LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES Courses

LAS 320. Latin American Studies: Overview of Field. 3 Credits.

The objective of this course is to enhance students’ understanding of the region of Latin America. It will seek to engage more closely with the culture, politics, social and human landscape of the region through the concepts of land, peoples, exchange and creativity. Readings, lectures, film viewings, and discussions will constitute integral components of the course and draw upon the work of various academic disciplines and artistic traditions. The course insists on the inter-disciplinary nature of Latin American Studies and the different insights offered by its different constituent disciplines. All readings and lectures are in English. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in ENGL 110C or permission of instructor.

LAS 321. Comparative Caribbean and Latin American Culture and Civilization. 3 Credits.

An introductory, panoramic course that covers a wide, but representative array of eras in Latin American history (colonial, post-colonial, present-day) and problems (indigenous groups, exploitation of the land and natural resources, political tendencies, and U.S. sphere of influence). Literary and historical readings will be paired with other media in order to discuss issues of colonialism, wars of independence, revolutions, exile, migration, race, class, and gender. All readings and lectures are in English. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in ENGL 110C or permission of instructor.

LAS 330. Afro-Latinx Narratives. 3 Credits.

This course will explore through poetry, songs, music, stories, (auto)biographical accounts and novels the importance, creativity, and meaning produced by people of African descent living in or from Latin America. It will focus on the Afro- Latinx narrative forms coming out of Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United states. Through examining the narrative expressions of Blackness throughout regions of Latin America students can consider the relationship that social historical processes such as colonialism, nation-making and continued racism have on narrative production. Key to this course will be examining the ways race and gender/sexuality intersect within the multiple forms of expression of the Afro-Latinx community. Readings and lectures in English. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in ENGL 110C or permission of instructor.

LAS 331. Brazilian Cultural History. 3 Credits.

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to Brazil’s regions and cultural history, to Brazil’s unique place in the Americas, and to its place in the world of Portuguese language. It presents major topics in the panorama of Brazilian cultural history and civilization from 1500 to the present through readings on regions, cultures, peoples, and arts, including the architects of Brazil’s national cultural identity, its chronological development, and modern self-description. Topics include discovery and rediscovery of Brazil, baroque architecture, romanticism and empire, regionalism, immigration, urbanization, and modernization. The main texts draw on a cultural history of Brazil through selected writings by major authors and scholars. All lectures and readings in English. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in ENGL 110C.

LAS 332. Latinx Literature. 3 Credits.

Course focuses particularly on works produced by the three major groups of U.S. Latinx (Mexican Americans or Chicanos, Puerto Ricans or Nuyoricans, and Cuban Americans) during the 20th and 21st centuries but will also include some pieces representative of other Latinx identities. Students will analyze works from a range of genres and cultural expressions including poetry, fiction, memoirs, film, and performance, along with recent literary and cultural theory works. Topics to be discussed include identity formation and negotiation in terms of language, race, gender, sexuality, and class; the colonial subject; diaspora and emigration; the marketing of the Latinx identity; and activism through art. Lectures and readings are in English. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in ENGL 110C.

LAS 395. Topics in Latin American Area Studies. 3 Credits.

Investigation of special topics on Latin America. All readings and lectures are in English. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in ENGL 110C.

LAS 421/521. Human Rights in Latin America. 3 Credits.

This course evaluates human rights movements, mechanisms, and their impacts in Latin America. Students will examine different human rights crises to understand how these events have shaped the region and what the response to them has been. The class is less a study of the specific legal mechanisms used in human rights practice and more a study of how human rights have evolved as a discourse and political strategy in struggles for justice. It adopts a more anthropological and geographic approach to understanding human rights theory and practice. All readings and lectures in English. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in ENGL 110C.

LAS 430/530. Latin American Thinkers Changing Culture and Politics. 3 Credits.

In this course students will study the ideas of some important Latin American thinkers whose work has helped to shape Latin American history and society from Independence in the early 19th Century to the present. Even though special attention will be paid to some writers, works by a larger number of intellectuals will be analyzed as a way of understanding some of the central ideas in Latin American culture: “mestizaje,” nationalism and popular culture, among others. All readings and lectures in English. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in ENGL 110C.

LAS 431/531. Race and Culture in Brazil. 3 Credits.

This course will explore some of the unique contradictions shaping Brazilian reality as related to notions of race and culture by tracing the history of race relations in the ongoing transformation of Brazilian culture, examining such key examples and events as slavery and the plantation economy, popular music, Carnival, populism, racial democracy, affirmative action, and urban and rural violence. All readings and lectures in English. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in ENGL 110C.

LAS 495/595. Topics in Latin American Area Studies. 3 Credits.

Investigation of special topics on Latin America. All readings and lectures are in English. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in ENGL 110C.

LAS 521. Human Rights in Latin America. 3 Credits.

This course evaluates human rights movements, mechanisms, and their impacts in Latin America. Students will examine different human rights crises to understand how these events have shaped the region and what the response to them has been. The class is less a study of the specific legal mechanisms used in human rights practice and more a study of how human rights have evolved as a discourse and political strategy in struggles for justice. It adopts a more anthropological and geographic approach to understanding human rights theory and practice. All readings and lectures in English.

LAS 530. Latin American Thinkers Changing Culture and Politics. 3 Credits.

In this course students will study the ideas of some important Latin American thinkers whose work has helped to shape Latin American history and society from Independence in the early 19th Century to the present. Even though special attention will be paid to some writers, works by a larger number of intellectuals will be analyzed as a way of understanding some of the central ideas in Latin American culture: “mestizaje,” nationalism and popular culture, among others. All readings and lectures in English. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in ENGL 110C.

LAS 531. Race and Culture in Brazil. 3 Credits.

This course will explore some of the unique contradictions shaping Brazilian reality as related to notions of race and culture by tracing the history of race relations in the ongoing transformation of Brazilian culture, examining such key examples and events as slavery and the plantation economy, popular music, Carnival, populism, racial democracy, affirmative action, and urban and rural violence. All readings and lectures in English.

LAS 595. Topics in Latin American Area Studies. 3 Credits.

Investigation of special topics on Latin America. All readings and lectures are in English. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in ENGL 110C.