Course Offerings

Fall 2015

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Latin American and Caribbean Studies

LACS 101 - Botta

A multidisciplinary, introductory course designed to familiarize students with the pertinent issues that determine or affect the concept of identity in Latin American and Caribbean societies through a study of their geography, history, politics, economics, literature, and culture. The purpose of the course is to provide a framework or overview to enhance understanding in the students' future courses in particular disciplines and specific areas of Latin American and Caribbean study.

Introducción a la literatura hispanoamericana

SPAN 240 - Michelson

Spanish-American literary masterpieces from colonial times through the present. Readings and discussions are primarily in Spanish.

Spanish-American Seminar

SPAN 398 - Michelson

A seminar focusing on a single period, genre, motif, or writer. Recent topics have included "Spanish American Women Writers: From America into the 21st Century," "20th Century Latin America Theater," and "Past, Memory, and Identity in Contemporary Argentina's Cultural Products." May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2015 topic:

SPAN 398: Spanish-American Seminar: Poetry and Power (3). A course about reading power; more properly, a course about critically reading Spanish American poetry as a site for revealing, rethinking, and resisting enforced inequality. It is a poetic inquiry into social justice, including an exploration the ways in which poetry might help us to realize, reckon, and contest unjust and unequal distributions and codifications of power. We interrogate four major configurations of inequality -- sexism, racism, colonialism, fascism -- studying each in depth, to illuminate through poetry our potential to conceive of and live in more egalitarian, inclusive, and pacifistic worlds. Besides the close reading of poetry, coursework includes listening to music, reading critical theory, viewing documentary footage, and participating in lively discussions. (HL)  Michelson.  


Spring 2015

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Chicano Art and Muralism: From the Street to the (Staniar) Gallery

ARTH 276 - Lepage

This class examines the process by which Chicano/a artists have garnered public attention and respect, and have taken their artworks from the peripheries of the art world to more traditional museum and gallery spaces. Using the Great Wall of Los Angeles as a connecting thread, this class considers the broad theme of identity creation and transformation as expressed by Chicano/a artists from the 1970s to the present.

Topics in Latin American Culture and Literature

SPAN 290A - Botta

This course offers students the opportunity to further their knowledge of the culture and literature of a specific Latin American country, and their awareness of Latin America in general, through the study of special cultural and literary topics. Readings, discussions, and assignments occur primarily in Spanish. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2015 topic:

SPAN 290A: Topics in Latin American Culture and Literature: Instrospección, Reflexión y Activismo Social en el Cine Documental Contemporáneo (4). Documentary filmmaking has a strong tradition in Latin America going back to the 1930s and becoming a remarkable form of denunciation in the 1960s and 1970s. Since its origins, and in most cases, a commitment to socio-political causes has motivated the nonfiction productions in the region. In the past two decades, though, there has been a tendency to use documentaries as a means of connecting and understanding personal and historical realities, as well as a mode of advancing social causes through the participation of the social actors in the filmmaking process. This course introduces students to nonfiction films with specific attention given to the documentary practices that emerged in Latin America in the past two decades. Botta. Spring 2015

SPAN 290B: Latin America through Film (4). This spring term abroad course offers an overview of key aspects of Latin American culture, with a special focus on Argentina, as seen through film, with supporting material drawn from music, poetry, and news articles. Students view, discuss, and analyze movies from Latin American countries such as Argentina, México, Cuba, and Peru, in order to develop an understanding of Latin American cultures, and of issues that have shaped their societies today, including: the foundation of national identities in the period immediately following independence; the political struggles and dictatorships of the 20th century; women and society; and immigration and globalization. Students develop tools to analyze movies in their thematic content and cinematic aspects, write movie reviews, and enact selected scenes from the movies discussed. Readings and guided field trips enhance students' understanding, along with a daily Spanish language class emphasizing listening, speaking, reading, and writing. (HU) Pinto-Bailey. Spring 2015

Topics in Latin American Culture and Literature

SPAN 290B - Pinto-Bailey

This course offers students the opportunity to further their knowledge of the culture and literature of a specific Latin American country, and their awareness of Latin America in general, through the study of special cultural and literary topics. Readings, discussions, and assignments occur primarily in Spanish. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2015 topic:

SPAN 290A: Topics in Latin American Culture and Literature: Instrospección, Reflexión y Activismo Social en el Cine Documental Contemporáneo (4). Documentary filmmaking has a strong tradition in Latin America going back to the 1930s and becoming a remarkable form of denunciation in the 1960s and 1970s. Since its origins, and in most cases, a commitment to socio-political causes has motivated the nonfiction productions in the region. In the past two decades, though, there has been a tendency to use documentaries as a means of connecting and understanding personal and historical realities, as well as a mode of advancing social causes through the participation of the social actors in the filmmaking process. This course introduces students to nonfiction films with specific attention given to the documentary practices that emerged in Latin America in the past two decades. Botta. Spring 2015

