Latin American & Caribbean Studies

The interdisciplinary program in Latin-American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) allows a focus on the peoples, cultures, history, literature, politics, economy, and geography of Latin America and the Caribbean, providing students with a broad-based understanding of the region and with the language and research skills required for advanced scholarship. The LACS program offers both an interdisciplinary Major Concentration and an interdisciplinary Honours degree. There is presently no interdisciplinary Minor Concentration in Latin-American & Caribbean Studies. If you have any questions related to the Program, please contact fernanda.macchi [at] (Prof. Fernanda Macchi).

Note: Newly admitted students from CEGEP or new LACS students who have AP or university credits in Spanish Language courses will need to take a placement test. Please see the Hispanic Studies website.

Program options


Download the LACS Major Concentration Downloadable Checklist to easily track your progress in the LACS Major.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) - Major Concentration Latin American & Caribbean Studies (36 Credits)


All students interested in pursuing the Honours LACS program MUST meet with the program adviser in order to be able to declare Honours. To make an appointment with the program adviser please contact Kirsty at (514) 398-4804 or by email.

Download this checklist to easily track your progress in the LACS Area Honours Program

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) - Honours Latin American and Caribbean Studies (60 Credits)


LACS 480
Latin American and Caribbean Studies Reading Course

Latin American & Caribbean St : Supervised reading in advance special topics in Latin American and Caribbean Studies under the direction of member of faculty.

Prerequisite(s): Having completed at least two of the required courses of the Program.

LACS 497
Research Seminar: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

LACS 497 is a required course for the LACS Major and Honours programs.

Restriction: Open to Program students and to others with permission of the Program Advisor

An interdisciplinary research seminar on topics of common interest to staff and students of the Latin-American and Caribbean Studies Program.

PDF icon Winter 2018 LACS 497 Course Outline

LACS 498
Honours Thesis

LACS 498 is a required course for the LACS Honours programs.

Prerequisite: LACS 497 and permission of the Program Adviser.

This course is required of all students pursuing an Honours Program in Latin-American & Caribbean Studies and may be taken by others with written permission of the Program Adviser.

This course is designed to allow students to pursue interdisciplinary research projects under close supervision.

Students must submit the LACS 498 Honours Thesis Approval Form to the ISID office for approval.


LACS 498 (3 credits) is required of all students pursuing an Honours Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. It cannot be taken by students pursuing other programs. The course shall be taken during the student’s last academic year of study at McGill either in the Fall, Winter or Summer term.


Students are responsible for finding a supervisor who is willing to direct their research project. They are also responsible for selecting and defining a topic, preparing a problem statement, a research plan, and a completion schedule that must be approved by the supervisor. The supervisor shall be a faculty member at the rank of assistant, associate or full professor at McGill University. Students are strongly encouraged to find a supervisor willing to supervise their research project at least one semester before the semester in which they will take LACS 498 starts.


LACS 498 can only be taken with permission of the Program Adviser. The student shall notify the Program Adviser in writing of the following: (1) name, status, and degree program of the student; (2) supervisor’s name, rank, and academic affiliation; (3) title and focus of the project; and (4) a brief description of the Research Project. Students will not be allowed to register in LACS 498 unless this information is received at least at least 48 hours before the end of the add/drop period of the semester in which the Research Paper is to be written.


The above-mentioned information will be sent to the Program Chair. The LACS Program Chair will approve project proposals as long as they are clearly within the field of Latin American and Caribbean Studies and conform to these guidelines. The ISID office will keep a record of approved projects but will leave the responsibility for follow-up and completion with the student and the supervisor. Any changes to topic and/or supervisor must be communicated to the LACS Program Adviser and the LACS Program Chair.

Level of Effort

The effort required for the Research Project should be roughly equivalent to the total work involved in a 3-credit course, i.e., approximately 10 hours/week for one semester. If the Research Project builds on work already completed in other courses or field assignments, then it should represent the equivalent of work for 3 credits beyond such previous work. The field of inquiry may build on issues and themes addressed in other courses or research undertaken by the student, but under no circumstances will work already submitted for other courses be accepted. The Research Project should be 20-30 typewritten pages, double-spaced with endnotes and bibliography.


Two copies of the research essay will be submitted to the LACS Program Adviser by the last day of classes. One copy will be submitted to the supervisor for evaluation; the other will be given to the LACS Program Chair for evaluation by a second reader. The Research Paper will receive a single final grade agreed upon by these two readers.

