Independent Research

Ye Li '11, Graduate Student
Ye Li '11: one of my proudest achievements during my undergraduate journey is my thesis in Spanish.
The Lynk: Connecting Curriculum to Career
Obdulia Valle '15: I want to teach students about the Spanish language, cultures and people that encompass this language in Latin America and the US.
The Lynk: Connecting Curriculum to Career
Diying Wu ’11: My independent study project contributed to my M.A. thesis on China-Latin American Free Trade Agreements at the University of Chicago.

The Spanish, Latino/a and Latin American Studies department encourages students to undertake independent research and experience the discipline and rewards of preparing an honors thesis. Independent work and the honors thesis are fundamentally related, because an independent course in the fall of the senior year has the potential of leading to an honors thesis in the spring semester.

Before proposing an independent study, the student should have already done some advanced work at the 300 level in the language she chooses to write in. She must have an excellent command of the language and the necessary skills and training to communicate clearly and effectively. Any student who decides to pursue an independent research should have a genuine interest in a well-defined subject and should be willing and be able to work to an agreed upon timetable with faculty supervision.

The independent research provides students with the opportunity of expanding their horizons in literature, culture, history, film, etc. while concentrating on a specific topic. The honors thesis is a true test of intellectual curiosity, originality, and critical thinking. Students and faculty involved in the independent/honors process should be familiar with the College’s “Guidelines for honors Program and Honors Thesis”, which the Dean of Studies Office updates annually.


Hannah Goldman. Post-Revolutionary Cuban Identity: A Transcendence of Geography.

Charlene Devon van Dijk. Expropriating the Jíbaro: Community Education in Puerto Rico

Natalie Gabriela Araújo Race. Region, Representation: Música Vallenata and the Colombian Imagination.

Bhasin, Neeta.  José Carlos Mariátegui: Portrait of an Unorthodox Marxist. 1995, 104 pp.

Christiansen. Anya Jette. Global Capitalism, Nation-States and Migration: Immigration Policy and New Nativism in the United States, Mexican Migrant Community and Identity Across Borders. 2001, 130 pp.

Crickenberger, Jeanne F.. Application of Spatial Location Theories to Areal Functional Organization in Colombia. 1963, 149 pp.

Davis, Deborah Lee. A Feminist Movement in Argentina. 1979, 72 pp.

Donovan, Sheela Mary. International Organizations in the Economic and Social Development of Latin America: The OAS and the ECLA. 1974, 119 pp.

Essner, Emily. ‘A Matter of Taste’: Experiencing Authenticity in Contemporary Mexican Restaurants. 2003, 104 pp.

Gray, Ayn Katherine. Artistic Renewal in the Mexican Revolution. 1974, 109 pp.

Leon, Judith C.. Brazil: Racial and Cultural Origins. 1972, 130 pp.

Olson, Kimberly Sue. Sanctuary: A History of Faith and Conviction. 1987, 108 pp.

Peterson, Meredith S. The Church in Colombia: Advocate of Change or Defender of Tradition? 1972, 93 pp.

Petri, Kendall Joyce. Mexico under Miguel de la Madrid: Challenges and Responses. 1987, 114 pp.

Ricketts, Rachel N. Medical Pluralism and Choice in Several Rural Communities of Oaxaca, Mexico. 1993, 96 pp.

Scholz, Claudia Wilma. Dominicans in Boston, Massachusetts: The Formation of a Transnational Migrant Identity. 1995, 94 pp.

Silberman, Jennifer Lynn. The Madres de Plaza de Mayo: Challenges of Non-Violent Opposition Under Military and Democratic Rule in Argentina. 1992, 127 pp.
Smith, Debra Anne. Crisis in the OAS: A Survey of the Impact of the Cuban Revolution upon Hemispheric Politics. 1975, 158 pp.

Troxell, Aracy Anne. Contemporary Argentine Self-Analysis. 1968, 97 pp.

Zeller, Louise Kathleen. The Puerto Rican Worker in the Connecticut River Valley: The Affirmation of an Identity. 1974, 99 pp.