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Latin American & Caribbean Studies
Winter 2021 Courses



  • 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

*NEW* LACS 11008 Introduction to Latinx Literature
LACS 14100 Portuguese for Speakers of Romance Languages
LACS 16200/34700 Introduction to Latin American Civilization II [F]
LACS 16460 Modern Latin American Art 
LACS 20500 Cultura do Mondo Lusofono
LACS 20600 Composição e Conversação Avançada
LACS 21001 Human Rights: Contemporary Issues
LACS 21100 Las Regiones del Español 
*NEW* LACS 21275 Theologies from Africa, Asia, and Latin America
*NEW* LACS 22021 Latinx Lives: Finding and Filling the Gaps
*NEW* LACS 22100 Critical Approaches to Race and Gender: Slavery and Its Afterlives in the Americas
*NEW* LACS 22521 ¿Qué Onda Siri? Ciencia Ficción Latinoamericana
*NEW* LACS 22821 Women and Horor in Contemporary Latin America
LACS 24901 Trade, Development, and Poverty in Mexico
LACS 25303 Human Rights: Migrants, Refugee, Citizen
*NEW* LACS 25320 Poverty and Urban Development and the Right to Housing in Latin America
LACS 26220/36220 Brazil: Another American History 
LACS 26380 Indigenous Politics in Latin America
LACS 26382/36382 Development and Environment in Latin America [F]
LACS 26409/36409 Revolution, Dictatorship, and Violence in Modern Latin America [F]
LACS 27200/37200 Introduction to Brazilian Culture
LACS 29201/39201 Puerto Rico 
LACS 29700 Reading/Research: Latin American Studies
LACS 29900 Prep BA Essay: Latin American Studies
*NEW* LACS 36233 Kincaid and Naipaul 
LACS 40100 Reading/Research: Latin American Studies
LACS 40300 MA Paper Prep: Latin American Studies
LACS 47814 Advanced Seminar in Mesoamerican Linguistics
*NEW* LACS 49200 Colloquium: Approaches to Atlantic Slavery Studies [F]
*NEW* LACS 52802 Politics of Intimacy
*NEW* LACS 53205 Sovereignty/Territory/Coloniality


*NEW* LACS 11008 (ENGL 11008, CMLT 11008, SPAN 21008)

Introduction to Latinx Literature
Rachel Galvin
TR 1:00PM-2:20PM

From the activist literature of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement to contemporary fiction and poetry, this course explores the forms, aesthetics, and political engagements of U.S. Latinx literature in the 20th and 21st centuries. Theoretical readings are drawn from Chicanx Studies, Latinx Studies, American Studies, Latin American Studies, Hemispheric Studies, Indigenous Studies, and Postcolonial Studies, as we explore Latinx literature in the context of current debates about globalization, neoliberalism, and U.S. foreign policy; Latinx literature's response to technological and socio-political changes and its engagement with race, gender, sexuality, class, and labor; and its dialogues with indigenous, Latin American, North American, and European literatures. (Poetry, 1830-1940, Theory)


LACS 14100 (PORT 14100)

Portuguese for Speakers of Romance Languages
Ana Lima
MWF 10:20AM-11:10AM

This course helps students quickly gain skills in spoken and written Portuguese by building on their prior working knowledge of another Romance language (Spanish, French, Catalan or Italian). By relying on the many similarities with other Romance languages, students can focus on mastering the different aspects of Portuguese, allowing them to develop their abilities for further study. This class covers content from PORT 10100 and 10200.
PQ: 20100 in another Romance Language or instructor consent. No auditors.


LACS 16200/34700 (ANTH 23102; HIST 16102/36102; SOSC 26200; CRES 16102; PPHA 39770)

Introduction to Latin American Civilizations II [F]
Dain Borges
MWF 1:50 – 2:40PM

May be taken in sequence or individually. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This course is offered every year. Winter Quarter addresses the evolution of colonial societies, the wars of independence, and the emergence of Latin American nation-states in the changing international context of the nineteenth century.


