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Courses in Latin American Studies

Fall Semester 2010-2011

ART 268/LAS 268
Introduction to Mesoamerican Material Culture
This course explores the art and archaeology of Mesoamerica, including the cultures and regions of the Olmec, West Mexico, Teotihuacan, Oaxaca, Maya, and Aztec. From temple pyramids and carved stone monuments located in plaza centers to the broken ceramic sherds and stone tools found in household trash deposits, material culture comprises one of the basic resources archaeologists examine to understand past ways of life. The course will explore the inferences scholars make in the analysis of material remains as well as the ways in which material culture was integral to the making of ancient political, economic, religious, and social systems. Other Information: For department concentrators, satisfies the African/Pre-Columbian distribution requirement.
Christina Halperin. Schedule: L01 11:00am-11:50 TTh, P01 1:30-2:20 Th.

ART 443/LAS 443
Global Exchange in Art and Architecture

Examines the global exchange in art and architecture between and among the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas in the period 1492-1800. The course focuses on the geographical, historical, religious, anthropological, and aesthetic aspects of issues such as cultural encounters, diffusion, transculturation, regionalism, and related topics. 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 Renaissance/Baroque/late Islamic distribution requirement.
Thomas D. Kaufmann. Schedule: S01 1:30pm -4:30 T.

COM 238/LAS 238
Contemporary Latin American Literature
This course is an introduction to the study of contemporary Latin American literature and culture. Placing special emphasis on the changing relationships between aesthetics and politics, the course will analyze the emergence of different contemporary genres and themes and will provide students with essential tools to read critically and analyze the most important problems that have configured contemporary Latin American writing. The authors we will read include J.M. Arguedas, Roberto Bolaño, Julio Cortázar, Diamela Eltit, Pedro Juan Gutiérrez, José Martí, Rigoberta Menchú, Juan Rulfo, J.E. Rodó, and Fernando Vallejo, among others.
Susana Draper. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 W.

CRW 345/LAS 375/SPO 360
Special Topics in Creative Writing: Techniques of Novel Writing
This course explores the different methods and forms for organizing a novel. It will pay special attention to the following topics: the narrator, time in the novel, points of view, the function of style, what is told?, what is left out?, narrating by eliding, motives, the tale and its autonomy and dependence in relation to context. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Open to all students who can read and write in Spanish. Other Information: Courses conducted in Spanish. Course taught by Mario Vargas Llosa, Distinguished Visitor 2010 in the Program in Latin American Studies.
Mario Vargas Llosa. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 M.

HIS 303/LAS 305
Colonial Latin America to 1810

This course begins with the origins and consolidation of the Aztec, Inca and Iberian polities and ends with the severance of colonial ties. It combines an overview of the political economy of the region over three centuries with a study of how social groups interacted among themselves and with imperial rule over time through accommodation and conflict. We pay special attention to comparisons and contrasts – centers and frontiers of settlement, urban and rural life, indigenous and African populations, religion and transgression, Portuguese and Spanish models of rule -- and to long-term processes and implications of environmental change.
Vera S. Candiani. Schedule: L01 11:00am-11:50 MW, P01 TBA.

LAO 200/AMS 346/LAS 336/SOC 341
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 the social and cultural significance of "Latino" or "Hispanic" as an ethnic or racial category, how Latinos fit into the American social system, ethnic and cultural identities, the implications of the unprecedented geographic dispersal of Latinos, and their growing contribution and impact on mainstream and other types of culture including music, literature, and language. Other Requirements: Not Open to Freshmen. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Sophomore or Junior Standing. Other information: Active participation in precept is expected.
Edward E. Telles. Schedule: L01 1:30pm-2:20 MW, P01 TBA, P02 TBA.

LAS 401/SPA 410
Latin American Studies Seminar: Borges and Fiction

This course will study the sources Borges used in writing his short stories and will examine the prose and writing techniques he utilized. The course will also devote special attention to the relationship between Borges' short stories and essays as many stories are disguised as essays, and several essays are short stories in disguise. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Students must be able to understand, read, and write in Spanish. The course will be conducted in Spanish and taught by Mario Vargas Llosa, the 2010 Program in Latin American Studies Distinguished Visitor. Other Information: "Los cuentos expresan esa visión tan literaria - la más literaria que conozco - que tiene Borges de la cultura, la vida y la experiencia. Todo en él conduce a la ficción y, al mismo tiempo, las ficciones lo explican todo y se proyectan en la infinita madeja de la experiencia humana, transformándola en una interminable sucesión de cuentos. Creo que este tema recurrente en sus historias era para Borges su noción de la vida y la única manera de vivir que conoció." M. Vargas Llosa.
Mario Vargas Llosa. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 T.

