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Latin American & Caribbean Studies
Spring 2021 Courses

 

COURSE GUIDE

  • Courses are listed in numerical order by the LACS course number.
  • Cross-lists are noted in parentheses.
  • All courses listed here count toward the LACS Major/Minor course requirements, unless otherwise indicated.
  • Courses that count for the foundational course requirement of the LACS Graduate Certificate are noted with [F] following the course title.
  • Numbering guide:
    • 10000: General education and introductory
    • 20000: Intermediate or advanced undergraduate
    • 30000, 40000, 50000+: Graduate or professional school
    • 20000/30000: Mixed undergraduate/graduate

LACS 12200 Portuguese For Spanish Speakers
LACS 16213 Andean Art and Architecture
LACS 16300/34800 Introduction to Latin American Civilization III [F]
LACS 20100/40305 The Inka and Aztec Studies
*NEW* LACS 20310 Chicago habla español
LACS 21100 Las regiones del español
LACS 21903 Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: textos hispanoamericanos desde la colonia a la independencia
LACS 22003 Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: del modernismo al presente
*NEW* LACS 23025 Vidas Infames: Sujetos heterodoxos en el mundo hispánico (1500–1800) [F]
*NEW* LACS 25322 History of Public Space in Mexico
LACS 25810 Global Abstraction
LACS 26130/36130 History of Spain, 1876-Present
*NEW* LACS 26388 Food Justice and Biodiversity in Latin America
*NEW* LACS 26624 Extractivism in Latin America
LACS 26810/36810 From Cannibalism to Tropicalism: Brazilian Avant-Gard
*NEW* LACS 27536 The Transatlantic Slave Trade & The Making Of The Black Lusophone Atlantic, 1450-1888
*NEW* LACS 27720/37720 Races, Castes, and Their Relationships in Latin American Colonial Music
*NEW* LACS 27726/37726 Body Modifications, Sociocultural Meanings, and Beauty in Ancient Mesoamerica
LACS 28488 Politics and Public Policy in Latin America
LACS 29700 Reading and Research in Latin American Studies
LACS 29900 Preparation of the BA Essay
LACS 35501 New Directions in Afro-Latin Performance
LACS 40100 Rdg/Rsch: Latin Amer Studies
LACS 40300 MA Paper Prep: Latin America
LACS 46350 Literatura e ideas en el Caribe Hispánico: El siglo XIX
*NEW* LACS 51515 An Island is a World: Readings in Caribbean Enthnography [F]
*NEW* LACS 59900 Colloquium: Histories of Inequality in Latin America [F]

 

LACS 12200 (PORT 12200)

Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
Ana Lima
MWF 11:30-12:20PM

This course is intended for speakers of Spanish to develop competence quickly in spoken and written Portuguese. In this intermediate-level course, students learn ways to apply their Spanish language skills to mastering Portuguese by concentrating on the similarities and differences between the two languages.

PQ: SPAN 20100 or instructor consent.

 

LACS 16213 (ARTH 16213)

Andean Art and Architecture
Claudia Brittenham
TR 12:30-1:50PM

The civilizations of ancient Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador challenge many of our assumptions about the nature of art and society. In this course, we will study traditional Andean forms of art, such as textiles and landscape modification, as well as more familiar media, such as architecture and sculpture. Focusing on the art of the Chavín, Nazca, Moche, Tiwanaku, and Inca civilizations, among others, we will consider the interplay between naturalism and abstraction, imperial control and regional diversity, and the challenges of the Andean environment. In addition to a textbook, we will read scholarly articles addressing aspects of Andean art history. Students will have the opportunity to hone their research and writing skills through short writing assignments and a final research paper drawing on objects in Chicago's superb museum collections.

 

LACS 16300/34800 (ANTH 23103; HIST 16103/36103; SOSC 26300; CRES 16103; PPHA 39780)

Introduction to Latin American Civilization III [F]
Brodie Fischer
MWF 1:30–2:20PM

Taking these courses in sequence is not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This sequence is offered every year. This course introduces the history and cultures of Latin America (e.g., Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands). The third quarter focuses on the twentieth century, with special emphasis on economic development and its political, social, and cultural consequences.

