What is 'Latin American Studies'? This companion gives a concise and accessible overview of the discipline. Covering a wide range of topics, from colonial cultures and identity to US Latino culture and issues of race, gender and sexuality, this book goes beyond conventional literary companions and situates Latin America in its historical, social, political, literary and cultural context. This essential book provides the key introductory information on the subject and will be especially useful for students taking or considering taking courses in Hispanic or Latin American Studies. Written by an international team of experts, each chapter supplies the necessary basic information and a sound introduction to central ideas, issues and debates. In addition to 12 chapters on the main topics in Latin American Studies, the companion includes an introduction, time chart, glossary and suggestions for further reading.