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Latin American and Caribbean Studies

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at Brown University facilitates the study of this dynamic region from a multidisciplinary perspective. CLACS organizes academic conferences, lectures, and cultural programming, and supports our over 100 faculty affiliates as well as graduate and undergraduates interested in the region. The undergraduate concentration was first approved in 1973 and was later incorporated into the Center for Latin American Studies (eventually renamed CLACS) after its establishment in November of 1984.

For additional information, please visit the department's website: http://www.watsoninstitute.org/clacs/

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LACA 0030. Health of Hispaniola (PHP 0030).

Interested students must register for PHP 0030.

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LACA 0066N. People and Cultures of Greater Mexico (ANTH 0066N).

Interested students must register for ANTH 0066N.

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LACA 0090A. The Border/La Frontera (ETHN 0090A).

Interested students must register for ETHN 0090A.

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LACA 0190A. Islands of Empire (ETHN 0190A).

Interested students must register for ETHN 0190A.

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LACA 0210. Afro Latin Americans and Blackness in the Americas (AFRI 0210).

Interested students must register for AFRI 0210.

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LACA 0232. Clash of Empires in Latin America (HIST 0232).

Interested students must register for HIST 0232.

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LACA 0233. Colonial Latin America (HIST 0233).

Interested students must register for HIST 0233.

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LACA 0234. Modern Latin America (HIST 0234).

Interested students must register for HIST 0234.

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LACA 0271. Introduction to Latina/o History (ETHN 0271).

Interested students must register for ETHN 0271.

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LACA 0500. Around Latin America in 80 Days: An Historical and Cultural Journey.

This course will be constructed as a journey throughout the complex and diverse region of Latin America. By exploring the main geographical, historical, cultural and ethnic characteristics of this area of the globe, students will discover some critical junctures, and personalities that in the past centuries have defined Latin America as a unique, transnational and multilingual subcontinent. The course will be structured around three axes (foundational and modern myths, nation-building and cultural identities, and icons of popular culture) that will be explored from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining insights from the fields of archaeology, anthropology, arts, history, literature, and political science. The languages of instruction will be Spanish and English. Students will be expected to be able to conduct their readings in Spanish, when English translations of the reading material are not available, although during class discussion and assignments they will be permitted to use the language of their choice.

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LACA 0510F. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara: The Men and the Myths (COLT 0510F).

Interested students must register for COLT 0510F.

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LACA 0537A. Popular Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean (HIST 0537A).

Interested students must register for HIST 0537A.

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LACA 0537B. Tropical Delights: Imagining Brazil in History and Culture (HIST 0537B).

Interested students must register for HIST 0537B.

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LACA 0580M. The Age of Revolutions, 1760-1824 (HIST 0580M).

Interested students must register for HIST 0580M.

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LACA 0610. Mapping Portuguese-Speaking Cultures: Brazil (POBS 0610).

Interested students must register for POBS 0610.

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LACA 0610E. Crisis and Identity in Mexico, 1519-1968 (COLT 0610E).

Interested students must register for COLT 0610E.

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LACA 0646. Brazilian Choro Ensemble (MUSC 0646).

Interested students must register for MUSC 0646.

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LACA 0670. Global Black Radicalism (AFRI 0670).

Interested students must register for AFRI 0670.

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LACA 0710A. (En)Gendering the Text: Gender & Sexuality in Latin American Literature and Film (GNSS 0710A).

Interested students must register for GNSS 0710A.

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LACA 0710B. Hispanic Culture Through Cinema (HISP 0710B).

Interested students must register for HISP 0710B.

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LACA 0710I. New Worlds: Reading Spaces and Places in Colonial Latin America (COLT 0710I).

Interested students must register for COLT 0710I.

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LACA 0710N. A Comparative Introduction to the Literatures of the Americas (COLT 0710N).

Interested students must register for COLT 0710N.

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LACA 0711. Brazilian Democracy in Literature and History (POBS 0711).

Interested students must register for POBS 0711.

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LACA 0711G. The Realist Novel (Europe, America, Latin America) (COLT 0711G).

Interested students must register for COLT 0711G.

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LACA 0730. Encounters: Latin American in its Literature and Culture (HISP 0730).

Interested students must register for HISP 0730.

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LACA 0750B. The Latin American Diaspora in the US (HISP 0750B).

Interested students must register for HISP 0750B.

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LACA 0750E. Topics in Hispanic Culture and Civilization (HISP 0750E).

Interested students must register for HISP 0750E.

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LACA 0750G. Wildeyed Stories (HISP 0750G).

Interested students must register for HISP 0750G.

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LACA 0750Q. Health, Illness and Medicine in Spanish American Literature and Film (HISP 0750Q).

Interested students must register for HISP 0750Q.

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LACA 0760. Transatlantic Crossings: Readings in Hispanic Literatures (HISP 0760).

Interested students must register for HISP 0760.

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LACA 0760A. Rastafarianism (AFRI 0760A).

Interested students must register for AFRI 0760A.

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LACA 0810. Belonging and Displacement: Cross-Cultural Identities (POBS 0810).

Interested students must register for POBS 0810.

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LACA 0820U. Drug War Politics (POLS 0820U).

Interested students must register for POLS 0820U.

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LACA 0850. Comparative Approaches to the Literatures of Brazil and the United States (POBS 0850).

Interested students must register for POBS 0850.

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LACA 0901W. The Space Within: Contemporary Borderland Moving Image Practice (MCM 0901W).

Interested students must register for MCM 0901W.

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LACA 0990. Mapping Cross-Cultural Identities (POBS 0990).

Interested students must register for POBS 0990.

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LACA 1020C. The Afro-Luso-Brazilian Triangle (AFRI 1020C).

