Latin American Studies is a gateway to the region and its cultures, politics and history. The major in Latin American Studies (LAS) can be studied on its own, providing knowledge about a region valuable for employers across different fields and industries. Focusing on Latin America allows students to engage with one of the most fascinating historical trajectories in the world, to explore diverse cultures where the traditional and the modern are always negotiating, and to participate in vibrant business, intellectual and political scenes. Latin America is a region at the forefront of policy reform, embedded in the complex networks of global economics, development, social engagement and cultural expression. Because of the region's importance, the LAS major provides key skills for today's jobs.
A major or minor in Latin American Studies is also an excellent complement to any other major program. Latin America is the location of major U.S. trade partners, and Latin American immigrants constitute the largest segment of market growth in the U.S., including in the major economic markets of Boston, California, New York, Chicago, Texas and Florida. This makes the LAS major a great companion to a business degree. In this world, business majors and MBA graduates with a Latin American Studies background have a comparative advantage in the world market, as large corporations seek executives with a better understanding of the region's complex social, cultural and economic issues.
Pre-medical students and public health majors will find value in the fact that the growing Latino population and the diverse Latin American peoples are two major fields in the health care field. Majors in international and area studies (IAS), political science, economics and other social sciences can complete their studies by becoming experts in one of the most economically and politically complex regions in the world, a true policy laboratory. Scientists of all disciplines work in the region's spectacular biodiversity. LAS students can attend study abroad programs across the region, earn credit, and explore any field of study.
Latin America offers an increasing number of study abroad and fellowship opportunities. At Washington University, we have in place in-house programs in Chile, Mexico and Ecuador, with other countries forthcoming. Some of our students apply to other programs and fellowships with environmental, political and social organizations in the region. NGOs and institutions such as Fullbright, Comexus, the Ford foundation, Human Rights Watch and Greenpeace have a strong presence in Latin America, and students with a Latin American background have a wide array of fellowship and internship opportunities available to them.
Given these and more reasons, Washington University students are everyday more encouraged to look into Latin American Studies. In the job market, in the academic field and in the world at large, Latin America is the way to go! Latin American Studies alumni have gone on to work in the coffee industry, at the Center for International Policy and other nonprofit think tanks, or have pursued graduate degrees in such fields as international relations and public policy.
|Contact:||Professor Ignacio Sánchez Prado|
The Major in Latin American Studies
The major in Latin American Studies allows undergraduate students to pursue an in-depth study of Latin America across diverse disciplines, theoretical approaches and historical periods. Through regular courses, seminars and additional activities such as film series, programs abroad, lectures, and the like, students will explore the processes that resulted in the integration of the so-called New World and Western civilizations, from the discovery of America to the present. An essential aspect of this major is the focus on economic, social, and political dynamics corresponding to intercultural relations developed between indigenous cultures, Creole societies, European and North American nations.
This aspect of the major stresses the study of social change, migration, social movements, multiculturalism, inequality, violence and social justice, and combines regional analysis with critical interdisciplinary approaches. The program of study combines the analysis of urban environments, issues of education, gender, language, ethnicity, modernization and border studies. It emphasizes transatlantic approaches as well as the study of topics related to autochthonous cultures in their conflictive interaction with Western traditions, systems of domination, values, and economic/political projects.
Focusing on Latin America allows students to engage with a fascinating historical trajectory that promotes a multifaceted reflection on colonialism, diversity issues, economic development, and international relations. The major has been designed to provide students with a historical background that will be instrumental both in itself, as an exciting field of specialization, and in combination with their pursuit of other fields of inquiry such as international relations, business, globalization, and the like. Latin America is a region embedded in the complex networks of global economics, development, social engagement, and cultural innovation.
The Latin American Studies major offers a sound, updated, and competitive approach to the study of the region both in its specificity and in its connections to the world, through the study of Latin America's processes of internationalization and its changing position in global scenarios. This major has also been designed to further contribute to the university mission of improving engagement with race, ethnicity and diversity.
The major in Latin American Studies requires students to complete 30 credits. At least 24 units must be at the 300 level or higher and at least 9 units must be at the 400 level. All credits must be exclusive to the major and may not be double counted, unless the College of Arts & Sciences regulations state otherwise. Credits must be fulfilled as follows:
- 3 units for the successful completion of LatAm 165D Latin America: Nation, Ethnicity and Social Conflict, offered yearly. LatAm 165C can also fulfill this requirement.
- 3 units for the successful completion of an elective introductory class at the 100, 200 or 300 levels. Classes that fulfill this requirement must meet the approval of the director of undergraduate studies (DUS). This requirement may also be fulfilled with an approved course abroad or with a 300-level elective approved by the DUS.
- 3 units in history or politics at the 300 level or higher. Courses may come from relevant offerings in the departments of History or Political Science, the International and Area Studies (IAS) program, or study abroad. Courses must be cross-listed with LatAm (L45) or approved by the DUS. Existing examples of courses include but are not limited to:
- Political Science: LatAm 326B Latin American Politics (offered yearly); LatAm 4231 Contemporary Issues in Latin America (every two years).
- History: LatAm 321C Introduction to Colonial Latin America (yearly); LatAm 322C Modern Latin America (yearly); LatAm 3220 Modern Mexico (every 2 to 3 years).
- IAS: LatAm 356 Andean History: Culture and Politics (yearly); LatAm 4201 International Relations of Latin America (yearly); LatAm 4661 Populism and Neopopulism in Latin America (yearly); LatAm 4660 Geographies of Development in Latin America: Critical Perspectives and Contemporary Challenges (yearly).
- 3 units in literary or cultural studies at the 300 level or higher. These may include courses offered by the departments of Romance Languages and Literatures; Art History and Archaeology; LASP home-based courses; and study abroad. Courses include but are not limited to: LatAm 343 Latin American Literatures and Cultures (every semester); LatAm 331 Hispanic Art/Arte Hispano (yearly); LatAm 3800 Survey of Hispanic Cultures; LatAm 4500 Seminar on Hispanic Cultures; LatAm 381 Mexican Visual Culture; and LatAm 3824 Film and Revolution in Latin America.
- 3 units in anthropology or pre-Columbian cultures at the 300 level or higher. These courses may come from offerings in the anthropology department or study abroad. These include: LatAm 3351 The Ancient Maya: Archaeology and History (yearly); LatAm 3092 Indigenous Peoples and Movements in Latin America (yearly), LatAm 3093 Anthropology of Modern Latin America; and Anthro 3093 Anthropology of Modern Latin America.
- 9 units of elective credit at the 300 level or higher. At least 3 of these units must be fulfilled at the 400 level. 3 units of elective credit may be fulfilled through an honors thesis (LatAm 486) or a Latin American Studies Special Project (LatAm 425).
- 6 units of a Latin American Seminar. Seminar courses are 400-level classes designed as such, taught by core LASP faculty on theoretical issues related to the region. These include Latin American Cultural Studies (LatAm 461); LatAm 457 Gender and Modernity in Latin America; LatAm 463 Seminar on Urban Cultures in Latin America; LatAm 464 Nation and Desire in Latin America; and LatAm 483 Bodily Injuries: Violence, Gender and Representation in Latin America.
Capstone. Prime majors in Latin American Studies must fulfill their capstone requirement by writing an honors thesis (if the student meets the College of Arts & Sciences requirements to do so), writing a Latin American research paper (LatAm 425) or completing the two LAS seminar classes with a grade of B+ or better.
Language requirement. LASP requires all majors to complete a language requirement in Spanish or Portuguese. The Spanish requirement may be fulfilled by:
- Successful completion of Spanish Level 4: Grammar and Composition (Span 307D) with a grade of B- or higher.
