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Latin American Studies Course Descriptions


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LA173f    History of Latin America      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 conservativism, nationalism, neocolonialism, and social revolutions.     Four credit hours.  H, I.    JONES
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.    JONES
[LA214]    Economic Policy and Performance in Contemporary Latin America      Listed as Economics 214.     Four credit hours.  I.  
[LA235]    Ethnographies of Latin America: Violence and Democracy in the Andes     Listed as Anthropology 235.     Four credit hours.  
[LA236]    Illegal Drugs, Law, and the State      Listed as Anthropology 236.     Four credit hours.  
[LA242]    Anthropology of Latin America: City Life      Listed as Anthropology 242.     Four credit hours.  
LA253f    Latin American Politics      Listed as Government 253.     Four credit hours.  I.    SANDOVAL PEREA
LA265s    The Short Novel in Spanish America      Listed as Spanish 265.     Four credit hours.  L.    OLIVARES
LA268s    Latino/a Cultural Expressions in Literature and Film      Listed as Spanish 268.     Four credit hours.  L, U.    GARCIA
[LA272]    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.  H, I.  
[LA274]    Race, Religion, and Frontiers in Iberian-American Colonization      Topics include the medieval roots of Iberian expansion and the importance of religion and race in the Conquest; the institutional and social construction of colonial society, including Iberians' cultural baggage—notions of racial purity and piety and related ideas such as honor and hierarchy; decolonization, focusing on the struggle over abolition; and the persistence of Iberian notions of race and colonization in the Americas.     Four credit hours.  H, I.  
[LA275]    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.  H, I.  
[LA277]    History of the Maya from 200 B.C.      A multidisciplinary survey (archaeology, anthropology, sociology, literature, and history) of the trajectory of the Mayan peoples from the writing of the first known Maya glyphs (c. 200 B.C.) to the current conflicts in Chiapas and Guatemala.     Four credit hours.  H, I.  
LA297f    Latin American Ethnographies      Listed as Anthropology 297B.     Four credit hours.  I.    STONE
LA297Bf    Mexican Politics      Listed as Government 297.     Four credit hours.    SANDOVAL PEREA
LA298s    History of the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay)      Provides students with a survey of the histories of Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, from colonization to the present, including comparisons with the historical processes in other regions of Latin America, particularly Brazil. Key topics include colonization/neocolonialism, race, populism, immigration, gender roles, "civilization and barbarism," nationalism, state violence, military dictatorship, cultural forms (tango, soccer, carnival), and politics. An emphasis on cultural and social histories, testimonial literature, film, and documentaries will offer students a richer perspective on the histories and experiences of the region.     Four credit hours.  H, I.    JONES
LA397f    The Diasporic Imagination: Cubans Beyond Cuba      Listed as Spanish 397B.     Four credit hours.    OLIVARES
LA398s    Democratization in Latin America      Listed as Government 398.     Four credit hours.  I.    SANDOVAL PEREA
[LA473]    Historical Roots of Violence in Modern Latin America      Why have Latin American nations experienced persistent violence? We examine historical roots of the violence from an interdisciplinary perspective. How do social, political, and cultural historians, as well as anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, and psychologists, explain social and ethnic conflicts, domestic violence, torture, insurgencies, and counterinsurgencies, and dirty wars? Objectives include a response paper, in-class presentations, a critical book review, and a substantial (c.30 page) research paper, the first draft of which will be presented and critiqued in class. Prerequisite:  A previous course on Latin America and permission of the instructor.     Four credit hours.  H, I.  
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.    FACULTY
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
LA493s    Seminar: Andean Colonial World      Listed as Spanish 493.     Four credit hours.  L, U.    MILLONES
LA497f    Gender, Sexuality, and the Body in Latin American History      This seminar provides advanced students with a theoretical and methodological overview of gender and sexuality theory and practice as it relates to Latin American history and an opportunity to put those theories and methods to use in their own work. A historically grounded view from 1500 to present that incorporates valuable perspectives from the social sciences. Goals include broadening students' understandings of women's histories, sex/gender norms, queer sexualities, racial categories, labor movements, expressive cultures, medicine, criminology, the body as a historical site, and the family.     Four credit hours.  H, I.    JONES