Fri, 2017-10-20 09:29 -- tas3y

Latin American Studies

Spring 2018 Courses

NOTE:     Courses listed here or in the Undergraduate Record will count towards a Latin American Studies major or minor. Prior approval for other course work must be granted before the course is taken. For approval, please contact the Director of the Latin American Studies program, Thomas Klubock at Please be sure to include a copy of the syllabus.


AAS 3350 (004)/AMST 3359 (005); T/R 9:30-10:45am, Prof. Daut

This course will exam nineteenth-century writing (in translation, where applicable) by people of color from the Anglophone, Francophone, and Hispanophone islands, which make up the Caribbean. Haitian independence in 1804 ushered in a vibrant and diverse print culture that included poetry, plays, newspapers, and historical writing. From the pages of La Gazette Royale d’Hayti (1811-1820), to the poems of Jean-Baptiste Romane (1807-1858), to the historical writings of Louis-Félix Boisrond-Tonnerre (1776-1806), to the operas of Juste Chanlatte (1766-1828), there arose a distinct nineteenth-century literary culture in Haiti. Beginning with national literary developments in Haiti, this course expands to consider nineteenth writing from Barbados, Cuba, Trinidad, Jamaica, Antigua, and Bermuda.  These writings, both fictional and non-fictional, will help us to think about whether and/or how a coherent Caribbean literary tradition was developed in the nineteenth century across geographical, linguistic, national, and indeed, imperial lines.


AMST 3321/ENAM 3559: Race & Ethnicity in Latinx Literat & Culture, T/R 9:30-10:45 am, Prof. Lamas

In this course we will examine the construction of race and ethnicity in Latinx literature by examining key texts by individuals from varying Latinx groups who live in the United States. This course will examine both how US-American identity shapes Latinx notions and constructions of race and how the authors’ connections with Latin America and the Caribbean do the same. In the end, we will explore race and ethnicity from a hemispheric perspective in order to inquire as to its specific manifestation in Latinx literature and culture. Possible authors include María Amparo Ruiz de Burton (Californio/SpanoAmerican), Tomás Rivera (Texas/Mexico), Oscar Zeta Acosta (California/Chicano), Piri Thomas (Nuyorican), Junot Díaz (Dominican Republic), Daína Chaviano (Cuba/Miami) and Francisco Goldman (Guatemala). All readings, discussions and assignments are in English.


AMST 4321/ENAM 4500: Caribbean Latinx Literature, T 3:30-6:00 pm, Prof. Lamas

In this course we will explore novels, plays, short stories and poems by Latinx writers from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. While these writers’ genealogies emerge from these island countries, we will analyze how their lives in New York, New Jersey, Boston and Miami impact how they narrate the Latinx experience as situated between the US and their home countries in the Caribbean. Possible authors/poets include Esmeralda Santiago, Justin Torres, Julia Álvarez, Cristina García and Rafael Campo. Plays/musicals include Ana in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz and In the Heights by Quiara Alegría Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda. All readings, discussions and assignments are in English.


HILA 2002: Modern Latin America, M/W 2-2:50pm Prof. McGrath

What is a nation? What is progress and how can we measure it? What is the nature of a just society? How can a nation built out of a colonial empire create a such a society? In this course, we seek to answer these questions by exploring the history of Modern Latin America.  In this class, we will examine moments where peoples and governments have sought to make and change the modern world.

In Unit I, we will begin by examining the world created by the Independence Wars in Latin America and the Atlantic World. In this period, the new Latin American republics struggled to make liberty, equality, and prosperity possible during a global era of economic imperialism and scientific racism. Using the examples of Venezuela and Argentina, we will explore the problems of integrating diverse populations, generating prosperity, and the promises and pitfalls of democratic participation.

 In the second unit, we will explore the crises of the late 19th and early 20th centuries using the case studies of Cuban Independence and the Mexican Revolution. We will explore how Afro-Cuban and indigenous Mexican armies demanded full access to social, economic, and political prosperity, and explore how and why these demands were so challenging for elites. In this unit we will also explore how US intervention and foreign capital affected Latin American societies in this period.