Interested students must register for AFRI 1020C.

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LACA 1030. Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture: A World That Matters (ANTH 1030).

Interested students must register for ANTH 1030.

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LACA 1031. Classic Mayan Civilization (ANTH 1031).

Interested students must register for ANTH 1031.

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LACA 1050W. Transnational Hispaniola: Haiti and the Dominican Republic (AFRI 1050W).

Interested students must register for AFRI 1050W.

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LACA 1070. The Burden of Disease in Developing Countries (PHP 1070).

Interested students must register for PHP 1070.

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LACA 1071. On Both Sides of the Lens: Latin American Women Filmmakers (GNSS1070).

Interested students must register for GNSS 1070.

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LACA 1080. Performing Brazil: Theater, Language and Culture (POBS 1080).

Interested students must register for POBS 1080.

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LACA 1120. Peoples and Cultures of the Americas (ANTH 1120).

Interested students must register for ANTH 1120.

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LACA 1151U. Literatura Puertorriqueña: Cruce-Ficciones y Contra-Poemas (LITR 1151U).

Interested students must register for LITR 1151U.

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LACA 1200D. Latina/o Literature (ETHN 1200D).

Interested students must register for ETHN 1200D.

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LACA 1210. Afro-Brazilians and the Brazilian Polity (AFRI 1210).

Interested students must register for AFRI 1210.

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LACA 1210A. Latin American Politics (POLS 1210).

Interested students must register for POLS 1210.

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LACA 1281. Migration in the Americas (SOC 1281).

Interested students must register for SOC 1281.

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LACA 1285. The Quality of Democracy in Latin America (POLS 1285).

Interested students must register for POLS 1285.

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LACA 1310. History of Brazil (HIST 1310).

Interested students must register for HIST 1310.

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LACA 1312. Brazil: From Abolition to Emerging Global Power (HIST 1312).

Interested students must register for HIST 1312.

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LACA 1320. Rebel Island: Cuba, 1492-Present (HIST 1320).

Interested students must register for HIST 1320.

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LACA 1330C. Indigenous Literatures of Latin America (HISP 1330C).

Interested students must register for HISP 1330C.

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LACA 1330Q. Short Forms: Major Works in a Minor Key (HISP 1330Q).

Interested students must register for HISP 1330Q.

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LACA 1330T. El Amor en Español (HISP 1330T).

Interested students must register for HISP 1330T.

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LACA 1330U. Hauntings: Gothic Fictions, Banditry and the Supernatural in Latin America (HISP 1330U).

Interested students must register for HISP 1330U.

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LACA 1330V. Gender Trouble in Spanish America (HISP 1330V).

Interested students must register for HISP 1330V.

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LACA 1330X. The Nature of Conquest: Scientific Literatures of the Americas (HISP 1330X).

Interested students must register for HISP 1330X.

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LACA 1330Z. Tropical Fictions: Geography and Literature in Latin American Culture (HISP 1330Z).

Interested students must register for HISP 1330Z.

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LACA 1331. The Rise and Fall of the Aztecs: Mexico 1300-1600 (HIST 1331).

Interested students must register for HIST 1331.

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LACA 1331A. Writing Animals in the Iberian Atlantic (HISP 1331A).

Interested students must register for HISP 1331A.

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LACA 1331E. Visions and Voices of Indigenous Mexico (HISP 1331E).

Interested students must register for HISP 1331E.

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LACA 1333. The Mexican Revolution (HIST 1333).

Interested students must register for HIST 1333.

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LACA 1370. The United States and Brazil: Tangled Relations (HIST 1370).

Interested students must register for HIST 1370.

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LACA 1370B. Gaborium: Memory, Fiction, and Reading in Gabriel García Márquez (HISP 1370B).

Interested students must register for HISP 1370B.

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LACA 1370V. Mujeres Malas (HISP 1370V).

Interested students must register for HISP 1370V.

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LACA 1370Y. Literature and Film of the Cuban Revolution (HISP 1370Y).

Interested students must register for HISP 1370Y.

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LACA 1371B. Sports and Culture in Latin America (HISP 1371B).

Interested students must register for HISP 1371B.

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LACA 1371C. “El gran zoo”: Animals in Latin American Culture (HISP 1371C).

Interested students must register for HISP 1371C.

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LACA 1371F. Narrating the Borderlands: Literature, Legality, and Solidarity (HISP 1371F).

Interested students must register for HISP 1371F.

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LACA 1381. Latin American History and Film: Memory, Narrative and Nation (HIST 1381).

Interested students must register for HIST 1381.

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LACA 1411D. Antigones (COLT 1411D).

Interested students must register for COLT 1411D.

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LACA 1420F. Fantastic and Existentialist Literatures of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil (COLT 1420F).

Interested students must register for COLT 1420F.

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LACA 1500M. Queer Aesthetics and Intimacies en español (HISP 1500M).

Interested students must register for HISP 1500M.

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LACA 1501A. Exclusion, Gender and Respect: Understanding Youth Violence in Latin American Cities.

Urban crime and fear is perhaps the most important concern for Latin Americans in countries across the region such as Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela. In this course we will develop a thorough analysis of youth violence departing from the structural forces that drive youths to violent lifestyles. We will then pass through cultural dispositions associated with gender identities and the lived experience of violence, youth subjectivities and emotions expressed (such as the sense of hopelessness engendered by these experiences). Finally we will discuss the possibility of alternatives to violence for youths.

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LACA 1501G. Remembering and Forgetting the Portuguese Colonial Empire (POBS 1501G).

Interested students must register for POBS 1501G.

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LACA 1503F. Art and the Global City: Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City.

