar month. Outside of these stipulations, individual exam schedules vary according to the student’s curricular and program needs and must be determined in close consultation with the Stone Center Graduate Advisor. Usually, students who enter the Ph.D. program with their M.A. degree in Latin American Studies at Tulane will be prepared for exams by the third or fourth semester of Ph.D study. Students who transfer with M.A. degrees from other Tulane departments or enroll with M.A. degrees from other universities should be prepared by the sixth or seventh semester depending on their previous preparation and experience.

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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.