*Asterisk indicates course is offered in Academic Year 2018-2019.
f and/or s after the course number indicates the semester.
j indicates it is offered as a JanPlan.


*LA173f   History of Latin America 1491-1900 To understand the historical roots of Latin America’s enduring tensions and conflicts, students discuss and analyze sources (especially primary ones), write several short historical essays, and research and present a historical drama. Themes include the first American civilizations, the construction of colonial hierarchies, frustrated modernizations (religious, socioeconomic, political), liberalism and conservatism, nationalism, neocolonialism, and social revolutions. Four credit hours. H, I. Fallaw. MW 9-9:50am F (Discussion Section) 9-9:50am, 10-10:50am

*LA174s   Introduction to Latin American Studies Cross-disciplinary, historically grounded introduction to modern Latin America, including developing the capability to analyze and articulate the underlying forces behind the region’s historical problems and its common geographical and environmental features (i.e. frontiers, regionalism), polities, cultural features, and recurring socioeconomic structures (i.e. plantations, favelas). Historical themes include the Gilded Age of export-oriented liberal modernization, the construction of supposedly timeless national cultures during the “critical decades” of the 1920s and 1930s, urban populism and economic nationalism, the Cuban Revolution and Cold War dictatorships. Four credit hours. H, I. Fallaw. MW 1-2:15pm

LA 272f 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. MW 12-12:50pm

*LA275j Strongmen and Populism in Modern Spain and Latin America  Inter-disciplinary 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. Fallaw. 

*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. Fallaw. MWF 12-12:50pm

*LA378s The 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. W2. MW 11am-12:15pm

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. Fallaw. 

LA483f, 484js   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. Two or three 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.


AY236  Illegal Drugs, Law, and the State  Drawing on legal and political anthropology, we will examine the legal regimes and cultures of control that target the commerce and consumption of illegal drugs. We will consider the evolution of these policies, their role in the construction of the state, and their impact in a variety of historical moments and social worlds. Case studies will include Prohibition, cocaine, medical and recreational use of marijuana, and alternative forms of political power facilitated by the drug trade, with a special focus on Latin America. Students will gain critical reading and presentation skills and will refine their writing and research skills through the production of an original case-study research project. For LAS credit, this project must be completed on a Latin American topic. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Four credit hours. Tate. 

*AY242f  Anthropology of Latin America: City Life An introduction to anthropological research on Latin America, with a particular focus on contemporary urban life. Cities attract migrants seeking new forms of communal life, educational and economic opportunities, and escaping war. We will examine the transformation of gender roles, political participation, and cultural production. Goals include learning to apply an anthropological lens to discussions of gaining a basic knowledge of issues facing contemporary Latin America. Students will gain critical reading and discussion-facilitation skills and will refine writing skills through the production of review essays. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Four credit hours. Tate. WF 1-2:15pm

AY297  The Art and Politics of Revolution in Latin America  Considers the role of revolution in Latin American political life, and its impact in artistic production in the societies where revolutions, or revolutionary movements, have taken hold. Students will identify and analyze the interconnection between revolutionary thought throughout Latin America, as well as the forms and practices of artistic production that accompany it. Through assignments and class discussions, students will develop their skills of anthropological thinking and critical analysis, and enhance their ability to express complex ideas and to support their arguments using concrete evidence in both written and oral modes of communication. Revolutions humanities lab. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Four credit hours.  Tate.

*AY361s   Militaries, Militarization, and War  Examines the ways in which military conflict and institutions shape and are shaped by cultural, economic, and political forces in contemporary societies, especially in the Americas. Topics include the role of military service in creating and reinforcing gender norms, citizenship, and national identities; the ways in which war and militarized violence are experienced and commemorated; and ongoing controversy over counterinsurgency, internal defense, and modern forms of welfare. Students will develop their ethnographic skills through research and presentations. Formerly offered as Anthropology 398B. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Four credit hours. Tate. W 1-3:30pm

*AY365f Space, Place, and Belonging Examines the origins of human claims to belonging in particular places and landscapes. We consider embodied space, as well as how place produces and is produced through gender, race, and other social identities. Our analysis spans spatial scales, with a particular focus on the Americas. We examine the social processes of community formation, enabling connection even as they generate exclusions and boundaries; the infrastructures of place and community, their material deployment and how they enable particular forms of belonging; and how mobility in the contemporary moment contributes to the emergence of new identities as well vulnerabilities. Origins theme course. Four credit hours. Tate. M 1-3:30pm