This seminar studies recent literature and visual art through a strategic focus on the cities of Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City. Artistic inquiry and evolving issues in contemporary art are discussed. The very limits of literary forms are also explored, inviting questions on the intersections of images and words, or art and literature. Although the history of key artworks and movements in 20th-century Latin America will provide a foundation for our seminar, special attention will be paid to the present. We will examine recent experimentation, looking into the ideas that animate art practices today.

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LACA 1503G. Music, Gender + Sexuality in the Americas.

This course studies popular music as a space in which gender and sexuality are performed, focusing on the ways in which popular music has both reflected and challenged gender constructs and norms. The course is structured as a series of case studies illustrating a range of popular music styles from throughout the Americas (Cuban, Mexican, and Puerto Rican bolero, Argentine tango and cumbia, and United States R&B, disco, and pop duets), and the performance of a rainbow of gender and sexual identities (including heterosexual femininity and masculinity, gay and lesbian identities, and queer subjectivities).

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LACA 1503H. Sexuality, Human Rights and Health: Latin American Perspective and Brazilian Experiences.

This course is presented in 4 sections. Section 1. Provides an overview on how sexuality and health, both defined by biological paradigms, met social constructionism and human rights perspectives which flourished in Latin America. Section 2. Provides an overview of the human rights based health approach and provide Brazilian cases. Section 3. Provides an overview to the multicultural human rights based approach to sexuality education. Section 4. Expands the dialogical approach of this course by discussing sexuality research and human rights health based interventions in relation with students brought cases.

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LACA 1503I. Fiction and Methods in Social Research: Debates on Inequality, Poverty, and Violence.

In this course, students will read, comment, and discuss renowned novels on inequality, exclusion, poverty, and (political, religious, racial, and gender) violence in cases as diverse as Nigeria, India, and Afghanistan.

These novels will submerge students in some of the complexities and richness of the selected cases. By reading them, students will explore and discuss concepts, stories and historical context, political and socioeconomic processes, the roles of characters, and arguments.

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LACA 1503J. Latin American Urban Interventions.

This seminar engages with narratives of modernization and their relation to time and space in Latin America through cultural artifacts that represent urban interventions designed to improve “the human condition.” Is there an informal Latin American mode of modernity? Are urban interventions condemned to reproduce social exclusion? We review literature on Latin American urban complexes and a case study on a massive residential and commercial complex built in downtown Caracas in the 1970s called Parque Central, including original brochures, shorts stories, poems, excerpts from novels, photos, artwork, films, plays, songs, and performances. Readings will be in English and Spanish and the course will be conducted in Spanish.

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LACA 1503K. Mosquito: Performing Epidemics in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This course offers an anthropological overview of the Aedes aegypti mosquito and its epidemics in Latin America and the Caribbean. Yellow fever, dengue, Zika and chikungunya fever are the mosquito-borne diseases. For almost two centuries, they have been the focus of scientific controversies and state health department actions for the control, prevention or surveillance of humans, animals, artifacts, and environment. Moreover, this course examines how epidemics, biosurveillance and their health public policies have been performed from the global infrastructures of science, technology, and their international corporations involving local and ecological entanglements. Class is taught 80% in Portuguese and 20% in English.

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LACA 1503L. History of Central America from the 16th Century to the Present.

This seminar examines the history and cultures, from the 16th century to the present, of Central America, a region ethnically diverse but with economic and political elements in common. We will center on the resistance, contradictions, and history of the region and its people. We begin with an overview of the appreciation of rich cultural diversity of Central America starting with the time before the Spanish Conquest, moving on to the impact of Spanish colonialism, the independence movements, and the obstacles of the twentieth century.

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LACA 1503M. Indigenous Resistance and Contradictions in Latin America.

This seminar examines Indigenous People’s knowledge through community resistance and social movements to consider the multiple ways in which globalization impacts their lives. The objective of the course is to achieve an in-depth appreciation of Indigenous resistance through the experiences of specific countries of Latin America, and learning how those practices vary according to each region and circumstance. Across the semester, we will develop critical perspectives on diverse academic approaches. Students will read and analyze path breaking documents that marked several indigenous peoples’ histories and that at times come from voices historically marginalized.

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LACA 1503N. Race, Racism, and Indigeneity in the Americas.

This upper division seminar focuses on the history and cultures of Latin America’s indigenous peoples, emphasizing the impact of colonial rule, capitalism, and twentieth- and twenty- first century transformations on indigenous communities. Students will trace the effects European conquest and colonization through Latin American history ending with the displacement and emigration of indigenous people from their communities as result of social upheaval and neoliberal policies. Students will frame the experiences of indigenous immigrants through a transnational lens, analyzing how indigenous peoples navigate racial and social institutions in both the U.S. and Latin America.

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LACA 1503O. Networked Movements. Mobilizations for change in Latin America in the 21st century..

Networked Movements examines the characteristics of social movements emerging in Latin America since 2007. These movements combine the non-violent occupation of public spaces and the intensive use of digital technologies for autonomous political communication. The course starts with foundations of networked social movement theories. Topics will include: the social appropriation of technological innovations; the construction of collective identity and the movement´s aesthetics; collective action for the occupation of public space; counter-public or counter-hegemonic political action; dynamics of social capital combining strong and weak ties; small-world structure of the movement networks; and mobilizing ideas by information cascades and network contagion.

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LACA 1503P. Consuming the Cold War in the Caribbean.

How was the Cold War experienced in the Caribbean? How did refrigerators, automobiles, washing machines, stereos, and blue jeans become proxies of the world superpowers and mechanisms of impersonal rule in the hands of local regimes? How were Caribbean populations transformed by modernizing and developmentalist policies, and how did they resist the marketed allure of empires? Consuming the Cold War in the Caribbean answers these questions, exploring the politics of modern material and visual regimes in Cuba and the region during the post WWII era, addressing such regimes as mechanisms of soft power, impersonal rule, political critique, and resistance.

