This is a very exciting time for doing Latin American history. The boom in social history continues, while newer approaches influenced by cultural studies, gender analysis, legal studies, and new political history have also taken off. Current research is integrating the insights of social history into a fresh analysis of politics and state formation, examining how groups such as indigenous communities, urban workers, and women both reacted to and helped shape state policies and national identities. In addition, historians continue to challenge traditional periodizations; many studies, for example, now bridge the late colonial and early republican eras.
Minnesota's Latin American program has strengths in many of these diverse areas. Additionally, the geographic strengths of the History faculty cover much of the continent, with particular expertise in MesoAmerica, Chile, Peru, and Colombia from both colonial and modern perspectives.
Several of the Department's centers and workshops contribute comparative perspectives to Latin American history, such as the Center for Early Modern History and the Comparative Women's History Workshop, and faculty and students regularly collaborate with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies.