Urban Sociology: The City and Social Change in the Americas
By taking a comparative approach, this course examines the role of social, economic, and political factors in the emergence and transformation of modern cities in the United States and selected areas of Latin America. The class considers the city in its dual image: both as a center of progress and as a redoubt of social problems, especially poverty. Special attention is given to spatial processes that have resulted in the aggregation and desegregation of populations differentiated by social class and race. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Art of Hispania
Painting, sculpture, and architecture in the Spanish-speaking world from 1492 to 1810. The great flowering of Spanish art, as represented by such figures as El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya, in its cultural and historical context, including developments in Latin America. Some attention to the art of Portugal. For department majors, this course satisfies the Group 2 distribution requirement. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Introduction to Latin American Cultures
Professor/InstructorJavier Enrique Guerrero
Introduction to modern Latin American cultural and literary traditions with emphasis on the political uses of writing and art, national identity vis-à-vis popular and indigenous groups, memory and representation, the definition of modernity, and trans-American dialogues. The course may focus on national foundational fictions, the literary and artistic avant-gardes of the 1920s and 1960s, Mexican and Peruvian indigenismo, and memory art and cinema. Two 90-minute classes. Prerequisite: SPA 207 or higher, or instructor's permission. Strongly recommended before 300-level courses.
Introduction to the Literature and Culture of the Portuguese-Speaking World
Through readings of selected texts and audiovisual materials, this course introduces students to the diverse cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Discussions focus on Portugal's expansion during early modern times, and the spread of the Portuguese language in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Contemporary issues in several geographic areas will be approached comparatively. Prerequisite: POR 208 or instructor's permission. Two 90-minute classes.
Modern Mexican Society
Professor/InstructorDouglas S. Massey
An introduction to the social, political, and economic organization of modern Mexico. The course traces the evolution of Mexico's fundamental institutions from their birth after the Mexican Revolution of 1910, through their flowering during the 1950s and 1960s, to changes in the neoliberal era of the 1980s and 1990s. The course ends with a consideration of Mexico's current position as a partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Professor/InstructorBryan R. Just
This course acquaints students with the art, architecture, and archaeology of ancient Mexico and Central America. The course considers a wide range of cultures spanning from the first arrival of humans at the end of the Upper Paleolithic period through the 16th century Spanish invasion. Major culture groups to be considered include Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Zapotec, and Aztec. Precepts will include theoretically-focused discussions, debate regarding contested scholarly interpretations, and hands-on work with objects at the Princeton University Art Museum. For department majors, this course satisfies the Group 1 distribution requirement.
The Literature and Culture of Spain and Colonial Latin America: Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque
Through selected texts from Spain and colonial Latin America, the course will explore the formation of a literary tradition in Spanish. The main objective is to foster comparative studies within literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world so as to identify points of contact and differentiation currently defining this field of studies. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisite: one 200-level Spanish course.
Modern Brazilian Literature and Culture
A study of 19th- to 21st-century Brazilian texts with the aim of defining the place of Brazilian literature and culture within the context of Latin America and beyond. To include writers like Machado de Assis, Oswald de Andrade, Guimarães Rosa, Drummond, João Cabral, Clarice Lispector, and Caetano Veloso. Prerequisite: POR 208 or instructor's permission. Two 90-minute classes.
Modern Latin America since 1810
Professor/InstructorRobert A. Karl
A survey of Latin America from the wars of independence to recent struggles for democracy. The focus will be on state formation in the 19th century, relations with the world economy, and changing patterns of social and political life in the 20th century. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Colonial Latin America to 1810
Professor/InstructorVera Silvina Candiani
The principal themes of Iberian imperialism and colonial society from preconquest to the eve of independence. The main issues to be covered will be: Amerindian civilization, the conquest of the Americas, social and cultural change, and evolving economic relations. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
History of the Modern Caribbean
Professor/InstructorRobert A. Karl, Reena N. Goldthree
This course treats major themes in Caribbean social and political history cutting across the various empires, nations, and cultures that have shaped the region. It focuses on slavery and freedom during the 19th century and imperialism, authoritarianism, revolution, migration, and transnationalism in the 20th century. Race, ethnicity, and nation are explored throughout the course. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Topics in the Sociology of Latin America
A study of selected topics of current interest in the sociology of Latin America. The specific subject matter will vary from year to year, reflecting the changing interests of both faculty and students. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Gender and Development in the Americas
An examination of gender as an integral component of socioeconomic development in advanced and less-developed countries, with a focus on the United States and selected areas of Latin America. Special attention will be given to processes of industrial restructuring on a global scale that have increased the participation of women in the formal labor force. An understanding of the relationship between gender inequality and social order will be a central object of inquiry. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Topics in Brazilian Cultural and Social History
Through the analysis of literary texts, films, and music, the course will consider cultural responses to the construction of a Brazilian national identity. Possible topics include the Brazilian modernist tradition; contemporary culture and media; the city and literature; poetry and song. Prerequisites: POR 208 or instructor's permission. Two 90-minute classes.