In the third unit, we will turn to the revolutions and reactions of the twentieth century, emphasizing the role of the Cold War in turning old struggles into new kinds of conflicts. Our two case studies for this period will be Guatemala and Chile. As we explore two would-be revolutions, we will consider issues of gender, sexuality, race, and environmentalism. Studying the reactionary aftermath of revolutions in Guatemala and Chile will also allow us to investigate the role of terror and state violence in creating the neoliberal economic and political order.

Requirements for this course include two midterm exams (25% of grade each), and a portfolio of annotated primary sources (25% of your grade) as a final project. The exam format will be closed book short essay, and the portfolio will require using context from lectures, readings, and discussion sections to curate a series of documents provided by the instructor . In addition, attendance and active participation in discussion sections are required and will be 25% of the final grade.

Books we will be using for this class include:

Keen’s Latin American Civilization: A Primary Source Reader, Volume 2: The Modern Era (Tenth Edition).

Domingo Sarmiento, Civilization and Barbarism

Ada Ferrer, Insurgent Cuba

Mariano Azuela, The Underdogs

Peter Kornbluh, The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier of Atrocity and Accountability

Daniel Wilkerson, Silence on the Mountain:Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala


HILA 4511: Colloquium in Latin American History: Telling Global Stories from Latin America; M 6-8:30pm, Porf. McGrath

How can historians tell meaningful stories about cultures other than their own? How can the stories we tell be respectful to local contexts and at the same time speak to global audiences? How can historians use media like podcasts and websites to make history matter in the present? In this colloquium, we will explore questions of historical method and storytelling from the perspective of Latin America.

This course will be divided into two units, Theory and Practice. In the theory unit, we will read examples of creative global storytelling from Latin America and other parts of the world. These will include historical monographs, ethnographies, and testimonial literature that actively engage with ethical and theoretical concerns about storytelling, accountability, memory, and power. Some of these works will be about people, and some will tell stories of communities, places, objects, and even animals.

In our unit on practice, students will help contribute by suggesting storytelling media, songs, poems, readings, or blog posts that interest them. We will pair these curated storytelling media with workshops on conducting research and writing as students work on their own individual story projects.

Assignments for this class will include reading journals for the first unit (30% of grade), active participation in weekly seminars (30%), organizing and leading one discussion section with a group of students (10%) and a final project that combines historical research with storytelling (30%). The final project will have two components: a 10 page academic research paper, and a creative media version of the same story in either audio, visual, or written form.

Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and Power

Alessandro Portelli, The Death of Luigi Trastulli and Other Stories

Rigoberta Menchú I, Rigoberta Menchú

Anna Tsing The Mushroom at the End of the World

Marisol de la Cadena, Earth Politics

Michelle Murphy, Seizing the Means of Reproduction


HILA 4511: Environmental History of Latin America, M 6:00-8:30, Prof. Klubock

This class introduces students to both the field of environmental history and the environmental history of Latin America.  Topics include: the environments of the pre-Columbian Americas; the ecological impact of the European conquest of the Americas; the “Columbian exchange” of European diseases for Latin American goods (chocolate, tomatoes, corn, potatoes etc.); sugar, coffee, and slavery in Brazil and the Caribbean; the ecology and culture of bananas and banana plantations; forests and deforestation from the Amazon to Chile’s temperate rain forests; the ecology of oil and mining (and “extractive” economies more generally); conservation and national parks; and, the emergence of modern environmentalism.  Our goal throughout will be to analyze different approaches to writing environmental history and to answer a series of basic questions: What is the environment?  What is the historical relationship between human societies and nature?  What role has nature played in human history?  What is nature?  How do we write its history?  What sources do environmental historians use? Students will write a twenty-page historiographical essay on a topic related to the themes of the class and chosen in consultation with the instructor.


LAST 2050: Latin American Interdisciplinary Seminar, M 6-8:30pm, Prof. Carter


MDST 3205: New Latin American Cinema, M/W 2:00-3:15pm, Prof. Amaya

This course provides a historical and critical perspective on Latin American Cinema (LAC), with an emphasis on LAC's relationship to Third Cinema, revolutionary cinema, and contemporary progressive filmic cinematic forms and traditions.


MDST 3105: Latino Medica Studies, T/TH 3:30-4:45pm, Prof. Goin

This course is designed to introduce students to critical analyses of media texts, media industries, and media audiences that help explain the social, political, economic, and cultural locations of Latinas/os in America.