LAS 406/ARC 411/SPA 406
Latin American Studies Seminar: Modern Architecture Goes South: Museum, Mass Media and Pan-Americanism

This seminar closely examines the displacement of the architecture of the Modern Movement from Europe and the United States to Latin America. Using comparative case studies of Venezuela and Brazil, the course will analyze the common influences of MoMA's cultural strategies and the impact of mass media on the dissemination of Modern Architecture to the "South" in the context of WWII. By putting these two relevant experiences in parallel, the architectural journey intends also to make a comprehensive review of Latin American contributions to Modern Architecture through some of the most significant projects developed in both regions. Other Information: Proposed as an architectural journey, this seminar is designed for students in the fields of architecture and urban studies, Latin American political and social history, arts, mass media, museum and cultural studies, and for all those concerned with built environment subjects from a wide-angle/comparative perspective. In addition to lectures featuring PowerPoint presentations, there will be selected film sessions.
Carola Barrios. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 Th.

POR 319/LAS 319/VIS 346
Brazilian Cinema

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).  Prerequisites and Restrictions: POR 208 or permission of instructor. Other Information: Films to include Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, "Macunaíma"; Carlos Diegues, "Bye Bye Brazil"; Suzana Amaral,"Hora da Estrela." Films will be available for viewing on Blackboard.
Bruno M. Carvalho. Schedule: C01 1:30pm-4:20 T.

POR 402/LAS 417
The Work of Machado de Assis

Seminar focuses on the work of Machado de Assis (1839-1908). We will read and study his best-known novels and short stories. Through the analysis and discussion of recent criticism we will be able to perceive that some of the most disturbing social issues of contemporary Brazil can already be found in Machado's plots, thus raising questions on the relationship between literature and society, present and past, writing and politics. Classes will be taught in Portuguese, though discussions can be held in English, Spanish or Portuguese. Prerequisites and Restrictions: POR 208 or instructor's permission. Other information: Graduate students taking this seminar will have the option to work on extra critical material and enjoy extra sessions throughout the semester.
Pedro Meira Monteiro. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 F.

SOC 310/LAS 310/WOM 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 1:30pm-2:20 MW, P01 TBA.

SPA 222/LAS 222/LAO 222
Introduction to Latin American Cultures
This course offers an introduction to modern Spanish 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, memory, and social and economic justice. Other Requirements: Open to Freshmen and Sophomores Only. Prerequisites and Restrictions: SPA 207 or higher or instructor's permission. Other Information: Course taught in Spanish.
Rachel L. Price. Schedule: C01 1:30pm-2:50 TTh.

SPA 331/LAS 331
Modern Latin American Fiction

Narrating Photography - This course studies the intersection between narrative fiction and photography in modern Latin American literature. It traces the literary uses of the photographic image as a narrative trigger, an ambiguous and deceiving illustration of the object of representation, and a formal model for narrative dynamics. Among other possibilities, we will look at novels and short stories that include, refer to, or narrativize photographs, as well as photo-essays. Prerequisites and Restrictions: A 200-level Spanish course (SPA 222 or 224 strongly recommended) or instructor's permission. Course open to first-year students with advanced standing in Spanish.
Gabriela Nouzeilles. Schedule: C01 11:00am-12:20 MW.


Courses of Interest

COM 309/ENG 420/SPA 349

The study of lyric poetry, from Wyatt to contemporary verse, through the close reading of specific poems as well as theoretical texts and works on prosody, that illuminate the interplay of form, subject, and language. In addition to English and American poetry, French, German, Spanish, and Latin American poems will be read; reading knowledge of one of these languages is strongly recommended, although all foreign language texts will be made available in translation. Open to graduate students as 700-level reading course. Other Information: Note: Program in Latin American Studies concentrators must write on a Latin American topic and provide a copy of the final paper to PLAS in order to receive certificate credit.
Claudia Joan Brodsky. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20W.

COM 546/SPA 586
Topics in Latin American Studies: Intellectuals and the State: Culture and Politics in Twentieth-Century Latin America

This course will approach some questions on the dynamics of culture and politics and the ways in which they have been addressed in twentieth-century Latin American literature and critical theory. The course aims to analyze the changing relationships between intellectuals and the State at different historical moments (i.e., the modern State, revolutionary processes, dictatorships, neoliberalization and globalization) and to explore the main concepts that have led to recent debates on culture and politics in Latin American Studies (i.e., the lettered city, transculturation, testimonio, critical regionalism, local thinking, etc.). The authors we will read include José M. Arguedas, Roberto Bolaño, Che Guevara, José Martí, José C. Mariátegui, Rigoberta Menchú, Elena Poniatowska, Angel Rama, José Revueltas, and José E. Rodó, among others. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Students Only.
Susana Draper. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 Th.

