Skip over navigation

Course Offerings

Fall 2015-2016

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


LAS 357
Mario Vargas Llosa: Politics and Literature in Latin America
An overview of the role of writers and intellectuals in the major political debates that marked the 20th century, with special focus on intellectual and literary responses to the literary revolution. We will spend several weeks looking at the histories of Mexico, Perú, and the Dominican Republic, and how intellectuals from those countries have responded to political events that include dictatorships, revolutions, coups d'etat, and political assassinations. Guest speakers will include some of the major participants in these literary and political episodes. Students will work with archival materials from the period located in Firestone library. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Near-native fluency in Spanish required. Course will be co-taught by Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa. All readings must be done in Spanish. Discussions will be conducted in Spanish. Papers can be written in Spanish or English. Other information: Enrollment in this course is by application only. To apply, e-mail with an attached (MS Word) one page essay explaining your reasons for wanting to take the course and your experience with Latin America and its culture. The essay should be written in Spanish.
Mario Vargas-Llosa, Rubén Gallo . S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th.

LAS 358 / SPA 362
Fiction: Creative Writing Workshop
This workshop is designed to clear the way to self-expression, wiping out the myths that link writing with inspiration. We will use a wide array of tools that will trigger the student's narrative instincts emphasizing the notion of process. We will learn to discuss literary craft in a constructive way and to read as writers, not only reading each other, but also through dissecting successful short stories and texts by writers on writing. This workshop is not exclusive for aspiring writers, even when, to ensure a place in it, the student must have a creative project in Spanish to develop during the semester.
Prerequisites and Restrictions: Students working or planning to work in novels, novellas, short stories, essays, extended pieces of narrative journalism or any kind of amphibious prose projects are welcomed. The course will be taught in Spanish (reading and writing). Other information: Álvaro Enrigue (Mexico, 1969) is the award winning author of five novels and two books of short stories. He has been Literary Editor at Letras Libres magazine and Fondo de Cultura Económica, the reference publishing house for the Spanish language.
Álvaro Enrigue Soler. S01 7:30 pm - 10:20 pm Th.

LAS 371 / SPA 372
Cuban History, Politics and Culture
This seminar constitutes an introduction to the study of Cuba from a historical perspective. During the first half of the semester the course follows a chronological approach, covering the political and socioeconomic development of the country from the sixteenth century to the present. In the second half of the semester, it examines a series of sociocultural issues that are central to the life of contemporary Cubans, on the island and abroad. At the core of the class lies an interrogation of the relevance of the Cuban case for larger discussions on colonialism, modernity, socialism and development. Other information: Use of electronic devices in the classroom requires the approval of the instructor. If pursuing a certificate in Spanish, students will be required to complete all written assignments in Spanish.
Adrián López-Denis. S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm M.

LAS 372/SPA 373
Public Health and Private Healing in the Atlantic World
This seminar explores the impact of transatlantic exchanges between Europe, Africa and the Americas on the development of the environmental, political and sociocultural trends that affect our health and our ability to heal today. During the first half of the semester we will reconstruct the interconnected histories of the medicalization of the West and the westernization of the Rest, from the Renaissance to the end of the twentieth century. In the second half of the semester we will explore the contemporary consequences of these historical developments. Other information: Use of electronic devices in the classroom requires the approval of the instructor. If pursuing a certificate in Spanish, students will be required to complete all written assignments in Spanish.
Adrián López-Denis. S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm W.

LAS 402
Latin American Studies Seminar - Direct and Participatory Democracy in Latin America
The purpose of this Workshop-Seminar is to analyze different theories and experiences of direct and participatory democracy in Latin America that aimed to correct the deficits of representative democracy. Social movements, left wing parties and governments argued that profound reforms were needed in order to address extreme socioeconomic inequalities, and political exclusions in Latin American societies. These democratic innovations also aimed to improve government efficiency, to reduce corruption, and to reduce violence by strengthening community ties among citizens. Other information: The class will be taught in English. Some readings will be in Spanish.
Margarita López Maya. S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T.