 

LACS 20100/40305 (ANTH 20100/40100)

The Inka and Aztec Studies
Alan Kolata
TBD

This course is an intensive examination of the origins, structure, and meaning of two native states of the ancient Americas: the Inka and the Aztec. Lectures are framed around an examination of theories of state genesis, function, and transformation, with special reference to the economic, institutional, and symbolic bases of indigenous state development. This course is broadly comparative in perspective and considers the structural significance of institutional features that are either common to or unique expressions of these two Native American states.

 

*NEW* LACS 20310 (SPAN 20301)

Chicago habla español
TBD
MW 1:30–2:50PM

Chicago is known to have multiple, diverse Spanish-speaking communities. In this course, students will immerse themselves in these communities to analyze and debate current issues confronting the LatinX experience in the United States and Midwest. In parallel, class instruction will reinforce and expand students’ grammatical and lexical proficiency in a manner that will allow students to engage in real-life activities involving speaking, reading, listening and writing skills. This intermediate-high language course targets the development of writing skills and oral proficiency in Spanish and is designed as an alternative to SPAN 20300. In class, students will review problematic grammatical structures, write a number of essays, and participate in multiple conversations using authentic readings and listening segments as linguistic models on which to base their own production. At the end of class, students are expected to produce an individual project.

 

LACS 21100 (SPAN 21100)

La regiones del español
TBD
MW 1:30–2:50PM

This sociolinguistic course expands understanding of the historical development of Spanish and awareness of the great sociocultural diversity within the Spanish-speaking world and its impact on the Spanish language. We emphasize the interrelationship between language and culture as well as ethno-historical transformations within the different regions of the Hispanic world. Special consideration is given to identifying lexical variations and regional expressions exemplifying diverse sociocultural aspects of the Spanish language, and to recognizing phonological differences between dialects. We also examine the impact of indigenous cultures on dialectical aspects. The course includes literary and nonliterary texts, audio-visual materials, and visits by native speakers of a variety of Spanish-speaking regions.

 

LACS 21903 (SPAN 21903; CRES 21903)

Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: textos hispanoamericanos desde la colonia a la independencia 
Larisa Brewer-Garcia
TBD

This sociolinguistic course expands understanding of the historical development of Spanish and awareness of the great sociocultural diversity within the Spanish-speaking world and its impact on the Spanish language. We emphasize the interrelationship between language and culture as well as ethno-historical transformations within the different regions of the Hispanic world. Special consideration is given to identifying lexical variations and regional expressions exemplifying diverse sociocultural aspects of the Spanish language, and to recognizing phonological differences between dialects. We also examine the impact of indigenous cultures on dialectical aspects. The course includes literary and nonliterary texts, audio-visual materials, and visits by native speakers of a variety of Spanish-speaking regions.

PQ: SPAN 20300 or placement.

 

LACS 22003 (SPAN 22003)

Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: del modernismo al presente
Danielle Roper
TR 11:00-12:20PM

This course examines an array of representative texts written in Spanish America from the colonial period to the late nineteenth century, underscoring not only their aesthetic qualities but also the historical conditions that made their production possible. Among authors studied are Christopher Columbus, Hernán Cortés, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Simón Bolívar, and José Martí.

PQ: SPAN 20300.

 

*NEW* LACS 23025/33025 (SPAN 23025/33025)

Vidas Infames: Sujetos heterodoxos en el mundo hispánico (1500–1800) [F]
Miguel Martinez
TR 9:30-10:50AM

En este curso leeremos y discutiremos las vidas de varias mujeres y hombres comunes perseguidos por la Inquisición hispánica entre 1500 y 1800, aproximadamente, tanto en Europa y el Mediterráneo como en las Américas. La mayoría de estas vidas fueron dichas por los mismos acusados frente a un tribunal eclesiástico. Estas autobiografías orales, producidas en condiciones de máxima dureza y precariedad, revelan la forma en que la vida cotidiana es moldeada e interrumpida por el poder. Leeremos las historias de hombres transgénero, mujeres criptojudías, campesinos moriscos, renegados, profetas y monjas acusadas de sodomía, entre otras; y discutiremos temas como la relación entre poder y subjetividad, heterodoxia y cultura popular, las formas narrativas del yo o la articulación biográfica de la clase, la raza y el género en la primera modernidad. Estas ‘vidas ínfimas’, a pesar de su concreta individualidad, permiten ofrecer un amplio panorama de la historia cultural y social de España y América en la era de la Inquisición.

