The Mexico Solidarity Network Study Abroad Program is accredited through a consortium agreement with the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), one of Mexico's most prestigious public universities. Upon successful completion of the program, the UAM issues a diploma and transcript with number grades (0 to 4 point system). If necessary, Hampshire College is our school of record and issues transcripts. The program is also accredited by the State University of New York (SUNY) system, New Mexico State University, Appalachian State University and more than 70 other institutions.

The program is a 13-week inter-disciplinary course offering up to 16 credits at the undergraduate and masters levels. While the course is interdisciplinary, MSN offers the following course breakdown for accreditation at institutions that do not work under interdisciplinary regimens (Mexican Social Movements syllabus).

Interdisciplinary Course work

Political economy (Econ 351/551) 3 credits, 45 class hours: Students develop an understanding of the political and economic context within which social movements develop. Course work focuses on the basic models of political economy, including Marxism, neo-Marxism, nationalism and neoliberal capitalism.

Modern Mexico (Pol Sci 352/552) 3 credits, 45 class hours: Covers the most important current topics in Mexican politics, including energy reform, human rights, indigenous rights, political parties, current economic debates, the rural crisis, NAFTA, and whatever else is on the national political agenda at the time of the program. The course also covers the history of Mexico and an overview of Mexican political culture. Classes make extensive use of newspapers, including La Jornada, La Reforma and El Universal.

Mexican Social Movements (Soc 353/553) 3 credits, 45 class hours: Students develop an understanding of the theory and practice of social movements, with particular emphasis on the Mexico and US contexts. Course work focuses on social movement theory, including the role of grievances, Gramsci, Lenin, resource mobilization theory, political process theory, and new social movement theory. The classes also focus on the practical integration of theory and practice, with students analyzing current social movements using the various theoretical models.

Mexican Culture (Ant 303/503) 3 credits, 45 class hours: Covers the social, historical and economic context within which students are living. We make extensive use of field trips, newspapers and selected Spanish language texts. Mexican culture classes and workshops are conducted in Spanish.

Intensive Language Study

Non-native Spanish speakers take:

Intensive Conversational Spanish (Span 203/204, 303/304, 403/404, 503/504) 4 credits, 60 class hours: Spanish language courses focus on developing communication skills, with particular emphasis on verbal and reading skills. Class work includes grammatical work combined with directed discussions, weekly written assignments, formal reports on weekly research topics, and analysis of newspapers.

Native Spanish speakers take:

Introductory Tzotzil (Tzotzil 101) 4 credits, 60 class hours: Introduction to Tzotzil, the native language in the highlands of Chiapas. Classes are taught be native Tzotzil speakers trained in popular education pedagogy.

Independent study is open to students whose universities will not accept the credits listed in the core curriculum.

Independent Study (Ind Study 355/555) 1 to 9 credits, 15 to 135 class hours: The content of independent study is negotiated in consultation with professors and requires the production of a final project.

Student Evaluation Criteria

Interdisciplinary coursework:
Students are expected to prepare for and attend all classes, workshops and field visits. Unexcused absences will seriously affect final grades.
25% - Class participation.
25% - Weekly reflections on assigned reading. Reflections include a discussion with the authors and suggested questions for group discussion.
25% - one, 10 to 15 page mid-term paper applying the theory of social movements to a movement with which the student is familiar. Papers are due the ninth week of the program.
25% - Final project on a topic to be discussed with professors.

Intensive Language coursework:
25% Attendance. Students must attend at least 80% of classes.
25% Homework assignments (includes weekly written reflections, research project, interviews, and preparation for discussion on current events)
25% Final verbal exam administered the final week of classes. Students are evaluated based on their progress in verbal communication skills during the 13-week program.
25% Class participation

Independent study:
Final 15 to 40 page paper on a subject to be discussed with professors.

Academic Steering Committee:

The Academic Steering Committee is responsible for developing the content and curriculum of the Mexico Solidarity Network's study abroad program.

  • Dr. Glen Kuecker, DePauw University
  • Dr. Sonia Comboni, UAM-Xochimilco, Mexico City
  • Dr. Andres Jimenez, U of CA
  • Prof. Keith Yearman, College of DuPage
  • Dr. Celeste Kostopulos-Cooperman, Suffolk University
  • Dr. Esteban Loustaunau, Augustana College
  • Dr. Norma Lozano Jackson, Benedict College
  • Dr. Peter Jackson, Benedict College
  • Dr's. Patricia and Howard Lamson, Earlham College
  • Dr. Nina Reich, Loyola-Marymount Univ
  • Dr. Alicia Schmit-Camacho, Yale Univ
  • Dr. Raymundo Sanchez Barraza, Universidad de la Tierra, Chiapas
  • Dr. Sonia Comboni, UAM-Xochimilco, Mexico City
  • Dr. Cheri Meacham, North Park University
  • Prof. David Lozano, UAM-Xochimilco, Mexico City
  • Dr. Merike Blofield, Grand Valley State Univ-MI
  • Dr. Sarah Hernandez, New College of Florida
  • Dr. Teresa Vazquez, Pitzer College
  • Dr. Jeanne Simonelli, Chair of Dept of Anthropology, Wake Forest Univ.
  • Dr. Skip Oliver, Heidelberg College
  • Prof. Lesley Davis, Indiana University School of Law
  • Dr. Vicki Galloway, Georgia Tech
  • Dr. Gypsy Swanger, Border Studies Program, Earlham College
  • Dr. Margaret Cerullo, Hampshire College
  • Dr. Nik Theodore, University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Dr. Don Wells, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Dr. Alan Gomez, State University of New York - Ithaca University
  • Dr. Norberto Valdez, Colorado State University
  • Dr. Manuel Callahan, Humboldt State University