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LACA 1503Q. Politics of Indigeneity in Brazil.

This course examines the politics of indigeneity in Brazil. First, it examines the relationship between native peoples and settlers, especially the Jesuits, Portuguese colonists, and the Portuguese Crown. Our purpose is to understand images of savagery and innocence as part of colonial imaginary in Brazilian’s imaginary about natives. Next, we will explore how indigenous peoples were understand by scientists and naturalists, and how these discussions are important in understanding notions about race in Brazil. Finally, we examine the relationships between native peoples and the State during the Republic, with a focus on contemporary issues, such as development, the environment, and social movements.

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LACA 1504A. Violence and Urban Poverty in Latin America: Ethnographic and Qualitative Perspectives.

Living in a barrio, favela, villa, or colonia means living in a state of emergency, caught in the middle of armed confrontations between state and non-state actors. This course has three main objectives: 1) to understand urban violence from the perspective of people living in poor and marginalized areas; 2) to analyze how ethnographic and interpretive research on urban violence in Latin America is presented; and 3) to consider the ethnographic narrative, the voice of the ethnographer and the challenges of conducting research in violent settings where the research itself is a social problem.

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LACA 1504B. Indigenous Politics in Latin America.

Indigenous peoples began participating politically in Latin America in the early 1990s, and have dramatically changed the political dynamics of most countries in the region ever since. In the last two decades, Latin America has experienced mass indigenous mobilizations and the rise of ethnic parties. This course covers a wide range of issues related to ethnicity in Latin America, including indigenous movements and parties, ethnodevelopment and environmental politics, ethnic radicalization and violence, transnational ethnic activism, and indigenous groups and gender politics, among others. This class introduces students to the main empirical and theoretical debates about indigenous politics in Latin America.

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LACA 1504C. Representation and Governance in the Federations of Latin America.

This course analyzes the relationships between federalism and four large topics: political stability in plural societies, economic development, democratic representation, and equality. The discussion focuses on the evolution of Latin American federations. Students will learn where federations come from, what they do, and why it matters. They will be able to compare alternative approaches to federalism and to recognize the normative problems at stake in the organization of federations. The course is intended for advanced undergraduate students in political science or international relations. It could also be useful for students majoring in economics, sociology and history.

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LACA 1504D. The Art of Revolution in Latin America.

This course considers the role of the arts—visual, literature, music, film, and performance—in Latin American social movements. We will study the work of artists and activists in the Mexican Revolution, Cuban Revolution, Nicaraguan Revolution, South American dictatorship resistances, and contemporary social movements such as the Chilean student movement and narco-trafficking. We will trace the use of the arts in organizing, social critique, collective action, and propaganda, and how they have shaped ideology and culture in Latin America and beyond. We will study a range of political art through comparative, interdisciplinary approaches including literary, cultural and performance studies, and art criticism.

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LACA 1504E. Latinx Music in the U.S..

This course considers U.S. Latinx experiences by examining diverse musical genres associated with Latinx peoples, including salsa, corrido, rock, and reggaeton. We will take a critical lens to understanding the transformations of Latinx musics, investigating the processes by which they became central to Latinx identity. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the connections between music and cultural, social, and political forces including the entertainment industry, race, migration, and language. The course focuses on ethnographic and historical approaches as a context for understanding current trends. Prior coursework in music, Latin American studies, American studies, or cultural anthropology preferred.

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LACA 1504F. Latin American Authors Encounter the Sciences.

This course offers a scientific and literary journey through diverse Latin American landscapes and societies. The readings are focused on the period 1830-1950. We will trace how natural, social, and medical sciences such as geography, psychiatric, ethnology, and archaeology, have discursively created territories and peoples as part of their own process of disciplinary characterization. We will then explore how writers embraced, discussed, and confronted these scientific discourses on topics such as nature, illness, progress, and indigenous people, among others.

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LACA 1504G. Latin American Environmental Humanities.

Latin America is one of the regions where the worldwide environmental crisis has manifested itself most forcefully over the past decades–with high levels of environmental toxicity, endangered species, and habitat loss. This course will introduce students to how artists, filmmakers, and writers are representing and raising awareness about key environmental issues in the region. The course is structured around five case studies: the desert, agriculture, oil extraction, water pollution, and waste management. The languages of instruction will be Spanish and English. When the reading material is not available in translation, students are expected to be able to read in Spanish.

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LACA 1505. Vertical Civilization: South American Archaeology from Monte Verde to the Inkas (ANTH 1505).

Interested students must register for ANTH 1505.

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LACA 1510B. Environment and Development in Latin America.

This seminar introduces a “developmental challenges approach” to thinking about resource-based development. The approach is critically used to survey the development of extractive industries and other environmental issues in Latin America.

The main questions to be examined are:
Is resource abundance a curse?
Is Latin America too poor to be green?
Do institutions end up defining these issues, and how?

Assignments will help students develop a research project to study one case or a set of cases in comparative perspective (countries or sub-national units).

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LACA 1510C. Ethnicity and the Politics of Development in Latin America.

Over the past decades, the realities of ethnicity and the politics of development have repeatedly presented themselves for reflection in Latin America. This course seeks to identify the interfaces and interactions among the two. During the semester, we will examine four questions: First, why is ethnic inequality so persistent in the region? Second, why and how do ethnic boundaries became politicized in the region? Third, can national development and local and indigenous livelihoods coexist? Fourth, is ethnic and environmental contentious politics driving institutional transformation in Latin America?

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LACA 1510D. Popular Music and Social Change in Latin America.