Taught in Spanish.

 

*NEW* LACS 25322 (HIST 25322; ENST 26322; ARCH 26322)

History of Public Spaces in Mexico
Christian Rocha
TR 2:00-3:20PM

Streets and plazas have been sites in which much of Mexican history has been fought, forged, and even performed. This course examines the history of public spaces in Mexico since the Spanish Conquest. By gauging the degree to which these sites were truly open to the public, it addresses questions of social exclusion, resistance, and adaptability. The course traces more than the role and evolution of built sites. It also considers the individuals and groups that helped to define these places. This allows us to read street vendors, prostitutes, students, rioters, and the "prole" as central historical actors. Through case studies and primary sources, we will examine palpable examples of how European colonization, various forms of state building, and more recent neoliberal reforms have transformed ordinary Mexicans and their public spaces.

 

LACS 25810/35810 (ARTH 25810/35810)

Global Abstraction
Megan Sullivan
MW 3:00-4:20 PM

This course investigates twentieth-century abstraction as a global phenomenon, focusing on the period from 1945 through the 1960s. Case studies will be drawn primarily from the United States, Europe, Latin America and East Asia, but individual research projects from other regions will be welcome. Themes and questions to be addressed include: the repetition of historical avant-garde strategies such as the grid, the monochrome, and non-compositional order in Europe, the United States, and South America; the global reception and adaptation of Abstract Expressionism; distinct understandings of gesture, mark-making, and subjectivity; the meaning and use of color; the relationship of abstraction to industry and design; the deployment of abstraction as a "weapon of the Cold War" and a strategy of internationalization; and autochthonous definitions of abstraction outside the West. Artists and groups to be studied include: Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Zero, Blinky Palermo, Georges Mathieu, Lucio Fontana, Neoconcretism, Alejandro Otero, Gutai, and Tansaekhwa.

 

LACS 26130/36130 (HIST 26130-36130)

History of Spain, 1876-Presesnt
Mauricio Tenorio
TR 8:00-9:20AM

The course is designed as a general introduction to the political, cultural, and social history of Spain from the Restauración to the 2000s. The course's fundamental aim is to sparkle students' curiosity to learn more and to think history—American, "Latin," European, African—with its indispensable ingredient revisited, namely, Spain.

 

*NEW* LACS 26388

Food Justice and Biodiversity in Latin America
Diana Schwartz Francisco
TR 11:00–12:20PM

This course asks how the relationships between food production and consumption, economic justice, and biodiversity have changed over the last century in Latin America. As a region known both for its ecological diversity and as a producer of tropical foods regularly consumed in the United States, Latin America is also a site in which plantation style agriculture has often undermined such celebrated biodiversity. In centering the role of workers and consumers, it considers the layered relationships— ecological, social, political, economic and cultural—between the production and consumption of food from Latin America

 

*NEW* LACS 26624 (ANTH 23024)

Extractivism in Latin America
Steven Schwartz
TR 3:30-4:50PM

From the elusive search for El Dorado to the growing transition to renewable energy, extractivism has defined and continues to produce effects on the everyday lives, economic possibilities, and political horizons of Latin Americans in different historic and geographic settings. This course critically explores the social and material worlds built around resource extraction in Latin America. By focusing on key episodes of 20th and 21st century energy development, the course will examine how extractivism has enabled and foreclosed certain configurations of political power, especially in relation to the state, (anti-)imperialism, the left, and indigenous social movements. We will also explore the rise of anti-extractivist struggles and critiques, with a particular emphasis on indigenous peoples’ mobilization of human rights discourse. Course readings will be interdisciplinary (from anthropology and economics to history and film), drawing on cases from Venezuela, Paraguay, Brazil, Mexico, and Bolivia.

 

LACS 26810/36810 (PORT 26810/36810)

From Cannibalism to Tropicalism: Brazilian Avant-Gard
Victoria Saramago
MW 3:00–4:20PM

Avant-garde movements, tendencies, and artists have been present in Brazil throughout the twentieth century. From the paradigmatic Week of Modern Art in 1922 to the Tropicalism of the 1960s and 1970s, this course revisits works of fiction, poetry, essay, visual arts, film, and music that have shaped the Brazilian avant-gardes. We will focus on the Modernist Movement, Concretism, Neoconcretism, New Cinema, Tropicalism, and regional avant-garde movements produced across the country.