- Placing in Spanish Advanced Reading and Writing (Span 308E) through the Spanish program's placement test as a freshman.
- Native or heritage speaker status, as determined by the director of undergraduate studies in LASP or in Spanish.
- Successful completion of a program abroad, conducted in Spanish, with a minimum of 3 credit units in the target language.
The Portuguese requirement may be fulfilled by:
- Successful completion of Reading and Conversation II: Intermediate Portuguese (Portug 220) with a grade of B- or higher.
- Native or heritage speaker status, as determined by the director of undergraduate studies, in LASP or in Spanish.
- Successful completion of a program abroad, conducted in Portuguese, with a minimum of 3 credit units in the target language.
All majors in Latin American Studies must complete at least a study abroad experience in Latin America. This requirement may be fulfilled by completion of a summer or semester program in the region approved by the Office of Overseas Programs.
Students who attend study abroad programs may request credit for appropriate courses at the 300 level, approved by the director of undergraduate studies. A maximum of 9 credits for one semester or equivalent of study abroad, or 12 credits for more than one semester, is allowed. LatAm 165D and 400-level credit must be completed in residence at Washington University.
Students unable to attend a study abroad program may complete an additional 3 units of 300-level elective credit instead.
For previous Latin American Studies major requirements, please visit our website.
The Minor in Latin American Studies
The minor in Latin American Studies allows undergraduate students pursuing other major programs to complement their existing curriculum with a study of Latin America across diverse disciplines, and the way in which the region engages with the Western World, to which it belongs, at large. The minor in Latin American Studies is conceived as an option for students across a variety of disciplines in the social sciences, the humanities, the sciences, the pre-med program, business and engineering to add knowledge about Latin America to their professional portfolio. The vast relations that the United States has with Latin America in all fields make the minor in Latin American Studies the source of valuable skills for our existing population. It also allows students in other major programs to access discussions on socioeconomic and ethnic diversity in one of the regions central to those debates in the world.
The minor in Latin American Studies requires students to complete 18 credits. At least 15 units must be at the 300 level or higher and at least 3 units must be at the 400 level. All credits must be exclusive to the minor and may not be double counted, unless the College of Arts & Sciences regulations state otherwise. The requirements for the minor mirror some requirements for the major as specified above. Credits must be fulfilled as follows:
- 3 units for the successful completion of LatAm 165D Latin America: Nation, Ethnicity and Social Conflict. LatAm 165C can also fulfill this requirement.
- 3 units in history or politics at the 300 level or higher. Courses may come from relevant offerings in the departments of History or Political Science, the International and Area Studies program, or study abroad.
- 3 units in literary or cultural studies at the 300 level or higher. These may include courses offered by the departments of Romance Languages and Literatures; Art History and Archaeology; LASP home-based courses; and study abroad.
- 3 units in anthropology or pre-Columbian cultures at the 300 level or higher. These courses may come from offerings in the anthropology department or study abroad.
- 3 units of elective credit at the 300 level or higher.
- 3 units of a Latin American Seminar. Seminar courses are 400-level classes designed as such, taught by core LASP faculty on theoretical issues related to the region.
Language requirement. LASP requires all minors to complete a language requirement in Spanish or Portuguese. The Spanish requirement may be fulfilled by:
- Successful completion of Span 202 Intermediate Spanish II with a grade of B- or higher.
- Placing in Span 307D Spanish Level 4: Grammar and Composition through the Spanish program's placement test as a freshman.
- Native or heritage speaker status, as determined by the director of undergraduate studies in LASP or in Spanish.
- Successful completion of a program abroad, conducted in Spanish, with a minimum of 3 credit units in the target language.
The Portuguese requirement may be fulfilled by:
- Successful completion of Portug 215 Reading and Conversation I with a grade of B- or higher.
- Native or heritage speaker status, as determined by the director of undergraduate studies in LASP or in Spanish.
- Successful completion of a program abroad, conducted in Portuguese, with a minimum of 3 credit units in the target language.
All minors in LASP are strongly encouraged, but not required, to pursue a study abroad program in the region. Students who attend study abroad programs may request credit for appropriate courses at the 300 level, approved by the director of undergraduate studies. A maximum of 6 credits is allowed. LatAm 165D and the Seminar requirement must be completed in residence at Washington University.
For previous Latin American Studies minor requirements, please visit our website.
Visit online course listings to view semester offerings for L45 LatAm.
L45 LatAm 165D Latin America: Nation, Ethnicity and Social Conflict
This class is an interdisciplinary introduction to the academic study of modern and contemporary Latin America. The course focuses on main issues in Latin American politics, history and culture, both in the continent at large and in the specific regions and subregions within it. The class will particularly explore topics such as nation creation, national identity, modes of citizenry, the role of race, ethnicity, gender and class in the region's historical development, as well as social and political conflicts, which have defined the region over the centuries. This course is suggested before taking any other upper-level courses on Latin America or going abroad to other countries, and required for all Latin American Studies majors and minors. Through the course, students gain basic bibliographic knowledge and experience with research tools for a comparative study of Latin American politics society and culture. Prerequisites: none.
L45 LatAm 2118 First-Year Seminar: Women in Latin American Politics
Women have been active players in the construction of Latin American nations. In the last two decades, leading scholars in the field have taken up the challenge of documenting women's participation. This research explosion has produced fruitful results to allow for the development of specialized courses. This course looks at the nation building process through the lens of Latin American women. Students will examine the expectations, responsibilities and limitations women confronted in their varied roles from the Wars of Independence to the social revolutions and dictatorial regimes of the twentieth century. Besides looking at their political and economic lives, students will explore the changing gender roles and relations within marriage and the family, as well as the changing sexual and maternal mores.
Same as L22 History 2118
L45 LatAm 2119 First-Year Seminar: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America: Myths, Realities and Identities
What does it mean to identify as mestizo, moreno, or mulato? How have Latin American nations dealt with their mixed racial populations and their rich African and indigenous heritages? What does it mean to be black in nations where the official discourse is one of racial hybridity or color blindness? This course examines the history of racial thinking and the experience of race in Latin America. While the focus of the course will be on the complexities of race in Latin America, a place of enormous ethnic and cultural diversity, we will also draw comparisons to the history of race in the U.S.
Same as L22 History 2119
L45 LatAm 304 Survey of Brazilian Cultures: Race, Nation and Society
This course will introduce students to Brazilian culture from the colonial period to the present through literature, art, music, film and other cultural forms. The course gives a historical overview of Brazilian culture and society, exploring major sociohistorical and artistic moments from the colonial, imperial, and republican periods, and their "legacies" or influences on Brazilian society. Students will learn about the Amerindian, European, and African influences of Brazilian culture through the study of representative texts and cultural practices. The course also illustrates Brazil's place within Latin America and the world. The course will seek to deconstruct and expand preconceived notions of Brazil, such as Lusotropicalism and racial democracy. Classes will combine lectures by the instructor, student presentations, collective debates and cooperative learning, and will entail the use of required bibliography and audiovisual materials. Prerequisites: none.
L45 LatAm 305 Survey of Mexican Cultures
This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of Mexico, with a particular focus on the 20th and the 21st century. The class will cover the main historical and cultural processes of Mexico in this period: The Mexican Revolution; the consolidation of a one-party political system; the construction of Mexican national identity and the arrival of neoliberalism. The course also focuses on the main aspects of Mexico's relationship to the United States: the Free Trade Agreement, the history of Mexican migration and the Drug War. From this framework, the course touches upon questions of race (particularly the politics of racial mixture), modernization, construction of social identities and the unique nature of governance in Mexico, due to the single-party regime. It also touches on Mexico's specificities and particularities due to the uniqueness of situation as the southern neighbor of the United States. Prerequisites: none.
