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Program in Latin American Studies

Director

Rubén Gallo

Executive Committee

João G. Biehl, Anthropology

Eduardo L. Cadava, English

Miguel A. Centeno, Woodrow Wilson School, Sociology

Rubén Gallo, Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures

Douglas S. Massey, Woodrow Wilson School, Sociology

Pedro Meira Monteiro, Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures

Marta Tienda, Woodrow Wilson School, Sociology

Alexandra T. Vazquez, English, African American Studies

Michael G. Wood, English, Comparative Literature

Associated Faculty

Jeremy I. Adelman, History

Daniela Campello, Woodrow Wilson School, Politics

Vera S. Candiani, History

Mariana P. Candido, History

Bruno Carvalho, Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures

Esther da Costa Meyer, Art and Archaeology

Susana Draper, Comparative Literature

Mario I. Gandelsonas, Architecture

James L. Gould, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Robert A. Karl, History

Thomas D. Kaufmann, Art and Archaeology

Noriko Manabe, Music

F. Nick Nesbitt, French and Italian

Gabriela Nouzeilles, Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures

Stephen W. Pacala, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Christina H. Paxson, Woodrow Wilson School, Economics

Grigore Pop-Eleches, Woodrow Wilson School, Politics

Alejandro Portes, Sociology

Rachel Price, Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures

Ignacio Rodríguez-Iturbe, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Esteban A. Rossi-Hansberg, Woodrow Wilson School, Economics

José A. Scheinkman, Economics

Edward L. Telles, Sociology

Marta Tienda, Woodrow Wilson School, Sociology

Deborah J. Yashar, Woodrow Wilson School, Politics

Sits with Committee

Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez, Library

Kelly C. Baum, Art Museum

Jessica Delgado, Religion

Patricia Fernández-Kelly, Sociology

Ana M. Goldani, Sociology

Bryan R. Just, Art Museum

Stanley N. Katz, Woodrow Wilson School


The Program in Latin American Studies promotes interdisciplinary study and seeks to inspire knowledge of and experience in Latin America.

Courses are offered by the Departments of Anthropology, Art and Archaeology, Comparative Literature, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Economics, English, French and Italian (appropriate French courses only), History, Music, Politics, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures, the Woodrow Wilson School, the Center for African American Studies, the Program in Latino Studies, and the Program in Latin American Studies. Through various approaches in the humanities and the social and natural sciences, the program seeks to guide students toward an understanding of Latin American culture, history, socioeconomic conditions, politics, and society. The student's work is supervised by a departmental adviser and is combined with a departmental program in a regular field of concentration.

Admission to the Program

Students normally enter the program in the sophomore year, but an earlier start is encouraged. The requirements for admission are:

1. Satisfactory completion of the requirements for admission to a department.

2. Satisfactory completion of SPA 107, POR 109, or FRE 107 (for students focusing on the French-speaking Caribbean).

Program of Study

For satisfactory completion of the program, a student must meet the following requirements:

1. Completion of the normal departmental program in the major department.

2. Satisfactory completion of the language requirement in Spanish, Portuguese, or French (for students focusing on the Caribbean). This requirement also applies to certificate candidates who are pursuing degrees in the sciences and engineering.

3. Satisfactory completion of four courses in Latin American subjects sponsored or cross-listed by the program. At least one of these courses must be in Spanish American or Brazilian literature; one must be in history; and one course must be in one of the following fields: anthropology, economics, politics, or sociology. The remaining course may be selected from any field.

Additional courses that may be used to satisfy program course requirements are:

Anthropology 335 Medical Anthropology
Economics 351 Economics of Development
Spanish 346 Modern Latin American Fiction in Translation 

Written course work for ANT 335 and ECO 351 must be on a Latin American topic.

With the program director's permission, a maximum of two courses not listed above or from study abroad may, if they are relevant to the student's area of research, be designated as "cognates" and count toward satisfaction of the course requirement.

Students pursuing science studies may fulfill program requirements by taking a number of approved courses in ecology and evolutionary biology and environmental studies.

