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Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies


1. Introduction to Latin America and The Caribbean

10F: 10

This interdisciplinary course introduces students to the geographical conditions, historical roots, and enduring cultural diversity of Latin America and the Caribbean. After a brief survey of the physical and cultural geography of the region, the course examines the history of selected countries to highlight the way European conquest and colonialism have molded Latin American institutions and attitudes. The course then turns to particular case studies of contemporary life and society to analyze the ongoing problems of ethnicity, inequality, and political repression engendered by the region’s colonial past. Finally, the course draws on these historical and anthropological understandings to assess recent economic, social, and political developments in Latin America. By juxtaposing historical realities with their living consequences, the course presents a multi-disciplinary perspective on the nature, dynamics—and future prospects—of the many peoples who inhabit this vast and diverse continent. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Baldez.

4. History, Culture and Society: The Many Faces of Latin America (Identical to African and African American Studies 16)

10W: 10A 11W: 10

The Spanish discovery and conquest of this continent created Latin America and the Caribbean out of the diverse and complex realities of the pre-Columbian world. Since colonial times Latin American and Caribbean cultures have developed against a background of cultural repression, racial conflict, political domination, colonial exploitation, and gender inequality. And yet, in the midst of all this turmoil, Latin America and the Caribbean have produced an extraordinary variety and wealth of artistic creations, ranging from literature to the visual arts, from music to film. In this course we will turn to some of the works by Latin American and Caribbean artists and writers in an attempt to illuminate and explore some of the wonders of the cultural dynamics that shape the many faces of what we call Latin America and the Caribbean. Dist: LIT; WCult: NW. Bueno, Walker (10W), Franconi, Pastor (11W).

7. First-Year Seminars in Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies

Consult special listings

10. Pre-Columbian and Colonial America (Identical to History 5.6)

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

30. Topics Course in the Humanities

09F: 10

In 09F, Cuisine and Culture in Latin American Cinema (Identical to Comparative Literature 62). Food is a topic so common that its cultural connotations tend to be overlooked. Cuisines are cultural symbols that bind together people in ritual and into a community. The goal of this class is to gain an understanding of how food habits function beyond providing calories and sustenance. Films from Latin America will be used as an entrée to discussing topics of food as medicine, family/community and as links to the history of Latin America. WCult: CI. Lirot.

32. State and Society in Latin America (Identical to Government 49.2)

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

This class provides an introduction to the political and economic development of Latin America in the latter half of the 20th century. We will focus on only six of the countries in this vast and diverse region: Argentina, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, Colombia and Mexico. Our analysis will emphasize the following themes: political systems and regime change; economic strategy; U.S. foreign policy; social movements and revolution; democratization; identity politics; and human rights. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Baldez.

33. The Politics and Culture of Cuba (Identical to Government 49.3)

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

As one of the world’s few remaining socialist regimes and the only surviving socialist regime in Latin America, Cuba is unique. But Cuba is also subject to many of the forces that have shaped other countries in Latin America and the third world: a heritage of Spanish colonialism and slavery, a geography that contains a limited array of natural resources and a system of government that has evolved under the constant shadow of the United States. To that extent we can learn something about Latin American politics—and politics more generally —by studying Cuba. Dist: SOC or INT. Baldez.

42. The Aztecs (Identical to Anthropology 21)

10W: 12 11W: 10

Mexico City once the capital of New Spain overlies the remains of Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec empire. This course examines the development of the Aztec empire, the organization of Aztec society and religion, and the Spanish conquest of the Aztec. It ends with an introduction to Nahua society in the first century after conquest. We will also consider the varied perspectives of Aztec history offered by Nahua texts, archaeology, history, and art history. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Nichols.

43. Olmecs, Maya, and Toltecs: Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica (Identical to Anthropology 22

10F: 12

The course begins by discussing how people first occupied Mesoamerica during the Ice Age and then examines the development of agriculture and early villages that laid the foundations for Mesoamerica’s earliest complex societies, including the Olmecs. We then explore the Classic period civilizations of Teotihuacan, Monte Albán, and the Maya and the Postclassic city-states of the Toltecs, Mixtecs, and Maya and the Aztec empire at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Nichols.