L45 LatAm 3092 Indigenous Peoples and Movements in Latin America
This course focuses on the contemporary lives and political struggles of Indigenous Peoples in Latin America, with specific focus on Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Through course lectures, ethnographic texts, and four in-depth case studies, we explore how the politics of Indigeneity articulate with political and economic processes including (neo)colonialism, global capitalism, state transformation and social movement struggle. Themes include: demands for territory and autonomy; environmentalism and natural resource exploitation; gender and economic inequality; race, racism and political violence; language and education; and the complexities of building multicultural or "plurinational" democracies.
Same as L48 Anthro 3092
L45 LatAm 3093 Anthropology of Modern Latin America
A survey of current issues in the anthropological study of culture, politics and change across contemporary Latin American and the Caribbean. Topics include machismo and feminismo, the drug war, race and mestizaje, yuppies and revolutionaries, ethnic movements, pop culture, violence, multinational business, and the cultural politics of U.S.-Latin American relations. Attention is given to the ways that anthropology is used to understand complex cultural and social processes in a region thoroughly shaped by globalization.
Same as L48 Anthro 3093
L45 LatAm 3094 Anthropology of Latinxs
This course will introduce students to the anthropological study of Latinxs. The approach of this course is deeply intersectional and will focus on the interrelation of Latinx identities and experiences with gender and sexuality. Other key topics include: immigration, the U.S.-Mexico border, marginality and belonging — in both rural and urban settings, Afro-Latinidad, and activism.
Same as L48 Anthro 3094
L45 LatAm 3095 The Incas and Their Ancestors: The Archaeology of the Ancient Andes
From the hyper-arid desert of the Pacific Coast to the high-montain plateaus of the Andes more than 12,000 feet above sea level to the lush forested Amazonian lowlands, Western South America presents one of the most diverse natural and cultural environments in the world and one of the few places were social complexity first developed. Beginning with the earliest human occupations in the region more than 12,000 years ago, this course examines how domestication, urbanization, the rise of early states, and major technological inventions changed life in the Andes from small village societies to the largest territorial polity of the Americas — the Inca Empire. Students will become familiar with the major debates in the field of Andean archaeology. Together, we will examine archaeological evidence (architecture, art, ceramics, metals, textiles, plant and animal remains, etc.) from context of everyday life (households, food production, craft production) to the rituals and ceremonies (offerings, tombs) that took place in domestic and public spaces. We will also touch on the role of Andean archaeology in the context of national politics and heritage sustainability.
Same as L48 Anthro 3095
L45 LatAm 310C Ancient Civilizations of the New World
An examination of the Inca empire in Peru, and the Maya and Aztec empires in Mexico, through the inquiry into the roots, development, form, and evolutionary history of pre-Colombian civilization in each region from its earliest times to the rise of the classic kingdoms. Examples of respective artistic accomplishments are presented and discussed.
Same as L48 Anthro 310C
L45 LatAm 321C Introduction to Colonial Latin America
This course surveys the history of Latin America from the pre-Columbian civilizations through the Iberian exploration and conquest of the Americas until the Wars of Independence (roughly 1400–1815). Stressing the experiences and cultural contributions of Americans, Europeans and Africans, we consider the following topics through primary written documents, firsthand accounts, and excellent secondary scholarship, as well as through art, music and architecture: Aztec, Maya, Inca and Iberian civilizations; models of conquest in comparative perspective (Spanish, Portuguese and Amerindian); environmental histories; consolidation of colonialism in labor, tributary and judicial systems; race, ethnicity, slavery, caste and class; religion and the Catholic Church and Inquisition; sugar and mining industries, trade and global economies; urban and rural life; the roles of women, gender and sexuality in the colonies. Geographically, we cover Mexico, the Andes and, to a lesser extent, Brazil, the Southwest, Cuba, and the Southern Cone. Premodern, Latin America.
Same as L22 History 321C
L45 LatAm 3220 Modern Mexico
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the political, social, economic and cultural history of Mexico from the era of Independence (roughly 1810) to the present. Lectures outline basic theoretical models for analyzing historical trends and then present a basic chronological historical narrative.
Same as L22 History 3220
L45 LatAm 322C Modern Latin America
This course aims to present a survey of Latin American history from Independence to the present. Topics to be covered include the Wars of Independence; caudillismo; nationalism; liberalism; slavery and indigenous peoples; urbanization, industrialization and populism; ideas of race & ethnicity; the Mexican and Cuban Revolutions; U.S. intervention; modernity, modernism and modernization; motherhood and citizenship; the Cold War; terror and violence under military dictatorships and popular resistance movements. While the course aims to provide students with an understanding of the region, it will focus primarily on the experiences of Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina and Central America.
Same as L22 History 322C
L45 LatAm 326B Latin American Politics
This course is an introduction to the politics in Latin America, focusing on the trend toward the establishment of democracy. We examine the impact of political culture, economic development, and the legacy of authoritarian regimes on contemporary politics. The course also reviews many of the most pressing challenges confronting governments Latin American governments: the role of the military in politics, the reform of political institutions, threats from radical guerrillas and drug traffickers, debt and economic restructuring, and relations with the United States. Country studies focus on Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Prerequisites: 100-level introductory course in Political Science or its equivalent in History or IAS.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 326B
L45 LatAm 331 Hispanic Art/Arte Hispano
This course focuses on the most important movements, artistic expressions and its representatives of the art history of Latin America and Spain. From the pre-Columbian art of the Mayas, Aztecs and Incas, to the syncretism of Postcolonial Latin American art, the Mexican Muralism and the self-reconstruction portraits of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo to the Chicano Art in the U.S.A. From the Medieval paintings of religious Spain, to the criticism of the Spanish nobility by Diego Velazquez, the Spanish Civil War of Guernica by Pablo Picasso, to the Surrealism of Salvador Dalí and Antonio Gaudi. The students visit the St. Louis and the Kemper Art Museums. Prerequisite: Span 308E. May be used for elective credit in the Spanish major or minor. In Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 331
L45 LatAm 3351 The Ancient Maya: Archaeology and History
This course focuses on the ancient Maya civilization because there are many exciting new breakthroughs in the study of the Maya. The Olmec civilization and the civilization of Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico are considered as they related to the rise and development of the Maya civilization. The ancient Maya were the only Pre-Columbian civilization to leave us a written record that we can use to understand their politics, religion and history. This course is about Maya ancient history and Maya glyphic texts, combined with the images of Maya life from their many forms of art. The combination of glyphic texts, art and archaeology now can provide a uniquely detailed reconstruction of ancient history in a New World civilization.
Same as L48 Anthro 3351
L45 LatAm 3352 Spanish-American Literature of the Long 19th Century
This survey examines the changing roles of literature and its creators during the period that saw the end of the powerful Spanish empire and the emergence of the political framework of independent nations we are familiar with today. Students are introduced to prominent themes such as independence writing, the experience of race in literature, romanticism, civilization vs. barbarism, the appeal of literature to popular classes, modernismo, the place of literature in nation building and in shaping national identity, and the idea of the past as present. Prerequisite: Span 307D or permission of instructor; concurrent enrollment in Span 308E is allowed; completion of Span 308E is recommended. In Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 3352
L45 LatAm 3354 Ancient Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica encompasses the Pre-Columbian complex societies of Mexico and upper Central America, including Guatemala, Belize, and parts of Honduras and El Salvador. It was an agrarian world of great and enduring cities, far-flung trade networks, transcendent religions, kingdoms and empires. This survey lecture course begins with the pioneering hunters and gatherers, reviews the establishment of farming communities and the first Olmec Formative states, the flowering of highland Mexican Classic Period Teotihuacan and other great cities like Tajin in Veracruz, the dynasties of the lowland Maya and summarizes with the Aztec Empire and the period of the Spanish Conquest. The course touches on the many and diverse other cultures that contributed to this vibrant world.