This course is designed to illuminate the many ways that popular musicians shape, and are shaped by, the broader social milieu within which they act. Focusing largely on twentieth-century case studies from Cuba, Brazil, and Peru, it illustrates how social dynamics particular to Latin America have constrained popular musicians' efforts to communicate, circumscribed their artistic and political goals, and enabled them to intervene in sociocultural debates in specific ways. Issues to be considered include the sanctioning of musical styles as national symbols; the harnessing of music to project promoting racial diversity; its use as a medium of political protest as well as a vehicle for populist politics; the shifts in style wrought by industrialization, migration, and urbanization; the importance of media dissemination and commercialization, both in driving musical change and in determining its scope of influence; and the ambivalent role of the processes variously dubbed "westernization," "Americanization," and "globalization."

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LACA 1510E. Race, Music and Literature in the Spanish Caribbean.

The course provides an interdisciplinary approach to racial representations in the Literature and Popular Music of the Spanish Caribbean. It explores the different definitions and representations of the Spanish Caribbean cultures and identities from a comparative view of the Anglo and French Caribbean writers.

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LACA 1510F. Institutions of Justice and Democracy in Latin America.

The course will examine the relationship between democracy building and the performance of Institutions of Justice in Latin America. We will address issues of human rights violations, globalization and its threats, and the Challenges that Latin American regimes faces to build democratic institutions and the rule of Law. The course will focus will be both on the normative and sociological and analysis of the institutions of Justice in Latin America.

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LACA 1510G. Literature and Popular Culture in Latin America.

Latin American cultures were built on the humanistic and intellectual perspectives exposed by José Enrique Rodó and José Martí, among many others, which propose the artistic aesthetic as a social ideal and the spreading of education as a sign of progress. But these cultural and national projects were developed in "the era of mechanical reproduction" and their literary project soon was menaced by the "cultural industry." This course explores the dialogues and tensions between what has been branded as the "lettered" and the "real city" in Latin American societies in a selection of literature, film, television, and popular music. This course will be given in Spanish.

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LACA 1510H. Shaping the Brazilian Nation through Music.

This course provides an introduction to the music of Brazil, with a particular emphasis on its role in creating and contesting visions of nationhood during the twentieth century. Focusing upon a limited number of musical practices, from different regions and periods, it is not intended to provide a comprehensive survey. Rather, using a small set of case studies, it highlights key dynamics that have shaped the relation between Brazilian music and Brazilian society more broadly. Topics range from traditional practices, such as candomblé and folias de reis; to samba, bossa nova, and Northeastern regional styles; to the work of composer Heitor Villa-Lobos; to the contemporary hip hop scene of São Paolo. There are no prerequisites, but it is recommended that students have either some knowledge of Latin American culture and/or history, or some musical background. Enrollment will be limited to twenty people, with preference given to those matching these criteria.

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LACA 1510I. Urban Latin America.

This course provides an introduction to the study of cities and urban life in modern Latin America. We will explore major themes in the past 200 years of Latin American urban life, with a particular focus on the perspectives of overlooked and subaltern actors. Some of the topics we will examine are urban slavery, informality, populism, migration and immigration, urban environments and ecology, queer/LGBTQ+ urban studies, urban planning and modernism, and social movements. By exploring cities during this broader historical period, we will trace the debates and shifting politics that have influenced urban research across multiple disciplines.

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LACA 1510J. The Making of Modern Brazil.

Will focus on the building of the Brazilian nation and the meanings of social phenomena involved in this process. Based on studies of contemporary Brazilian society, it will analyze different aspects of that country: urbanizatioin, popular culture, revival of tradition, hybridization, imageries, symbolic aspects of money and consumption, popular music.

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LACA 1510K. Human Rights in Twenty-First Century Latin America.

Course offers a multidisciplinary introduction to the key advances in and challenges for the protection of human rights in contemporary Latin America.In contesting autocratic governments in the 1970's and 1980's, Latin America social movements and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) played a central role in the creation of the institutions and norms that constitute the international human rights system today. Enrollment limited to 20.

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LACA 1510L. The Politics of Latin America: Dilemmas and Opportunities.

A survey course on the politics of Latin America which aims at exploring the transformations experienced by the region in the last few decades. The course combines the discussion of themes (the emergent economic realities, the quality of democracy) with a more detailed look at countries of particular relevance because of their importance (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina) their unique trajectories (Chile, Cuba) and their relationship with the United States (Venezuela). Enrollment limited to 20.

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LACA 1510M. New Latin American Populisms in Comparative Perspective:Bolivia,Argentina,Venezuela + Ecuador.

Seminar: this course is based on the notion that there is more to populism and old dichotomies such as rational/irrational, rural/urban or modern/traditional. It will discuss and identify a more precise definition of populism, characterize the "new Latin American populism"and compare it with the classic populisms of the Post War era and the "neo-populisms" of the nineties. It will discuss the commonalities and differences of these regimes in terms of their coalitions of support and their public policies. Limited to 25 juniors and seniors.

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LACA 1510N. Political Systems and Political Parties in Latin America.

This course will explore the seemingly contradictory reality of Latin American political systems and political parties. The goals of the course are to analyze the transformations of the political parties and the political party systems in Latin America from the year 2000 to the present day and to highlight the manner in which the party systems transformations had to do the transformations in the representative linkage between the political parties and the civil and political societies that they are rooted in.

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LACA 1520. Latin American Horror (GNSS 1520).

Interested students must register for GNSS 1520.

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LACA 1560. Economic Development in Latin America (DEVL 1560).

Interested students must register for DEVL 1560.

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LACA 1570. The Economics of Latin Americans (ECON 1570).

Interested students must register for ECON 1570.

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LACA 1601A. Latin American Literature in an Era of Globalization.

