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M.Phil (Latin American Studies)

No. of Seats: 8
Programme/Course Fee: Please refer Prospectus of the current Session

The programme in Latin American Studies is designed to enable students to work on contemporary themes in order to develop a body of research in India on issues relating to Latin America and the Caribbean. It builds on a foundation of language, literature, history, and cultural studies to further the understanding of the societies and cultures of this region.

Language competence is an important component of the European Studies as well as the Latin American Studies programme in order to enable researchers to use original sources in one or more languages other than English or their L1. Students are expected to acquire, in the course of this programme, a working knowledge of one or more of the following languages on offer: French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish or Catalan, depending on their area of study. Students will have the choice to write their dissertation in English or in any one of these languages if they have the competence.

The faculty members at the Centre are able to supervise students with a background in the humanities and social sciences and in the broad area of literary and cultural studies

Course Structure

The M. Phil programme has both course work and dissertation. The course work will be completed in first two consecutive semesters followed by dissertation within the maximum permissible period of two semesters. Semester I will have 4 courses which will be common to both the streams. Semester II will have three taught courses and one seminar course. Out of these, two courses will be as per the stream chosen by the student. Details of the course content and structure are as follows:


I Research Methodology
The purpose of this course is to enable students to plan and pursue research in literary and cultural studies and humanities in general. It aims at helping students acquire basic research skills and critical analytical ability.

II Key Concepts in Cultural Studies
The course will take the students through the foundations and parameters of Cultural Studies and provide them with analytical tools required for the study of society and culture. It will take up key concepts and methodologies in Cultural Studies as well as the central problems of the discipline and its changing context through selected readings.

III Empires and Colonies
This course introduces the study of empires, colonies, and imperialism and examines the imperial experience in the modern global context.

Colonialism and imperialism have always been of major import in world history and, to a large extent still shape our world today. Both are related to two waves of European expansion. The first wave include

es the early voyages of exploration to the Americas, which began at the end of the 15th century, and the search for trade routes to the Far East. The second wave involves the European race to secure colonies in Asia and Africa towards the end of the 19th century, in which many countries took part – Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Italy. There was also the multi-ethnic Russian empire from the conquest of Kazan to the February revolution, 1552-1917.

The course will mainly focus on the experiences of colonialism in Asia, Africa and Latin America in order to tease out the cultural and social consequences of empire and take a look at the roots of neocolonialism and globalization. Finally, we will consider the ways Asians, Africans and Latin Americans have rejected colonial rule and investigate what a term like "resistance" means in colonial and neocolonial contexts.

IV Language Proficiency Course I
This course aims to help students acquire communicative competence in French, Portuguese, Italian or Spanish, Russian, so as to enable them to consult sources as well as read and understand texts in one of the above languages. The course will be available in three levels: elementary, intermediate and advanced. The student will choose the level depending on their previous knowledge in the language as well as their research requirement. In case students already have an advanced knowledge of the foreign language concerned, the COS may advise them to do a reading course involving work in the foreign language concerned


V.Contemporary Latin America
This course provides a survey of main historical developments in Latin America from the Mexican Revolution onwards. It will particularly look at shifting power relations in the context of the transition from dictatorships to democracy, revolutionary upsurges and new social movements in Latin America.

VI.Major Intellectual Currents in Latin America
This course is designed to take students through the major intellectual currents of Latin America beginning from the 19th century to the present times. Students will look at the debate of civilization and barbarism, issues around Latin American identity, nationalism and continentalism as well as the way subalternity is conceptualised in Latin America.

VII.Seminar Paper
The seminar course will be a reading course done under the guidance of a supervisor and will result in the production of a research paper at the end of the semester. The topic/theme for the research paper will normally be related to what the student finally wants to do her/his M.Phil on. The process of writing the seminar paper will be facilitated through one- to- one instruction and tutorials.

VIII.Language Proficiency Course II
This course aims to further develop the communicative competence of the researcher in the language. The idea is to take learners to a B1/B2 level competence by this stage.

Like the Language Proficiency Course- I, in case students already have an advanced knowledge of the foreign language concerned, the COS may advise them to do a reading course involving work in the foreign language concerned