Same as L48 Anthro 3354
L45 LatAm 335C Spanish-American Literature I
A survey of major figures and literary trends in Spanish America from 1492 to Modernismo (1880). Emphasis on the writings of either Colón or Columbus, Cortés, Bernal Diaz, Las Casas, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Aztec reactions to the Conquest in the early period and on Sor Juana in colonial times. After the period of independence from Spain (1810–24), the focus is on the literary representation of the making of the new nations, and cultural autonomy. Readings include chapters of a picaresque novel, the representation of dictatorship, civilization vs. barbarism, the gaucho epic, and 19th-century fiction. Lectures and class discussions of the readings; exams, papers, and short reports. Prerequisites: Span 307D; concurrent enrollment in Span 308E is allowed; completion of Span 308E is recommended. In Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 335C
L45 LatAm 336C Spanish-American Literature II
A survey of major Latin American literary works focusing on canonical works of the 20th and 21st centuries in their cultural and historical contexts. The course includes discussions of major literary movements such as the avant-gardes, the Boom, and the post-Boom. Other topics may include the literary and cultural responses to revolution, dictatorship and the evolving definitions of Latin America. Authors may include Quiroga, Neruda, Guillén, Vallejo, Borges, Cortázar, Rulfo, Carpentier, García Márquez, Poniatowska, Fuentes, Ferré and others. Prerequisites: Span 307D; concurrent enrollment in Span 308E is allowed; completion of Span 308E is recommended.
Same as L38 Span 336C
L45 LatAm 343 Latin American Literatures and Cultures
How did Latin America become Latin America? This course explores the different inventions and reinventions of the region through its literatures and cultures. Beginning with the encounter of Europeans with America, students engage themes like colonization and colonialism, urban and rural cultures, nation formation, modernization, media and popular culture, as well as gender and race relations. Authors studied may include Colón, Sor Juana, Sarmiento, Neruda, Borges, García Márquez, or Morejón. Prerequisites: Spanish 308E or concurrent enrollment in 308E. Taught in Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 343
L45 LatAm 3546 Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Andes
This course chronologically surveys the arts and archaeology of the Andean region of western South America from approximately 3000 BCE to 1532 CE. We will examine the material culture of selected cultures as our point of entry into the understanding of ancient social, political, and religious life. Visual analysis of architecture, metalwork, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, and other art forms will be supplemented by archaeological evidence, Colonial documents, theories of religions, and the natural sciences. We will also critically read contemporary scholarship in order to address class themes of power structures, regional interaction, sacred landscape, and materiality. Prerequisites: Intro to Western Art (L01 113) or Intro to Modern Art (L01 215), or permission of instructor.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 3546
L45 LatAm 356 Andean History: Culture and Politics
Since pre-Columbian times, the central Andean mountain system, combining highlands, coastal and jungle areas, has been the locus of multiethnic polities. Within this highly variegated geographical and cultural-historical space, emerged the Inca Empire, the Viceroyalty of Peru — Spain's core South American colony, and the central Andean republics of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Taking a chronological and thematic approach, this course examines pre-Columbian Andean societies, Inca rule, Andean transformations under Spanish colonialism, post-independence nation-state formation, state-Indian relations, reform and revolutionary movements, and neo-liberal policies and the rise of new social movements and ethnic politics. This course focuses primarily on the development of popular and elite political cultures, and the nature and complexity of local, regional and national power relations.
Same as L97 IAS 356
L45 LatAm 364 Anarchism: History, Theory, and Praxis
This course analyzes the origins, historical trajectories, and influence of anarchism from its classical period (1860s-1930s) until the present. It examines the major personalities, complex ideas, vexing controversies, and diverse movements associated with anarcho-collectivism, anarcho-communism, individualist anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism, anarchist feminism, green anarchism, lifestyle anarchism, and poststructuralist anarchism. In doing so, it explores traditional anarchist concerns with state power, authority, social inequality, capitalism, nationalism, imperialism and militarism. It also analyzes anarchism's conception of individual and collective liberation, mutual aid, workers' organization, internationalism, direct democracy, education, women's emancipation, sexual freedom and social ecology. Special attention will be given to past and contemporary globalizing processes and their relation to the dissemination and reception of anarchism in the global South.
Same as L97 IAS 364
L45 LatAm 382 Latin American DissemiNations: Migrations and Identities in the 20th and 21st Centuries
L45 LatAm 3824 Film and Revolution in Latin America
This class is a Writing Intensive course focused on the study of the way in which four landmark Latin American revolutions (The Independence Wars, The Mexican Revolution, The Cuban Revolution and The Bolivarian Revolution) are represented in cinema. Each one of these revolutions will constitute a unit of study, and students will be expected to work with historical texts, films and works of film theory and criticism for each one of them. The course will engage in subjects such as the difference between fiction and nonfiction films when representing history; the politics that underlie specific representations; the way in which cinema questions and revises ideas developed by historians; and the uses of film in creating popular views of history in Latin America. Students will develop a research project comparing two revolutionary processes over the semester. Prerequisites: L45 165D (Latin America: Nation, Ethnicity and Social Conflict) for LAS majors. Otherwise none.
L45 LatAm 410 Major Seminar
An undergraduate seminar. Topics vary. Prerequisites: Span 307D and Span 308E and at least two 300-level literature/culture surveys taught in Spanish. In Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 410
L45 LatAm 4107 Latin America and the Rise of the Global South
The rise of the global south — and the reordering of global geopolitics, economics and cultural imaginaries — is characterized by progressive change and intense conflict. Economic growth coincides with the impacts of global warming, the assault on natural resources, the rise of new consumers and the entrenchment of deep inequalities. We also see the emergence of cultural and political formations that range from the horrific to the inspiring. Latin America is a central node of the new global south. Here history takes unpredictable turns in the face of declining U.S. hegemony, the economic growth of Brazil, legacies of militarism and political violence, a feverish attack on nature, resurgent economic nationalism, and defiant "anti-globalization" movements. Through close reading of contemporary ethnographies of Latin America we explore emergent cultural and political-economic processes in the region, we consider south-south articulations (theoretical, cultural, political-economic) between Latin America, China, Africa and India, and we reflect on the changing role, meaning and relationships of the United States in the region.
Same as L48 Anthro 4102
L45 LatAm 416 Latin American Theater
Survey of dramatic and theatrical currents from the late 19th century to the present. The course focuses on tracing the themes of nationalism, cultural identity, immigration, class displacement and the effects of consumerism in representative plays from the Rio de la Plata, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. The course studies manifestations of the sainete, the grotesco criollo, theater of the absurd, as well as the popular independent theater movements of the '60s and '70s. Theoretical works studied include those of Brecht, Piscator, Esslin. Authors studied: Dragún, Payró, Cossa, Wolff, Sánchez, Díaz, Carballido, Gambaro, Buenaventura. Prerequisites: Span 307D and Span 308E and at least two 300-level literature courses taught in Spanish. One-hour preceptorial for undergraduates only; in Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 426
Credit 3 units.
