This course introduces students to the history, literature, and culture of the different Latin American regions. It examines the products of individual and collective experience and creativity in a variety of ways. Using historical and anthropological texts, the course provides a brief overview of historical periods and legacies, and considers how anthropologists have understood the cultures of urban and rural, racial and ethnic existence. In addition, using a series of literary works, students reflect on the cultural and national identity, moral and religious values, and individual experience of Latin Americans as well as the cultural, intellectual, and linguistic influence of these people in the United States. Classes are organized around discussion and occasional presentations by guest speakers. In addition to exams, students write several short evaluations of readings and are involved in several group presentation projects. The course serves as a required introduction to the Latin American Studies minor.
This course explores the concept of Modernity as it applies to the creation and development of the modern nation with particular attention to the Latin American region. The role of the local and autochthonous cultures versus global and external trends and forces, and the impact of modern inventions and technical developments in an ever-evolving society are examined using literary, historical, and political texts, combined with readings on post-colonialism and post-modernism, globalization and neo-liberalism. These texts inform the reading of the English translation of "One Hundred Years of Solitude," by Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a novel often read as an allegory of the forces at play in the shaping of modern Latin America.
This course combines the disciplines of history and art to consider the ways in which artists participated in and created a visual analogue to the political and social transformations wrought by successful revolutions in Latin America. The interaction of art and revolution in Mexico (from the late nineteenth-century to the 1940s) forms the foundation of the course. Its revolution (1910-1920) produced the most successful, vibrant, and internationally recognized artistic formation of national identity of the last century. The final third of the course analyzes and compares the similarity explosive changes that occur in revolutionary Cuba from 1959 and in Nicaragua from 1979-1990. These three revolutions demonstrate a connection between art and politics to a rare degree, as artistic expression (painting, prints, photography, and architecture) become fundamental to both creating, reflecting, and challenging the new order.
This activity credit course supplements LAS 399 Latin American Travel Seminar that includes a study-travel component following the end of the term. Students can enroll for 0 units or 0.25 units.
The Latin America Travel Seminar combines an on-campus semester-long class with group travel to Latin America after the completion of the semester. The instructors, themes, and travel destinations vary each time the course is offered.
Independent study is available to those students who wish to continue their learning in an area after completing the regularly offered courses in that area.