LACS 16460 (ARTH 16460)

Moderm Latin American Art
Megan Sullivan
TR 9:40AM-11:00AM

This course offers an introductory survey of the art of modern Latin America from the first wave of independence in early nineteenth century to the present day. Through the study of key artists, movements, and works of art, we will attend to a set of central problems: the formation of collective identities in these new nations, the impact of revolution, dictatorship, and political violence on the development of art in the region, the incorporation of both foreign styles and indigenous traditions, and the shifting definitions of Latin American art. Special emphasis will be placed on developing the skills needed to analyze a wide variety of modern and contemporary art, including painting, sculpture, photography, performance art, and site-specific installations.


LACS 20500 (PORT20500)

Cultura do Mundo Lusofono
Ana Maria Lima
MWF 1:50PM–2:40PM

In this course students will explore the culture of the Lusophone world through the study of a wide variety of contemporary literary and journalistic texts from Brazil, Portugal, Angola and Mozambique, and unscripted recordings. This advanced language course targets the development of writing skills and oral proficiency in Portuguese. Students will review problematic grammatical structures, write a number of essays, and participate in multiple class debates, using authentic readings and listening segments as linguistic models on which to base their own production.


LACS 20600 (PORT20600)

Composição e Conversação Avançada
Ana Maria Lima
MWF 11:30AM–12:20PM

The objective of this course is to help students acquire advanced grammatical knowledge of the Portuguese language through exposure to cultural and literary content with a focus on Brazil. Students develop skills to continue perfecting their oral and written proficiency and comprehension of authentic literary texts and recordings, while also being exposed to relevant sociocultural and political contemporary topics. Students read, analyze, and discuss authentic texts by established writers from the lusophone world; they watch and discuss videos of interviews with writers and other prominent figures to help them acquire the linguistic skills required in academic discourse. Through exposure to written and spoken authentic materials, students learn the grammatical and lexical tools necessary to understand such materials as well as produce their own written analysis, response, and commentary. In addition, they acquire knowledge on major Brazilian authors and works.


LACS 21001 (HMRT 21001, LLSO 21001, HIST 29304))

Human Rights: Contemporary Issues
Susan Gzesh

This course examines basic human rights norms and concepts and selected contemporary human rights problems from across the globe, including human rights implications of the COVID pandemic. Beginning with an overview of the present crises and significant actors on the world stage, we will then examine the political setting for the United Nations’ approval of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948. The post-World War 2 period was a period of optimism and fertile ground for the establishment of a universal rights regime, given the defeat of fascism in Europe. International jurists wanted to establish a framework of rights that went beyond the nation-state, taking into consideration the partitions of India-Pakistan and Israel-Palestine - and the rising expectations of African-Americans in the U.S. and colonized peoples across Africa and Asia. But from the beginning, there were basic contradictions in a system of rights promulgated by representatives of nation-states that ruled colonial regimes, maintained de facto and de jure systems of racial discrimination, and imprisoned political dissidents and journalists.

Cross-cutting themes of the course include the universalism of human rights, problems of impunity and accountability, notions of “exceptionalism,” and the emerging issue of the “shamelessness” of authoritarian regimes. Students will research a human rights topic of their choosing, to be presented as either a final research paper or a group presentation.



LACS 21100 (SPAN 21100)

Las Regiones del Español
Lidwina van den Hout
MWF 1:50PM-3:10PM

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.


*NEW* LACS 21275 (RLST 21275)

Theologies from Africa, Asia, and Latin America
Dwight Hopkins
W 10:20AM-1:20PM

What are the life factors and specific contexts that amazingly gave rise to religious thinking in the 1960s Third World theologies? And what are the relations among gender, culture, politics, and economics in these global theologies? This class compares and contrasts various systems and methods in contemporary theologies, male and female, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. As we engage these systems of thought, we want to examine the logic of their theologies and the sources used to construct knowledge -- particularly the relation between the materiality of context and the imagination of theology.



*NEW* LACS 22021/32021 (SPAN 22021/32021)

Latinx Lives: Finding and Filling the Gaps
Jessica Marroquinn
TR 2:20PM-5:40PM

The first half of the course will focus on postcolonial and decolonial theoretical approaches to the digital humanities, such as Roopika Risam, Antonio A. Casilli, and Lorena Gauthereau. Students will have two main digital projects: creating a Wikipedia page of a digital archive and a short podcast on said Latinx project. Considering this framework, students will analyze how current digital projects have worked with archival sources to fill historical gaps. This course will utilize accessible materials written by Latinx communities that non-profit organizations, such as Arte Público Press, and a range of universities have recovered in digital projects. The course will explore the intersection between oral histories, storytelling, audio-documentaries, and digital studies. Students will learn to use existing digital archives responsibly, craft an audio-documentary with their current digital tools, and analyze the existing boundaries between history and fiction in digital projects.



