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Courses in Latin American Studies

Spring Semester 2009-2010

ART 267/LAS 267
Introduction to Mesoamerican Visual Culture
This course explores the visual and archaeological world of ancient Mesoamerica, from the first arrival of humans in the area until the era of Spanish invasion in the early 16th century. Major culture groups to be considered include Olmec, Maya, and Aztec. Preceptorial sections will consist of a mix of theoretically-focused discussions, debate regarding opposing interpretations in scholarship, and hands-on work with objects in the collections of the Princeton University Art Museum. Other Information: For department majors, satisfies East Asian/Pre-Columbian distribution requirement. Course can serve as a component of the Archaeology concentration.
Bryan R. Just. Schedule: L01 3:30pm–4:20 TTh; P01 10am–10:50 W; P02 11am–11:50 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 people 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. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Prerequisites: 210 or 211, and 321; and enrollment in the EEB Spring Semester in Tropical Ecology Program in Panama.
Richard Cooke. Schedule: L01 TBA; B01 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 group and individual projects at the sites. Fieldwork is supported by six orientation walks that introduce participants to common orders and families of plants and arthropods. Prerequisites and Restrictions: EEB 321 and enrollment in the EEB Spring Semester in Tropical Ecology Program in Panama.
Yves F. Basset. Schedule: L01 TBA; B01 TBA.

HIS 408/LAS 408
Selected Topics in 20th Century Latin America: The Latin American Cold War
Examines the Cold War in Latin America from both North and South, drawing on the new historiography of the period. In addition to geopolitical crises, the course considers the lived experience of debates and conflicts within Latin American countries, over such issues as development and student politics. Thus, the course on the one hand conceives of the Cold War in its international terms, which allows for an understanding of U.S.-Latin American relations more broadly. On the other hand studying the Cold War enables us to access national histories and private stories, particularly the effects of repression on both nations and individuals. Other Requirements: Not Open to Freshmen. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Previous work in Latin American history or U.S. foreign relations is recommended, but not required.
Robert A. Karl. Schedule: S01 1:30pm–4:20 M.

LAO 200/AMS 346/LAS 336/SOC 341
Latinos in American Life and Culture
This course will consider how Hispanics are transforming the United States even as they evolve as a people. Topics to be examined include the social and cultural significance of Hispanicity as an ethnic category, whether Hispanics are redrawing color lines, the implications of the unprecedented geographic dispersal of Latinos, and what the burgeoning second generation portends for the future contours of social and economic inequality, future political influence, and their myriad cultural imprints through music, literature and bilingualism. Other Requirements: Not Open to Freshmen. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Sophomore or Junior Standing.
Marta Tienda. Schedule: L01 11:00am–11:50 MW, P01 7:30pm-8:20 T, P02 1:30pm-W.

LAS 402/HIS 402/POR 410
Latin American Studies Seminar: History of Brazil: An Introduction
A critical interpretation of the historical process by which Brazil was built, with special consideration to historical continuity and ruptures. We will discuss how the country developed a unique history, supporting a popular monarchy in the middle of the Americas until almost the end of the 19th century, and was viewed as a laboratory of races, despite of having a deep model of social exclusion and the longest experience with the slave system. The course starts with the conquest of the coast and the introduction of slave labor and ends with the contemporary building of democracy. Other Information: In addition to the readings, visual imagery and films will be used in the class.
Lilia K. Moritz Schwarcz. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 T.

LAS 403/COM 420/SPA 407
Latin American Studies Seminar: Latin America: Literature in Movement Between Two Centuries, 1990-2010
This seminar will offer an updated view of the Latin American literary field with particular attention to recent developments in novel and short story writing. Subjects analyzed will include the impact of globalization and post modernity on Latin American literature; publishing sector changes; the rise of a new generation of writers; and the outstanding international reputation of Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003). The study of the works of Guatemalan Rodrigo Rey Rosa (b. 1958), Cuban Antonio José Ponte (b.1964) and Mexican Álvaro Enrigue (b. 1969) will give us a more precise understanding of the present literary scene in Latin America. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Students should be able to communicate, read, and write in Spanish. Other Information: The course will be conducted in Spanish.
Gustavo A. Guerrero. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 Th.

