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Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies


1. Introduction to Latin America and The Caribbean

10F: 11 11F: 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. Padilla (10F), Baldez (11F).

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

11W: 10 12W: 10A

The Spanish discovery and conquest of this continent created Latin America and the Car-ibbean 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 cul-tural repression, racial conflict, political domination, colonial exploitation, and gender ine-quality. 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. Franconi, Pastor (11W), Bueno, Walker (12W).

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 10F through 11S

30. Topics Course in the Humanities

11W: 12

In 11W, Detective Fiction in Latin America . This course will examine how authors of detective fiction in Latin America have adapted the genre to treat issues of political, economic and historical significance. Although critics have denounced the classic whodunnit as an imported model, and therefore poorly suited to the realities of the region, noted authors or Latin America’s Boom have experimented with the detective formula in one form or another. Moreover, during the last three decades, detective fiction has witnessed its own “boom” and authors in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and Mexico have adapted the grittier, hardboiled model to denounce dictatorship, violence and social injustice in their respective countries. After briefly surveying the origins of the detective story and its ideological underpinnings, the class will study short stories and novels in each of three regions (Argentina, Cuba and Mexico), contextualizing these works within their historica context. Throughout the term, we will consider the relationship between ideology and popular literature, art and censorship, the dilemma of imitation and authen ticity, and the problematic of gender representation and national politics in this male-dominated genre. Dist. LIT: WCult: NW. Herr.

42. The Aztecs (Identical to Anthropology 21)

11W, 12W: 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 12W: 2

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)

11F: 12

Dist: ART; WCult: CI. Coffey.

50. Topics Course in the Social Sciences

Not offered in the period from 10F through 11X

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

10F: 2

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)

12S: 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)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 11X

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.

54. Nationalism and Revolution in the Caribbean (Identical to AAAS 86 and History 6)

11S: 10A

Dist. SOC or INT: WCult: NW. Goldthree.

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.

57. From Coca to Cocaine: Drug Economies in Latin America (Identical to History 6)

12S: 2


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

Not offered in the period from 10F through 11X

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)

11F: 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.

63. Afro-Brazilian Diasporic Literature in the Americas (Identical to Comparative Literature 52 and African and African American Studies 83)

10F: 12

This course will offer a general introduction to the history and major critical issues of Afro-Brazilian literature by focusing on the lives and works of key authors from the nineteenth century to the present. We will examine how Afro-Brazilian writers have expanded Brazilian literary discourse by challenging dominant cultural narratives of race and ethnicity. The course will also seek to place Afro-Brazilian literature within the context of African diasporic literatures of the Americas, particularly Afro-American literature of the United States. The course will introduce students to the extraordinary diversity of Afro-Brazilian narrative, with texts ranging from nineteenth-century poems written by a former slave to the 1997 novel that inspired the hit film City of God. The course will be taught in English and all texts will be available in translation. Dist: LIT: WCult: CI. Smolin.

66. Caribbean Literature (Identical to English 67 and African and African American Studies 80)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 11X

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

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 (Identical to African and African American Studies 90 in 11S, 12W)

11S: 2 12W: 2A

In 11S and 12W, 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. Mollett (11S), Baldez (12W).

82. Popular Struggle, Political Change and U.S. Intervention in Central America (Identical to History 82)

10F: 2 12W: 10A. Padilla.

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

11F: 11

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 tofoster 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. Gutierrez.

7. First-Year Seminars in Latino Studies

Consult special listings

31. Constructing Race and Ethnicity in the U.S. (Identical to Sociology 47)

11X: 10

What is ethnicity? What is race? What are the boundaries and markers for being a member of an ethnic or racial group? This course examines the development, maintenance and relevance of panethnic groups in the United States. Specifically it focuses on African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans. The course begins with a review of the theories on ethnic and racial identity. The class will spend several weeks on each panethnic group addressing the following questions: What does it mean to be African-American, Latino, or Asian-American? Who belongs to that group and why? Does the panethnic label capture the complexity of the group? Why is it necessary to construct panethnic identities and who benefits? What are the political ramifications of using panethnicity? Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Gómez.

35. Topics Course in Latino Studies

Not offered in the period from 10F through 11S

40. Immigration, Race and Ethnicity (Identical to Geography 28 and Sociology 48)

12W: 10A

Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Wright.

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.

43. U.S. Afro-Latino Literature (Identical to African and African American Studies 88, Comparative Literature 57, and International Studies 17)

11S: OT Wednesday 2-5

Dist: LIT. Tillis.

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 anthropol- ogy and its neighboring disciplines in an attempt to understand the social, political, and eco-nomic 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)

11S: 12

The borderlands will be examined in ways that take us from a concrete anal-ysis 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. Gutiérrez Nájera .

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, Latino and the Caribbean offered by various departments. These classes count when offered toward the LACS/LATS major.

Anthropology 35: Maya Indians under Mexican and Guatemalan Rule

Anthropology 37: Legacies of Conquest: Latin America

Anthropology 44: Globalization from Above and Below

Comparative Literature

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 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