ECS 321 / HUM 321
Cultural Systems - Freud and 20th Century Culture
This course will explore the impact of Freud's writings on various aspects of 20th century culture: literature (especially the rise of surrealism), film (including the many experimental films that attempted to create a visual representation of the unconscious, like Pabst's Secrets of a Soul or Buñuel's Un chien andalou), history (focusing the debates about the political uses of psychoanalytic theory in the Soviet Union), and culture at large (the impact of psychoanalysis in other areas of cultural production, including literary criticism). Prerequisites and Restrictions: Some knowledge of Freud's writings is helpful but not necessary. So much of the 20th c. culture - the talking cure, surrealism, the films of Luis Buñuel, our approach to the study of literature at Princeton, everything down to the humor of New Yorker cartoons - trace their origin to Freud's psychoanalytic method. Other information: We will also examine the impact of Freud in diverse cultural contexts, including Austria, France, Spain, Russia, Italy, Argentina, Mexico, and the United States. Each country put psychoanalysis to radically different uses: in France, Freudian theories were exploited by the surrealists; in Russia they were debated by Leon Trotsky and other revolutionaries; in Spain they sparked heated debates about the role of religion that eventually led to the explosion of the civil war. Note: Program in Latin American Studies concentrators must write on a Latin American topic and provide a copy of the final paper to PLAS in order to receive certificate credit.
Rubén Gallo. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 M.

FRE 528
Francophone Literature and Culture Outside of France - Haiti and the Modes of Political Subjectivation
An examination of the historical and theoretical dimensions of the process of political subjectivation in Haiti, from Boukman's Vodou ceremony in the Bois Caïman in 1791 to the vicissitudes of egalitarian politics since the overthrow of Duvalier in 1986. The central premise is that the subject is not the persistence of an identity, nor the unfolding of an essence, nor even the recognition of the traumatic impossibility of any such identity. Instead, the construction of a political subject involves the laborious articulation of the consequences of an event such as the Haitian declaration of universal emancipation from slavery in 1804. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Students Only. Other information: Secondary readings to include canonical (Madiou, C.L.R. James, Césaire) and recent (Fick, Dubois, Trouillot, Hallward) historiography of the Haitian Revolution and its aftermath and theoretical discourse on political subjectivation from Hegel, Marx and Lukacs through Benjamin, Fanon, Rancière, Zizek and Badiou.
F. Nick Nesbitt. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 Th.

FRS 139
Soccer in Latin America: Politics, History, and Popular Culture LA
Barrett Family Freshman Seminar
The Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini famously claimed that “there are two types of football, prose and poetry. European teams are prose, tough, premeditated, systematic, collective. Latin American ones are poetry, ductile, spontaneous, individual, erotic.” Latin Americans have long been defined by others—and represented themselves—in terms of the performance of their soccer players. In this course we will explore several facets of the game’s role in Latin America, approaching them from a historical, cultural, and aesthetic perspective. Literary texts will range from short stories and poetry centered on the sport, to the narratives of prominent chroniclers who elevated soccer to “epic” status, projecting national teams as the embodiment of a collective identity. Other sources like essays, film, and photography will complement our approach.  In the process of engaging this material, we will investigate some of the interplays between discourses around soccer and politics, discussing its use and co-optation by dictatorial regimes of the 1960s and ’70s, as well as its role in different countries’ assertions on the world stage. Reflections over the place of soccer in the social landscape are bound to invite questions of how, in a region of deep economic inequalities, the sport can function both as a congregator and as the proverbial “opium of the masses.” Throughout the semester, we will attempt to understand how soccer captivates the imaginations of so many, viewing its popularization in the context of wider developments like radio, technology to build massive stadiums, and European immigration. At the same time, our methodology will account for its more “spectacular” aspects, considering some of the intersections between soccer, dance, and theater. The course focuses primarily on Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico.
Bruno Carvalho. Schedule: S01 1:30–4:20 p.m. Th.

