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Course Offerings

Spring 2014-2015

Click on the course title to visit the course page on the Registrar's site.


LAS 307
Cuban Literature, History, and Politics since the Revolution
The course will offer an overview of Cuban history since the 1959 Revolution through a selection of the most important literary works devoted to the period. We will start with an analysis of the Cuban Revolution, including the socio-political conditions leading up to the insurrection, and we will then examine how Cuba polarized Latin American intellectuals during the 1960s and 1970s: at the height of the Cold War, some continued to support Castro while a second camp denounced the regime's authoritarian and anti-democratic policies. Finally, we will discuss Cuba's situation after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. Other information: Open to students enrolled in the Princeton-in-Cuba Program. For more information, see: 
Prerequisites and Restrictions: Fluency in Spanish.
Rubén Gallo. Schedule: S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T.

LAS 325
Havana: Urban Culture in Latin America
This seminar will introduce students to Havana's vibrant urban culture. Theoretical readings will be combined with visits to Havana's main urban sites: architectural projects completed before and after the Cuban Revolution; public housing projects; a golf course turned into an art school after the Revolution; markets, parks, the waterfront malecón and other public gathering spaces. Discussion will focus on the uses of urban space, and the contrast between Havana and North-American Cities. Other information: Open to students enrolled in the Princeton-in-Cuba Program. For more information, see: 
Prerequisites and Restrictions: Fluency in Spanish.
Rubén Gallo. Schedule: S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm W.

LAS 339 / POR 339 / ANT 388

Brazil: Mestizo Histories, Visions of the Present
This course explores the imagination of Brazil. How has this vast country and its diverse people been represented in history, social sciences, literature and the arts? How have dominant representations come to matter socially and politically, and which counter-ideas followed suit? Drawing from classic and contemporary texts and imagery, this course considers Brazilian identity-making processes at the interface of myth, history and the present. We will address issues such as slavery and racism, ethnic diversity, inequality and social rights, new media and consumption, and the performance of the public and the private in a country in flux.
Pedro Meira Monteiro, Lilia K. Moritz Schwarcz. Schedule : L01 1:30 pm-2:50 pm T; P01 1:30 pm-2:50 Th; P02 11:00 am-12:20 Th.

LAS 403 / POR 410

Latin American Studies Seminar - Brazilian Cinema Novo and Beyond
A close examination of the most important Latin American film movement, Brazil's "Cinema Novo" (New Cinema), an explosive blend of innovative cinematic style and political critique from the mid-`50s until the early `70s. Simultaneous developments in the visual arts, theater, music and literature will also be addressed. Other information: There will be weekly required film screenings for the class.
Richard Peña. Schedule: S01 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm M; F01 7:30pm – 10:20 pm Th.

LAS 504 / SPA 595

Provincializing European History in Spanish America (16th century)
How did 16th century history, a provincial set of knowledge elaborated in Medieval Europe and Northern Italy, become a discipline able to interpret Indian pasts and societies once applied and adapted to the New World? This course explores the new forms of history writing which appeared in the New World during the 16th century. Special attention is given to Indian and Mestizo figures who conceived and wrote histories while creating the political and religious conditions for a new society (early colonial society). Both 16th century European historicism and native reactions to be analyzed and discussed. Course is taught in Spanish. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Students Only. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Advanced knowledge (written, read, and spoken) of Spanish is required. Other information: The course will be taught in Spanish, however coursework may be written and questions may be asked in Portuguese.
Serge M. Gruzinski . Schedule: S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T.


ART 365 / LAS 370 / ANT 365
Olmec Art
This course surveys Olmec and related material culture spanning roughly 2000-500 B.C., including architecture and monumental sculpture, ceramic vessels and figurines, and exquisite small-scale sculptures in jade and other precious materials. Of central theoretical importance is the question of how we understand and interpret art from a distant past, especially without the aid of contemporaneous written records. We will focus on original works of art, including works in the Princeton University Art Museum and in regional collections. Issues of authenticity, quality, and provenance related to these works will also be considered. Other information: For department majors, satisfies Group 1 distribution requirement.
Bryan R. Just. Schedule : C01 11:00 am - 12:20 pm T Th.

ART 443 / LAS 443
Global Exchange in Art and Architecture
The course will explore the origins of the globalizing process in the field of European arts. It will insist upon the beginnings of the phenomenon in the sixteenth century using Europe, Asia and the Americas as laboratories to describe and investigate the circulation of art objects between Europe and the rest of the world, and their meanings. Linking past and present globalization, the course will study how images (Guadalupe, Virgem de Nazaré) are still powerful components of contemporary societies in the Western Hemisphere (Brazil, Mexico). Other information: This course should be of interest to students in all aspects of regional studies, in history, art, and in general to all concerned with global questions. For department majors, satisfies Group 2 distribution requirement.
Serge M. Gruzinski, Thomas D. Kaufmann. Schedule : S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm W.