History of Modern Mexico
Professor/InstructorVera Silvina Candiani
This course studies Mexico between two historic defeats: that of the mid-19th century, when it lost half of its territory to the United States, and the defeat of the PRI's single-party regime at the polls in 2000 after over 70 years of uneasy rule. Topics include Mexico's transition from the richest colony in the Americas to a nation with unresolved social, economic, and political struggles; the causes of internal tension and how have different groups sought to solve them; and the question of why drug cartels have gained ground. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Topics in the Study of Gender
Advanced seminar; focus changes from year to year. In general the seminar uses contemporary and classic works of feminist theory to examine ideas about gender that have shaped modern culture. Topics have included feminism and liberalism, literature and ideology, and psychoanalysis and feminism.
Luso-Afro-Brazilian Literary Traditions
This course focuses on works that have been key for shaping the literary tradition of the Portuguese language, from colonial to postcolonial times. Discussions will focus on the intersections between literature, social change, identity, and history in Brazil, Portugal, and Lusophone Africa. Prerequisite: POR 208 or instructor's permission. Two 90-minute classes.
Professor/InstructorBruno M. Carvalho
An introduction to the richness of Brazilian film, this course explores major cinematic movements: from the Cinema Novo, to critically acclaimed documentaries and more recent commercial successes like City of God. Recurrent and emerging trends will be discussed (e.g., the destruction of the Amazon, urban violence, literary adaptation, musical expressions). Prerequisite: POR 208 or instructor's permission. One three-hour class.
Topics in the Intellectual History of Modern and Contemporary Spain
Special attention to its European context. Course may focus on a few important essayists (such as Ortega, Unamuno, d'Ors, and Zambrano) or may trace the development of an influential idea (such as the function of art, the individual and the masses) or map the characteristics of a certain period. One three-hour seminar. Prerequisite: a 200-level Spanish course or equivalent.
Modernism in Fiction
A study of early to mid-20th century fiction, focusing on the question of modernity both as a literary and a historical-philosophical problem. Attention will be given especially to experimentation with literary form and the relation of narrative forms to specific cultural practices. Authors read in the course include Joyce, Woolf, Kafka, Proust, Beckett, Borges. Students will also study essays reflecting the debates of the period (Brecht, Adorno, Lukács, Benjamin). One three-hour seminar.
Modern Latin American Fiction
Major themes, forms, and techniques in Latin American novels and short stories. Close analysis of texts by Borges, Rulfo, García Márquez, Bolaño, Vallejo, and others. Consideration will be given to historical contexts and contemporary ideological currents. Two 90-minute classes. Prerequisite: a 200-level Spanish course or instructor's permission.
Modern Latin American Poetry
An introduction to the major poets and poetic trends in modern Latin America and the Caribbean, with emphasis on Martí, Darío, Huidobro, Vallejo, Mistral, Neruda, Palés Matos, Borges, and Saer. Special attention also to the rich oral traditions represented by popular genres such as boleros, tango, nueva canción and rock, and particularly the work of Silvio Rodríguez, Violeta Parra, Rubén Blades, Tite Curet Alonso, and Charly García available in audio recordings or videos. Two 90-minute seminars. Prerequisite: a 200-level Spanish course or equivalent.
Latino Politics in the U.S.
The course will explore the personal, political, historical and sacred aspects of Latinas/Latinos in the United States from the perspective of a theory of transformation. The course intends to provide Latinas/Latinos as well as students from all backgrounds the opportunity to see a people in their own midst becoming and being political as they move forward to create a new culture and community in this country.
Latinos in American Life and Culture
This required gateway course will consider how Latinos are transforming the United States even as they embrace a racialized pan-ethnic identity. Readings expose students to the demographic underpinnings of the dramatic growth and historically unprecedented geographic dispersal, the ethical dilemmas posed by undocumented immigration, the historical and contemporary trends in social, economic, and political participation, and the hybrid cultural imprints forged in musical, literary, and artistic work. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Sociology of Latinos in the U.S.
Using detailed studies of four major centers (San Antonio, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York), this course will analyze the historical and contemporary experience of several Spanish-speaking populations. Discussion will focus on two questions: (a) Are there common experiences or characteristics that justify the categorization of these varied groups under a single ethnicity? and (b) What racial, class, and gender divisions exist within these groups? Two lectures, one preceptorial.