LAS 505 / ENG 506 / ARC 540 / HUM 505 / URB 505
Conflict Shorelines I / Amazonia: A Botanical Archaeology of Genocide
This course explores the relations among colonial history, contemporary conflicts, and climate change by examining the political, legal, epistemic, and aesthetic challenges this kind of violence initiates. Reading colonial and urban histories against meteorological and climate data, we use environmental modes of detection and imaging in order to reveal tropical forests to be archaeological resources in which patterns of human intervention and violence can be read. The Amazon is not only an ecological threshold, but also a political one, and it continues to bear the traces of the deadliest land conflicts in Brazil. Other Requirements: International Travel Required; Open to Graduate Students Only. Other information: Combining an architecture studio with an experimental humanities lab and using a combination of archival resources, colonial era literature, field research and remote sensing mapping technologies, we will travel to the Amazon during the fall break to conduct onsite investigations and to devise novel "testimonial strategies" to corroborate and expand the investigations of the Brazilian Truth Commission.
Eduardo L. Cadava, Eyal Weizman, Paulo Tavares. S01 7:30 pm - 10:20 pm W; B01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th.


AAS 428 / ENG 428 / LAS 429 CANCELED
Latina/o Performance
This interdisciplinary seminar examines U.S. Latina/o performance from the 1960s to the present. Students will engage the creative traditions that have emerged from the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, the post-colonial aesthetic concerns shaped by Caribbean migration, and the social preoccupations that have defined urban and suburban life. The class will learn to put formal motifs in conversation with a set of conceptual terms, including mestisaje, borderlands, transculturation, choteo, and disidentification. We will alternate between plays, critical readings, live performances, videos, and music.
Alexandra T. Vazquez. S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th.

ARC 571 / ART 581 / MOD 573 / LAS 571
Research in Architecture
This advanced pro-seminar explores architectural research techniques through collaborative investigation of a specific issue facing the field. Rather than study research methods in the abstract, students are asked to actively carry out detailed research in teams and reflect upon its limits and potentials. The research project of each semester is carried through to realization in the form of a book, a conference, or an exhibition organized by the students in subsequent semesters. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Students Only. Other information: Historiography is as much an analysis of historical method as it is a means of identifying blind spots in the historical record. Seeking to generate new contemporary practices through alternative readings of the past, this proseminar addresses the brief period from the 1930s to the early 1960s in which historians of modern architecture, architects, journalists, institutions, and governments from around the world trained their sights on Latin America.
Beatriz Colomina. S01 10:30 am - 1:20 pm W.

ART 269 / LAS 269 / ANT 369
Objects of Andean Art
This course provides an overview of Pre-Columbian Andean art, taught from objects in the University's art museum and nearby collections. Particular attention will be paid to textiles, organic materials, and their biological origins. Students will have weekly opportunities to examine objects firsthand. Assignments will develop broad art historical research skills of object study, writing about objects, and visual documentation of objects (photography, analytical illustration, etc.) Excursions and demonstrations of materials and techniques, generously supported by PLAS, will make the course ideal for hands-on and experiential learners. Other Requirements: United States Travel Required. Not Open to Graduate Students. Prerequisites and Restrictions: This course has no prerequisites or restrictions. Students will be expected to actively participate in class discussions, demonstrations, and excursions. Other information: For department majors, satisfies Group 1 distribution requirement.
Andrew Hamilton. L01 10:00 am - 10:50 am M W; P01 9:00 am - 9:50 am W.

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. Prerequisites and Restrictions: P/D/F option is not available for History concentrators.
Vera S. Candiani. L01 11:00 am - 11:50 am T Th; P01 9:00 am - 9:50 am Th; P02 10:00 am - 10:50 am Th; P99 TBA.

POL 367 / LAS 367
Latin American Politics
This is an introductory course to Latin American politics. It studies the main puzzles that the literature has addressed concerning the region's historical political developments, the main theoretical and empirical approaches from which those puzzles have been addressed, and the concepts that have been applied to explain them. We will critically analyze basic political science concepts, such as inequality, development, liberalism, oligarchy, democratic contestation and participation, populism, corporatism, authoritarianism, political violence, constitutionalism, social movements, political identities, institutional strength, the rule of law.
Staff. L01 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm T Th; P99 TBA.