*NEW* LACS 22100 (CRES 22100, GNSE 22105)

Critical Approaches to Race and Gender: Slavery and Its Afterlives in the Americas
Deidre Lyons
TR 1:00PM-2:20PM

This lecture and discussion based course employs critical race theory and gender studies to examine the history and legacies of slavery and its afterlives in the Americas (including North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America). Drawing on historical and present-day case studies, this course will challenge us to assess the ways in which ideas about race and gender generated systemic power, oppression, and inequality in different American contexts. Our goal will be to examine how ideas about race, gender, and power evolved from American slave societies and reverberate in our present circumstances. The course presumes familiarity with critical race and gender studies; however, we will revisit some of the major paradigms and concepts to help frame our discussions. In addition to major texts in critical race and gender studies, readings for this course will draw on primary sources, history, and post-colonial studies, as well as fiction, films, podcasts, and class excursions. Evaluation will be based upon class participation as well as short assignments that will culminate in a longer written project and presentation on a topic of students’ choosing.



*NEW* LACS 22521 (SPAN 22521)

¿Qué Onda, Siri? Ciencia Ficción Latinoamericana
Eduardo Leão
TR 9:40AM-11:00AM

Intercambio de cartas entre México y la luna, exploradores planetarios argentinos, hackers activistas en Bolivia y viajes en el tiempo para salvar el Caribe. Aunque a lo largo de su historia no haya gozado del mismo prestigio que otros géneros literarios, la ciencia ficción en América Latina tiene ejemplos que datan del siglo XVIII. Sin embargo, no es hasta los 1950s que el género empieza a ganar impulso editorial y, más tarde, académico. Ya en el siglo XXI, autores como Rita Indiana, Pola Oloixarac y Edmundo Paz Soldán han utilizado los variados elementos constitutivos del género y alcanzando incluso reconocimiento internacional. Frente a tal histórico, este curso busca contestar las siguientes preguntas: ¿De qué manera se asemeja y se difiere la ciencia ficción latinoamericana, de país a país, y en comparación al resto del mundo? ¿Cómo se mezclan los elementos tradicionales del género con las culturas nacionales y regionales del subcontinente? ¿Qué particularidades sociales, políticas, económicas, raciales y de género se manifiestan en estos textos que nos ayudan a pensar la realidad de esta región y que la ficción realista históricamente privilegiada no llega a escenificar? Para ello, nos ocuparemos de novelas, cuentos, poemas, películas, series de televisión y performances de América Latina, desde sus principios decimonónicos hasta el presente, enfocándonos en los elementos característicos del género y las representaciones culturales puestas en escena por estos artistas.

PQ: SPAN 20300


*NEW* LACS 22821 (SPAN 22821, GNSE 22822)

Women and Horror in Contemporary Latin America
Laura Colaneri
TR 2:40PM-4:00PM

In this seminar, students will explore questions relevant to both horror studies in general and contemporary Latin American horror specifically from a feminist perspective. What does horror as a genre contribute to the representation and exploration of women's experiences of terrifying events in Latin American history and politics? How can we understand the gendered dynamics of Latin American culture and politics through horror? What do gendered themes in Latin American horror say about societal attitudes, oppression, and struggles for equality? How does the representation of Latin American women in horror texts contribute to or subvert forms of oppression? This interdisciplinary course will transverse the region as well as genres, covering such texts as the short stories of Amparo Dávila (Mexico) and Mariana Enríquez (Argentina); novellas by Carlos Fuentes (Mexico) and Felisberto Hernández (Uruguay); and films such as As boas maneiras (Brazil, 2017).

Taught in Spanish.


LACS 24901 (PBPL 24901, SOCI 24901)

Trade, Development, and Poverty in Mexico
Charles (Chad) Broughton
MW 3:00PM-4:20PM

Taking the past twenty years as its primary focus, this course examines the impact of economic globalization across Mexico with particular emphasis on the border region and the rural South. We explore the impact of NAFTA and the shift to neoliberal policies in Mexico. In particular, we examine the human dimension of these broad changes as related to social development, immigration, indigenous populations, and poverty. While primarily critical, the primary objective of the course is to engage in an interdisciplinary exploration of the question: Is trade liberalization an effective development strategy for poor Mexicans?