LAS 404/SPA 409/POR 409
Latin American Studies Seminar: Memories of the Future: National Imaginaries in Brazil and Argentina
As both historical and legendary figures, Vargas and Perón shaped the imaginaries of the modern nation in Brazil and Argentina. This course selectively addresses their legacies by exploring how notions of the future, the nation, and modernity were constructed in the 1930's-50's and how these imaginaries are reinterpreted as cultural memories in contemporary Brazil and Argentina. The course will focus on the Vargas Era and the Perón governments and on how these memories are being recast in artistic productions, the media, and forms of consumption.
Beatriz Jaguaribe de Mattos. Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 W.

POL 367/LAS 367
Latin American Politics
This course analyzes 20th century Latin America. The course maintains a thematic focus – presenting competing theoretical arguments about democracy and development in the region. The readings and lectures evaluate these arguments in the context of six cases: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru. Other Information: This course is open to first year students.
Deborah Yashar. Schedule: L01 10:00am-10:50 MW; P01 11:00am-11:50 W; P02 TBA.

POR 304/LAS 311
Topics in Brazilian Cultural and Social History: The Invention of Brazil
This course will focus on selected works of the Brazilian modernist literary tradition, such as Sergio Buarque de Holanda's Raizes do Brasil (1936), Gilberto Freyre's Casa-Grande e Senzala (1933) and Mario de Andrade's O Turista Aprendiz (1927). Essays and poetry will be read, as well as some correspondence exchanged between modernist writers. Through these and other works, we will study the blooming of new perspectives on Brazilian social and political history, trying to understand how they participate in the imaginary building of a manifold national identity, thus opening unexpected paths to fiction and history. Prerequisites and Restrictions: POR 208 or instructor's permission.
Pedro Meira Monteiro. Schedule: C01 7:30pm–8:50 TTh.

POR 306/LAS 360
Urban Modernism and Its Discontents
An overview of the cultures and histories of major cities in the Portuguese-speaking world, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília, Lisbon and Luanda. This course will explore some of the tensions between modernization projects and cultural production during the late 19th and 20th centuries, examining representations of the city in literature (poetry and prose), maps, film, painting, photography and music. Other Information: to receive credit for LAS certificate, final paper must be written on a Portuguese-speaking Latin American city and a copy must be submitted to PLAS.
Bruno M. Carvalho. Schedule: C01 11am–12:20 TTh.

POR 351/LAS 361
Brazilian Cinema in a Global Context
Brazilian cinema has experienced a major resurgence since the late 1990s, exhibiting a wide array of thematic concerns and formal approaches: from critically acclaimed documentaries to the commercial success of City of God. After an introduction to the Cinema Novo of the 1960s in the context of other contemporary movements, this course will focus on how more recent filmmakers have engaged questions of Brazilian cinema’s relationship to the state, to social conditions, and to the international marketplace. A number of recurrent and emerging trends will be discussed, such as a preoccupation with the Amazon, urban violence, literature, and music. Other Information: The course will be conducted entirely in English and films will be screened with subtitles. Attendance is mandatory at both the weekly class meeting and evening film screening.
Bruno M. Carvalho. Schedule: C01 1:30pm–4:20 W; F01 7:30pm–10:20 M.

SPA 350/LAS 349
Topics in Latin American Cultural Studies: Profane Realisms – Latin American Cinema and Literature
If "magical realism" was a familiar trademark of Latin American literary and filmic exports in the 1960s and 1970s, this course studies a counter-movement which sprang up in the 1990s. Rather than the narratives of exile mourning that predominated after the military dictatorships, the new texts and films are "political" only insofar as they deal with the intimate effects of political processes. Focusing on the Southern Cone, the course explores the ways in which the very status of literature and film, and their take on "the real," has fundamentally changed over the last quarter-century. Prerequisites and Restrictions: 200-level SPA course or instructor's permission. Other Information: Course will be taught in Spanish, but papers and reports can be in either English or Spanish. Active participation in class discussions is required.
Jens Andermann. Schedule: S01 11:00am-12:20 MW.

SPA 352/AAS 363/LAS 356
Topics in the Politics of Writing and Difference: Cuban Literature of Slavery
A course on the relationship between Cuban literature and slavery. Explicitly "Cuban" literature emerged from the literary salon of Domingo del Monte, a 19th century reformist with ties to British abolitionism, and early works focused on the island's massive slave industry. We will read several anti-slavery novels, emphasizing ties to transatlantic Romanticism and sentimental literature, and generic conventions more generally. Also: the only known Spanish-language slave autobiography; an oral history from an ex-slave; the diary of a bounty-hunter; psychoanalysis; and modern Cuban representations of slavery, including films. Other Requirements: Not Open to Freshmen. Prerequisites and Restrictions: One 200-level SPA course on literature or culture or instructor's permission.
Rachel L. Price. Schedule: C01 3:00pm-4:20 MW.