POR 304 / LAS 311
Topics in Brazilian Cultural and Social History - Music and Literature
What happens when music and literature meet? What does music have to say about the society that produced it? How do silent letters provoke sounds and movements? How to understand sounds on a political and historical plane? Does the dancing body follow a grammar? Can a popular musician be the interpreter of a major writer? In a journey through literature and music with a special focus on Brazil, the seminar will explore the point at which the aural, the corporeal and the linguistic are entangled in the act of listening. Prerequisites and Restrictions: POR 208 or instructor's permission. Other information: Music by Nazareth, Noel Rosa, Pixinguinha, Villa-Lobos, Elza Soares, Caetano Veloso, Arnaldo Antunes, Antonio Nóbrega, Zé Miguel Wisnik, Fernanda Abreu, Negra Li, Tulipa Ruiz, Anita, among others.
Pedro Meira Monteiro. C01 7:30 pm - 8:50 pm T Th.

POR 319 / LAS 319 / VIS 346
Brazilian Cinema
An introduction to the richness of Brazilian film, this course explores major cinematic movements, and will include the Cinema Novo, critically acclaimed documentaries, and more recent commercial successes. Recurrent themes and emerging trends will be discussed (e.g. the deforestation of the Amazon, urban violence, literary adaptation, popular culture). Prerequisites and Restrictions: POR 208 or permission of instructor. Other information: Screenings will take place on Tuesday evenings, and films will be available for viewing on Blackboard.
Bruno M. Carvalho . C01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm W; F01 7:30 pm - 10:20 pm T.

POR 562 / LAS 562
Luso-Brazilian Seminar - Machado de Assis
This seminar will focus on the work of Machado de Assis (1839-1908). Through the analysis and discussion of recent criticism we will be able to perceive that some of the most interesting social issues of contemporary Brazil can be found in Machado's plots, thus raising questions about the relationship between literature and society, writing and politics, center and periphery. Other Requirements: Not Open to Freshmen.
Pedro Meira Monteiro. S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm F.

REL 370 / LAS 380
CANCELED: Religious Experience, Expression, and Authority in Colonial Latin America
Religion permeated everything in colonial Latin America. In fact, it is not really accurate to talk about religion as something separate from other aspects of human life for this time and place. This class explores the ways "religion" was lived and understood by people in colonial Latin America through three categories: 1) experience, with an emphasis on internal experience, both physical and emotional; 2) expression, both verbal and non-verbal, with an emphasis on ambivalent forms of expression that simultaneously validated and challenged accepted religious truths; and 3) authority, with an emphasis on its limits.
Jessica Delgado . S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T.

SOC 210 / LAS 210 / URB 210 / LAO 210
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. We consider the city in its dual image: both as a center of progress and as a redoubt of social problems, especially poverty. Attention is given to spatial processes that have resulted in the aggregation and desegregation of populations differentiated by social class and race.
Patricia Fernández-Kelly. L01 10:00 am - 10:50 am M W; P99 TBA.

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.
Javier E. Guerrero. C01 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm M W.

SPA 350 / LAS 349 / ENV 354
Topics in Latin American Cultural Studies - Contemporary Cuban Literature and Visual Culture
A course on literature, artwork, blogs, and films from Cuba and the diaspora since the 1990s, with emphasis on changes since the Raúl Castro era (2006+) and the normalization of US-Cuban relations. Topics include deepening class divisions and racism; reflections on gender and sexuality; new forms of work and leisure; independent cinema; environmental art. Work by Tania Bruguera, Alejandro Brugués, Celia y Junior, Ernest Daranas, Ahmel Echeverría, Víctor Fowler, Carlos Garaicoa, Jorge Enrique Lage, Leonardo Padura Fuentes, René Peña, Antonio José Ponte, Reina María Rodríguez; class features sessions with visiting author Wendy Guerra. 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. S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T.

