Latin American Studies Program

Participating Faculty: Michael Aronna (Director, Hispanic Studies), Daniel Chávez (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 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 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. 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
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 2002/03a: Resistance and Struggle in Latin America. Ms. Offutt.
286a.   Development, Culture, and Social Change in Latin America
(same as Sociology 286a)
       Two 75-minute periods.
242b.   Brazil: Continuity & Change in Portuguese America
(Same as Africana Studies and Geography 242) Mr. Godfrey
       Topic for 2002/03a: Resistance and Struggle in Latin America. Ms. Offutt.
       Two 75-minute periods.

Reading Courses

297.01.   Testimonial Narrative
297.02.   Indigenous Mexico
297.03.   Chronicles of the Conquest
297.04.   Latino Writings
297.05.   Socio-Political Thought in Latin America
297.06.   Latin American Cinema
297.07.   The Politics of Regional Integration
297.08.   Syncretic Religions of the Caribbean and Latin American
297.09.   The Legacy of the Plantation in Caribbean and Latin American Literature
297.10.   Cultures of the Amazon
297.11.   Native Peoples of the Andes
300-301.   Senior Thesis
385b.   Nation, Race, and Gender in Latin America and Caribbean
(Same as Sociology 385) Ms. Carruyo
       One 2-year period.
389b.   Senior Seminar
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 2002/03: Postmodernism in Latin America. An interdisciplinary consideration of the concept of postmodernism in the diverse cultural, political, social, and economic context of Latin America. Departing from established comparisons of modernist and postmodernist theory, the course focuses on the historical, social, and cultural configurations of the postmodern throughout Latin America. Special emphasis is paid to the debate within Latin American thought concerning the origins, intention, and applicability of the postmodern model in the Americas. Our investigation of the postmodern in Latin America consists of a broad study of cultural theory, sociological analysis, literary texts, film, art, and political movements. Mr. Aronna.

Approved Courses

Africana Studies 211. Religions of the Oppressed and Third World Liberation Movements (1)
Anthropology 240. Cultural Localities (1)
Anthropology 245. The Ethnographer's Craft (1)
Economics 248. International Trade and the WorldFinancial System (1)
Economics 260. The Economics of Imperialism (1)
Economics 268. Economic Development inLess Developed Countries (1)
Geography 240. Latin America: Population, Developmentand Environment (1)
Hispanic-Studies 105-106. Elementary Spanish Language (1)
Hispanic-Studies 205. Intermediate Spanish (1)
Hispanic Studies 207. Reading and Writing about Latin American Culture (1)
Hispanic Studies 217. Methods in Interdisciplinary Analysis:Latin America (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 162b. 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 Americain the Nineteenth Century (1)
History 264b. The Revolutionary Option? Latin Americain the Twentieth Century (1)
History 361. Varieties of the Latin AmericanIndian Experience (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 354. Seminar on the Politics of Religion inAfrica and the Diaspora (1)
Political Science 355b. Seminar on Violence (1)
Portuguese. First, Second and Third Year of SpokenLanguage(Self-Instructional Language Program) (1)
Religion 211. Religions of the Oppressed and Third-World Liberation Movements (1)