*EC214s  Economic Policy and Performance in Contemporary Latin America Analysis of macroeconomic stabilization policies and microeconomic issues such as regional trade, agriculture, the transnational narcotics industry, the environment, and labor markets in contemporary Latin America. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134. Four credit hours. W2, I. Franko. TR 11-12:15pm


*GO253f  Latin American Politics An introduction to the political development of Latin America. Discussion of key ideas about economic development, authoritarianism, revolution and, in particular, democracy. Includes a look at the work of some of the most important political analysts writing about Latin America today. Employs both multidisciplinary and disciplinary approaches to examine key political issues in Latin American politics. The main objective is to develop analytical and critical-thinking skills as well as the ability to think comparatively about political problems. Four credit hours. Mayka. 

*GO264s Challenges to Democracy in Latin America  What have been the challenges associated with the establishment and consolidation of democracy in Latin America? Examines political regimes and regime changes in Latin America since the early 20th century, with a particular emphasis on the quality of democracy present in the current period. Topics include the breakdown of democracy, democratization, human rights, state capacity, interest representation and citizenship, and the concentration of power in the executive. Previously listed as Government 364. Counts toward the comparative politics requirement.Four credit hours.  S, I. Mayka. 

GO456  Seminar: Civil Society and Social Change in Latin America  What are civil society organizations and what is their place in politics? This research seminar examines the evolution of civil society in contemporary Latin American democracies, and their roles in effecting social and political change. Over the past 30 years, civil society organizations in Latin America have become vehicles for poor and otherwise marginalized communities to access the political system. Topics include the collective action problem, the role of civil society organizations in interest representation and service provision, relationships with political parties and international donors, and participatory governance. Prerequisite: Latin American Politics or Latin American Studies course. Four credit hours. S, I Mayka.


GS 397     Topics in Latin American Economic Policy   Latin America faces deep fiscal and social deficits. As governments in the region are unable to generate expenditures for housing, education, equity, environment, infrastructure, and health to adequately meet social needs, this course interrogates how private sector initiatives might address the gaps left by fiscal constraints. After identifying the characteristics of social deficits, we will engage the literature on corporate social responsibility and public private partnerships to identify hybrid forms to create social value in Latin America. Prerequisite: Economics 214, or other Latin American coursework with permission of the instructor. Four credit hours.  s


For 173, 174, and 497 see LAS above.

HI272  History of Law, Society, and Rebellion in Mexico  We look beyond the clichéd image of the Mexican bandit to consider the complex economic, social, and political problems behind ruptures in the legal order from Aztec times to the present. Focusing on revolts, the social origins and political construction of crime, and state regulation of popular culture, we trace the outlines of the history of Mexico and consider how notions of legality vary across time and cultures. Four credit hours. Fallaw. MW 12-12:50pm

*HI275j  Strongmen and Populism in Modern Spain and Latin America A cross-disciplinary study of the historical factors behind the creation 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, and the crises that have brought populist regimes and caudillos, or charismatic strong leaders, to power. Three credit hours. Fallaw.

297Aj    Into the Archive: The Politics and Practice of Archival Research    Brings students into a range of archives — paper and digital, past and present — to explore how to critically analyze primary source documents and interpret evidence. Students will examine the history and politics of archives and deconstruct the narratives and silences inherent in them. They will investigate the ways in which archives have historically been used for political regimes, social movements, memory work, education, and scholarship, with an emphasis on case studies from 20th-century Latin America. Students will gain new methodological and analytical skills relevant for research in many fields. Three credit hours.  H. Mack

HI375/LA373 Religion and Unbelief in Latin American History   This pro-seminar seeks to understand the history of religion (formal Catholicism, African and indigenous syncretism) and disbelief (anticlericalism, free thinking, scientism) in Latin America through critical readings and analysis of primary and secondary sources (scholarly monographs, articles from academic journals) and writing. We try to comprehend how religion and disbelief shape the enduring tensions and inequalities that define Latin American History, including social class, gender, and race. Four credit hours. H,I,W2. Fallaw.