SPA 562 / LAS 563
The Cinema of Cruelty
Drawing on Antonin Artaud's ideas around theatre of cruelty and André Bazin's notions of auteur film and its subversive capacity, this course looks at a group of Latin American and Spanish films and directors to explore how cruelty has become a recognizable aesthetic, one with strategic relevance for Hispanic film. This seminar will understand film as a text in which cruelty functions as a cinematic trope, and will also reflect on spectatorship, film's ability to inflict pain and, even more, the possibility that film constitutes a modern spectacle of cruelty. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Students Only. Other information: We will examine films by Alonso, Almodóvar, Bigas Luna, Buñuel, Carri, Escalante, Hermosillo, Jodorowsky, Larraín, Noé, Reygadas, Ripstein, Rowe, Martel, Pons, and Ulive, among others, as well as their relationship to international auteur films (represented by filmmakers such as Chabrol, Cronenberg, Despentes, Denis, Haneke, Ki-duk, Oshima, Pasolini, and Von Trier).
Javier E. Guerrero. S01 4:30 pm - 7:50 pm T.

SPA 584 / LAS 581 / EPS 584
Democracies to come? Political transitions and cultural revolutions of the 1970's
The death of dictator Francisco Franco triggered a set of political, cultural and social processes usually referred as the Spanish transition to democracy. Focused in this case -once proposed as a model for other countries-, but including materials from Portugal and Latin America, this seminar studies the complex relations between culture and politics in the 1970's. Among the topics to be discussed are: popular cultures, social movements, ephemeral arts, documentalism, novels, dictatorships, memory studies, democracy, gender, counter-culture, underground aesthetics and grass-root activism. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Students Only. Other information: The seminar is conducted mainly in Spanish. Discussions may be held in English, Spanish, and/or Portuguese. Papers can be written in English, Portuguese, or Spanish.
Germán Labrador Méndez. S01 4:30 pm - 7:20 pm Th.


ENG 402 / AAS 408 / LAO 402
Forms of Literature - Introduction to U.S. Latina/o Literature
This course introduces key readings and developments in U.S. Latina/o literature from the early twentieth century to the present. With a focus on Nuyorican, Cuban, Dominican, Chicana/o and Tejana/o populations, students will examine how literature both mirrors and informs conditions of migration; debates about race, gender, and sexuality; issues of language; myths of assimilation; and oral-literary traditions. Other information: The interdisciplinary structure of the course utilizes Latina/o aesthetic practices found in other expressive cultural forms such as comic books, poster art, solo performance, and music as provocative counterpoints to the readings. Department Distribution: 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.]
Alexandra T. Vazquez. S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T.

MUS 250 / ANT 358
Musical Cultures of the World
Course explores aesthetic principles and social context underlying traditional and popular musics of various world regions, drawing examples from Spain, Cuba, Japan, Bali, and India. Issues explored include conception of melody and rhythm in each culture; the impact of language, pedagogical methods, patronage systems, gender, and ethnic or class identity have had on musical composition and performance; and the role of identity, migration, globalization, and politics in the development of genres. Requirements include short papers, listening/viewing assignments, a midterm, and a final.Prerequisites and Restrictions: Some knowledge of music, through either performance or study, will be helpful but not required. [ 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.]
Noriko Manabe. L01 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm M W.

REL 505
Studies in the Religions of the Americas - Hemispheric Reflections
The study of religion in Latin America and the United States have developed in parallel ways, exploring similar questions, but in relative isolation from one another. (A particularly illustrative example is the conceptual move towards "lived religion" by scholars of religion in the US and "local religion" by Latin Americanists.) This course seeks to bring Latin American and US religious history into conversation around key issues and theoretical concepts. Other Requirements:
Open to Graduate Students Only. Must be no audit, no pass, D, or F. [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.]
Jessica Delgado. S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm W.

SPA 224
Hispanic Studies: Introduction to Cultural Analysis
An introduction to the analysis of contemporary cultural texts (narrative, poetry, film, photography) from Latin America and Spain, with the support of various theoretical ideas. The course's main objective is to provide students with a set of strong conceptual, analytical and linguistic skills, which will be of great help in 300-level literature/culture courses. Other Requirements: Not Open to Seniors. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Another SPA 200-level course or instructor's permission. Other information: This is not a language course. If your main objective is to improve your Spanish, this course is not designed for that goal. At least one of the classes will be held in the Princeton University Art Museum to examine some of the museum's holdings of Latin American photographs. Any student unable to register for the course, please contact Prof. Loureiro, [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.]
Manuel-Angel G. Loureiro. C01 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm M W.

Course offerings in PDF format