Latin American Studies

Director: To be announced; Participating Faculty: Michael Aronna (Hispanic Studies), Mario Cesareo (Hispanic Studies), Colleen Cohen (Anthropology), Brian Godfrey (Geography), Mihai Grünfeld (Hispanic Studies), Katherine Hite (Political Science), Lucy Lewis Johnson (Anthropology), Leslie Offutt (History), Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert (Hispanic Studies).

The Latin American Studies Program provides a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the history, geography, politics, economics, cultures, and literatures of the vast, diverse, and increasingly influential world region of Latin America.

Requirements for Concentration: 12 units, including work above the introductory level in at least three departments and a competency in Spanish or Portuguese through the third-year level (Hispanic Studies 217 or Portuguese 310-311, or their equivalent). Maximum of 6 units of language instruction may count toward the concentration, not including intermediate- and advanced-level literature courses. History 262 and 263 are required as common introductory courses. In the senior year, each student must write a multidisciplinary thesis under the co-direction of two thesis advisors, one of whom must be drawn from the participating faculty. In fulfillment of the program, each student should elect 12 units from the following list, according to these guidelines: no more than 2 units at the 100-level; and at least 3 units at the 300-level, including a 1-unit graded senior thesis, the Latin American Studies Program senior seminar, and a seminar by an instructor other than the one responsible for the senior seminar. Students interested in Latin American Studies are encouraged to consult with the director or participating faculty members as early as possible to discuss their program of study. Some study in Latin America (either during summers or the junior year) is strongly recommended for all Latin American Studies majors.

Requirements for the Correlate Sequence: 6 units, including (1) either History 262 or History 263; (2) a minimum of five other courses in at least three different departments. At least two courses at the 300-level, including the Latin American Studies senior seminar and a seminar taught by an instructor other than the one responsible for the senior seminar, are required; these must be taken at Vassar. Ungraded work done in Latin America may be counted. One year of college-level study or the equivalent in either Spanish or Portuguese must be demonstrated. Students should prepare a proposal for the correlate sequence in Latin American Studies after consulting the courses listed in the catalogue and discussing the sequence with an adviser in the program, as there may be other appropriate courses which are not currently listed. All proposals should include some discussion of the focus of the coursework and must be approved by the program. One course can be "double counted" for a major and a correlate sequence.

For descriptions and timing of the courses in the listing below, please consult not only department listings in this catalogue, but also an updated Schedule of Classes. Additional courses may be approved for the major upon petition to program faculty.


Course Offerings:

181. Caliban in the Americas (1)

(Same as Hispanic Studies 181) An introduction to the unfolding social, political and cultural significance ascribed to the Shakespearean triad of Caliban, Ariel and Prospero across Latin America and the Hispanic and Francophone Caribbean. The course traces the New World origins of the Tempest and examines the history of re-writing, staging and filming this seminal play in the context of colonial emancipation, cultural identity and the politics of literacy. Readings include influential Latin American, Caribbean, African and European revisions of this text. Mr. Aronna.


Reading Courses

297.01. Testimonial Narrative (1/2)

297.02. Indigenous Mexico (1/2)

297.03. Chronicles of the Conquest (1/2)

297.04. Latino Writings (1/2)

297.05. Socio-Political Thought in Latin America (1/2)

297.06. Latin American Cinema (1/2)

297.07. The Politics of Regional Integration (1/2)

297.08. Syncretic Religions of the Caribbean and Latin American (1/2)

297.09. The Legacy of the Plantation in Caribbean and Latin American Literature (1/2)

297.10. Cultures of the Amazon (1/2)

297.11. Native Peoples of the Andes (1/2)

300-301. Senior Thesis (1/2)

389b. Senior Seminar (1)

(Same as Hispanic Studies 389b) Required of all senior majors. Sponsoring department, instructor, and agenda will vary from year to year, but will display a multidisciplinary character through selection of materials and possible use of guest seminar leaders from other participating departments.

Topic for 1999/00: "Main Currents in Latin American Thought." A course on the intellectual history of Latin America from the growth of nationalism in the nineteenth century to twentieth-century postmodernism. The course traces salient moments in Latin American cultural and political history through the reading and discussion of the notable texts through which Latin American intellectuals articulated and disseminated contesting notions of the nation. Writings by Jose Marti, Jose Carlos Mariategui, Octavio Paz, Fernando Ortiz, Roberto Fernandez Retamar, and Jose Vasconcelos, among others, are discussed.


Approved Courses

Africana Studies 211a. Religions of the Oppressed and ThirdWorld Liberation Movements (1)

Anthropology 240a. Area Studies in Ethnography: Ethnography of the Caribbean. (1)

Anthropology 245. The Ethnographer's Craft (1)

Economics 102a. Introduction to Marxian Economics (1)

Economics 248a. International Trade and the World Financial System (1)

Economics 260b. The Economics of Imperialism (1)

Economics 268a. Economic Development in Less Developed Countries (1)

Geography 240a. Latin America: Population, Development and Environment (1)

Geography 242b. Brazil: Continuity and Change in Portuguese America (1)

Hispanic-Studies 105-106. Elementary Spanish Language (1)

Hispanic-Studies 205. Intermediate Spanish (1)

Hispanic Studies 207a. or b. Reading and Writing about Latin American Culture (1)

Hispanic Studies 217. Methods in Interdisciplinary Analysis: Latin America (1)

Hispanic Studies 227. Colonial Latin America The "Utopia" of Latin America (1)

Hispanic Studies 229. Postcolonial Latin America: Narratives of Identity (1)

Hispanic Studies 387a. Latin American Seminar Master Writers of Latin American "Boom" (1)

Hispanic Studies 387b. Latin American Seminar Latin American Avant-Garde (1)

History 162a. Latin America: The Aftermath of Encounter (1)

History 251a. History of America Foreign Relations Since 1890 (1)

History 262a. Early Latin America to 1825 (1)

History 263b. Latin America in the Modern Era (1)

History 363b. Revolution and Conflict in Twentieth-Century Latin America (1)

Political Science 258. Latin American Politics (1)

Political Science 267a. NGOs and Global Society (1)

Political Science 354. Seminar on the Politics of Religion in Africa and the Diaspora (1)

Political Science 355. Seminar on Violence (1)

Portuguese. First, Second and Third Year of Spoken Language (1)
(Self-Instructional Language Program)

[Religion 211b. Religions of the Oppressed and Third-World Liberation Movements] (1)