ECS 353 / ART 383 / LAS 340

Size Matters: Crossed-Cultural Perspectives on Scale
When the Spanish conquered the Inca Empire, they became immersed in a civilization with its own age-old intellectual tradition that they often did not understand. Scale, or relative size, was a relational property that Andean people long employed to convey meaning between objects, individuals, and features of the experienced world. This course will juxtapose the way scale was conceptualized and utilized in the Andes with a variety of readings on scale from European sources-including architecture, cartography, literature, and other realms-to better understand the oceans that separate the cognitive orientations of these equally Old Worlds. Other information: Students will give two oral presentations in this course. The first presentation will briefly introduce the topic of their research paper to the class. The second presentation will be a longer analysis of the reading assigned for that class period, as well as an extended discussion of how their topic relates to the reading.
Andrew J. Hamilton. Schedule: L01 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm M W.

EEB 332 / LAS 350

Pre-Columbian Peoples of Tropical America and Their Environments
The pre-European history of Amerind cultures and their associated environments in the New World tropics will be studied. Topics to be covered include the peopling of tropical America; development of hunting/gathering and agricultural economies; neotropical climate and vegetation history; and the art, symbolism, and social organization of native Americans. Field and laboratory experiences will incorporate methods and problems in field archaeology, paleoenthnobotany and paleoecology, and archaeozoology. Other Requirements: International Travel Required. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Prerequisites: 211, and 321 and enrollment in the EEB Spring Semester in tropical ecology program in Panama.
Richard Cooke, Dolores R. Piperno. Schedule: L01 TBA; B99 TBA.

EEB 338 / LAS 351

Tropical Biology
"Tropical Biology" is an intensive, three-week field course given at four sites in Panama, examining the origins, maintenance and major interactions among terrestrial plants and animals. The course provides the opportunity to appreciate (1) floral and faunal turnover among four rainforest sites (beta-diversity); and (2) floral and faunal turnover along vertical gradients, from ground to upper canopy, at two rainforest sites (vertical stratification). Students carry out individual projects at the sites. Fieldwork is supported by six orientation walks that introduce participants to common orders and families of plants and arthropods. Other Requirements: International Travel Required; Open to Juniors only. Prerequisites and Restrictions: EEB 321 and enrollment in the EEB Spring semester tropical biology program in Panama. Website:
Yves F. Basset. Schedule: L01 TBA; B99 TBA.

ENG 337 / AAS 337 / LAS 354

The Literary South
The American South is a setting that is at once locatable and elusive, difficult and quaint, a site of violence and a generative literary milieu. This interdisciplinary seminar will examine the American South as an actual and imagined location in literature from the early 20th century to the present. Through nuanced attention to its legacies of conquest, slavery, and empire, we will discover how the American South fails to properly fit within the racial and geographical logics assigned to it. Students will read key texts in U.S. Southern literature, and, recognizing the region's porousness, from throughout the Atlantic world. Other information: Distribution Requirement: Diasporas.
Alexandra T. Vazquez. Schedule: S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th.

ENV 382 / LAS 382 / ARC 382 / URB 382

Environmental Challenges and Urban Solutions
At the beginning of the 20th century, 10% of the world's population lived in cities; today, more than half live in urbanized areas. As part of our search for solutions to climate, water and energy challenges in a urbanizing world, it is crucial to understand and reassess the role of cities in the environment. This interdisciplinary course aims to add historical, theoretical and cultural dimensions to scientific, technological, and policy aspects of current environmental challenges, to bridge the environmental sciences, architecture and the humanities, and to rethink traditional city/nature dichotomies. Other Requirements: International Travel Required. Prerequisites and Restrictions: International travel required. The course includes attendance to the conference "São Paulo as Fluvial Metropolis: Infrastructure, Meta-projects, Imagined Futures and the City as Home" to take place in March 2015. Other information: Applications may be obtained by sending an email to Undergraduate Administrator, Angela Petsis at The application deadline is Wednesday, November 19th, 2014. Other 40% = Final Project.
Bruno M. Carvalho, Mario I. Gandelsonas. Schedule : S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T.

HIS 304 / LAS 304

Modern Latin America since 1810
This course surveys the main themes of Latin American history from independence to the present. The main focus is on the interaction between states and citizens, social relations, and economic development.
Robert A. Karl. Schedule : L01 10:00 am - 10:50 am M W; P99 TBA.

