Courses

History121:  Pre-Colombian and Colonial Latin America
This course examines Latin American history from the rise of the Aztecs and Incas in the 1200s, through Spanish and Portuguese conquest in the 1500s, to the region's struggles for independence in the early 1800s. Students will investigate how the connecting of the Old and New Worlds created new, hybrid societies and cultures in Latin America as large populations of Indians and Africans (imported for slave labor) struggled against and accommodated European colonizers.

History122: Modern Latin America

This course examines Latin American history from the region's independence from Spain and Portugal in the 1820s to the present day. Students will investigate how the region's newly independent nations sought to modernize their societies, cultures, and economies beginning in the mid-1800s and how the results of these projects fostered social strife, civil war, and revolution in the 1900s. The course will conclude with an examination of Latin America's recent trend toward globalization and the discontent this process has caused.

History 321: Colonial Mexico
This course examines colonial Mexico beginning with the Spanish conquest in 1521 and ending with Independence from Spain in 1821. Includes the consequences of the conquest for Native Americans, the peculiarities of colonial high society, and late 18th-century efforts to modernize Mexican society along European lines. Prerequisites: None.

History 322: Modern Mexico
This course explores the birth, development, and development of the Mexican nation from Independence to the U.S.-Mexican War, from liberal dictatorship to social revolution, from one-party state to the uncertain future. Includes politics and economics, urban and rural Mexico, and the everyday lives of men, women, and children. Prerequisites: None.

History 323: Religion in Latin America
This course studies the changing nature of religious cultures in Latin America from the pre-Columbian period to the present day. Includes the study of indigenous religious practices, the European “spiritual conquest” of the New World, the creation of syncretic forms of Catholicism, 19th century conflicts between religion and secularism, the spread of Protestantism in the 20th century, and the advent and course of liberation theology in Latin America. Within a historical context, examines the role of religion in shaping sense of self, forms of community, and human interaction with the physical world. Prerequisites: None.

History 324: Issues in Modern Latin American History
Latin America is comprised of nearly 30 countries (depending on who’s counting) with very different histories especially in the post-colonial era (after 1800). The purpose of this course is to avoid deceptive over-generalizations about a complex region and (on a more positive note) provide historical perspective on issues of special interest to North American students. Course topics might include “Contested Borders: Historical Perspectives on Latino Immigration,” “Latin America: The Social Consequences of Economic Crisis in Historical Perspective,” “Latin America: The Legacy of Authoritarianism,” “Latin America: A History of Indigenous Rights, Majority Interests,” “History of Costa Rica,” etc. (Study abroad only.)

Hispanic Studies 336: Latin American Culture
This course examines the political, social, cultural and historical development of the Spanish-speaking Americas. In geographic terms, the course includes countries of North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Historically, the course covers the period prior to the Conquest, the Colonial era, the emergence of national identities, and current cultural trends, issues and conflicts. The primary texts of the course—whether these be literary, visual, performative, or ideological in character—will be approached in an interdisciplinary fashion that combines socio-historical, political and literary critical perspectives. Prerequisite: Spanish 312.

Hispanic Studies 337: Latino Identity in the US
The diverse population of Latino groups traces its origins to a variety of countries and their experience in the United States is quite varied. This course will examine the socio-historical background and economic and political factors that converge to shape Latino/Hispanic identities in the United States. This class will explore issues of race, class, and gender within the Latino community in the United States (Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Central and South America). Prerequisites: 312.

Hispanic Studies 340: Latin American Literature: Pre-Columbian to Independence
This course examines the origins of regional literature in the period of the Spanish Conquest and colonization of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Representative literary texts—encompassing genres such as essay, chronicle and biography among others—will serve as the basis for a study of the historical development of regional literary traditions out of the cultural conflicts and transformations of the colonial period. Prerequisite: Spanish 312.