 

*NEW* LACS 27536 (CRES 27536, GNSE 27536, HIST 29009, HMRT 27536)

The Transatlantic Slave Trade & The Making Of The Black Lusophone Atlantic, 1450-1888
Erin McCullugh
TBD

By the abolition of Brazilian slavery in 1888, an estimated 4.3 million men, women, and children had been imported from Africa to Brazil. Yet, the narratives of slavery and freedom in the North Anglophone and Francophone Atlantic often dominate the popular imagination. This course is aimed at increasing knowledge about how slavery and the transatlantic slave trade shaped the Atlantic World through an examination of the deeply intertwined histories of Brazil and West Africa. This course offers a critical “genealogy of the present” by investigating the historical roots of racial, gendered, and social inequality that persist in Brazil and Lusophone West Africa today. It will focus on the diverse social, cultural, and political linkages that were forged as a result of the transatlantic trade with particular attention to the Portuguese in West Africa; the development and growth of the slave trade to Brazil; the relationship between slavery and gender; the continuity and adaptation of African social and cultural practices; and resistance, rebellion, and freedom. We will end the course with a look at how different communities, individuals, and nations continue to grapple with the memory and legacy of slavery today.

 

*NEW* LACS 27720/37720 (PORT 27720, SPAN 27720, MUSI 27720)

Races, Castes, and Their Relationships in Latin American Colonial Music
Leonardo Waisman

TR 11:00–12:20PM

The course will undertake a critical survey of repertoires, institutions, and social practices related to musical practices in Spain and Portugal’s American territories between 1558 and ca. 1800. The missions of the Jesuits and other orders, the constitution of the musical chapels of the cathedrals, the “villancico de negros,” and the emergence of local popular music will be some of the topics examined, with a critical assessment of recent views of the role of Colonial music in current musical life.

 

*NEW* LACS 27726/37726 (ANTH 23028)

Body Modifications, Sociocultural Meanings, and Beauty in Ancient Mesoamerica
Vera Tiesler
MW 4:30–5:50PM

The course will introduce past and current anthropological discussions of embodiment and beauty and then explore culturally born body concepts from the perspective of native Mesoamerican thought and ritual practice. A methodological unit will embrace reconstructions of ancient body modifications at the intersection between (bio) archaeology, ethnohistory, semiotics, and imagery. We will also review and discuss basic visual, behavioral, and social aspects of native Mesoamerican body works, focusing on head shaping, dental modification, and skin ornaments. A number of case studies target such forms of physical embodiment among the Olmecs, Maya, and the Aztecs. Finally, we will cover the evolving roles of body modifications past the European contact in Mexico, providing food-for-thought in discussing Novohispanic domination strategies, native resilience, and transformation.

 

LACS 28488 (PBPL 28488)

Politics and Public Policy in Latin America
Maria Bautista
TR 12:30–1:50PM

This course will cover the politics of policy making in Latin America. The first part will focus on understanding the problems of economic development in the region. It will address how and why Latin America is different by looking at its economic outcomes, economic and social policies and political institutions. It will also look at different examples of how political institutions shape policy outcomes. The second part will ground the distinctiveness of Latin America in its history, and show why understanding this is critical for comprehending why it is so different from the United States. It will explore how these historical factors persist, for example, how the legacy of authoritarianism shapes redistributive policies and how these historical foundations have created the weak Latin American states we see today. The third part of the course will look at how groups such as civil society or violent actors can also shape policymaking and welfare in this region. Finally, it will discuss some perspectives on whether some countries in the region have managed to find ways to change their political institutions and subsequently their social and economic policies with the prospect of creating a more prosperous society. The aim of this course is for students to gain empirical knowledge on the region's politics and policies as well as practical understanding of political factors that shape policy outcomes.

 

LACS 29700

Reading/Research: Latin American Studies
ARR.
Students and instructors can arrange a Reading and Research course in Latin American Studies when the material being studied goes beyond the scope of a particular course, when students are working on material not covered in an existing course or when students would like to receive academic credit for independent research.

PQ: Consent of faculty adviser required.

 

LACS 29900

Prep BA Essay: Latin American Studies
ARR.
Independent BA thesis course.
PQ: Consent of undergraduate thesis/project adviser required.