*SP135f/s   Introduction to Literary Analysis Introduction to literary analysis through Spanish, Spanish-American, and U.S. Latino/a texts. Students are presented with works of fiction in prose, poetry, drama, and film and learn how to examine the texts through close reading, detailed analysis, and strategies of interpretation. Students develop skills in writing critical essays and learn the basics of scholarly research. Prerequisite: Spanish 131. Four credit hours.  L.

*SP231f/s   Advanced Spanish An in-depth analysis of Spanish grammar, focusing on the more complex and subtle linguistic and cultural dimensions of a variety of syntactical and lexical concepts. Students will achieve an advanced mastery of Spanish grammar and vocabulary. Prerequisite: Spanish 131. Four credit hours. Olivares. MTWR 10-10:50am, 11-11:50am

SP265f The Short Novel in Spanish America Close readings of contemporary Spanish-American short novels by representative authors. Explores representations of gender, history, human rights, politics, race, and sexualities within the context of the social and political realities of Spanish America in the 20th and 21st centuries. Also considers critical literary concepts such as narrative perspective, parody, intertextuality, and self-consciousness.Prerequisite: Spanish 135. Four credit hours. L. 

SP267  Family/History/Nation: Latina/o Genealogies How do Latina/o literary constructs of “family” engage with the concept of nationhood? Do Latina/o genealogies affirm the nation? Do they contest it? Explores the answers to these questions by examining the relationship between family histories and national histories in Latina/o genealogies that move within and between the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Prerequisite: Spanish 135. Four credit hours.

*SP273f Contemporary Spanish-American Short Story Close readings of contemporary Spanish-American short stories. Prerequisite: Spanish 135. Four credit hoursL. Olivares. TR 2-3:15pm

SP276  U.S. Latina/Chicana Women Writers (in English) An examination of a selection of novels, short stories, poetry, theater, and non-fiction by United States Latina and Chicana women writers.  Interdisciplinary in approach, the course will focus on the relationship beween the texts read and several important issues.  Topics include feminism, the social and cultural construction of race and ethnicity, immigration, cultural nationalism, and identity formation.  Readings are in English.  Four credit hours. L, U.

SP278 Narratives, Artifacts, and Monuments of Pre-Columbian Civilization Studies narratives of pre-Columbian civilizations as transmitted by oral tradition or by drawings, painted codices, pottery, architecture, textiles, etc., and how all these cultural products were read and refashioned under colonial rule. Students develop skills in analytical reading of cultural productions as diverse expressions of power, identity, religion, race, and hybridity. Promotes a sophisticated understanding of the types of primary sources and methodological approaches that scholars use to reconstruct the world of pre-Columbian societies. Prerequisite: Spanish 135. Four credit hours.  L.  Millones.

SP298*     Latin American Theatre     Introduces a range of 20th-century Latin American theatrical texts to consider thematic and aesthetic components related to issues such as nation-building, violence, language, identity, gender, sexuality, immigration, and memory. Discussions will engage these questions: How is theater related to social and political change? What is the role of the spectator in the transformations presented in these works? And how is Latin American theater changing in the 21st century? Central to our discussions will be the influence of theorists such as Brecht, Artaud, and Beckett on Latin American playwrights. Prerequisite: Spanish 135. Four credit hours.  A, I.    WHITE 

SP298A  Uncanny Horror: Tracing the Fantastic in Latin America An examination of the Latin American short story in relation to the concepts of the fantastic and uncanny. Readings of canonical authors will be guided by discussions of magical realism, horror and monstrosity, haunting, desire and obsession, and the political deployment of literature. Students will learn to apply theoretical frameworks by thinkers such as Freud and Todorov in the interpretation of both literary and filmic texts, while gaining knowledge of trends in Latin American thought. Prerequisite: Spanish 135.Four credit hours.  Martinez-Raguso. 

*SP298Bs Latinx and Chicana Feminisms  Analyzes issues of oppression, injustice, privilege in the context of feminist struggles within the Latinx and Chicana communities in the United States. It will explore approaches of Latinx and Women of Color feminisms to the critique of structures of oppression based on gender, race, class, and sexuality. Prerequisite: Spanish 135. Four credit hoursMartinez-Raguso. TR 2:30-3:45pm.