LAO 200 / SOC 341 / LAS 336

Latinos in American Life and Culture
This course will consider how Latinos are transforming the United States socially, politically, and culturally, even as they themselves change in the process. Topics to be examined include meanings of "Latino" and "Hispanic" as ethno-racial categories, where Latinos fit in the American social and economic hierarchies, cultural identities, immigration and assimilation, the significance of Hispanics' unprecedented geographic dispersal, and their myriad impacts on mainstream music, literature, and language. Other information: Active participation in precept is expected. Website:
Marta Tienda. Schedule: L01 11:00 am - 11:50 am M W; P99 TBA.

POR 406 / LAS 409 / URB 406

Writing and Urban Life
This interdisciplinary seminar explores different writers' representations of urban experience, and how the evolution of cities has been shaped by writing. Issues to be approached will include the impact of technological developments and urban transformations on literary imaginaries and city life; the interface between literacy, orality and visual cultures; relationships between fiction, poetry, and social history; dichotomies between urban and natural; intersections between modernity, writing, and city planning. Prerequisites and Restrictions: POR 208 or instructor's permission. Other information: Readings by major poets and fiction writers will be paired with theoretical and/or historiographic texts. Although much of the focus will be on Iberian and Latin American texts and cities (from early modernity onward), examples from other contexts will be a constant throughout the course, and students are encouraged to work within a comparative framework. Reading knowledge of Portuguese is required, but discussions may be held in English, Spanish, and/or Portuguese.
Bruno M. Carvalho. Schedule: C01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm W.

SOC 310 / LAS 310 / GSS 312

Gender and Development in the Americas
This course examines gender as an integral component of socio-economic development in the United States and areas of Latin America. We give attention to processes of industrial restructuring on a global scale that have increased the participation of women in the labor force and transformed men's employment alternatives. The relationship between gender inequality and social order is a central focus. We give special attention to liberal and Marxian approaches in economics.
Ana M. Goldani. Schedule : L01 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm M W; P99 TBA.

SPA 212 / LAS 213 / LAO 212

Myths and Religion in the Spanish Speaking World
This course surveys the practice of beliefs in Spain, Latin America, and in Hispanic communities in the United States. It explores how "Catholic" folk piety was established and developed in Spain and what happened to it when it transferred to the New World. By surveying the diverse configurations of religious practices through written texts and visual media, it inquires how identity and social relationships define a person's relation to the divine and vice versa. Emphasis will be given to the refinement and further development of spoken and written Spanish. Prerequisites and Restrictions: SPA 200-level course or instructor's permission. Other information: Course taught in Spanish.
Christina H. Lee. Schedule : C01 11:00 am - 12:20 pm T Th.

SPA 222 / LAS 222 / LAO 222

Introduction to Latin American Cultures
This course offers an introduction to modern Latin American literature and culture. It focuses on the complex ways in which cultural and intellectual production anticipates, participates in, and responds to political, social, and economic transformations in the 20th and 21st centuries. Through a wide spectrum of sources (essays, fiction, poetry, film, and art), students will study and discuss some of the most relevant issues in Latin American modern history, such as modernity, democracy, identity, gender, memory, and social justice. Prerequisites and Restrictions: SPA 207 or higher or instructor's permission. Other information: Course taught in Spanish.
Rachel L. Price. Schedule: C01 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm T Th.

SPA 319 / LAS 337

Topics in Cinema and Culture - Unsettling Encounters - Colonial Latin America in Film
An exploration of foundational texts of colonial Latin American literature in conversation with films by American and European directors. We will engage questions of how, when, and why images recall historical moments, and will consider the possibilities and limitations of using film to represent history. Students will learn and practice techniques of textual analysis and film criticism while discussing themes such as visual literacy, cultural imperialism, and economic colonialism. Prerequisites and Restrictions: One 200-level course above SPA 209 or instructor's permission. Other information: Any student who has difficulties registering for the course, please contact Professor Brewer-García,
Larissa Brewer-García. Schedule: S01 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm M W.

SPA 345 / LAS 345

Topics in Latin American Literature and Ideology - Politics of Memory and Human Rights in Global Latin America
This course explores recent cultural and artistic productions that deal with human rights and political violence issues in contemporary Latin America, focusing on the politics of memory behind representations of the past in the context of a "global" marketing of memory. By working with literature, testimony, film, photography, truth commissions, and processes of museification, it analyzes different modes of figuring the past as well as the areas that these languages leave aside when memory becomes the target of a "global market" and "trauma tourism." Prerequisites and Restrictions: A 200-level SPA course or instructor's permission. Other information: Course will be taught in Spanish.
Susana Draper. Schedule: S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T.

