Latin American Studies Program

Participating Faculty: Michael Aronna (Director, Hispanic Studies), Light Carruyo (Sociology), Colleen Cohen (Anthropology), Brian Godfrey (Geography), Mihai Grünfeld (Hispanic Studies), Katherine Hite (Political Science), Lucy Lewis Johnson (Anthropology), Miranda Martinez (Sociology), Joseph Nevins (Geography), Leslie Offutt (History), Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert (Hispanic Studies), David Tavarez (Anthropology), Eva Maria Woods (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 Latin American Studies 105, work above the introductory level in at least three departments and a competency in Spanish or Portuguese through the third-year level (Hispanic Studies 216 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. Students are required to take two of the three 200-level Latin American history courses (History 262, 263, 264). 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 Latin American Studies 105, (1) either History 262, 263, or 264; (2) a minimum of four 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 toward the major. 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:

105. Introduction to Latin American Studies (1)

An introduction to the basic concepts, theories, and methodologies necessary for the multidisciplinary study of Latin American societies. The focus of the course varies from year to year according to the topic selected by the instructor.

Topic for 2003/04: Resistance and Struggle in Latin America. Mr. Grünfeld.

240b. Mesoamerican Worlds (1)

(Same as Anthropology 240)

[242. Brazil: Development, Urbanization, and Environment in Portuguese America (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 242 and Geography 242)

Not offered in 2004/05.

283a. Latina/os in the Americas (1)

(Same as Sociology 283)

290a or b. Field Work ( 1/2 or 1)

By special permission.

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)

298a or b. Independent Research ( 1/2 or 1)

By special permission.

300-301. Senior Thesis ( 1/2)

308b. National, Race, Gender in Latin America and the Caribbean (1)

(Same as Sociology 308)

[383. The Latin American City] (1)

(Same as Urban Studies 383)

Not offered in 2004/05.

389b. Senior Seminar (1)

Required of all senior majors. Sponsoring department, instructor, and agenda vary from year to year, but display a multidisciplinary character through selection of materials and possible use of guest seminar leaders from other participating departments.

Topic for 2004/05: Shores: Latin America and the Global System. An interdisciplinary consideration of Latin America in the context of its historical relationship to other geographical, political, ethnic, linguistic, religious, and cultural configurations including Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and North America. The course examines the historical connections and ruptures established between Latin America and the world through the colonial wealth and expansion of the Spanish empire into the Americas, Northern Africa, and Asia, the transatlantic slave trade, and modern immigration to and from Latin America. Our investigation of the unique ties of Latin America to other global regions focuses on the perspective of writers, directors, and social scientists from Latin America itself. Mr. Aronna.

399a or b. Senior Independent Research ( 1/2 or 1)

By special permission.

Approved Courses

[Africana Studies 211. Religions of the Oppressed and Third World Liberation Movements] (1)

Anthropology 245. The Ethnographer’s Craft (1)

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

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

[Geography 240. Latin America: Regional Development, Environment, and Urbanization] (1)

[Geography 242. Brazil: Urbanization and Environment in Portuguese America] (1)

Geography 247a. The U.S.-Mexico Border: Region, Place, and Process (1)

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

Hispanic-Studies 205. Intermediate Spanish (1)

Hispanic Studies 206. Reading and Writing about Hispanic Culture (1)

Hispanic Studies 216. Methods in Interdisciplinary Analysis (1)

Hispanic Studies 227. Colonial Latin America (1)

Hispanic Studies 229. Postcolonial Latin America: (1)

Hispanic Studies 387a. Latin American Seminar (1)

Hispanic Studies 387b. Latin American Seminar (1)

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

[History 251a. A History of American Foreign Relations] (1)

History 262a. Early Latin America to 1750 (1)

[History 263b. From Colony to Nation: Latin America in the Nineteenth Century] (1)

History 264b. The Revolutionary Option? Latin America in the Twentieth Century (1)

[History 361b. Varieties of the Latin American Indian Experience] (1)

History 362b. The Cuban Revolution (1)

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

Political Science 252. Politics of Modern Social Movements (1)

Political Science 258a. Latin American Politics (1)

Political Science 355b. Seminar on Violence (1)

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

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

[Sociology 287b. Latino Identity Formation in the U.S.] (1)