48. Mexican Muralism (Identical to Art History 16)

10S: 10

Dist: ART; WCult: CI. Coffey.

50. Topics Course in the Social Sciences

09F: 12

In 09F, Afro-Latino Expressions of Identity in Sacred Tradition (Identical to African and African American Studies 80). For enslaved Africans in Latin America and the Caribbean, a connection to the spirit world was constant, unchangeable, and crucial for the maintenance of identity. In their syncretized religions, practitioners experience their faith rather than observe it—they touch their deities in human form and access the wisdom of ancestors through ritual. This course examines the development of Santería and Candomblé and the contemporary factors—globalization, commercialization, and the evangelical movement—affecting them. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI . Dickerson.

51. The Brazilian Amazon and Multilingualism (Identical to Linguistics 50 and Anthropology 50.3)

11W: 11

This course examines multilingualism as an anthropological object through the comparison of two indigenous Amazonian “multilingual culture areas,” or social systems where many languages coexist in networks of alliance and shared cultural patterns. We explore mythology, kinship and marriage, and the history of contact in connection to language in these sites. We also look at the politics of language identity and indigenous rights in contemporary Brazil. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Ball.

52. Gender Politics in Latin America (Identical to Government 49.4 and Women’s and Gender Studies 31)

10S, 11W: 2A

This course examines women’s movements in Latin America. Women in Latin America are perhaps the most highly mobilized population in the world. Throughout the region women have organized around myriad issues, including the right to vote, human rights, poverty, legal rights, anticommunism, the workplace, race, ethnicity and war. Women’s efforts to challenge fiercely repressive regimes, deeply entrenched norms of machismo and extreme poverty defy conventional stereotypes about women and provide us with inspiring examples of how to sustain hope during difficult times. The course will introduce students to recent scholarship on women’s movements in Latin America in the 20th century and seek to understand the emergence, evolution and outcomes of women’s movements in particular countries and crossnationally. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Baldez.

53. Protests and Parties in Latin America (Identical to Government 49.5)

10F: 2

For many people, Che Guevara remains the key symbol of protest in Latin America. His passionate belief in social justice, his refusal to compromise and the extraordinary personal sacrifices he made on behalf of the poor all contribute to his enduring legacy. While this legacy continues to inspire people to engage in protest and revolutionary movements, it does little to help us understand the conditions under which organized movements will succeed in their goals-or even form in the first place. Under what conditions do people organize on behalf of their collective interests? Under what conditions will efforts to mobilize succeed? We compare revolutionary movements, social movements, political parties and other forms at political action in various countries throughout the region. Dist: SOC or INT; WCult: NW. Baldez.

56. Latin American Women Writers (Identical to Women’s and Gender Studies 47.4)

11S: 11

This course focuses on narrative by Latin American women, primarily fiction, and how that fiction has been a force for social change. The course will introduce students to Feminist theories that have been applied to and by Latin American scholars to give account of diverse literary forms produced across cultural differences. The core articulating idea of the course is women’s impact on literature and on the world. Students will become familiar with important authors and common themes in contemporary Latin American literature by women and different literary periods and movements in Latin American literature. Dist: LIT; WCult: NW. Lirot.

60. War and Representation in 19th Century Latin American Culture (Identical to Comparative Literature 63)

10S: 11

This course will provide a critical and theoretical approach to textual and visual representations of war during the 19th century in Latin America (specifically focused on Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay). We will analyze war as a special condition in the production of cultural artifacts—such as essays, novels, illustrated newspapers, memoirs, paintings, wood engravings and photography—during the formation of Nation-States, starting with the Independence revolutions against Spain that established a romantic and neo-classical political “model” about war. Dist: LIT. Díaz.

61. Slavery in the Empire: Brazilian Literature in the Nineteenth Century and Beyond (Identical to African and African American Studies 87)

10W: 2

This course explores the how the experience of slavery and abolition in Brazil has formed a major theme for Brazilian authors from the nineteenth century to today. Key literary texts will be paired with period art, historical writings, films, and music. We will examine how the Brazilian Empire was part of the larger Atlantic world yet its history of slavery and abolition was distinct from that of the U.S. Dist: LIT; WCult: NW. Smolin.