Hispanic Studies 342: Latin American Literature: Independence to Modernismo
This course examines the emergence and development of regional and national literary traditions in the Spanish-speaking Americas following Independence of Spain. Works from a variety of genres, such as poetry, essay and the novel, will be used to explore important aesthetic, economic and political manifestations of the nineteenth-century quest for autonomy and development in Latin America. Prerequisite: Spanish 312.

Hispanic Studies 345: Latin American Literature: Modernismo to Present
A study of major themes and works of contemporary narrative, criticism, poetry. This course examines the historical background of the texts under study as well as the emerging literary and cultural debates surrounding them. Prerequisite: Spanish 312.

Hispanic Studies 355: Seminar: Topics in Hispanic Literature
An in-depth study of a particular work, author, or theme in Hispanic literature or language. The precise subject to be studied will be announced prior to registration. Recent topics include: the picaresque novel; literature of the gaucho; women authors; Siglo de Oro; Generación del 98; Spanish drama from Lope de Vega to Buero Vallejo; Latin America short story. Prerequisites: 312 and one upper-division course in literature or culture. (To count toward the LLAS Minor the topic must be a Latino or Latin American topic.)

Hispanic Studies 356:Seminar:Topics in Hispanic Culture or Linguistics.
An in-depth study of cultural issues in the Spanish-speaking world or of Hispanic linguistics. The precise subject to be studied will be announced prior to registration. Recent topics include: race, gender, ethnicity;national identity and its construction/invention; globalization; bilingualism; second-language acquisition; history of Spanish language, etc. Prerequisites: 312 and one upper-division course in literature and culture. (To count toward the LLAS Minor the topic must be a Latino or Latin American topic.)

Latino/Latin American Studies 270: Readings in Latino/Latin American Studies
Readings and discussions in specific areas of Latino/Latin American Studies. Topics tied to on-campus lectures, performances, or exhibits presented by invited speakers or artists. Approval of the Director of Latino/Latin American Studies and/or the faculty moderator of the reading circle required. This course can be repeated for credit with the permission of the director. S-U grading only.

Latino/Latin American Studies 399: Senior Project
An independent, interdisciplinary project completed during the senior year. Students complete the project under the supervision of an appropriate faculty member. The Director of the Latino/Latin American Studies Program must approve the project.

Philosophy 368-02A: Liberation Thought
Twin strands of thought –theologies of liberation and philosophies of liberation-developed in the 20th century as practical and active rather than merely speculative ways to address problems of human oppression and unfreedom. Liberation theologians ground their advocacy of human freedom in their understanding of God and God’s plan for humans in their world. Philosophies of liberation instead ground their advocacy of liberation in active reflection on the historical and rational constitution of human individuals and societies. We will read and study a number of key exponents of these movements, from the Brazilian education Paulo Freire, to the Latin American theologians and philosophers Gustavo Gutierrez, Leonardo Boff, Jon Sobrino, Enrique Dussel and others. Black liberation thinkers such as Frantz Fanon and feminist liberation theologians and philosophers will be included, as well as the influence of Marxist and post-Marxist thought on liberation theology and philosophy.

Political Science 347: Latin American Politics
This course provides a comparative analysis of Latin American politics and the nature of relations between the United States and Latin America. Several themes are woven throughout the course including the role of the military in politics, economic dependency, reform vs. revolution, the relationship between the church and state, agrarian reform, and the position of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The relationship between the United States and Latin America is explored from the points of view of both sides. Several countries are studied in depth including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
Prerequisites: None, but lower division course in political science suggested.

Theology 329: Hispanic Theology in the US
This course introduces students to U.S. Hispanic theological perspectives. The main objective of the course is to enable the student to understand how U.S. Hispanic experiences (e.g. religious, social, cultural, gender, racial, economic, and political) mediate theological approaches to Scripture and the doctrines of Christian tradition. The course begins with a brief historical survey of the origins and ecclesial presence of U.S. Hispanic communities and proceeds systematically to explore central biblical and theological themes in the writings of contemporary U.S. Hispanic theologians.