Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program

Director: Michael Aronna (Hispanic Studies); Participating Faculty: 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 and Latino/a Studies Program provides a multidisciplinary approach to the study of Latin America and the Latino/a populations of the Americas. The program allows students to explore the multiplicity of cultures and societies of Latin and Latino/a America in ways that acknowledge the permeability, or absence, of borders.

Requirements for concentration: 12 units, including Latin American and Latino/a Studies (LALS) 105, work above the introductory level In at least three departments, and a competency in Spanish or Portuguese through the third-year level (at least one course beyond Hispanic Studies 216, or Portuguese 310-3 11, or the equivalent). Maximum of 4 units of language instruction may count toward the concentration, not including intermediate- and advanced-level literature courses. Hispanic Studies 216 is considered the “methods” course for the major and thus is a requirement. Students are required to take at least 1 course that focuses on the period prior to 1900, chosen from among the following: Anthropology 240, Hispanic Studies 227, History 262, History 263. In the senior year each student must write a multidisciplinary thesis under the co-direction of two thesis advisers, one of whom must be drawn from the participating program faculty. In fulfillment of the major 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 and Latino/a Studies Program senior seminar, and a seminar by an instructor other than the one responsible for the senior seminar. After the declaration of the major no courses counting for the major may be elected NRO. Students interested in Latin American and Latino/a Studies should consult with the director or a participating faculty member as early as possible to discuss their program of study. The Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program strongly recommends a structured academic experience beyond Vassar relevant to the student’s program during the junior year, either in Latin America or at an appropriate domestic institution.

Requirements for the Correlate Sequence: 6 units, including Latin American and Latino/a 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 and Latino/a 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. A maximum of 2 units of ungraded work done in a structured academic experience beyond Vassar 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 and Latino/a 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 that 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 may be “double counted” for a major and a correlate sequence.

For descriptions and timing of the courses in the listing below, please consult the department listings in this catalogue and 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 and Latino/a Studies (1)

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

Topic for 2005/06: Conceptualizing Latin and Latino/a America. Ms. Offutt.

[248. The US-Mexico Border; Region, Place, and Process] (1)

(Same as Geography 248)

Not offered in 2005/06.

251 Development and Social Change (1)

(Same as Sociology 251)

285 Social Movements in the Americas (1)

(Same as American Culture 285)

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)

S297.08. Syncretic Religions of the Caribbean and ( 1/2)

297.09. The Legacy of the Plantation in Caribbean and ( 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)

Not offered in 2005/06.

340 Advanced Urban and Regional Studies (1)

(Same as Geography 340 and Urban Studies 340)

Topic for 2005/06: Preserving Whose Cities? Heritage Sites, Historic Districts, and Public Space.

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 2005/06: Shores: Latin and Latino/a America. 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)

Not offered in 2005/06

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 248a The U.S.-Mexico Border: Region, Place, and Process] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

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)

Not offered in 2005/06.

History 251b A History of American Foreign Relations (1)

[History 262a Early Latin America to 1750] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

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)

Not offered in 2005/06.

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

Not offered in 2005/06.

[Political Science 252 Politics of Modern Social Movements] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

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 233b Latino Identity Formation in the U.S.] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.