66. Caribbean Literature (Identical to English 67 and AAAS 80)

Not offered in the period from 09F through 10S

76. Culture and Identity in Modern Mexico (Identical to History 81)

10S, 11S: 12

Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Padilla.

78. Twentieth Century Art from Latin America (Identical to Art History 75)

11S: 10

Dist: ART; WCult: W. Coffey.

80. Seminar

10W: 2A

In 10W, Gender and Race in Latin America. This course looks at how different ideas about gender and race have shaped Latin American politics in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will focus on the evolution of these categories as the basis for political incorporation and representation over time, instances of collective mobilization around gender and race, the creation and impact of law and public policy, and political institutions as they relate to race and gender. Dist: SOC or INT; WCult: NW. Baldez.

89. Independent Study

All terms: Arrange

Students wishing to pursue intensive supervised study in some aspect of Latin American and Caribbean Studies should consult the appropriate member of the LACS faculty to design and carry out an independent study project. Students are required to submit a short description proposal to the program office in the term prior to doing the independent study. This course fulfills the ‘culminating experience’ requirement for all majors who do not complete the Honors Program.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

98, 99. Honors Thesis I and II

All terms: Arrange

Guidance in the selection of a topic and in research and writing will be provided by the student’s thesis adviser. Only students accepted into the Honors Program may take this sequence.


3. Introduction to Latino Studies

10S: 2

This course provides students with a critical overview of some of the most central themes and issues that have shaped the experiences of Latina/o populations in the U.S. The main areas of inquiry that this course will address include: the history of ethnic levels; the formation of transnational communities and identities; the politics of language and bilingualism; race, class, and ethnicity; gender and sexuality; political and social movements; geographic space and localities; and media and popular culture. In order to foster an interdisciplinary and hemispheric approach to Latina/o Studies, course materials will draw from the social sciences and the humanities, as well as from U.S. and Latin American scholarship and cultural traditions. This course will serve as a general introduction to the more focused areas of study developed in intermediate and upper level LATS course. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Reyes.

7. First-Year Seminars in Latino Studies

Consult special listings

31. Constructing Race and Ethnicity in the U.S. (Identical to Sociology 42)

Not offered in the period from 09F through 11S

35. Topics Course in Latino Studies

Not offered in the period from 09F through 10S

40. Immigration, Race and Ethnicity (Identical to Geography 28 and Sociology 64)

Not offered in the period from 09F though 11S

41. Representations of/from Latin@s in the Media and the Arts

10F: 10

What role do the media and the arts play in the formation of ethnic, racial and cultural identities for Latinos/as? How do Latin@s respond to these representations of themselves through various electronic media and the arts? This class investigates how race, ethnicity, gender, and “otherness” are represented in various media and art forms, including: cinema, radio broadcasting, performance art, mural art, graphic novels, and the Internet. We will trace the history of Latin@s in various media and artistic movements, as well as hold online discussions and videoconferences with students and professionals working in these areas. Students will explore the politics and dynamics of representation by producing their own creative and critical work and presenting it to the Dartmouth community through their final projects. Dist: ART. Moody.

44. Crossing Over: Latino Roots and Transitions (Identical to Anthropology 33)

11W: 2

This course focuses on the experiences of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, and Central American migrants living in the U.S. The literature will draw from anthropology and its neighboring disciplines in an attempt to understand the social, political, and economic processes that shape the varied experiences of Latino migrants living in the United States. In doing so, the class will examine Latino migrant experiences in relation to issues such as the changing character of capitalism as an international system, the organizing role of networks and families, changing patterns of gender relations, the emergence of a second generation, and the cultural politics of class formation. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Gutiérrez Nájera.

45. Comparative Perspectives on the U.S. Mexico Borderlands (Identical to Anthropology 34)

10W: 3A 10F: 2

The borderlands will be examined in ways that take us from a concrete analysis of the region, including conflict and organizing efforts at the border to more abstract notions that include strategies of cultural representations and the forging of new dialectics. We will consider several analytical perspectives relevant to anthropology including: gender, identity, resistance, economics, globablization, migration, and the politics of everyday life. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Galemba (10W), Gutiérrez Nájera (10F).