 

LACS 35501 (SPAN 35500, TAPS 34880)

New Directions in Afro-Latin Performance
Danielle Roper
T 2:00–4:50PM

This class engages contemporary conversations in the study of Afro-Latin performance and explores the work of emerging black performance artists across the hemisphere. Tracing performances of blackness from the Southern cone to the Caribbean, we will examine the ways blackness is wielded by the State and by black communities themselves in performance and visual art across the region. We ask: what is the relationship between race and theatricality? What work is blackness made to do in states organized around discourses of racial democracy and mestizaje? How are notions of diaspora constructed through performances of blackness? We take up these questions in our study of reggaetón, hip hop, samba, el baile de los negritos and examine the works of noted and upcoming black artists such as Victoria and Nicomedes Santa-Cruz, Carlos Martiel, Las Nietas de Nonó, and others.

 

LACS 40100

Reading/Research: Latin American Studies
ARR.
Students and instructors can arrange a Reading and Research course in Latin American Studies when the material being studied goes beyond the scope of a particular course, when students are working on material not covered in an existing course or when students would like to receive academic credit for independent research.

PQ: Consent of faculty adviser required.

 

LACS 40300

MA Paper Prep: Latin American Studies
ARR.
Independent MA thesis course

PQ: Consent of faculty adviser required.

 

LACS 46350 (SPAN 49350)

Literatura e ideas en el Caribe Hispánico: El siglo XIX
TBD
Agnes Lugo-Ortiz

En este curso examinaremos algunas de las principales corrientes intelectuales del Caribe Hispánico durante el siglo XIX y sus relaciones con la producción literaria de la época. Para ello nos enfocaremos en la lectura cuidadosa de una serie de documentos históricos y de textos literarios clave. En particular, haremos hincapié en los modos en que algunas de las ideas de la Ilustración, del liberalismo y del positivismo filosóficos fueron refuncionalizadas al interior de los debates en torno a la esclavitud así como de los proyectos de independencia nacional y de reforma social que se escenificaron en la región durante este periodo, procurando destacar sus efectos para el desarrollo de determinadas estéticas literarias y retóricas políticas. ¿En qué medida los postulados de la Ilustración sirivieron para estructurar el imaginario pro y anti-esclavista del Caribe Hispánico? ¿Cuál fue la naturaleza de las relaciones entre liberalismo y abolicionismo? ¿Hasta qué punto ciertos principios conceptuales asociados al desarrollo de las modernas ciencias naturales vinieron a apoyar o a cuestionar --y por ende a narrar-- la legitimidad del orden colonial y de los proceso de emancipación social (tales como aquellos relacionados a los derechos de las mujeres y al temprano movimiento obrero) que se despegaron hacia finales del siglo? Y finalmente, ¿cómo la literatura terminó participando de estas polémicas, transformándolas estéticamente en proyectos de ficción?

 

*NEW* LACS 51515 (SPAN 51515, CRES 51515, ANTH 51515)

An Island is a World: Readings in Caribbean Enthnography [F]
Ryan Jobson
TBD

This advanced graduate seminar examines the construction of the Caribbean as an object of anthropological study. The aims of this seminar are twofold. Following Michel-Rolph Trouillot, this seminar will attend to “Caribbean as viewed by anthropologists, but also about anthropology as viewed from the Caribbean.” In turn, students will consider whether the Caribbean is an exceptional or exemplary geography in the anthropological imagination.Accordingly, students will consult the writings of Trouillot, MG Smith, Constance Sutton, Lynn Bolles, and Deborah Thomas, among others. Additionally, students will be introduced to the Raymond T. Smith Papers in Special Collections at the Regenstein Library.

 

*NEW* LACS 59900 (HIST 59900)

Colloquium: Histories of Inequality in Latin America [F]
Brodwyn Fischer
W 2:30–5:20PM

This course is devoted to the issue of inequality in Latin America's history and historiography. We will consider the role that inequality has played in shaping Latin American societies; we will also explore the ways in which political and intellectual constructions of inequality have impacted the development of Latin American historiography. Throughout the course, we will pay particular attention to historical methodology: the ways in which historians formulate their questions, the interaction of theory and research, and the nature of historical research. Issues covered will include colonialism, slavery, citizenship, social movements, and the Latin American manifestations of global inequalities.