This course will explore the impact of globalization on contemporary Latin American Literature. We will analyze novels, short stories and critical discourses produced by Latin American writers in the past thirty years and shed light on how the awareness of the globalized world has transformed writing practices as well as the setting and the construction of narratives. The course will examine the trade-offs associated with the process of globalization, highlighting the beneficial aspects of hypermobility, fluidity, and transnationalism, as well as the dark sides of globalization linked to the rise in inequality and the intensification of narcotrafficking and illegal migration.

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LACA 1620B. Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges of the Global South.

This course will explore contemporary political, cultural, and ethnic challenges that characterize Latin America and the Caribbean. It will be structured around five themes (1. Hunger and poverty, 2. Slums and environmental degradation, 3. Political regimes and human rights, 4. Race and indigeneity, 5 Global market and cultural subalternity). The course will adopt an interdisciplinary perspective, based on a variety of cultural productions and scholarly contributions. The languages of instruction will be Spanish and English. Students will be expected to conduct their readings in Spanish. During class discussion they will be permitted to use the language of their choice.

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LACA 1621. Material Culture Practicum (ANTH 1621).

Interested students must register for ANTH 1621.

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LACA 1630. Engaged Humanities: Storytelling in the Americas.

This course explores the role of storytelling in the transmission of cultural narratives across societies in Latin America, the Caribbean and Latinx diaspora. We will examine a wide variety of stories as well as mediums (e.g., podcasts, photos, art works, textiles, and music) that are exemplary of this cultural transmission, and we will be exposed to practitioners from the local and international community who will share with us their the insights. Students will be engaged in the art of storytelling through collaborative workshops, and will create their original narratives inspired by social and cultural issues of Latin American and Caribbean countries.

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LACA 1650. Ancient Maya Writing (ANTH 1650).

Interested students must register for ANTH 1650.

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LACA 1700. Beyond Sun, Sea and Sand: Exploring the Contemporary Caribbean (DEVL 1700).

Interested students must register for DEVL 1700.

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LACA 1700B. Rhythm and Silence: A Creative Writing Workshop (HISP 1700B).

Interested students must register for HISP 1700B.

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LACA 1700K. Race in the Americas: A Hemispheric Perspective (AMST 1700K).

Interested students must register for AMST 1700K.

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LACA 1702M. The U.S. War on Drugs: From History to Policymaking and Beyond (PLCY 1702M).

Interested students must register for PLCY 1702M.

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LACA 1703A. Youth Politics and Culture in the Americas: Explorations through Ethnography (PLCY 1703A).

Interested students must register for PLCY 1703A.

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LACA 1711N. Monsters in our Midst: Reading Spaces and Places in Colonial Latin America (ENGL 1711N).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1711N.

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LACA 1750A. Immigrant Social Movements: Bridging Theory and Practice (ETHN 1750A).

Interested students must register for ETHN 1750A.

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LACA 1750I. Indigeneity, Sustainability and Resistance in Food Politics (ETHN 1750I).

Interested students must register for ETHN 1750I.

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LACA 1750L. Latina Feminisms (ETHN 1750L).

Interested students must register for ETHN 1750L.

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LACA 1800E. The Brazilian Puzzle: Confronting the Post-Colonial Legacy (POBS 1800E).

Interested students must register for POBS 1800E.

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LACA 1800F. The Lusophone World and the Struggle for Modernity (POBS 1800F).

Interested students must register for POBS 1800F.

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LACA 1802S. Human Security and Humanitarian Response (PHP 1802S).

Interested students must register for PHP 1802S.

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LACA 1803R. Bringing Small States In: How and Why They Matter (DEVL 1803R).

Interested students must register for DEVL 1803R.

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LACA 1803S. US-Mexico Borderlands (INTL 1803S).

Interested students must register for INTL 1803S.

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LACA 1803W. Roots of Crisis in Central America (INTL 1803W).

Interested students must register for INTL 1803W.

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LACA 1900. Preparation for Honors and Capstone Projects on Latin American and Caribbean Topics.

This workshop is designed for junior and seniors in any concentration who are researching and writing about Latin America and the Caribbean. It will help students to enhance their research and organization skills, refine their research or creative projects, and develop or complete a Capstone Project (e.g. honors thesis, honors project, substantial research paper).

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LACA 1900I. Latina/o Cultural Theory (AMST 1900I).

Interested students must register for AMST 1900I.

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LACA 1923. Music in the Andean Countries: From Cumbia to Carnavalito (MUSC 1923).

Interested students must register for MUSC 1923.

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LACA 1935. Beyond Bossa Nova: Brazilian Music and Society (MUSC 1935).

Interested students must register for MUSC 1935.

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LACA 1958A. Archives of Desire: Non-Normative Genders and Sexualities in the Hispanophone World (HIST 1958A).

Interested students must register for HIST 1958A.

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LACA 1961L. Postcolonial Horror: Political Specters in Non-Western Literature and Film (GNSS 1961L).

Interested students must register for GNSS 1961L.

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LACA 1966Q. Colonial Encounters and the Creation of Latin America (HIST 1966Q).

Interested students must register for HIST 1966Q.

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LACA 1967C. Making Revolutionary Cuba (HIST 1967C).

Interested students must register for HIST 1967C.

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LACA 1967E. In the Shadow of Revolution: Mexico Since 1940 (HIST 1967E).

Interested students must register for HIST 1967E.

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LACA 1967F. The Maya in the Modern World (HIST 1967F).

Interested students must register for HIST 1967F.

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LACA 1967L. Politics and Culture Under the Brazilian Military Dictatorship, 1964-1985 (HIST 1967L).

Interested students must register for HIST 1967L.

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LACA 1967T. History of the Andes from the Incas to Evo Morales (HIST 1967T).

Interested students must register for HIST 1967T.

