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Fall 2018 Elective Options
Spring 2019 Elective Options
LASC offers a two-semester core in Latin American studies as well as a variety of 200-400 level courses on Latin America and the Caribbean, taught in English and Spanish. Topics include: social movements, governance and politics, civil society, labor, gender, sexuality, literature, artistic performance, ethnicity, religion, philosophy, migration, and transnationalism. The undergraduate curriculum encourages competency in Spanish or Portuguese and promotes an awareness of racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity on campus and throughout the Americas.
LASC Certificate Requirements
Issues in Latin American Studies I (LASC234)
This course will introduce contemporary issues in Latin America through the themes of “space” and “construction.” Throughout the semester, we will examine the construction of space and the way that spatial relationships organize power. We will explore the stories told through physical buildings and geographic spaces, such as cathedrals in Mexico, monuments in Venezuela, schools in Cuba, and favelas in Brazil. We will also approach the theme of “construction” by exploring race, ethnicity, gender, and even the idea of Latin America as socially constructed concepts that vary in different contexts. Through this lens, and with the help of our course readings, lectures, and discussions, we will examine the themes of sacred space, rural struggles, urban inequality, and state violence. In addition, we will analyze primary texts as narrative constructions, by thinking critically about who gets to tell the story of Latin America and the goals of each author.
Issues in Latin American Studies II (LASC235)
Latin America is a region characterized by diverse, dynamic movements, from migration and physical movement to mass mobilizations and social movements. In this course, we will examine the forces that both motivate and restrict movement in Latin America. Central questions of the course include: How do groups of people mobilize around common goals or experiences of oppression, and what obstacles do they face? What symbols facilitate collective movement, from the Andean Wiphala to the scarves worn by the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo or the Zapatistas, and how do these symbols themselves move between contexts? How do patterns of migration relate to political movements? Readings and discussion will focus on groups mobilized around indigenous rights, environmental protection, religion, labor, and women’s rights, as well as on experiences of migration.
History of Colonial Latin America (LASC250)
Introductory survey of the history of Latin America from pre-Columbian Indian cultures to the beginning of the wars for independence (ca. 1810), covering cultural, political, social, and economic developments. Major themes include conquest, colonialism, indigenous culture, African slavery, religion, race and ethnicity, and gender ideologies.
Latin America Since Independence (LASC251)
Introductory survey of the history of Latin America from the era of independence (c. 1810-1825) through the early 1980s. Major themes include independence and sovereignty, postcolonialism and neocolonialism, nation- and state-building, liberalism, citizenship, economic development and modernization, social organization and stratification, race and ethnicity, gender relations, identity politics, reform and revolution, authoritarianism and democratization, and inter-American relations.
Senior Capstone Course in Latin American Studies (LASC458)
Students pursue independent research topics of their own choosing, and produce a 25-page original research paper. The topic can be drawn from any part of Latin America and the Caribbean that is particularly exciting to each student. Students learn research techniques from various disciplines through visiting professors and professionals. They work closely with the LASC instructor and with each other.