L45 LatAm 4201 International Relations of Latin America
This course examines Latin American foreign relations in the world from the 1820s to the present with a primary emphasis on the period since 1945. Focusing on inter-state and transnational relations, it seeks to historically contextualize and analyze long term patterns and trends between Latin American states and between Latin America and the United States, Europe, and the global South. Given Latin America's shared experience with imperialism and more recently with neo-imperialism, special attention will be paid to the ways Latin America has sought to manage and/or resist foreign domination, especially U.S. hegemonic pretensions. To this end it will analyze patterns of inter-American conflict and cooperation. When, why, and under what conditions Latin America articulated an independent foreign policy, forged anti-imperialist blocs, embraced U.S. sponsored diplomatic efforts and military alliances, and pursued Latin American unity and solidarity will be closely examined. To better understand the continuities, discontinuities, contradictions, and complexities of Latin American foreign policy, this course will also assess the influence of changing regional and national political cultures from both a theoretical and a historical perspective. In doing so, it explores how elite culture, the balance of domestic social forces, ideological and economic development, and shared cultural identities and meanings informed national political cultures and how these in turn shaped Latin American foreign policies.
Same as L97 IAS 4201
L45 LatAm 4231 Contemporary Issues in Latin America
How do the institutional designs of contemporary democratic governments help us understand the nature and quality of representation? We concentrate on variations in the powers granted presidents by constitutions as well as the institutional determinants of whether executives are likely to find support for their policies in the legislature. In addition, we explore how incentives established by electoral laws influence the priorities of members of congress. Given all these variations in democratic institutional design, can voters go to the polls with the confidence that politicians will implement the economic policies for which their parties have long stood or which they promised in their campaigns?
Same as L32 Pol Sci 4231
L45 LatAm 4240 Latin American Literature and Theory: Reading the State, Culture and Desire
In this course, we pair literary and theoretical texts in order to hone a way of reading in which theory and literature are mutually informative, provocative and inspiring. The idea of these loose groupings is not to prescribe a particular relationship between given literary and theoretical texts but rather is a way to begin negotiating the necessarily multiple relationships of theory and literature. These pairings come to seem more artificial over the course of the semester as we trace a network of relations that begins to look more and more like the Borgesian map that covered up the entire territory it described. The object of the course is, thus, not to define or prioritize a particular set of relations but rather to practice a way of reading literature theoretically and theory literarily, by which the strengths of both are allowed to come to the forefront in their complexity. Thematically, the course has several nuclei: the triangulation of State, culture and art (Piglia/Foucault, Burman/Agamben); a psychoanalytic approach to art as desire (Lispector/Lacan/Cixous); and finally, a third nucleus about which the first two commingle completely: "post-State," proliferating desire, libidinal economies wherein the State is anachronism and failure (Arlt/Deleuze; Sorín/Virilio/Sitrin, Sassen; Bolaño/Zizek). Readings may include: Piglia, Foucault, Agamben, Arlt, Deleuze, Virilio, Sassen, Borges, Benjamin, Bolaño, Zizek, Lispector, Lacan, Cixous, as well as the films Garage Olimpo and Historias mínimas. Prerequisites: Span 307D, Span 308E and at least two 300-level literature courses taught in Spanish. One-hour preceptorial for undergraduates only; in Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 424
L45 LatAm 425 Latin American Studies Capstone Project
For LAS majors who are completing a research project as their capstone.
Credit 3 units.
L45 LatAm 4263 The Erotics of Violence in Latin America
The course is based on a combined analysis of theories on violence, nation and urban spaces, and the study of literary texts pertaining to the Latin American post-Boom. Some of the authors be studied are Ricardo Piglia, Fernando Vallejo, Joge Franco, Roberto Bolaño, Mario Mendoza, Laura Restrepo, Evelio Rosero, Santiago Roncagliolo, Alonso Cueto, Martin Kohan, Guillermo Arriaga, Daniel Alarcón, Paulo Lins, etc. The course is conducted in Spanish and focuses on the interconnections between sexuality, violence and political issues, and on the discursive strategies used for the representation of collective subjectivities and social conflict in Latin American societies.
Same as L38 Span 4261
L45 LatAm 4282 Voice Into Print: The Art of Storytelling in Spanish-American Short Story
The short story has been a central part of the extraordinary originality and vitality of Spanish American writing, and it enjoys great popularity among scholars and general public alike. Integrating a wide range of complementary sources (critical essays, paintings, film), this course brings together the best examples of the genre that span over a hundred years of the history of Spanish American literature and exemplifies a variety of themes and forms: from the fantastic to the "magical-realist," from crime fiction to romance, from rural to urban. Special emphasis is placed on the topics of gender, ethnicity, religious syncretism, political resistance, and popular culture. Students familiar with the "canonical" works of Quiroga, Borges, Rulfo, Fuentes, Cortázar, García Márquez or Valenzuela discover many more vibrant voices representing a variety of national literatures: Sommers and Roa Bastos (Paraguay), Ponte, Bobes and Padura (Cuba), Vega and Ferré (Puerto Rico), Onetti and Peri Rossi (Uruguay). Significant selections of pertinent criticism and theory are required of graduate students. Prerequisites for undergraduate students: Span 307D and Span 308E and at least two 300-level literature courses taught in Spanish. One-hour preceptorial for undergraduates only; in Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 4282
Credit 3 units. Art: HUM
L45 LatAm 430 Latin American Essay
Study of the principal movements and outstanding figures in the Spanish-American essay from the colonial period to the present. Sor Juana, Sarmiento, Alberdi, Marti, Rodo, Paz, Freire, Ortiz, Sabato, H.A. Murena. Prerequisites: Span 307D, Span 308E and at least two 300-level literature courses taught in Spanish. One-hour preceptorial for undergraduates only. In Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 430
L45 LatAm 4301 Print and Power in 19th-century Latin America
Open to advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this seminar covers one of the most fascinating periods in Latin America history and cultural production, spanning from the eve of the wars for independence to eve of the Mexican Revolution (1800–1910). Several reasons make this period and the connections between print media or print culture and power worthwhile. This long century was the most war-torn in the region's history. Not only did writers engage issues of war on what was almost a daily basis, but war generated a wealth of new modes of literature. Debates on the slave trade and abolition also occurred during the 1800s, and largely in writing. And while places such as Lima, Peru and Mexico City were established printing centers during the Iberian occupation of the Americas, true printing revolutions were not widespread until during and after the wars for independence. One of the results to emerge during the first third of the century was that writing and print media gave legitimacy to incipient republican states, wedding print to power in new ways. And by the end of the century, educators and state bureaucrats teamed up to push for public primary education and literacy as components of progressive, "civilized" nations. Add to this the visual technologies and an overall surge in new forms of symbolic communication through print, and it is easy to see why this period offers such a rich backdrop for observing how print and power fit into the landscape we now know as Latin America. We pay special attention to themes including writing as a legitimizing force, writing and nation building, and the intersection of print with war, race, identity formation, modernity and ideologies. Readings include archival materials, wartime and popular poetry, novels by authors such as Jorge Isaacs and Ignacio Altamirano, writings by Simon Bolivar and Domingo Sarmiento, and modernista poetry and prose. Historical and theoretical selections guide our analysis of primary sources. Prerequisites: Span 307D, Span 308E and at least two 300-level literature courses taught in Spanish. One-hour preceptorial for undergraduates.
