Latin America


The graduate program in Latin American history has emerged as one of the top programs in the United States, led by nationally-ranked faculty who have attracted highly qualified students from throughout the Americas.  Our faculty is large and diverse in scope and area of interests, covering the most important aspects of the history of Latin America, since the conquest and establishment of the Iberian empires to the most contemporary issues, from the Southern Cone to the Caribbean. The program also benefits from close connections with faculty and students from other fields such as Global Interaction and Exchange; Medieval and Early Modern World; Women, Gender and Sexuality; and the history of the United States.

The graduate program is structured around a comprehensive sequence of historiographical, methodological, and research and writing seminars that prepare students to choose a research focus from a range of geographic regions, nation-states, and time periods. The program encourages transnational, comparative, and interdisciplinary approaches. Students must take the three general seminars on the history of colonial, nineteenth-century, and twentieth-century Latin America. Additionally, they may choose seminars in Atlantic history, African-American history, African history, the Haitian Revolution, Race in the Americas, or Research Methods and Sources in Latin American History as well as courses on Latin America in the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese, Anthropology, Women’s Studies, Sociology, Government, Theater and Performance Studies, Art History, and Music.  Students may also take advantage of courses offered in other academic institutions in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Current and past students have focused on labor, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, science and the environment, empire, the arts and culture industries, slavery and emancipation, and nation-state formation.  Students have written dissertations on themes as diverse as masculinity in post-revolutionary Mexico, gender in Pinochet’s Chile, agricultural modernization of Mexico, consumer culture in twentieth century Brazil, the African diaspora in Panama, the political culture of the Mapuches in nineteenth-century Chile and Argentina; the political culture of the Spanish Empire; and Protestant missionaries in the colonial Caribbean. Students have won major external fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright, the Spencer Foundation, and Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies in support of innovative doctoral research. The program's most recent doctoral recipients are employed in tenure-track jobs or related work of their choice.