Courses of Interest

AAS 310/ENG 324/MUS 256
Music from the Hispanophone Caribbean
This interdisciplinary seminar utilizes the musical cultures of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba to reflect upon the aesthetic, migratory, and social histories of the Hispanophone Caribbean. Students will listen to the sounded legacies of conquest, slavery, colonialism, and U.S. intervention and occupation. The effects of transnational migration on music's performance and reception will also be one of the key themes in the course. We will not only consider the creative traditions and receptive worlds embedded in musical recordings, but will also pay attention to music's traces in literature, film, and other ephemera. Other Requirements: Not open to Freshmen.
Alexandra T. Vazquez. Schedule: S01 1:30pm–4:20 M.

ANT 433
Initiation, Education, and Apprenticeship: Cross Cultural Perspectives

From Brazilian capoeira, Japanese dance, and American jazz piano, to glassblowing, lawyering, and navigating a warship: how do people acquire the skills necessary to perform expert activities in different cultural settings? What kinds of knowledge can anthropologists gain as apprentices, and how does it translate into writing? This course focuses on apprenticeship as a subject and method for anthropological research. We examine theories of learning and their application to case studies of wide-ranging domains of expertise. Students conduct ethnographic and experiential activities, generating original data for discussion and analysis. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Students should have background in anthropology or other social sciences. 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.
Graham M. Jones. Schedule: S01 1:30pm–4:20 M.

EEB 350
Vertebrate Tropical Ecology
This field course will address the life history characteristics of tropical vertebrates and the physiological traits that underlie those. Students will learn how tropical life histories differ from those in the temperate zone and will use eco-physiological techniques while conducting experiments and observations at a Smithsonian Institute field station. In particular, students will trap wild vertebrates; conduct baseline behavioral and physiological measurements, attach radio transmitters to individuals; and monitor them over time in the forest. Students will then analyze the data and write a scientific manuscript. Prerequisites and Restrictions: Enrollment limited to EEB juniors only and they must be enrolled in the EEB Spring Semester in Tropical Ecology Program in Panama. Other Information: Part of spring semester in Panama. Under "Requirements/Grading" section, 20% of course grade is field notes.
Martin Wikelski and Margaret C. Crofoot. Schedule: S01 TBA, B01 TBA.

FRS 150
Reform and Revolution in Chile (Barret Family Freshman Seminar)
Chile today has the most stable democracy in Latin America and a very successful economy. Yet over the last several decades, it has experienced a reformist Christian Democratic government that attempted to offer an alternative to the Cuban Revolution, a democratically elected Marxist dominated coalition that was overthrown by a military coup, 17 years of military dictatorship, and a center-left coalition that has won every election since 1990. In the course of these changes, many different political and social experiments were adopted, providing a laboratory for students of development, as well as a rich social science literature. In addition, the United States government has been deeply involved, both overtly and covertly, in Chilean politics, again producing a large and controversial literature. Professor Sigmund has been studying Chile for half a century and has published three books and 125 articles on Chilean politics. The seminar will also use films, novels, and declassified documents to supplement the course materials.
Paul Sigmund. Schedule: 3:00pm–4:20 TTh.

HIS 506
Modern Latin America since 1810
This course examines the interactions between states and citizens since Latin American independence with an additional consideration of the region's integration into global economic and political systems. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Students Only. Other Information: Some Spanish is highly recommended. See instructor for more details.
Robert A. Karl. Schedule: S01 TBA.

POR 561
Modern Brazilian Literature – Brazil and Latin America
Seminar focuses on how intellectuals fantasize the uniqueness of Brazil and Latin America, and how they conceive the differences between "Iberoamerica" and the United States of America. Works to be read include Sérgio Buarque de Holanda's Raízes do Brasil, Gilberto Freyre's Casa-grande & Senzala, José Enrique Rodó's Ariel, Octavio Paz's El Laberinto de la Soledad, Richard Morse's El Espejo de Próspero and José Miguel Wisnik's Veneno Remédio. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Students Only. Other Information: Seminar will be conducted in Portuguese, though discussions can be held in Portuguese, English or Spanish. The final paper can be written in any of the three languages. No incompletes (INC) will be accepted.
Pedro Meira Monteiro. Schedule: 1:30pm–4:20pm M.