No course may be taken pass/D/fail or audit for program credit.

4. At least one of the qualifying courses must be an advanced undergraduate seminar in Latin American studies that examines significant problems of the region in an interdisciplinary fashion.

5. Completion of a senior thesis on a Latin American subject. Normally it should be written under the supervision of a faculty member associated with the program. If this is not the case, a faculty member associated with the program should be consulted early in the senior year concerning available sources. The thesis should also demonstrate an ability to use primary source materials in the original language. If the senior thesis is not devoted exclusively to a Latin American topic, the director and relevant program faculty will determine its acceptability. Ordinarily, at least half of the thesis content will deal with Latin America, or a substantial portion of the research for the thesis should be conducted in a language--other than English--spoken in Latin America.

6. Students majoring in science or engineering, but whose thesis cannot be devoted to a Latin American topic, may complete the program requirements by writing a research paper of sufficient complexity and length to substitute for the thesis requirement. The topic should be determined in consultation with the director and relevant program faculty. 

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who have met the requirements of the program and of their departments will receive upon graduation a certificate of proficiency in Latin American studies.

PLAS has ample funds to fund student travel to Latin America for research purposes. First- and second-year students are eligible for exploratory research grants; juniors can apply for senior thesis research funding. Please refer to the PLAS website for details.


Courses


LAS 210 Urban Sociology: The City and Social Change in the Americas (see SOC 210)

LAS 221 Art of Hispania (see ART 221)

LAS 222 Introduction to Latin American Cultures (see SPA 222)

LAS 223 Introduction to the Literature and Culture of the Portuguese-Speaking World (see POR 221)

LAS 245 Social Change: Modernization and Revolution (see SOC 245)

LAS 248 Modern Mexican Society (see SOC 248)

LAS 300 The Literature and Culture of Spain and Colonial Latin America: Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque (see SPA 300)

LAS 301 Seminar. Research Methods, Sources, and Trends in Latin America Area Studies   Not offered this year

An examination of research trends, techniques, and resources necessary for the study of Latin America and the Caribbean in the social sciences and the humanities. The seminar is designed to expose students to the most relevant trends, scenarios, and strategies in both bibliographic and ethnographic field research. Prerequisites: reading knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese. Open to freshmen and sophomores. Staff

LAS 302 Gender and Latin American States (also ANT 302/GSS 303)  

This course examines the intersection of gender, power, and identity in various states in Mesoamerica. It explores states of different time periods and political movements (e.g., pre-Columbian, colonial, national and transnational state systems), bisecting traditional divides in prehistory and history. Rather than approach gender from an evolutionary perspective, readings and discussions focus on comparative analyses that both challenge monolithic perspectives of social power and underscore historical contingency in the constitution of gender. Staff

LAS 303 Modern Brazilian Literature and Culture (see POR 301)

LAS 304 Modern Latin America since 1810 (see HIS 304)

LAS 305 Colonial Latin America to 1810 (see HIS 303)

LAS 306 History of the Modern Caribbean (see HIS 305)

LAS 308 Tijuana, Mexico City, Havana, Buenos Aires: Fact and Fiction (also SPA 322)   Fall

The course will examine daily life in four cities through major works of fiction. Urban centers discussed will include Tijuana, a site of cultural crossovers; Mexico City, one of the world's largest cities; Havana, a site of cultural tensions under a socialist regime; and Buenos Aires, the Latin American stronghold of cosmopolitan literature. The works of Borges, Arlt, Monsiváis, Cortázar, Fuentes, Cabrera Infante, Ponte, Crosthwaite, and others will be used as a map for an uncharted reality. To expand the knowledge of these narratives, we will study other cultural artifacts including photography, cinema, music, and television. Staff

LAS 309 Topics in the Sociology of Latin America (see SOC 309)

LAS 310 Gender and Development in the Americas (see SOC 310)

LAS 311 Topics in Brazilian Cultural and Social History (see POR 304)

LAS 312 History of Modern Mexico (see HIS 309)