LACS 25303

Human Rights: Migrant, Refugee, Citizen
Susan Gzesh

The fundamental principle underlying human rights is that they are inherent in the identity of all human beings, regardless of place and without regard to citizenship, nationality, or immigration status. Human rights are universal and must be respected everywhere and always. Human rights treaties and doctrines mandate that a person does not lose their human rights simply by crossing a border. While citizens enjoy certain political rights withheld from foreigners within any given nation-state, what ARE the rights of non-citizens in the contemporary world? Students will research a human rights topic of their choosing, to be presented as either a final research paper or a group presentation.




*NEW* LACS 25320 (GLST 25320, ENST 25320, ANTH 23097)

Poverty and Urban Development and the Right to Housing in Latin America
Ines Escobar Gonzalez
MW 1:50PM-3:10PM

Bringing a wide variety of disciplinary texts into conversation, this course leads towards a holistic understanding of the historically rooted and globally entangled housing condition of Latin America’s urban poor. It encourages students to read along the grain of developmental discourse at different stages of twentieth-century development, thus advancing students’ capacity to critically situate and condition global and national policies. The course analytically foregrounds problems of governance, resource distribution, and sociopolitical complexity, providing students with a representative range of case studies from across the subcontinent and interrogating what it means for social and economic goods to be labeled human rights. Throughout the course, students will examine diverse housing arrangements and policies in the context of national, regional, and global development histories. Ultimately, this course advances comprehension of the particularities of contemporary Latin American societies, and that which they share with the Global South and the world at large.



LACS 26220/36220 (HIST 26220/36220)

Brazil: Another American History
Brodwyn Fischer
TR 2:40PM-4:00PM

Brazil is in many ways a mirror image of the United States: an almost continental democracy, rich in natural resources, populated by the descendants of three continents, shaped by colonialism, slavery, and sui generis liberal capitalism. Why, then, has Brazil's historical path been so distinct? To explore this question, this course will focus on the history of economic development, race, citizenship, urbanization, the environment, popular culture, violence, and the challenge of democracy. Assignments: Weekly reading, participation in discussions, weekly journal posts, and a final paper.


LACS 26380 (HIST 26318)

Indigenous Politics in Latin America
Diana Schwartz Francisco
TR 9:40AM-11:00AM

This course examines the history of Indigenous policies and politics in Latin America from the first encounters with European empires through the 21st Century. Course readings and discussions will consider several key historical moments across the region: European encounters/colonization; the rise of liberalism and capitalist expansion in the 19th century; 20th-century integration policies; and pan-Indigenous and transnational social movements in recent decades. Students will engage with primary and secondary texts that offer interpretations and perspectives both within and across imperial and national boundaries.


LACS 26382/36382 (ENST 26382, GEOG 26382, HIPS 26382, HIST 26317/36317)

Development and Environment in Latin America [F]
Diana Schwartz Francisco
TR 1:00PM–2:20PM

This course will consider the relationship between development and the environment in Latin America and the Caribbean. We will consider the social, political, and economic effects of natural resource extraction, the quest to improve places and peoples, and attendant ecological transformations, from the onset of European colonialism in the fifteenth century, to state- and private-led improvement policies in the twentieth. Some questions we will consider are: How have policies affected the sustainability of land use in the last five centuries? In what ways has the modern impetus for development, beginning in the nineteenth century and reaching its current intensity in the mid-twentieth, shifted ideas and practices of sustainability in both environmental and social terms? And, more broadly, to what extent does the notion of development help us explain the historical relationship between humans and the environment?


LACS 26409/36409 (HIST 26409/36409, LLSO 26409)

Revolution, Dictatorship, and Violence in Modern Latin America [F]
Brodwyn Fischer
TR 11:20AM-12:40PM

This course will examine the role played by Marxist revolutions, revolutionary movements, and the right-wing dictatorships that have opposed them in shaping Latin American societies and political cultures since the end of World War II. Themes examined will include the relationship among Marxism, revolution, and nation building; the importance of charismatic leaders and icons; the popular authenticity and social content of Latin American revolutions; the role of foreign influences and interventions; the links between revolution and dictatorship; and the lasting legacies of political violence and military rule. Countries examined will include Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Mexico.

