Latin American Studies Program


Courses of Study

LA173f    History of Latin America, 1491 to 1900 To understand the historical roots of Latin America's enduring tensions and conflicts, students analyze and discuss sources (especially primary ones), and write short historical essays. Themes include the first American civilizations, the Conquest and construction of colonial hierarchies, independence, liberalism and conservatism, neocolonialism and nationalism. Four credit hours. H, I. Fallaw
LA174s    Introduction to Latin American Studies Cross-disciplinary, historically grounded introduction to modern Latin America. We analyze and discuss politicians and ideologies, socioeconomic structures, environmental features, and cultural production (including art, music, and a novel). Major historical themes include the promise and problems of progress c.1850-1930, populism and nationalisms, the Cuban Revolution, Cold War dictatorships, and neoliberalism and neopopulism. Four credit hours. H, I. Fallaw
LA214s    Economic Policy and Performance in Contemporary Latin America Listed as Economics 214. Four credit hours. I. Franko
[LA236]    Illegal Drugs, Law, and the State Listed as Anthropology 236. Four credit hours.
LA242f    Anthropology of Latin America: City Life Listed as Anthropology 242. Four credit hours. Tate
[LA243]    Globalization, Democracy, and Political Transformation in Bolivia Listed as Anthropology 243. Three credit hours. S, I.
[LA247]    Colombian Politics through Film Listed as Anthropology 247. Three credit hours.
[LA253]    Introduction to Latin American Politics Listed as Government 253. Four credit hours.
[LA264]    Challenges to Democracy in Latin America Listed as Government 264. Four credit hours. S, I.
LA265f    The Short Novel in Spanish America Listed as Spanish 265. Four credit hours. L. Olivares
LA272f    Mexican History: Justice, Rights, and Revolution From the Aztec era to the disappearance of 43 students in 2014, struggles over justice and rights have defined Mexican history. To better under the conquest, independence, the liberal reform, and the revolution, we focus on how notions of justice and rights differ over time and across cultures (indigenous, colonial, liberal, revolutionary, and neoliberal). Four credit hours. H, I. Fallaw
[LA275]    Strongmen and Populism in Modern Spain and Latin America Interdisciplinary history of Trujillo's dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, the rise of Getulio Vargas's Estado Novo in Brazil, the role of Zapata as an agrarian warlord in the Mexican Revolution, the failure of the Spanish Republic, and the emergence of Franco's regime. Three credit hours. H, I.
[LA277]    History of the Maya from 200 B.C. Multidisciplinary (archaeology, anthropology, literature, and history) study of the Mayan past from the first known Mayan writing to recent conflicts in Mexico and Guatemala. Four credit hours. H, I.
[LA278]    Narratives, Artifacts, and Monuments of Pre-Columbian Civilizations Listed as Spanish 278. Four credit hours. L.
LA297j    Into the Archive: The Politics and Practice of Archival Research Listed as History 297A. Three credit hours. H. Mack
LA338s    The Diasporic Imagination: Cubans beyond Cuba Listed as Spanish 338. Four credit hours. L. Olivares
LA361s    Militaries, Militarization, and War Listed as Anthropology 361. Four credit hours. S. Tate
LA365f    Space, Place, and Belonging Listed as Anthropology 365. Four credit hours. Tate
[LA371]    The Colonial Experience: European and Amerindian Responses Listed as Spanish 371. Four credit hours. L.
[LA373]    Religion and Unbelief in Modern Latin American History How did faith and resistance to faith shape and reflect the enduring tensions and inequalities that defined Latin America over the past two centuries? This pro-seminar seeks to understand the history of religion (formal Catholicism, African and indigenous syncretism) and disbelief (anticlericalism, free thinking, scientism, atheism) in postcolonial Latin America through critical reading and analysis of primary and secondary sources and writing. Prerequisite: A W1 course. Four credit hours. H, W2, I.
LA378s    U.S. in Latin America: Intervention, Influence, Integration To understand the diverse ways the United States has shaped modern Latin American history, we critically read primary and secondary sources (scholarly monographs, articles from academic journals) and write a substantial research paper. We consider how U.S. influence has evolved historically, ranging from military interventions to the export of ideas (scientific racism, neoliberalism) to economic integration. We also explore geographic variations in U.S. presence across the hemisphere, ranging from the U.S.'s "Back Yard" of Mexico and the Caribbean to South America. Four credit hours. H, W2, I. Fallaw
[LA456]    Seminar: Civil Society and Social Change in Latin America Listed as Government 456. Four credit hours. S, I.
[LA473]    Historical Roots of Violence in Modern Latin America We examine the historical roots of persistent violence in Latin America from interdisciplinary perspectives: social, political, and cultural history, as well as anthropology, sociology, political science, and psychology. Topics include social and ethnic conflicts, domestic violence, torture, insurgencies and counterinsurgencies, dirty wars, and genocide. This seminar is writing-intensive, including two drafts of a substantial (approximately 25-page) research paper. Prerequisite: A previous course on Latin America and permission of the instructor. Four credit hours. H.
LA483f, 484s    Senior Honors Thesis A year-long research project for senior majors resulting in a written thesis to be publicly presented and defended. Students may register either for two credits in the fall, January, and spring terms or for three credits in the fall and spring terms. Prerequisite: a 3.3 or higher major average at the end of the junior year and permission of the Latin American studies advisory committee. One to four credit hours.
LA491f, 492s    Independent Study An independent study project devoted to a topic chosen by the student with the approval of an advisor. Only independent studies taken with a Colby faculty member and approved by the director of the Latin American Studies Program may count toward fulfilling major requirements. One to four credit hours. Faculty