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LACA 1972C. Picturing Paradise: Art and Science in the Americas (HMAN 1972C).

Interested students must register for HMAN 1972C.

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LACA 1976H. Environmental History of Latin America 1492-Present (HIST 1976H).

Interested students must register for HIST 1976H.

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LACA 1977I. Gender, Race, and Medicine in the Americas (HIST 1977I).

Interested students must register for HIST 1977I.

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LACA 1979E. Wise Latinas: Women, Gender, and Biography in Latinx History (HIST 1979E).

Interested students must register for HIST 1979E.

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LACA 1979L. Urban History of Latin America (HIST 1979L).

Interested students must register for HIST 1979L.

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LACA 1990. Individual Thesis Preparation.

For Latin American + Carribean Studies concentrators writing senior projects or honors theses.

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LACA 1991. Individual Thesis Preparation.

For Latin American + Carribean Studies concentrators writing senior projects or honors theses.

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LACA 1992. Senior Seminar: Interpreting Latin America and the Caribbean Today.

This seminar serves as a capstone course for the Latin American and Caribbean Studies concentration. Its purpose is to enable students to synthesize the diverse material covered throughout their interdisciplinary coursework in the concentration and to reflect on overarching questions, issues, and concepts related to Latin America and the Caribbean. Open to senior Latin American Studies concentrators. Instructor permission required.

Course usage information

LACA 1993. Senior Seminar: Interpreting Latin America and the Caribbean Today.

This seminar serves as a capstone course for the Latin American and Caribbean Studies concentration. Its purpose is to enable students to synthesize the diverse material covered throughout their interdisciplinary coursework in the concentration and to reflect on overarching questions, issues, and concepts related to Latin America and the Caribbean. Open to senior Latin American Studies concentrators. Instructor permission required.

Course usage information

LACA 1994. Independent Readings in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

For upper-division students interested in pursuing topics in Latin American and Caribbean Studies not currently taught in the Brown curriculum. Students must have significant prior coursework, language skills, and sufficient background knowledge to put together a comprehensive reading list and to produce a final paper that meets the research requirement in the LACA concentration.

Class requirements include weekly meetings with the instructor, reading responses submitted before each meeting, and a self-assessment at the end of the semester by the student. The independent study will culminate in a research paper of sufficient depth and sophistication to meet the research requirement for the concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Registration requires a comprehensive reading list developed by the student in consultation with the faculty member and a written agreement on course requirements. The concentration advisor’s approval is required if the course is to count toward the concentration.

No more than two (2) semesters of LACA 1994/1995 may be used toward concentration requirements in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Course usage information

LACA 1995. Independent Readings in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

For upper-division students interested in pursuing topics in Latin American and Caribbean Studies not currently taught in the Brown curriculum. Students must have significant prior coursework, language skills, and sufficient background knowledge to put together a comprehensive reading list and to produce a final paper that meets the research requirement in the LACA concentration.

Class requirements include weekly meetings with the instructor, reading responses submitted before each meeting, and a self-assessment at the end of the semester by the student. The independent study will culminate in a research paper of sufficient depth and sophistication to meet the research requirement for the concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Registration requires a comprehensive reading list developed by the student in consultation with the faculty member and a written agreement on course requirements. The concentration advisor’s approval is required if the course is to count toward the concentration.

No more than two (2) semesters of LACA 1994/1995 may be used toward concentration requirements in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

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LACA 2080F. Latin in America (LATN 2080F).

Interested students must register for LATN 2080F.

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LACA 2350H. The History of Wonder in Colonial Spanish American Lettres (HISP 2350H).

Interested students must register for HISP 2350H.

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LACA 2520L. Latin American Existential Literature (HISP 2520L).

Interested students must register for HISP 2520L.

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LACA 2620O. Authorship and Authoritarianism in Spain and Latin America (HISP 2620O).

Interested students must register for HISP 2620O.

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LACA 2971E. Latin American Historiography (HIST 2971E).

Interested students must register for HIST 2971E.

Professor

Jessaca B. Leinaweaver
Professor of Anthropology

Richard O. Snyder
Professor of Political Science

Research Associate

Pedro Germano Leal
Research Associate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Latin American and Caribbean Studies

The concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACA) leads to a strong, interdisciplinary understanding of culture, history, and contemporary issues in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Latinx diaspora.

Requirements are intentionally broad and flexible to accommodate the focused interests of students in understanding the diverse reality of this region. Concentration requirements include four themes: language, area studies, research, and internship or service work. A wide selection of courses from departments across the University expose students to the methods and materials of different disciplines and provide a background in the contemporary and historical contours of Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx societies. For more information, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Erica Durante.

Concentration Requirements

1. Ten courses on Latin American, Caribbean, and/or Latinx subjects.  These may be explicitly designated as LACA classes, but do not need to be.  Up to two of these courses can be language learning classes.  Relevant courses from study abroad may count toward this total. For double concentrators, up to two classes can count toward the course requirements of both LACA and another concentration.  At least two different academic disciplines should be represented in the ten courses. Courses in which the student did substantial work on a Latin American, Caribbean, or Latinx subject may count toward this total, even if the course as a whole has a more general subject matter.  Concentrators should periodically update their courses on ASK and confirm with the Director of Undergraduate Studies that they are on track to meeting the coursework requirement. 

