Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Academic Programs

Doctor of Philosophy in Latin American Studies Curriculum

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Latin American Studies is awarded for mastery of a body of literature and for the production of imaginative and original research. A student may enter the program (1) progressing from the M.A. program in Latin American Studies at Tulane, or (2) transferring to the program with an M.A. conferred by another Tulane department or by another university.

Each semester doctoral students normally enroll in three classes and teach one class. By university regulations, students are allowed to enroll in a minimum of two courses while they serve as Teaching Assistants.

Students also begin preparation for general preliminary examinations, which are given during students’ last semester of classes and should be taken no later than the first semester after the completion of all coursework requirements. These are normally in October or March.

Upon satisfying the coursework and language requirements and completing the general exams, students begin research for the dissertation, presenting a formal prospectus for faculty approval. Once approved they can apply for admittance to candidacy for the doctoral degree and commence formal work on the dissertation, which must demonstrate their ability to carry out an original investigation in the field of Latin American Studies. Degrees are conferred only after the dissertation is approved in a formal defense before a faculty committee.

Coursework and Distribution Requirements

The minimum coursework requirement for the Ph.D. is 54 credit hours. Portions of this requirement are often satisfied by credit awarded for academic work completed in fulfilling requirements for the M.A. degree with thesis.

Students with an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane may transfer up to 30 credits of relevant work from their M.A. program, while students transferring from other departments at Tulane or other universities may transfer no more than 12 hours of relevant work (see Transfer Credit below).

General requirements for the Ph.D. degree are:

  • Thirty semester hours in the primary concentration, including a minimum of six semester hours in theory, methodology, and pedagogy. Students transferring to the Stone Center from other programs must take the Latin American Studies Core Seminar in their first Fall semester to satisfy three hours of the theory and methodology requirement. And all Ph.D. students must take the required Pedagogy and Professional Development course in the Spring semester before the academic year in which they are scheduled to teach the LAST 1010/1020 course cycle for the first time. NOTE: Of the thirty semester hours in the primary concentration, twelve hours or four courses should be at the 7000 level when possible; and no more than nine hours or three courses can be independent study.
  • Twelve semester hours in a first supporting concentration; six of these hours, when possible, should be at the 7000 level.
  • Twelve semester hours in a second supporting concentration; six of these hours, when possible, should be at the 7000 level.
  • A demonstrated knowledge of at least two languages, including Spanish or Portuguese.
  • The successful completion of three general preliminary examinations in the primary and supporting concentrations.
  • The successful defense of a dissertation prospectus.
  • The successful completion and defense of the dissertation.

Concentrations

The concentrations are usually departmental/disciplinary and are intended more as a guide to help organize a student’s curriculum around a specific research project. Where a student’s program suggests that there is an educational and qualitative logic, it is also possible to declare one synthetic concentration that combines courses from more than one department. Such a concentration might be, for example, Cultural Studies or Mexican Studies or Gender Studies, etc. Students are also encouraged, in consultation with the Graduate Advisor, to take courses that may fall outside of their concentration areas if such courses are critical to the development of specific research skills, tools, methods, or content necessary in the pursuit of their research agendas.

Transfer Credits

At the time of admission, the Graduate Advisor can provide an informal assessment about what previous course credit can be transferred to meet Ph.D. requirements, but University policy allows the Graduate Advisor to make a formal evaluation of requests for transfer credit only after students have completed nine hours in residence at Tulane. After that point, and before the student accumulates a total of 42 credit hours, the Graduate Advisor recommends the transfer of appropriate and germane credit to the Graduate Dean for approval. Students seeking transfer credits should be prepared to provide copies of syllabi and/or course term papers as evidence of the relevance of the courses in question to their graduate work in their Latin American Studies program. Only courses that have a theoretical or content-specific logic to a student’s Latin American Studies academic program will be approved for transfer credit.

As noted above, students with an M.A. (with thesis) in Latin American Studies from Tulane may transfer up to 30 credits of relevant work from their M.A. program, while students transferring from other departments at Tulane or other universities may transfer up to 12 hours of relevant coursework.

Acceptance of graduate credit for work done in other M.A. programs at Tulane or other universities is recommended by the Graduate Advisor and approved by the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts. To be considered for transfer credit, coursework must have received a grade of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale and must have been completed no more than six years before the date of first registration in the Center’s doctoral program. Only in very special cases, and with the recommendation of the Stone Center’s Graduate Advisor, will the Dean consider transfer of credit for courses taken earlier.

Language Requirements

The language requirement for graduation with the Ph.D. in Latin American Studies is demonstrated competence in two languages. Normally, one is Spanish; the second Portuguese. However, other languages may be presented if essential for the student’s research. German, Quechua, Nahuatl, or Kaqchikel are examples. The required level of competence in Spanish and Portuguese corresponds to intermediate-high on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language scale. This competency is considered a minimum requirement. Students are encouraged to develop additional languages as needed by their research fields. Levels of competency similar to those described for Spanish and Portuguese are required in any language presented to satisfy this requirement. Currently, language competency examinations in Spanish and Portuguese are administered by Professors in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as assigned by that department. Students should contact the Department of Spanish and Portuguese directly for further information on the administration of these exams. All students, even native speakers, must be either examined for minimal linguistic competency as explained above or certified as to their native fluency by the Spanish and Portuguese Department.

Certification of competency in a second language must be presented by the end of the second year of study. Transfer students are expected to pass one language during the first year of study, and a second language examination by the end of second year of study. Testing procedures are discussed further in the “Grades and Evaluation” section.