Same as L38 Span 4301
L45 LatAm 432 Latin American Poetry II
Survey of contemporary Latin American poetry, "postmodernismo" to the present. Poets studied include González Martinez, Vallejo, Neruda, Huidobro, Paz, Parra, Orozco, Pizarnik, Cardenal, Belli. Prerequisites: Span 307D, Span 308E and at least two 300-level literature courses taught in Spanish. One-hour preceptorial for undergraduates only. In Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 432
L45 LatAm 439 The Arab & Muslim Americas: Feminist Perspectives
Migratory movements from the Middle East and North Africa into the Americas were precipitated by multiple and intersecting factors. This course will examine the historical and contemporary waves of Arab and Muslim migrants and refugees into the Americas from the 19th to the 21st century. It will explore how empire, globalization, and war influenced and continue to influence the flow of people across borders and impact policies and ideas of belonging in receiving nation-states. We will examine Arab and Muslim identity in light of gendered, ethnoreligious, class, and national affiliations and investigate the racialization of Islam and the gendered-Orientalist constructions of Arabs and Muslims in Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Honduras, Cuba) and the U.S. Utilizing interdisciplinary texts in transnational feminist theory, cultural studies, and history, we will trace the ways that specific diasporic subjects have been incorporated into host nation-states and analyze, through a comparative framework, the receptions and rejections of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. and Latin America.
Same as L77 WGSS 439
L45 LatAm 443 The Inconvenient Indio: Imagining Indigenous Cultures in Peru and Bolivia
In the cultural history of the Andean nations, the Indio has always been a powerful yet perpetually unstable signifier, whose meaning is constantly redefined by non-Indians. An archaic residue for some, the bedrock of a new society for others, the Indio conjures contradictory imaginaries of articulation, combination, disjunction and metamorphosis that have shaped a wide range of debates: from assimilation and mestizaje in the context of nation-building and modernity, to the politicizing of ethnic identities in the context of immigration and globalization. Focusing on Peru and Bolivia, this course examines these cultural imaginaries and the debates in which they appear, as well as the models of community and identity they suggest. In doing so, we discuss topics such as the discourse of illness, indigenismo, transculturation, heterogeneity, violence and memory. Materials analyzed include poetry by César Vallejo and Carlos Oquendo de Amat; essays by José Carlos Mariátegui and Ángel Rama; José María Arguedas's novel Los ríos profundos; Jorge Sanjinés's film El Coraje del pueblo; and theatrical performances by Grupo Yuyachkani. Prerequisites: Span 307D and Span 308E and at least two 300-level literature courses taught in Spanish. One-hour preceptorial for undergraduates; in Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 443
L45 LatAm 4517 Anthropology and Development
What is "development"? Economic progress for all? A slow and gradual "improvement" in the human condition? Helping people with "projects"? Westernization? Modernization? The sorting out of bodies that are useful and can be put to work from those less useful bodies that must be contained, imprisoned or killed? The militarized accumulation of capital? The commodification of labor? The exhaustion of nature? In this advanced seminar we will consider how anthropologists — as writers, analysts and theorists — have engaged the theories, meanings, practices and consequences of (sometimes externally directed) economic and political change. We focus on issues of the contemporary moment: oil; urban poverty and inequality (sex work, migration, water, debt, and cash transfer programs); and cultures of militarism. The course is designed to provide a graduate-level introduction to theory and ethnography based on intensive reading, discussion, critique and writing, with revision. It is open to advanced undergraduates and fulfills writing-intensive (WI) requirements, as well as capstone requirements for some majors.
Same as L48 Anthro 4517
L45 LatAm 4533 Narratives of Fear: Violence in Latin American Literature
This course analyzes different representations of violence in Latin American literature. Based on a critical analysis of 19th- and early 20th-century texts, we study how the recognition and legitimization of violence occurs in the context of hierarchical relationships in the society. Also we study how the literary images of bandits, pirates, thieves and assassins become the counter-discourse of the views of progress sustained by the hegemonic powers. The role of power and ideology is discussed in texts that define different levels of violence as a cultural manifestation.
Same as L38 Span 4533
Credit 3 units. Art: HUM
L45 LatAm 457 Gender and Modernity in Latin America
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the particular forms modernity assumes in Latin American countries and to the ways in which national cultures, identity politics and gender issues interweave during the 20th century. The course discusses three particular articulations of this topic: (1) Gender and the national question in Argentina: Eva Peron; (2) Gender and Visual Arts: Frida Kahlo; and (3) Gender and Ethnicity: Rigoberta Menchu. Through these iconic figures, students are introduced to the specific features that characterized three very different but representative cultural scenarios in Latin America. In each case, the context for the emergence of these highly influential public figures is studied from historical, social and cultural perspectives. In order to explore the cultural and political significance of Eva Peron, Frida Kahlo and Rigoberta Menchu, the course utilizes literary texts (speeches, letters, diaries, etc.), visual materials (photography, films and paintings) and critical bibliography.
L45 LatAm 460 Postmodern Narratives in Latin America
L45 LatAm 461 Latin American Cultural Studies: Critical and Theoretical Approaches
The goal of the course is to provide students with critical and theoretical tools that could be used for the analysis of Latin American cultural history from a transdisciplinary perspective, from colonial times to the present. Some of the concepts to be discussed in class are: colonialism and coloniality, national culture, dependency theory, cultural antropofagia, lettered city, miscegenation, heterogeneity, hybridity, transculturation, peripheral modernity, media and mediation, postmodernity, postcoloniality, and collective memory.
L45 LatAm 4611 Latin American Populism and Neo-populism
A salient feature of Latin America in the 20th and early 21st centuries has been the recurrence of populism. Mass-based political and social movements animated by nationalist and reformist impulses dominated Latin American politics in the 1920s, 1930s–60s, and 1980s to the present. This course provides a general historical and theoretically informed analysis of the origins, internal dynamics, and outcomes of classical populist and neo-populist governments and parties. Among the notable populist and neo-populist cases examined include: Peronism in Argentina , Velasquismo in Ecuador, Cardenismo in Mexico, APRA in Peru, Varguismo in Brazil, Garcia/Fujimori in Peru, Menen/Kirchners in Argentina, and Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. Issues pertaining to leader-follower relations, populist discourses, citizenship rights, populist gender and racial policies, labor and social reforms, and mass mobilization politics also are explored.
Same as L97 IAS 4611
L45 LatAm 462 Latin America and the West
From the perspective of postcolonial theory, the course covers different aspects related to Latin America's cultural history, from the Discovery to the present. Some of the issues discussed in class are: the colonial encounter; Baroque culture and the emergence of Creole societies in the "New World," the connections between Enlightenment and nationalism, as well as the interweaving of "coloniality" and modernity. Prerequisite: Survey of Latin American Culture or an advanced-level course on Latin America.
L45 LatAm 4622 Labor and Labor Movements in Global History
Focusing on the period from mid-19th century (industrial revolution) until the present neoliberal capitalist era, this course analyzes working class formation, organization, collective action, and politics on a worldwide scale. It seeks to explore the connections between historical and contemporary workers' movements in the global North and global South, eschewing national perspectives and global/local dichotomies. Special attention is given to Latin American workers and labor movements. In particular, it examines the influence of immigration, the role of export workers, the impact of radical ideologies, the development of labor relations systems, the nature of informal work, and recent struggles for workers' control. The principal aim of this course is to introduce students to the key topics and themes pertaining to global labor history. These themes are varied and complex and range from workers' struggles.
Same as L97 IAS 4622
L45 LatAm 463 Seminar on Urban Cultures in Latin America
The course focuses on the key role urban development and urban cultures have had in Latin America, with particular emphasis on contemporary times. The goal of the course is to discuss the connections between the formation and expansion of cities, the definitions of citizenship, and the role of modernity in the development of "high" and "popular" cultures within different historical and geocultural contexts. Particular attention is paid to the issues of race, class and gender. The course, which uses an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, also focuses on the phenomena of marginality, cultural resistance, nationalism and consumerism as well as on the role played by the media in contemporary Latin American societies. Some of the cultural expressions analyzed in the course are music (rock, pop, rap), sports, film and video. Prerequisite: IAS 165C Survey of Latin American Culture.