51. Beyond Sex, Drugs and Rock’n Roll: Radical Latinos in the 60s (Identical to Comparative Literature 52, pending faculty approval)

10S: 10A

The 1960s and 70s were a time of tremendous political and creative turmoil. Joining in the Civil Rights Movement, Latinos fought for their rights, founding important political organizations such as the United Farm Workers. Beyond stereotypes of the 60s as the period of drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll, Latino protesters and political activists were inordinately adept at creating and mobilizing artistic symbols, music, and literature to promote a political agenda of social transformation. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Spitta.

89. Independent Study

All terms: Arrange

Students wishing to pursue intensive supervised study in some aspect of Latino Studies should consult the appropriate member of the LALACS faculty to design and carry out an independent study project. Students are required to submit a short description proposal to the program office in the term prior to doing the independent study. This course fulfills the ‘culminating experience’ requirement for all majors who do not complete the Honors Program.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

98, 99. Honors Thesis I and II

All terms: Arrange

Guidance in the selection of a topic and in research and writing will be provided by the student’s thesis adviser. Only students accepted into the Honors Program may take this sequence.


Courses with a central focus on Latin America and the Caribbean offered by various departments. These classes count toward the LACS/LATS major.

Anthropology 35: Culture, Class and Community in Contemporary Mesoamerica

Anthropology 37: Legacies of Conquest: Latin America

Anthropology 44: Globalization from Above and Below

Comparative Literature 52: The Borderlands: Latina/o Writers in the United States

Geography 43: Geographies of Latin America

Government 49.1: Latin American Politics and Government


Government 80: Readings in Government

History 31: Latinos in the United States: Origins and Histories

History 46: Spain in the Golden Age

History 82: Popular Struggle, Political Change and United States Intervention in Central America

History 96.4: Latin American Rebels

History 96.5: Topics in Modern Latin American History

Portuguese 20: The Portuguese-Speaking World and its Literatures and Cultures: The Definition of an Identity

Portuguese 35: Advanced Studies in Brazilian Culture and Society (DFSP)

Portuguese 36: Studies in Contemporary Brazilian Literature (DFSP)

Portuguese Courses listed below: count when main content is Brazil

Portuguese 60: The Portuguese-Speaking World: Literature and Culture by Period

Portuguese 61: The Portuguese-Speaking World: Genre

Portuguese 62: Film, Media, Performance and the Arts in the Portuguese-Speaking World

Portuguese 63: Special Topics: Literary and Cultural Productions in the Portuguese-Speaking World

Portuguese 80: Seminar

Portuguese 87: Independent Study

Spanish 33: Argentine Civilization: Society, Culture and Politics in Argentina

Spanish 35: Studies in Spanish-American Literature & Culture

Spanish Courses listed below: count when main content is Latin American/Latino.

Spanish 40: Hispanic Literature by Culture and Period

Spanish 43: Hispanic Literature by Culture and Genre

Spanish 45: Regional/National/Trans-Atlantic Approaches to Hispanic Studies

Spanish 50: Gender and Sexuality in Hispanic Studies

Spanish 55: Hispanic Literature, Culture, and Politics

Spanish 60: Race and Ethnicity in Hispanic Studies

Spanish 63: Hispanic Film Studies

Spanish 65: Hispanic Performance, Media, and the Arts

Spanish 70: Great Works of Hispanic Literature: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Spanish 73: Special Topics in Hispanic Literary and Cultural Production

Spanish 80: Senior Seminar in Hispanic Studies

Women’s and Gender Studies 52.2: Caribbean Women Writers: Prose Fiction

Departmental Seminars: These will vary from year to year. Consult the program office for a list of seminars available in 2009-2010.

LACS/LATS students are strongly advised to take courses in economics, especially Economics 1, The Price System: Analysis, Problems, and Policies, Economics 21, Microeconomics, and Economics 39, International Trade.

[1] Students taking Government 80, Readings in Government, may receive LACS/LATS credit if the instructor approves independent study or a seminar paper dealing with the politics of Latin America or the Caribbean.