SPAN 290B: Latin America through Film (4). This spring term abroad course offers an overview of key aspects of Latin American culture, with a special focus on Argentina, as seen through film, with supporting material drawn from music, poetry, and news articles. Students view, discuss, and analyze movies from Latin American countries such as Argentina, México, Cuba, and Peru, in order to develop an understanding of Latin American cultures, and of issues that have shaped their societies today, including: the foundation of national identities in the period immediately following independence; the political struggles and dictatorships of the 20th century; women and society; and immigration and globalization. Students develop tools to analyze movies in their thematic content and cinematic aspects, write movie reviews, and enact selected scenes from the movies discussed. Readings and guided field trips enhance students' understanding, along with a daily Spanish language class emphasizing listening, speaking, reading, and writing. (HU) Pinto-Bailey. Spring 2015


Winter 2015

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Modern Latin America: Túpak Katari to Tupac Shakur

HIST 131 - Gildner (Multiple Sections)

A survey of Latin America from the 1781 anticolonial rebellion led by indigenous insurgent Túpak Katari to a globalized present in which Latin American youth listen to Tupac Shakur yet know little of his namesake. Lectures are organized thematically (culture, society, economics, and politics) and chronologically, surveying the historical formation of people and nations in Latin America. Individual countries (especially Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru) provide examples of how local and transnational forces have shaped the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of North and South America and the Caribbean, and the cultural distinctions and ethnic diversity that characterize a region too often misperceived as homogeneous.

Seminar: Revolutions in Latin America

HIST 337 - Gildner

Detailed analysis of 20th-century revolutionary movements in Latin America. Examines historical power struggles, social reforms, and major political changes, with in-depth exploration of Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba, Peru, Chile, and Nicaragua. Explores the social movements and ideologies of under-represented historical actors, such as peasants, guerrillas, artists, workers, women, students, and indigenous people.

Trans-American Identity: Images from the Americas

LACS 256 - Barnett (Multiple Sections)

Counts toward the literature distribution requirement for the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. A multi-genre survey of representative literary works from the Americas, defined as those regions that encompass Latin American and Caribbean cultures. In particular the course uses an interdisciplinary approach to show how exemplary artists from the region have crafted images to interpret and represent their American reality. Selected narrative, film, and poetic works by Spanish-American (Neruda, Garcia Marquez, Rulfo, and Carpentier), Francophone (Danticat), Lusophone (Amado), and Anglophone authors (Walcott, Brathwaite, and Naipaul), among others.

Capstone Seminar in Latin American and Caribbean Studies

LACS 396 - Mayock

This capstone course builds upon the foundations developed in LACS 101 and related coursework in the distribution areas. Students discuss assigned readings centered around a key theme or themes of Latin American Studies in connection with an individualized research project. This project is carried out with continual mentoring by a faculty member and in collaboration with peer feedback. Each student presents his/her findings in a formal paper, or other approved end-product, and summarizes the results in an oral presentation.

Trans-American Identity: Images from the Americas

LACS 256 - Barnett (Multiple Sections)

Counts toward the literature distribution requirement for the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. A multi-genre survey of representative literary works from the Americas, defined as those regions that encompass Latin American and Caribbean cultures. In particular the course uses an interdisciplinary approach to show how exemplary artists from the region have crafted images to interpret and represent their American reality. Selected narrative, film, and poetic works by Spanish-American (Neruda, Garcia Marquez, Rulfo, and Carpentier), Francophone (Danticat), Lusophone (Amado), and Anglophone authors (Walcott, Brathwaite, and Naipaul), among others.

International Development

POL 215 - Dickovick

A study of international development and human capability, with a focus on Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The course analyzes theories to explain development successes and failures, with a focus on the structures, institutions, and actors that shape human societies and social change. Key questions include measuring economic growth and poverty, discussing the roles of states and markets in development, and examining the role of industrialized countries in reducing global poverty. The course explores links between politics and other social sciences and humanities.

Accelerated Intermediate Portuguese

PORT 163 - Pinto-Bailey

This course develops intermediate communicative Portuguese vocabulary and active intermediate competence in the language. The traditional skills of foreign language instruction (structure, listening comprehension, reading, writing, and speaking) are stressed. This course meets five days per week.

Spanish-American Civilization and Culture

SPAN 212 - Pinto-Bailey

A survey of significant developments in Spanish-American civilizations. The course addresses Spanish-American heritage and the present-day cultural patterns formed by its legacies. Readings, discussions and papers primarily in Spanish for further development of communication skills.

Introducción a la literatura hispanoamericana

SPAN 240 - Botta (Multiple Sections)

Spanish-American literary masterpieces from colonial times through the present. Readings and discussions are primarily in Spanish.

Spanish-American Poetry

SPAN 344 - Michelson

Analysis of the most relevant poetic texts of Spanish-America, including U.S. Hispanic poetry, beginning with precursors of 20th-century poetry and spanning to contemporary works. Representative works include those by Octavio Paz, Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, Nicanor Parra, Ernesto Cardenal, Raúl Zurita, among others.