GHP 350/ANT 491/WWS 491
Critical Perspectives on Global Health and Health Policy
Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the course identifies the main actors, institutions, knowledge and values at work in the field of global health, and explores the environmental, social, political, and economic factors that shape patterns and variations in disease and health across societies. Topics include: technology and public health; development and the governance of disease; human rights and social justice; the shifting role of states, civil society, and public-private partnerships in health care delivery. Students are encouraged to think creatively about health problems and to envision innovative and effective interventions. Other Information: Note: Program in Latin American Studies concentrators must write on a Latin American topic and provide a copy of the final paper to PLAS in order to receive certificate credit.
João Biehl and Peter Locke. Schedule: L01 11:00am-12:20pm MW.

HIS 504
Colonial Latin America to 1810

An introduction to the scholarship on Latin America's colonial past, ranging from "central" areas in Mexico and the Andes to "marginal" regions. New concepts and topics have emerged. What are these new trends and what do they mean? Why do some types of questions now seem more urgent than others? To explore these questions and find out what problems of past historiographical traditions remain unsolved and deserve a new look, both classic texts and more recent works that display new approaches will be read, often in counterpoint. Other Requirements: Not Open to Freshmen.
Vera S. Candiani. Schedule: S01 TBA.

SPA 224
Hispanic Literatures: Approaches to Literary Texts
An introduction to various theories and methods of literary and cultural analysis, which will be used to examine literary texts from Latin America and Spain (mainly, but not exclusively, contemporary fiction and poetry), as well as other Hispanic cultural artifacts, in particular film, photography, and art. Among the authors studied will be works by Quevedo, Machado, Unamuno, García Lorca, Borges, García Márquez, Carmen Martín Gaite; films by Buñuel and Almodóvar; paintings by Dalí; and photography from Argentina and Mexico. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Another SPA 200-level course or instructor's permission. Other Information: Note: Program in Latin American Studies concentrators must write on a Latin American topic and provide a copy of the final paper to PLAS in order to receive certificate credit.
Angel G. Loureiro. Schedule: C01 1:30–2:50pm MW.

SPA 357 / REL 387
Caribbean Messianisms, Utopias and Revolutions

A course on messianic, utopian, and revolutionary thought in and of the Caribbean. How is the idea of the Caribbean rooted in Christian thought? How have the Haitian and Cuban revolutions been shaped by religious iconography--from "voodoo" to the dove on Castro's shoulder? What is the relation between a Dominican cult and US interventions in the region? In approaching these questions, we will pair a range of literary and historical readings with philosophical considerations of messianism's and utopia's relation to politics and time. Other Requirements: Juniors and Seniors Only. Other information: Course will be taught in English. No knowledge of religion necessary. **If pursuing a Certificate in Spanish, all written course work must be done in Spanish.**
Rachel L. Price. Schedule: C01 3:00pm-4:20 TTh.

SPA 358
Cultures in Translation: Early Hispanic Perspectives
Many definitions of culture exist. Among them is the identification of culture within the body of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterize an institution or a group of people. This course considers culture as defined by ethnicity and gender in works that confront Islam, Judaism, and Christianity in Spain, as well as the challenges of indigenous New World beliefs, both locally and abroad. Readings will include the anonymous 'Abencerraje y la Hermosa Jarifa', the aljamiado 'Tafsira' of the Mancebo de Arévalo, and Guamán Poma's visual and verbal 'Nueva corónica y buen gobierno'. Prerequisites and Restrictions: A 200-level SPA course or instructor's permission. Other Information: Note: Program in Latin American Studies concentrators must write 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: C01 11:00am-12:20pm TTh.

SPA 547
Narrative Prose in Latin America - Poéticas de la novela en América Latina

This seminar will center on the discussion of theories on the origin and history of the genre in Latin America. Positions and definitions by novelists will be the base of our inquiry. The point of departure for a general debate on the tradition of genre will be the novels and critical essays by José María Arguedas, Alejo Carpentier y Macedonio Fernández. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Students Only.
Ricardo E. Piglia. Schedule: S01 1:20pm-4:20 M.

SPA 548/MOD 555
Seminar in Modern Spanish-American Literature - Media, Modernity & Mexican Revolution
An exploration of the rise of new media in post-Revolutionary Mexico, with special attention to the new technologies of communication - radio, photography, phonography, and film - and their impact on art and literature. Course provides an in-depth analysis of photographers Tina Modotti and Manuel Alvarez Bravo; writers Salvador Novo, Octavio Paz, and Manuel Maples Arce; and the cultural program of José Vasconcelos. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Students Only. Other information: Course will be conducted in English or Spanish, the language will be determined in the first class meeting according to student preference. Readings in Spanish and English.
Rubén Gallo. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 T.

Course Offerings

Fall Semester 2010-11
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