L45 LatAm 4633 20th-Century Latin American Revolutions
Latin America was arguably one of the most "revolutionary" regions of the world in the 20th century. It registered four "great revolutions": Mexico 1910, Bolivia 1952, Cuba 1959, and Nicaragua 1979. These social revolutions entailed a substantial, violent, and voluntarist struggle for political power and the overthrow of the established political, economic, social and cultural orders. In the wake of these successful revolutions, new revolutionary institutions of governance were founded, radical structural changes were implemented, and a new revolutionary ethos was adopted. With the exception perhaps of the Bolivian Revolution, these revolutions had a profound impact on Latin American and world politics. The primary aim of this course is to analyze and compare the causes, processes and outcomes of the Mexican, Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions.
Same as L97 IAS 4633
L45 LatAm 464 Nation and Desire in Latin America
The purpose of this course is to analyze the process of nation formation in Latin America from the imaginaries of the "Creole nation" to the first half of the 20th century. Class discussion encompasses the study of theories on nation formation and nationalism as well as textual representations of national projects, such as Simon Bolivar's letters and discourses, selections from Facundo, Civilization and Barbarism by Domingo F. Sarmiento; selected texts by Andres Bello, Alfonso Reyes, et al; Ariel, by J.E. Rodo; Pedro Henriquez Urena's Seis ensayos en busca de nuestra expresion; Jose Vasconcelos' La raza cosmica; José Carlos Mariategui's Siete ensayos de interpretacion de la realidad peruana; and José Marti's "Nuestra América" and other essays. Some of the main topics discussed are the leading role of Creole elites in the consolidation of national cultures, the marginalization of women as well as indigenous and Afro-Hispanic populations, and the role of nationalism in the shaping of modern societies. Colonialism, Occidentalism, liberalism, positivism, nationalism and modernity are some of the concepts that are explored both theoretically and in their particular discursive usages. Finally, the concept of nation(alism) is studied as a political/rhetorical device and as the resulting expression of agency, interest and desire, in peripheral societies.
L45 LatAm 465 Cities, Race and Development in Latin America
This course offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the Latin American city: its history, development and inherent economic, social, cultural, ethnic and political tensions. Lectures, readings and class debates will explore interactions between the materiality and structure of Latin American modern cities and the social and cultural phenomena related to urban life in multicultural societies. Particular attention will be devoted to the effects of internal/external migration, and to the development of public spaces and sites of memory. Patterns of social segregation, marginalization, inequality and the like, will be analyzed in order to elaborate on the contemporary challenges of the city in a globalized yet traditional world. In addition to the analysis of living, institutional and commercial spaces, the course will cover social dynamics that break the discipline of the city through different forms of transgression, including crime, informal housing and underground movements. The goal of the course is to expose students to historical and social developments as exemplified in a variety of urban environments, and to encourage reflection on issues of social justice related to the living conditions of rural, disadvantaged and indigenous populations. The course will be conducted in English. Mandatory readings will be in English. Additional readings in Spanish will be required for those students fluent in the language. Prerequisites: none.
L45 LatAm 466 Popular Culture and the Representation of Youth in Latin America
The objective of the course is to introduce students to different aspects related to the representation of youth in Latin America, particularly through the depiction this sector receives in the realm of popular culture. The course will focus on the relationship between youth and social/political conflict and on the literary and cinematic representation of juvenile sectors in cultural production, in different Latin American countries. The role of music, melodrama and the media will be studied in connection to the construction of subjectivity and collective identity. The course will also analyze the involvement of juvenile sectors in narco-culture, gangs, maras, and the like, as well as the impact of violence, fear and social inequality in early life. The analysis of films, literary texts, and cultural practices will be approached through a combination of biopolitical analysis and the study of representational strategies utilized in the elaboration of symbolic materials. This course fulfills the "Latin American Seminar" requirement for majors and minors in Latin American Studies. Prerequisite: 165D or another Latin American Studies course.
L45 LatAm 4660 Geographies of Development in Latin America: Critical Perspectives and Contemporary Challenges
This course provides an overview to the geographies of development throughout Latin America. We begin by examining a variety of theoretical perspectives, definitions and critiques of "development." We highlight the uneven processes of development at multiple, overlapping scales and the power imbalances inherent in much of development discourse. In the second half of the course we focus our considerations toward specific contemporary trends and development issues, utilizing case studies drawn primarily from Latin America. These themes include sustainability, NGOs, social movements, social capital, security and conflict, identity, ethnicity and gender issues, participatory development, and micro-credit and conditional cash transfers. Students acquire the critical theoretical tools to develop their own perspectives on how development geographies play out in Latin America.
Same as L97 IAS 4660
L45 LatAm 4662 Central American Geographies of Violence
This course provides an in-depth examination of the geographies of violence in Central America. As a region frequently characterized as endemically prone to violence, it is vital to analyze and contextualize the violence. Approaching violence in Central America from a geographic perspective involves not only locating and "placing" the violence, but also thinking relationally about the multiple, overlapping scales of activity, both within and beyond the region. The course is divided into five parts. In the first two sections of the course, we begin with an overview of the physical and human geography of the region and outline key historic moments and their legacies, including colonization, international relations (with an emphasis on U.S. interventions), civil war, genocide and torture. Simultaneously, we delve into various theoretical approaches for understanding the nature of multiple types of violence. In the third section of the course, we focus on neoliberal violence, insecurity and development and address issues such as urbanization, violent crime, issues with free trade and labor, and environmental issues. For the final two sections, we draw from contemporary case studies in the region. We will address identity and violence (discussing indigenous issues, racism, genocide and gender) and in the last section we will cover migration, gangs, drug-trafficking, U.S. security responses, and re-militarization. While we will continue to consider these types of violence through the various theoretical frameworks introduced in the first part of the course, we will also examine and analyze reports on contemporary violence and policy recommendations from multiple sources (multilateral organizations, governments, think tanks, and other nongovernmental organizations). Throughout the course we will also discuss current events occurring in Central America and how they directly or indirectly relate to the topic of geographies of violence.
Same as L97 IAS 4662
L45 LatAm 467 Constructing the (Racial) Other: From the Colonial Caste System to U.S. Latinos
The goal of this course is to introduce students to categories and concepts related to the questions of race and ethnicity in Latin America, from colonial times to the present. The course also covers U.S. Latinos as a population of Latin American descent that present particular characteristics connected to the issues of migration, identity politics, reterritorialization, and cultural hybridity. Based on the theoretical and critical study of problems related to colonialism, social classification, miscegenation, whiteness, discrimination, and the like, representative literary and visual materials will be discussed to illustrate the connections between race, social roles, domestic/public spaces, work, democracy and modernization. The issue of race will be analyzed in its multiple articulations to the themes of nationalism, interculturalism, migration, and symbolic representation. This class covers the seminar requirement for LAS majors. Prerequisites: L45 165D, or one other class in Latin American studies, or one class on race studies.