PQ: Some familiarity with Latin American history or the history of the global Cold War is helpful.


LACS 27200/37200 (PORT 27200/37200)

Introduction to Brazilian Culture
Victoria Saramago
MW 4:10PM-5:30PM

This course provides a survey of Brazilian culture through its literature, music, cinema, visual arts, and digital culture. Through these different media, we will discuss topics such as urban development, racial issues, gender issues, modernity, deforestation, and internal migrations, besides samba, bossa nova, funk, and visual arts movements, among others. Authors may include Machado de Assis, Oswald de Andrade, Rubem Fonseca, Bernardo Carvalho, Angélica Freitas, Glauber Rocha, Suzana Amaral, and Walter Salles.


LACS 29201/39201 (HIST 29201/39201)

Puerto Rico
Dain Borges
TR 9:40AM–11:00AM

An examination of the current situation of Puerto Rico in historical perspective. Assignments: Short papers, quizzes, midterm exam, final paper.


LACS 29700

Reading/Research: Latin American Studies
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
Independent BA thesis course.
PQ: Consent of undergraduate thesis/project adviser required.


*NEW* LACS 36233 (ENGL 36233, GNSE 36233)

Kincaid and Naipaul
Kaneesha Parsard
MW 4:10PM–5:30PM

This course focuses on the works of Jamaica Kincaid, V.S. Naipaul (whom cultural critic Shalini Puri once called a “postcolonial skeptic”), and their interlocutors. We will read fiction and non-fiction alike to investigate history, debt, and violence and the act of writing about the postcolony from the Global North. (20th/21st)


LACS 40100

Reading/Research: Latin American Studies
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
Independent MA thesis course

PQ: Consent of faculty adviser required. 


LACS 47814

Advanced Seminar in Mesoamerican Linguistics
John Lucy

Advanced course for the study of Mesoamerican Languages and Linguistics topics. Students must work with John Lucy to establish the language to be studied.


LACS 49200 (HIST 49200, CRES 49200, GNSE 49201)

Colloquium: Approaches to Atlantic Slavery Studies [F]
Rashauna Johnson
T 3:30PM-6:20PM

We are witnessing an outpouring of scholarship on Atlantic slavery even as some historians are increasingly critical of the archival method. This course uses select theoretical readings and recent monographs and articles to examine this conceptual and methodological debate. Topics to be examined include histories of women, gender, and sexuality; dispossession and resistance; urban and migration history; and interdisciplinary and speculative techniques.


LACS 52802 (ANTH 52802, CRES 52802)

Politics of Intimacy
Mareike Winchell
T 9:30AM–12:20PM

This course draws from interdisciplinary debates to position intimate forms in relation to broader textures of emotion and ethics, desire and race, labor and liberation. Heuristically, intimacy allows us to attend to practices that spill beyond more dyadic understandings of ostensibly private domains of sexuality or kinship as opposed to public forms of economic production and labor. Course readings, taken primarily but not exclusively from the Latin American region, will consider specific instances when the gathering together of bodies in close quarters (e.g. in arrangements of domestic servitude, colonial-era monasteries and convents, indigenous slave-holding in the Americas, settler households and adoptive parentage configurations) became problematic and subject to governmental intervention. We will further ask how, in moments of colonial reform, post-colonial change, and de-colonial mobilization, intimate forms became newly offensive but also grounded (and continue to ground) emergent claims to life and rights. The course ends by meditating on the entailments of intimacy for ethnography, namely, as a model of research rooted in attachments and vulnerabilities rather than spectatorship and distance.



LACS 53205 (ANTH 53205)

Ryan Jobson
T 1:00PM-4:00PM

This graduate seminar approaches the legal-juridical category of sovereignty through the social theory and ethnography of the state. Particular consideration will be awarded to the emergence of sovereignty as a sixteenth Century political writings of Thomas Hobbes and Jean Bodin alongside concurrent histories of colonial genocide and plantation slavery. To what extent does the discourse pf sovereignty emerge out of the colonial encounter? In debating this question, students will consult authors including Hobbes, Bodin, John Locke, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Deborah Thomas, and Yarimar Bonilla.