SOC 340/REL 390
God of Many Faces: Comparative Perspectives on Migration and Religion
Immigrants often experience discrimination in areas of destination. Religion can strengthen their sense of worth, particularly when the circumstances surrounding departure from the country of origin are traumatic, as with exiles and refugees. We take a comparative approach and use examples from the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The course broaches questions such as: how does religion transform and is transformed by the immigrant experience? When is religion used to combat stereotypes? Are there differences between the way men and women or dominant groups and racial minorities understand religion? 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.
Patricia Fernandez-Kelly. Schedule 10:00am–10:50 TTh. P01 TBA.

SPA 209
Spanish Language and Culture through Cinema
A course designed to improve oral and writing skills, while significantly increasing students' knowledge of cultural affairs in an ever changing Hispanic world. A significant amount of time will be dedicated to intensive debate on a wide variety of topics presented in films. Students interested in contemporary cinema may find this course especially enlightening. The grammar component of the course aims to ease the path to a more fluent communication in Spanish. The diversity of Hispanic culture is presented from the standpoint of a selected number of film directors. Prerequisites and Restrictions: SPA 108 or 207 in addition to instructor's permission. Please email Enrique Martinez-Bogo ( Other Information: Films: Amores Perros (Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu); La ley de Herodes (Luis Estrada); ¡Ay, Carmela! (Carlos Saura); La lengua de las mariposas (Jose Luis Cuerda); Te doy mis ojos (Iciar Bollain); Camila (Maria Luisa Bemberg); Lista de espera (Juan Carlos Tabio); Guantanamera (Tomas Gutierrez Alea); Belle Epoque (Fernando Trueba); Los Santos Inocentes (Mario Camus); La ley del deseo (Pedro Almodovar); Todo sobre mi madre (Pedro Almodóvar).
Enrique Martinez-Bogo. Schedule: C01 11:00am-12:20 MW, C02 1:30pm-2:50 MW, F01 7:30pm-10:20 Th.

SPA 548
Seminar in Modern Spanish-American Literature: Modernity and the Landscape
The landscape idea in Latin American architecture, visual and verbal arts, is an immediately political, social and historical one. There is a history of Latin American landscapes, including the landscape of modernism, of development, of revolution, and of (post)dictatorship. The purpose of the seminar is to bring out this historicity of the landscape-form, both in its material manifestations and its representations. Following a theoretical overview of some of the main concepts, we will work through a series of concrete examples from Latin American architecture, visual arts (including film), and literature. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Studies Only.
Staff. Schedule: S01 4:30pm-7:00 W.

SPA 551
Body Writing
This seminar explores the role of the body in Latin American cultural, visual and literary traditions, with an emphasis on the relationships of power that operate an immediate grasp upon it, marking it, writing it, disciplining it, torturing it, and making it signify. Other Requirements: Open to Graduate Studies Only. Other Information: 8 short reading responses 40%; Final Paper 40%; Participation 20%.
Gabriela Nouzeilles. Schedule: S01 1:30pm–4:20 Th.

WOM 302
Topics in the Study of Gender – Gender, Sexuality, and Religion in Colonial Latin America
This seminar will explore recent scholarship on the subjects of gender, sexuality and religion in colonial Latin America. Students will be asked to consider the connections between church teachings, spiritual and sexual practices, gendered social relations, and ideas about sex and sexuality in the historical periods we are studying. They will also be challenged to think critically about how scholars have portrayed and explored these connections in recent decades. Other Requirements: Required course for WOM Concentrators. Not Open to Freshmen.
Jessica Delgado. Schedule: S01 1:30pm–4:20pm M.

WWS 488
Special Topics in Public Affairs: Art and Cultural Policy in Contemporary Cuba
This course will address the creation, promotion, and consumption of art and culture in Cuba — and will analyze the policy framework within which this takes place. It will examine the goals of the revolutionary government with respect to literacy and cultural democracy and will review how these objectives have been realized through changing circumstances since 1959. It will ask how cultural policy relates to diversity, emigration, tourism, the preservation of heritage, and the fraught histories of imperialism and nationalism. Other Requirements: Open to Juniors and Seniors Only. Prerequisites and Restrictions: This course will be offered in Cuba to participants in the Princeton Program in Havana.
Shanti Pillai. Schedule: S01 TBA.

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