The courses must include at least one survey course providing a comprehensive and comparative view of the region.  Examples include the following: 

Around Latin America in 80 Days: An Historical and Cultural Journey
Latin American Environmental Humanities
Urban Latin America
Engaged Humanities: Storytelling in the Americas
Encounters: Latin America in Its Literature and Culture
Tropical Fictions: Geography and Literature in Latin American Culture
Modern Latin America
Colonial Encounters and the Creation of Latin America
Latin American Politics
Mapping Food, Eating Meaning, Making Community: A Welcome to the Lusophone world

2. Competence in a Latin American and/or Caribbean language.  Competence in Spanish, Portuguese,  French, Haitian Kreyol, Kaqchikel Maya, etc. may be demonstrated through a departmental test, AP credit, language courses at Brown or elsewhere, study abroad, etc; please contact the concentration advisor to confirm. (If the student’s primary area of study is the Anglophone Caribbean, a field language is not necessary.)

3. An internship or volunteer service, located in the U.S. or overseas, for one semester or one summer. Work completed during study abroad may count toward this requirement. The service work will connect theory to practice, applying scholarly knowledge to social challenges. Students are encouraged to consult with the Swearer Center for Public Service for assistance finding a volunteer placement. Students should also meet with the DUS by the beginning of junior year to discuss their work plan for their service component. Upon completion of the internship or service work, students fill and submit via ASK the Internship, Work or Volunteer Service Form, available online in the LACA Undergraduate Concentration webpage (https://watson.brown.edu/clacs/education/undergraduate).  In addition they are expected to submit via ASK a short letter from a supervisor confirming the completion of the work. 

4. A capstone project.  This may be a senior honors thesis or creative project, supervised by a primary advisor and a secondary reader; a non-honors research paper; or a reflective paper about non-academic work (such as service or foreign study) related to Latin America, the Caribbean or the Latinx experience.   

The project may be completed for honors if the student is eligible (see Honors, below).

Students undertaking a capstone project are encouraged to enroll in LACA 1900. Alternatively, they may elect to enroll in one or two semesters of independent study (LACA 1990, LACA 1991) with their thesis/project advisor. 

Writing Requirement

To satisfy Brown's writing requirement as a LACA concentrator (which must be completed by the end of the 7th semester), students are encouraged to consider courses that have an emphasis on revision and feedback such as the following: 

Preparation for Honors and Capstone Projects on Latin American and Caribbean Topics
Latinx Literature
Around Latin America in 80 Days: An Historical and Cultural Journey
Latin American Environmental Humanities
Engaged Humanities: Storytelling in the Americas
New Worlds: Reading Spaces and Places in Colonial Latin America
Encounters: Latin America in Its Literature and Culture
Colonial Latin America
Gender, Race, and Medicine in the Americas

Engaged Scholars Program

The concentration also allows students to pursue the Engaged Scholars Program. The Engaged Scholars Program (ESP) in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACA) is designed for LACA concentrators who are especially interested in making deeper connections between their academic work and local communities in Providence and beyond. Engaged Scholars combine hands-on experiences such as internships, public service, humanitarian, and development work with their academic learning in order to develop a deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, social engagement.

Honors

Qualified undergraduates may work towards the A.B. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies with Honors.

Requirements to graduate with Honors:

  1. Maintenance of at least an A- average in the ten courses counting for the Latin American and Caribbean Studies concentration
  2. Maintenance of at least a B+ average in all course work at Brown
  3. Completion of a senior honors thesis or project with a grade of A

Grades of S do not negatively affect the eligibility for honors. 

Graduating seniors with Honors in Latin American and Caribbean Studies are eligible for an award administered by the concentration for Outstanding Senior Thesis or Project.

Senior Honors Thesis or Project Timeline:

For Senior-Year Students-

  • By end of sixth semester: Students fill and submit a one page proposal to the concentration advisor the Honors Thesis Declaration Form available online in the LACA Undergraduate Concentration webpage (https://watson.brown.edu/clacs/education/undergraduate).  In the form, they are expected to indicate their thesis or project title and short description. The Honors Thesis Declaration Form must be signed by a primary advisor.  Students who study abroad spring semester junior year may apply for admission to the Honors Program but must meet the application deadline. Students in this position should start thinking about a proposal and contact advisors well in advance. 
  • By October 15: Students submit the first section of their thesis or project to their research advisor for review. They should agree with their advisor on the schedule for the remaining portions.
  • By March 15: A draft of the entire thesis or project is due to the primary advisor and the secondary reader for review and feedback.
  • By 5 pm on April 15: The final, complete senior honors thesis or project is due.
  • Students submit one copy each to the primary advisor and the secondary reader.
  • Students submit one paper copy and one electronic copy to the concentration advisor and one electronic copy to the Brown Library Digital Repository (BDR). 

For Mid-Year Completors-

Mid-year completors must apply for the Honors Program their 6th semester, as 2nd semester Juniors.  They undertake the thesis in their 7th and 8th semesters, allowing them to complete the following Honors course sequence:

  • By the end of the 6th semester: Students fill and submit to the concentration advisor  the Honors Thesis Declaration Form available online in the LACA Undergraduate Concentration webpage (https://watson.brown.edu/clacs/education/undergraduate).  In the form, they are expected to indicate their thesis or project title and short description. The Honors Thesis Declaration Form must be signed by a primary advisor.
  • By May 15: Students submit the first section of their thesis or project to their research advisor for review. They should agree with their advisor on the schedule for the remaining portions.
  • By October 15: A draft of the entire thesis or project is due to the primary advisor and the secondary reader for review and feedback.
  • By 5 pm on November 15:  The final, complete senior honors thesis or project is due.
  • Students submit one cooy each to the primary advisor and the secondary reader. 
  • Students submit one paper copy and one electronic copy to the concentration advisor and one electronic copy to the Brown Libarary Digital Repository (BDR).

Latin American and Caribbean Studies Graduate Requirements

Brown offers no advanced degree in Latin American Studies, but our faculty work closely with interested graduate students in other departments such as Hispanic Studies, History, Economics, American Civilization, Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, and the A.M. in Development Studies. Information about these degrees may be obtained directly from these departments or programs.