Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

LACA and Cross-listed Courses Announced for Spring 2019

December 13, 2018

Great new course offerings from LACA and cross listed LACA courses for spring 2019!

Most of our LACA courses have few or no books to purchase and can be taken at low cost.

LACA 1503M Indigenous Resistance and Contradictions in Latin America, by Irma Velásquez Nimatuj (taught in Spanish)

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 esistance 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.

LACA 1503N Race, Racism, and Indigeneity in the Americas, by Daina Sanchez

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.

LACA 1504F/HISP1371 Latin American Authors Encounter the Sciences, by Miguel Rosas Buendia (taught in Spanish)

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, psychiatry, 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.

LACA 1620B/HISP1331D Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges of the Global South, by Erica Durante (taught in Spanish & English)

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.

Here's a sampling of courses around campus that count for LACA credit.

Many more are listed on our website! 


INTL 1803S U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, by Almita Miranda

This course explores a range of topics surrounding the U.S.-Mexico border, the borderlands, and local and global processes affecting both the United States and Mexico. Drawing from an interdisciplinary set of readings, documentary films, and lectures, students study and analyze the historical political-economic context under which the U.S.-Mexico border was created, a set of issues that continue to affect the region, its inhabitants, and individuals crossing the physical and metaphorical terrain. Limited to Juniors, Seniors. Priority given to IR seniors.

LITR 1151U, by Andrew Colarusso

The purpose of this course is to analyze the myriad ways Puerto Rico and the United States have influenced each other through literature, music, and art. In 1898, the island was ceded to the U.S. by Spain following the Spanish American war. Since then, an ongoing exchange (often one-sided) regarding the political status of the island and its people has informed a wealth of literary materials, musical hybridity, and radically avant-garde arts.

MUSC 1923 Music of the Andean Countries, by Joshua Tucker

This course provides an introduction to the music of South America’s Andean countries. Through texts, listenings, and hands-on instruction, students will explore the social histories and stylistic principles of genres like Colombian and Peruvian cumbia, Afro-Peruvian festejo and landó, Chilean nueva canción, and the sikuri and huayno music of South Andean Quechua and Aymara peoples. Class sessions balance cultural analysis with opportunities to play, and students are expected to develop some facility with key songs and rhythms. No experience is necessary, though inexperienced musicians can expect to focus on instrumental or vocal parts that present a lower bar to participation.

HISP 1371C “El gran zoo”: Animals in Latin American Culture, by Claudia Becerra-Mendez

From César Vallejo’s dismembered spider, to Julio Cortázar’s house tiger, to Nicolás Guillén’s satirical zoo, this course traces the varied ways in which animals appear in 20th and 21st century Latin American culture. We will pay particular attention to the zones of entanglement between the human and non-human, in order to analyze how a number of Latin American writers and filmmakers tackle oppositions between nature and culture, civilización y barbarie, city and countryside, self and other. In unsettling the human-animal divide, Latin American cultures respond to some of the most pressing—perhaps dehumanizing—issues of the century.