*SP338s The Diasporic Imagination: Cubans Beyond Cuba   An examination of the cultural production of Cubans living in the diaspora after the 1959 revolution. Representative literary works of Reinaldo Arenas, Richard Blanco, Jennine Capó Crucet, Lourdes Casal, Ana Menéndez, Achy Obejas, Gustavo Pérez Firmat, Sonia Rivera Valdés, Guillermo Rosales, and Zoé Valdés. Also feature films, documentaries, TV shows, and songs. Topics will include the traumas of migration; the politics of exile; the workings of memory and nostalgia; the fantasies of return; the hybridization of culture; and the class, generational, gender, linguistic, political, racial, and sexual diversity of Cubans beyond Cuba. Prerequisite: A 200-level literature, culture, or film course. Four credit hours. LOlivares. TR 1-2:15pm.

SP341  Cities, Bodies, and Nations in Caribbean Literature  Examines the close but contested relationships between bodies, cities, and nations in contemporary Caribbean literature. Special attention will be paid to key moments in the history of the three Spanish-speaking islands: the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic, the Cuban Revolution of 1959, and Operation Bootstrap in Puerto Rico. In each instance, the role of migration will be explored, within the Caribbean, to the United States, and beyond. This will facilitate a discussion on transnationalism, a development that is integral to the current understanding of the relationships between bodies, cities, and nations.Prerequisite: 200-level literature, culture, or film course. Four credit hours.  L.  Hey-Colon.

SP397A  Mexican-U.S. Border Studies   Approaches the Mexican-U.S. border through a range of interdisciplinary perspectives, examining themes of Chicana feminisms, drug trafficking, migration, the maquiladora industry, and gender violence, while engaging literary and cinematic representations of the border from the mid-20th-century through 21st-century science fiction. Critical, literary, and filmic texts in both English and Spanish will reflect on the lived experience of the border, the nature of border identities, and how the border shifts over time–particularly in response to global economic forces of neoliberalism. Four credit hours. Martinez-Raguso. MW 1-2:15pm. 

SP397B Jesuits and the Origins of Environmental History The Jesuits’ observations on nature during the Early Modern period can be found in a variety of texts and images produced from anywhere the members of the Society of Jesus established their missions or explored new lands. We will study the Jesuits’ narratives about the geography and natural world of the Americas, and their thoughts about the changes in the biological and physical environment. Students will engage with environmental humanities by analyzing the Jesuits contribution to environmental history, including hands-on experience with rare book editions and a digital platform. Environmental humanities lab. Prerequisite: A 200-level Spanish course. Four credit hours. L. Millones. TR 11-12:15pm.

SP3XXAs*     Imaginary Lines: Immigration     Appproaches the field of border studies through the concept of movement: of bodies, but also of goods and capital. Considers the before, during, and after of border crossing by studying immigration from Mexico and Central America, testimonies of passage, and the politics of immigration. Combines history, cultural studies, literature, film, and visual art in considering the varied ways in which borders are both crossed and continually inhabited. Readings include work by Jason de León, Joseph Nevins, Ana Castillo, Yuri Herrera, Heriberto Yépez, Luis Alberto Urrea, Sayak Valencia, and Guillermo Gómez-Peña.Prerequisite: A 200-level Spanish literature, culture, or film course. Four credit hours.    MARTINEZ-RAGUSO

SP497f*     Seminar: Inca Garcilaso de la Vega      The Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (Cuzco, Peru, 1539 – Córdoba, Spain, 1616) was one of the great authors of the Spanish Renaissance. He grew up in Cuzco and immigrated to Spain in his twenties, serving in the King’s armies and reaching the rank of Captain. Later in life he embraced priesthood as a way of life. We will focus on Garcilaso’s best known work, the Comentarios reales de los Incas (Parts I and II), a history of the Inca rulers, religion, and customs, and the civil wars in 16th-century Peru. We will use an interdisciplinary approach and close reading to understand what makes this a classic of colonial Latin American letters. Prerequisite: Senior standing and a 300-level Spanish course. Four credit hours.  L.    MILLONES



Note: Additional courses, often taught by visiting faculty, may be available from time to time as temporary offerings and may be counted toward the major with permission of the Latin American Studies Program director. Up to two courses from a semester of study abroad and up to four courses from a year of study abroad may be counted towards the major with permission of the program director