Human Subject Research

Course-based research projects that require students to conduct human subject research must receive ethics review and approval. These projects differ from research in that the intent is for the student to become more knowledgeable about the research process, rather than to contribute to generalizable knowledge. The results of the data are not intended for publication or presentation outside the classroom. The review of these applications may be delegated to the Research Ethic Board (REB) departmental representative and do not normally have to go to the regular REB for review. This review may not be used for projects carried out as part of a faculty member’s own research. Course projects that involve more than minimal risk, or involve minors or other vulnerable populations, must be reviewed by the REB. Course projects which results will be used outside the classroom must be reviewed by the REB. No research project, including student research may begin before approval has been obtained from the REB. No research project will be granted retroactive approval. For more information, visit the Research and Ethics Board Website.

Submission Deadline and Grades

The deadline for submission of term work (i.e., the final paper is submitted to your supervisor for evaluation) is the last day of classes of the term in which you are registered for the course. This is a Faculty of Arts regulation.

Last day of classes

Grades are due one week after end of classes and will be submitted by the thesis supervisor on Minerva. If there are any problems regarding the grade submission, please contact the ISID office at (514) 398-4804.

LACS 499
Internship: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Internship with an approved host institution or organization.

Pre-requisites: Permission of the Program Advisor

Restriction: Open to U2 and U3 students after completing 30 credits of a 90 credit degree program or 45 credits of a 69-120 credit program, a minimum CGPA of 2.70 and permission of the program Internship Advisor. This course will normally not fulfill program requirements for the seminar or 400 level courses.



Fernanda Macchi

Associate Professor
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures - Hispanic Studies
688 Sherbrooke St. W. Rm. 381
Montreal, QC

Office Hours: by appointment via email to Fernanda Macchi directly.

Program committee

Program Chair

Professor Fernanda Macchi
Associate Professor (Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)
PhD (Yale)

Program Committee

Professor Manuel Balan
Assistant Professor (ISID and Department of Political Science)
PhD (University of Texas at Austin)

Professor Eduardo Kohn
Assistant Professor (Department of Anthropology)
PhD (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

Professor Catherine LeGrand
Associate Professor (Department of History and Classical Studies)
PhD (Stanford)

Professor Cecily Raynor
Assistant Professor (Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)
PhD (Georgetown)

Professor Katherine Zien
Assistant Professor (Department of English)
PhD (Northwestern)

Professor Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert
Associate Professor (Department of History and Classical Studies)
PhD (Yale)

Liaison librarian

Marcela Isuster

Liaison Librarian for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Humanities and Social Sciences Library
McLennan-Redpath Library Complex
Tel: (514) 398-4729
Website: Marcela Isuster


Professors with active research in Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Department of Anthropology
Nicole Couture
Eduardo Kohn
Kristin Norget 
Lisa Overholtzer
Ismael Vaccaro

Department of Architecture
Ricardo Castro 

Department of Art History and Communication
Bobby Benedicto 
Charmaine Nelson

Department of Economics
Sonia Lazlo 

Department of English
Katherine Zien 
Yael Halevi-Wise

Department of Geography
Oliver Coomes 

Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Amanda Holmes 
Jose Jouve-Martin 
Fernanda Macchi 
Cecily Raynor 

Department of Linguistics
Jessica Coon 

Department of History
Catherine LeGrand 
Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert

Department of Political Science
Manuel Balan 
Phil Oxhorn 

Department of Sociology
Claudia Masferrer 

School of the Environment
Nicolás Kosoy 

Faculty of Science
Catherine Potvin (Panama Field Studies Semester

Student associations

There are two student associations related to the Program of Latin American Studies at McGill:

SLASA is a student-driven organization based in Montreal, Canada. They serve as a social and professional network for the Spanish and Latin American students at McGill University where they have been active since 1989. Throughout the year, they organize many events and activities to celebrate and share our culture as well as to promote the academic success of Spanish-speaking McGill students and integrate our members into the greater Montreal community. They also do social work throughout the academic year and summer to help the Latino community in Montreal and in other Latin American countries like Mexico.

You can learn more about SLASA and their activities in



CLASHSA, the Caribbean and Latin American Studies & Hispanic Studies Association represents the students enrolled in major, minor, honours, and joint-honours undergraduate degrees in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies & Hispanic Studies Programs at McGill University. Throughout the year, they organize different events and activities to promote exchanges among students of the Programs, opportunities related to Latin America and the Caribbean, and networking among students and professors.

You can learn more about CLASHSA and their activities in


CLASHSA is also responsible for the edition of VOCES an interdisciplinary undergraduate journal showcasing undergraduate work related to Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Hispanic Studies at McGill University.

You can read the latest editions of VOCES at VOCES