L45 LatAm 474 Mexican Film in the Age of NAFTA (1990–2010)
Starting in the 1990s, as NAFTA came into effect, Mexico revitalized its film industry and managed to produce not only a somewhat sustainable market within the country, but also a set of recognized figures in acting (Salma Hayek, Gael García, Diego Luna), directing (Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñarritu), and moviemaking in general (Emmanuel Lubezki, Rodrigo Prieto and others). This course explores the underlying processes that allowed for such a rebirth. The main focus of the course is to understand the contradictory impact of neoliberalism in film, understanding neoliberalism as the economic doctrine of unbridled free markets, and its social and cultural consequences. Paradoxically, neoliberalism allowed the industry to become financially and aesthetically viable, while becoming inaccessible to the lower classes in Mexico. The course mostly develops four of these processes: the undermining of nationalism as the main topic, the displacement of the target audience from the working classes, both rural and urban, to the urban middle class; the transformation of political cinema from the leftist films of the '70s to the conservative ideologies of neoliberal politics and the intersection of Mexican film to the global market of so-called "art house cinema." Students compare films that have reached an international market with those viewed only within Mexico. In addition, students are introduced to critical approaches that allow them to appreciate these movies in the context of film aesthetics, social identities, and the relationship between film and economic development. Movies are shown outside of class in Spanish with English subtitles. The class is conducted in English. Written course work may be pursued in English or Spanish. No prerequisite.
Same as L38 Span 474
L45 LatAm 483 Bodily Injuries: Violence, Gender and Representation in Latin America
The course focuses on the definitions, uses and "languages" of violence in Latin America, particularly during the last decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. Students are introduced to philosophical, ethical and political issues related to the existence of "structural" violence and to the problems connected to the symbolic representation of this phenomenon in literature, fictional/documentary films, and visual arts. One of the course's objectives is to problematize the conceptualization of violence and to promote critical thinking about its emergence, significance and effects on local/global societies. Some of the topics analyzed are the body in its multiple manifestations (the body politic, the social body, the individual body, the treatment of the corpse, etc.), the narrativization of violence (violence as discourse, documentation and fictional elaborations, violence and the media, violence and ideology, etc.), violence and the city, citizenry and otherness, bio-politics, etc. Finally, violence is presented in different contexts and associated to different activities (ordinary crime, narco-cultures, maras, political movements, domestic environments) and different situations (e.g., violence in rural areas, violence in the borderlands, violence and migration). In all cases the course calls for a reflection on the interrelations between private/public spheres, gender politics, ideological/aesthetic values, and individual/institutional levels. The role of memory and emotions is emphasized as a crucial element for the construction/mobilization of subjectivity and for the elaboration of agendas that challenge the State's monopoly of legitimate violence and propose alternative and often perverse forms of association and mobilization at the margins of institutional configurations.
L45 LatAm 485 Latin American Studies Thesis Preparation
This is the first course in the two-semester thesis for Latin Studies thesis writers. Enrollment requires approval of LASP and the undergraduate director.
Credit 3 units.
L45 LatAm 486 Latin American Studies Thesis
This is the second course in the sequence for Latin American Studies thesis writers. Enrollment requires completion of LatAm 485 and permission from LASP and the undergraduate director.
Credit 3 units.
L45 LatAm 4876 Advanced Seminar: Mexican Agriculture: Land, Politics and Development
Access to and ownership of land has been a major issue in Mexican history. Land tenure in economic development has been a constant source of tension and debate since the 18th century. Paradoxically, land tenure has been put forth as both the obstacle and the solution to the country's modernization. Given its centrality in the construction of the modern period, this course examines liberalism, agrarian revolts, the revolution, the green revolution and neoliberalism through the lens of land issues. This course will also explore how these have shaped and have been shaped by indigenous peoples and peasants, from land disentailment to the fight against GMO maize. Students will evaluate agrarian reforms, agricultural modernization programs, concepts of and transformations of natural resources, food production/consumption and social policies.
Same as L22 History 4876
L45 LatAm 488 Narrating Mexico City
The city has been one of the central topics of modern Mexican literature. Ever since the emergence of the modern capital at the end of the 19th century, urban culture became one of the central concerns of Mexican and Latin American intellectuals across the continent. With the emergence of the megalopolis and the new centrality of questions of violence, postmodernity and urban experience, Mexican literature and film have contributed, in the past 20 years, new ways to approach, discuss and narrate the city. This class seeks to tackle different meanings of Mexico City in the cultural discourse of Mexico, by exploring novels (Carlos Fuentes, José Emilio Pacheco, Juan Villoro), poems (Manuel Mapes Arce, Vicente Quirarte, Fabio Morábito), urban chronicles (Carlos Monsiváis, Elena Poniatowska, José Joaquín Blanco) and films (Amores perros, Todo el poder, Vivir mata). Prerequisites: Span 307D, Span 308E and at least two 300-level literature courses taught in Spanish. One-hour preceptorial for undergraduates only. In Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 488
L45 LatAm 489 Cities of the Past Future: Literary Institutions and Peripheral Modernity in the Latin American Avant-garde
This class proposes a study of the Latin American avant-garde as a phenomenon of "peripheral modernity" and as a critique of the "institution literature" developed by 19th century and modernista liberalisms. This reading, rather than merely proposing a one-by-one reading of canonic texts, seeks to engage the avant-garde as a global cultural phenomenon with impact in literature, art, society and ideology. To achieve this, the class focuses on four regional contexts of the avant-garde. First, we visit post-Revolutionary Mexico, to understand the way in which the avant-garde redefined notions of literature in Latin America by carefully analyzing the stakes of groups such as the estridentistas or the contemporaneos. Second, we analyze the reinvention of Buenos Aires as a literary city in the 1920s and 1930s to understand the impact of "peripheral modernity" in the constitution of the avant-garde as a specifically Latin American phenomenon. Third, we discuss the impact of the semana de arte moderno of São Paulo, to understand how the idea of "antropophagia" created an articulation of the avant-garde with debates of cultural identity and transculturation. Finally, we go to the Andes to understand how avant-garde phenomena dealt with the questions of "divergent modernities." Authors discussed include Arqueles Vela, Manuel Maples Arce, Jorge Cuesta, Xavier Villaurrutia, Jorge Luis Borges, Oliverio Girondo, Roberto Arlt, Mario de Andrade, Oswald de Andrade, Manuel Bandeira, César Vallejo, Pablo Palacio, César Moro and José Carlos Mariátegui. Scholarship includes Peter Bürger, Matei Calinescu, Renato Poggioli, Rubén Gallo, Pedro Angel Palou, Beatriz Sarlo, Fernando Rosenberg, Haroldo de Campos, William Rowe and Roland Forgues. Prerequisites: Span 307D, Span 308E and at least two 300-level literature courses taught in Spanish. One-hour preceptorial for undergraduates. In Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 489
L45 LatAm 354 A View from the Southern Cone: Perspectives on Art, Literature and Culture
This course will deal with current issues of cultural, social, political and literary importance related to the Southern Cone. We shall study selected texts from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay as well as contemporary films and drama productions. This course will seek to determine what specifically can be expressed about national identity, globalization and the environment as these countries face the 21st century. Course requirements include four short essays and a final exam. This course is taught in Santiago, Chile, as part of the Washington University Chile Program. May be repeated for credit. Conducted in Spanish.
Same as L38 Span 354
Credit 3 units. A&S: TH A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: ETH EN: H
L45 LatAm 3800 Surveys of Hispanic Cultures
This course surveys cultures in specific contexts (Latin America and Spain) and in different historical periods, from the Middle Ages to the present. The course provides students with critical and methodological tools in order to carry out an articulate and informed cultural analysis. Prerequisite: Span 307D; concurrent registration in Span 308E is recommended. In Spanish. Topics vary from semester to semester. Refer to section description for current offering.
Same as L38 Span 380
Credit 3 units. Arch: HUM Art: HUM A&S: TH, CD A&S IQ: HUM, LCD BU: ETH EN: H