LAS 313 Immigration Debates in the United States (also SPA 311)  

This course will examine the current national debate over immigration, studying the historical context and the social impact of immigration to the United States since 1990, primarily from Latin America and the Caribbean; as well as the evolution of policy. This is a writing course in which we will read and practice different journalism styles for reporting this contentious issue, from the neutral news voice to the blog blast. Staff

LAS 314 Topics in the Study of Gender (see GSS 302)

LAS 315 Luso-Afro-Brazilian Literary Traditions (see POR 300)

LAS 317 Photography and History in Mexico (also ART 397)   Fall

This course will offer an introductory history of Mexico since 1839 through its photography (by Mexicans and foreigners). It is structured chronologically, from the arrival of daguerreotypes in the country to digitalization. This course also offers an examination of photographic genres and the methodologies with which we can analyze them. A major focus of the course is on developing methods for incorporating photographs into studies in the humanities and the social sciences; it will engage in an interrogation of photography as a historical source, as a way of communicating history research, and as a technique of teaching history. Staff

LAS 319 Brazilian Cinema (see POR 319)

LAS 321 Topics in the Intellectual History of Modern and Contemporary Spain (see SPA 321)

LAS 327 Modernism in Fiction (see COM 327)

LAS 328 Race Relations and Black Identities in Post-Emancipation Brazil (see AAS 328)

LAS 331 Modern Latin American Fiction (see SPA 331)

LAS 332 Modern Latin American Poetry (see SPA 332)

LAS 336 Latinos in American Life and Culture (see LAO 200)

LAS 338 The Sociology of Latinos in the U.S. (see SOC 338)

LAS 342 Topics in Latin American Modernity (see SPA 342)

LAS 343 The Invention of Latin American Traditions (see SPA 343)

LAS 344 Literature and Society in Early Latin America (see SPA 344)

LAS 345 Topics in Latin American Literature and Ideology (see SPA 345)

LAS 346 Topics in Country and Regional Economics (see ECO 371)

LAS 347 Topics in the Culture of Cities (see SPA 351)

LAS 348 Fictions and Communities in the Andes (see SPA 348)

LAS 349 Topics in Latin American Cultural Studies (see SPA 350)

LAS 350 Pre-Columbian Peoples of Tropical America and Their Environments (see EEB 332)

LAS 351 Tropical Biology (see EEB 338)

LAS 353 Topics in Gender and Representation (see SPA 353)

LAS 356 Topics in the Politics of Writing and Difference (see SPA 352)

LAS 366 Ancient Arts of Mexico (see ART 366)

LAS 367 Latin American Politics (see POL 367)

LAS 368 Political Economy of Latin America (see POL 368)

LAS 401 Latin American Studies Seminar   LA

The seminar will concentrate upon themes and topics in Latin American history, politics, society, literature, and/or culture. The focus will vary from year to year. Staff

LAS 402 Latin American Studies Seminar   SA

The seminar will concentrate upon themes and topics in Latin American history, politics, society, literature, and/or culture. The focus will vary from year to year. Staff

LAS 403 Latin American Studies Seminar   LA

The seminar will concentrate upon themes and topics in Latin American history, politics, society, literature, and/or culture. The focus will vary from year to year. Staff

LAS 404 Latin American Studies Seminar  

The seminar will concentrate upon themes and topics in Latin American history, politics, society, literature, and/or culture. The focus will vary from year to year. Staff

LAS 405 Latin American Studies Seminar  

The seminar will concentrate upon themes and topics in Latin American history, politics, society, literature, and/or culture. The focus will vary from year to year. Staff

LAS 406 Latin American Studies Seminar   LA

The seminar will concentrate upon themes and topics in Latin American history, politics, society, literature, and/or culture. The focus will vary from year to year. Staff

LAS 408 Selected Topics in 20th-Century Latin America (see HIS 408)

LAS 431 Seminar in Comparative Politics (see POL 431)

LAS 443 Global Exchange in Art and Architecture (see ART 443)