SPA 350 / LAS 349 / ENV 354

Topics in Latin American Cultural Studies - Literature of the Environment
The earliest Latin American literatures reflected both indigenous manipulation of, and exchange with, the natural environment, and European astonishment at new flora and fauna. Today Latin American writers and artists are taking on the mounting crises of climate change, deforestation, land grabs, pollution. Beginning with a colonial text, we will move to modern and contemporary readings of these problems, including oil extraction on indigenous lands, science fiction about rising oceans, writing on the Amazon, poetry about disappearing species, etc. Novels, stories, essays and documentaries by various authors. Other Requirements: Not Open to Freshmen. Prerequisites and Restrictions: A 200-level SPA course or instructor's permission. Other information: Course will be taught in Spanish.
Rachel L. Price. Schedule: S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm W.


AAS 412 / ENG 425 / LAO 412
Cultures of the Afro-Diaspora
This course analyzes key readings and studies on Afro-diasporic cultures across the Americas in the 20th century. From reggae's unrelenting rhythms to the dances that move carnaval, the New World thrums with activity from populations that have persevered conditions of displacement to create new aesthetic forms. We will investigate expansive notions of blackness that move beyond national paradigms and the productive pressure that performance puts on ontologies of identity such as the Afro-Latino, African American, and West Indian in theory and literature. Artists include Bob Marley, Katherine Dunham, Jorge Ben, and Patato y Totico. [NOTE: LAS Concentrators must write their final paper on a Latin American topic and provide a copy of the final paper to PLAS in order to receive certificate credit.]
Alexandra T. Vazquez. Schedule: S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T.

ENG 380 / COM 358

World Drama
This course is a survey of classical and modern drama from Africa, China, India, Japan, and Latin America. Topics will include Noh and Kabuki, Beijing Opera, Sanskrit theater, Nigerian masquerades and a variety of selections from the rich modern Indian and Latin American canons. There may be trips to NYC or locally to see new theater works. Other Requirements: United States Travel Required. Other information: Distribution Requirement: Modernity and Diaspora. [NOTE: LAS Concentrators must write their final paper on a Latin American topic and provide a copy of the final paper to PLAS in order to receive certificate credit.]
Robert N. Sandberg. Schedule: S01 11:00 am - 12:20 pm T Th.

HIS 306 / LAO 306

Latino History
The course follows the major themes surrounding the history of Latinos in the United States, enabling an understanding of how Latinos became a group. It seeks to explain the historical origins of the continuing debates over land ownership, assimilation expectations, discrimination, immigration regulation, intergroup differences, and labor disputes. The course looks transnationally at Latin America's history to explain shifts in public opinion and domestic policies in the US. While the course examines the impact of Latinos in many regions of the country, it will particularly focus on those in the Southwest -- largely Mexican Americans. [NOTE: LAS Concentrators must write their final paper on a Latin American topic and provide a copy of the final paper to PLAS in order to receive certificate credit.]
Rosina A. Lozano. Schedule: L01 11:00 am - 11:50 am T Th; P01 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm Th; P02 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm Th; P99 TBA.

SPA 301

Topics in Spanish Literature of the Golden Age - Women Writers of Spain and Latin America
A study of fictional texts by Spanish, Latin American, and Latina writers from the Baroque to the present. We will explore the solutions such writers found to resist or overcome the constraints of a male-dominated society, as well as solutions that enabled them to deal with controversial issues and to challenge the status quo. Prerequisites and Restrictions: A 200-level Spanish course or instructor's permission. [NOTE: LAS Concentrators must write their final paper on a Latin American topic and provide a copy of the final paper to PLAS in order to receive certificate credit.]
Ronald E. Surtz. Schedule : C01 11:00 am - 12:20 pm T Th.

SPA 538 / COM 538 / MED 538

Seminar in Golden-Age Literature - Case studies from Spain and the New World: Bodies of evidence
Bodies of evidence, bodies of knowledge, the body politic, bodies--inviolate to mutilated, saintly to criminal-are figured in Medieval and Early Modern Hispanic literature in ways that reveal not only cultural paradigms, myths and obsessions, but also some widely divergent cultural inscriptions involving marginal social groups, the history of the senses, sexuality and gender. The relationships between bodily and cognitive systems will form the basis for our analyses of such texts and authors as: El Cantar de mio Cid, "Libro de buen amor", "Celestina", "Don Quijote",Sor Juana. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Students Only. [NOTE: LAS Concentrators must write their final paper on a Latin American topic and provide a copy of the final paper to PLAS in order to receive certificate credit.]
Marina S. Brownlee. Schedule : S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm M.

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