PLCP 3330: Politics of Latin America, M/W 10:00-10:50am, Prof. Gingerich

The course provides a broad overview of central themes in Latin American political life from the colonial period to present.


PORT 4610: Studies in Luso-Brazlian Languages and Literature, M/W 3:30-4:45pm, Prof. Carter

In his letter to Dom Manuel I, then King of Portugal, Pêro Vaz de Caminha describes the locals who received those aboard Pedro Álvares Cabral’s ships as “pardos, todos nus, sem coisa alguma que lhes cobrisse suas vergonhas. Nas mãos traziam arcos com suas setas” (A Carta). From this moment on—through colonization, independence, and into the present day—literary depictions of and references to indigenous peoples have permeated Brazil’s literary production. This course examines the Brazilian Neo-Indianist novel by placing it alongside some of its canonical precursors from the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.


SPAN 3430: Survey of Latin American Literature II, T/TH 12:30-1:15pm, Prof. Rogers

This course is a survey of Modern Spanish American literature to introduce students to major authors, works, and literary movements of Spanish America from 1900 to the present. Students will read poetry, essays and short prose selections as well as a novel. Class participation and attendance, papers, exams and other assignments.


SPAN 3430: Survey of Latin American Literature II, MWF 12:00-12:50pm, Prof. Lagos

Este curso ofrecerá una visión panorámica de las principales corrientes literarias hispanoamericanas desde fines del siglo XIX hasta el presente. Al analizar y estudiar las obras tendremos en cuenta no solo la tradición literaria sino también el contexto socio histórico necesario para entender el trasfondo cultural al que se refieren las obras. Leeremos cuentos, ensayos, poemas y una novela corta, y utilizaremos materiales audiovisuales  sobre temas relacionados con las obras o el periodo estudiados. La clase estará dedicada al análisis de los textos, de los materiales audiovisuales asignados y a aprender de las circunstancias históricas, sociales y culturales de las que emergen las obras literarias. Es muy importante preparar las lecturas antes de la clase. La responsabilidad de participar en las discusiones de clase depende del estudiante. Quizzes, 2 pruebas, ensayos y tareas.  

Advertencia importante: este es un curso interactivo en el que los estudiantes deben leer los textos asignados para cada clase y participar en las actividades. Habrá un quiz al comienzo de cada clase. 


Huellas de las literaturas hispanoamericanas. Second Edition. J. F. Garganigo, editor. Este libro se puede comprar por internet y habrá un ejemplar en la reserva de             Clemons (3 horas).  

No pasó nada, novela corta de Antonio Skármeta.


SPAN 4500-001: Afro-Latinidad across the Americas, TH 2:00-3:15pm, Prof. Mahler

This course is a survey of the history and literature of the African diaspora in Latin America from the Caribbean, Mexico, and the Río de la Plata to the “Latin American” cities of New York and Miami. From the earliest days of Spanish colonization to fighting in the wars of independence to forging global political and cultural networks from the early cold war to present-day, African-descended peoples have had an undeniably central role in defining Latin America’s history and its present. Yet Afro-Latin American experiences and literatures are often made invisible in mainstream media and scholarship. In this course, we will engage a wide array of texts and films on the experiences of peoples of African descent in Latin America, ranging from narratives about black conquistadors to testimonies of runaway slaves to Afro-Latin@ contributions to the origins of hip-hop in the United States. The primary objectives of this course are to expose students to both texts produced by and about Afro-Latin Americans and to the social and historical context in which those texts were produced, as well as to assist students in further developing their critical writing and speaking skills in Spanish.


Span 4710: Latin American Culture & Civilization: Mexico & Argentina, M/W 3:30-4:45pm, Prof. Operé

This course intends to acquaint the student with the history and culture of two important countries in Latin America: Argentina and Mexico. We will start with pre-Columbian cultures, and the historical evolution from colonial times, the Independent period up to the present. Half of the course will be dedicated to study cultural and social topics: identity; race and ethnicity; city and countryside; artistic and music production; food and cuisine; fluctuations in the economy; religion and its many manifestations; and violence and resistance among others. The methodology is the consistent comparison of these two countries in the most important faces of their history and development.

Friday, October 20, 2017