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Upcoming Events

The Latin American Library's Annual Open House

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The Latin American Library will be hosting its annual open house event on Friday, September 21. This annual event will welcome back faculty, students, staff, and friends from the New Orleans community. The event will include a talk by Colombian visual artist Erika Diettes, an exhibit of recent acquisitions, a book sale, and as always much more!

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information contact Madeline White via email (mwhite7@tulane.edu) or by phone at (504) 865-5681.

MARI Brown Bag Series to host PhD candidate Evan Parker for talk on jade offerings in Maya plaza

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The Middle American Research Institute is happy to announce the first talk of the 2018-2019 Brown Bag talk series. Evan Parker, Ph.D Candidate in the Department of Anthropology, will present his research in a talk titled The Tzimin Jades of Paso del Macho: Description and Analysis of a Middle Preclassic Maya Plaza Offering.

MARI’s Brown Bag talk series is meant to provide a venue for students and faculty focusing on topics related to Mesoamerica to discuss their latest research in an informal and friendly setting. If you are interested in presenting, please email Jessica Melancon (jmelanc1@tulane.edu) for more information.

For the current speaker list of this talk series, visit the MARI Brown Bag website.

Film Screening: El Súper with filmmaker Iván Acosta

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The 1979 film version of Cuban filmmaker Ivan Acosta’s award-winning play El Súper, which gained critical and international success for its depiction of exiled Cubans in New York City, will be screened. Mr. Acosta will be in attendance and a discussion in English will follow. Iván Acosta is a playwright, filmmaker, and creative director originally from Santiago de Cuba, now in New York City. His creative endeavors include documentaries, plays, films, and books, and he’s served as writer, director, and producer, among other roles.

A small reception will follow the screening. Seating may be limited. Admission is free and open to the public. For questions email ccsi@tulane.edu.

For further reading visit: https://www.nytimes.com/1979/04/29/archives/the-screen-el-super-a-cubanamerican-tale-the-cast.html


Collaborators of these events with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute include Beatriz Ball, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, the Newcomb Art Museum, Park View Historic Hotel, and St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

Equity speaker series to host panel on navigating immigrant relations in the current political climate

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The Center for Academic Equity at Tulane University is proud to present Border Li(n)es: Excluding, Extracting, and Expelling Immigrants in the Southern U.S. on September 25, 2018 at 7:00 PM as part of the Equity Speaker Series.

Following a summer of turbulent immigration relations in the United States, the Fall 2018 Equity Speaker Panel will focus on immigration on our Southern border and will feature specialists whose experiences vary from grassroots to professorial work. Panelists will include Josiah Heyman, Director of the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies, Ronald Martinez, New Orleans immigrant activist and spokesperson for the Congress of Day Laborers, Hiroko Kusuda, Clinical Professor and Director of Immigration Law at the Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice at Loyola, and Laila Hlass, Clinical Professor of Law at Tulane Law School and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies.

These four distinguished speakers will share the stage of Freeman Auditorium to discuss the drastic variation in immigrant relations across the national, regional, and local spaces and ways that members of American society may become engaged in or change the now toxic and polarized political climate. This inaugural discussion will be followed by a question and answer session.

See also Tulane New Wave for more information and a description of the event.




Cover photo from CNN story What the US-Mexico border looks like before Trump’s wall.

Mexican Cultural Institute's new exhibition features Hispanic women artists' empowerment and identity

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The Mexican Cultural Institute in New Orleans in collaboration with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation is proud to announce the opening of the groundbreaking exhibition Hispanic Women Making Art: Creative Empowerment and Identity. The exhibition will feature artists Verónica Bapé, Belinda Flores-Shinshillas, Ana Hernandez, Josephine Sacabo, Laura Velez and Luba Zygarewicz and is curated by Marcela Correa, MFA.

The opening reception will be held on September 26 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM. The exhibition will be open beginning September 26 and continue through November 24, 2018. For more information, please visit the Mexican Cultural Institute website.

Cover photo is a work by Verónica Bapé from the series ABUNDANTE COSA 1 MES 1 ARTISTA.

In 2018 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico established the Mexican Cultural Institute in New Orleans. The primary objective of the Mexican Cultural Institute is to promote the image of Mexico by supporting cultural expressions in its broadest and fullest sense, including multidisciplinary forms like visual arts, music, performing arts, film, literature and gastronomy. The mission of the Cultural Institutes is to be protagonists of the cultural scene in their different host cities.


Iván Acosta book presentation: With A Cuban Song in the Heart / Con Una Canción Cubana en el Corazón

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Iván Acosta will present his memoir, With a Cuban Song in the Heart/ Con Una Canción Cubana en el Corazón, published by Un-Gyve Press, 2017. At this event, Mr. Acosta will incorporate his favorite Cuban songs in a musical and historical journey. His book features artwork from 280 album covers in his private collection and weaves a rich narrative combining real life experiences from his childhood in Santiago, Cuba along with tidbits of local lore and historical references. His favorite songs will be performed by local performers during the presentation.
This fascinating presentation, starting at 6:00PM, will be held at Tulane University in the Freeman Auditorium of the Newcomb Art Building (in Newcomb Circle) New Orleans, LA, 70118. A book signing and reception will follow on Woodward Way, right outside the Freeman Auditorium and in the Newcomb Art Museum. The book will be available for purchase for $60.00.

This event is free and open to the public. For questions email ccsi@tulane.edu.

For further reading visit: https://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/16/nyregion/public-lives-cuba-on-his-mind-the-dual-life-of-an-artist-exile.html


Collaborators of these events with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute include Beatriz Ball, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, the Newcomb Art Museum, Park View Historic Hotel, and St. Mary’s Dominican High School.