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LACS- Related Courses Offered in Fall 2021



HIS 213: Colonial Latin America (Prof. Gootenberg)

Latin America's colonial experience left a deep and enduring mark on the region. This introductory course surveys major developments and themes from Latin America's indigenous and Iberian colonial past (1400-1820), by drawing on the 'social history' of core societies like Mexico, Peru, and Brazil. This long period of collision between European and American society is rife with heady topics: imperialism, conquest, culture clash, resistance, slavery, race, and revolt. We assess them with an historian's eye. Requirements include two quizzes and 3 critical book essays. MW 2:40-4:00

HIS 280: The History of the US Working Class (Prof. Flores)

Through lectures, readings, and films, this course provides a broad overview of the historical trends and transformations that have shaped the lives of working-class men and women in the United States from the colonial period to the present, with an emphasis on the 20th and 21st centuries. Groups of workers studied include slaves, industrial and agricultural workers, fast food workers, high-tech assembly workers, private domestic labor, sex workers, sweatshop employees, and immigrant and guest laborers from around the world. Topics covered include the racialization and feminization of labor, capitalism and Marxism, unionization struggles, workplace tragedies, corporations and borders, and globalization. Course requirements include active class participation, reading response papers and quizzes throughout the semester, and a midterm and final exam. TuTh 9:45-11:05

HIS 323: Women of Color in the U.S. (Prof. Lim)

In what ways is the history of race in America a gendered history? This course will focus on the creation of the modern color line in American history by analyzing the 20th century cultural productions of African American, Asian American, Native American, and Latina/Chicana women. We will explore autobiographies written by women of color such as Zitkala-Sa. We will examine the careers of racial minority actresses such as Anna May Wong. Our central concern will be the ways in which race has been historically constructed as a gendered category. Readings will average 150 to 200 pages a week. Attendance and class participation are mandatory and students will be required to facilitate class discussion at least once during the semester. Students will take two midterms and will complete a 5 to 8 page final research essay on race, gender, and twentieth-century American culture. TuTh 1:15-2:35

HIS 379: Rebels and Revolutionaries: Latin America in the Global 1960s (Prof. Zolov)

This course explores the intertwined relationship between “rebels and revolutionaries” embodied in the figure of Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Latin America during the Global 1960s. With his long hair, irreverence toward authority, and militancy, Guevara became a symbol of countercultural rebellion as well as social revolution. Through a close reading of primary sources, the class will focus on different concepts of “rebellion,” “liberation,” and “revolution,” set against the backdrop of guerrilla insurgency, military repression, student protest, and U.S. interventionism. Students will write short, critical analyses of primary documents and produce a longer essay that draws upon course materials. MW 2:40-4:00

HIS 401: Food, Race, and Migration (Prof. Flores)

This course explores the intersectional histories of food, race, and migration in the United States, with most of its focus on the period 1900 to the present. From food that migrated with colonists and enslaved laborers, to food created within ethnic communities trying to establish comfort and presence in the nation, to haute and fusion cuisines that cross racial, classes, geographic, and culinary borders – the things we see on our plates are products of a myriad of movements of people, non-human species, commodities, and ideas. Students will read a combination of academic articles, books (fiction and non-fiction), food blogs, cookbooks, and restaurant menus. High verbal participation in a seminar-like format is expected. Writing assignments will include analytical essays on readings, primary sources, and films. The final project for each student will be an original piece of food writing that takes into account the histories of race and migration in the United States. TH 1:15-4:20

HUS 201: The Hispanic World through Visual Cultures (Prof. Loffredo)

This class will study visual cultural artifacts in close connection to their historical contexts and to the literary traditions of Latin America, Spain and Hispanic/Latino USA.  The class will survey 500 years of cultural traditions through the analysis of maps, textiles, poetry, city designs, monumental sculpture, painting, muralism, graffiti, comic books, visual poetry and Hispanic visual cultural products.  TU/TH 1:15pm – 2:35pm    

HUS 272: Science, Technology, and the Environment  in Latin America (Prof. Uriarte)

Studies the dialogues between scientific and literary discourses in Latin America, discussing the ethics and responsibility of dealing with our current environmental emergency.  Special focus will be on cultural and literary interventions in the debates about sustainability, infrastructure, climate change, and global warming, and on the place that the discourses of science and technology have played in them.   M/W 4:25pm – 5:45pm         

HUS 290: Latin American Cinema (Prof. Vernon)

A contextual approach to the national cinemas of Latin America. Students will develop their skill in film analysis as they examine the specific role of film in re-focusing the terms of ongoing debates on questions of national identity and the function of culture in society.

Film viewing and discussions will be organized around four overlapping themes--Mapping Urban RealitiesRoad MoviesStreet Kids; and Violence and Revolution: A View from Childhood—intended to provide insight into the role of Latin American fiction and documentary cinema in exploring the diverse geographies, societies and histories of the Latin American continent(s). We will also devote special attention to the analysis of various manifestations of social, cultural and economic conflict while revealing the roots of pervasive structural and institutional inequities in 20th and 21st century Latin America. TU/TH 3:00pm - 3:55pm ; TU  3:56pm-5:50pm  

SPN 213: Intermediate Spanish for Speakers of Spanish (Prof. Pérez-Melgosa)

A course intended for students of Spanish-speaking background whose formal training in the language has been limited to a year or less.  It is designed to improve competence in Spanish as it is spoken and written in the Americas.  May not be taken for credit in addition to SPN 210, 211, or 212. M/W  2:40pm – 4:00pm      

SPN 214: Intermediate Medical Spanish (Prof. Davidiak)

This course is intended for students studying or planning a career in medicine  It combines an overview of Intermediate -level Spanish grammar with vocabulary and cultural elements relevant to the healthcare field. M/W   4:25pm – 5:45pm 

SPN 310: Spanish Grammar and Composition for Students of Hispanic-American Background (Prof. Firbas)

A course designed to improve writing through the study of Hispanic-American literature and culture. May not be taken for credit in addition to SPN 311.  M/W 4:25pm – 5:45pm

SPN 311: Spanish Conversation & Composition (Prof. Roncero-López)

A thorough review of Spanish grammar and of the active use of spoken and written forms.  Not intended for students of Spanish-speaking background.  May not be taken for credit in addition to SPN 310.  TU/TH 11:30pm – 12:50pm    

SPN 312: Introduction to Literary Studies (Prof. Pierce)

Reading of selected passages of prose and poetry in class, with special concentration on improving written and oral skills.  Introducing students to the basic elements of literary analysis of Spanish and Latin American works. M/W  2:40pm – 4:00pm   

SPN 321:  Advanced Spanish Grammar & Composition (Prof. Burgos-Lafuente)

A review of advanced Spanish Grammar with emphasis on improving writing skills and increasing mastery of Spanish syntax.  Extensive practice in composition and in translation. M (Asynchronous) W (Synchronous) 4:25pm –5:45pm

SPN 393:  Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics (Prof. Ruiz-Debbe)

The study of Spanish linguistics, including an analysis of the Spanish sound system and the structure of words and sentences.  Topics include the origin and evolution of the Spanish language and the dialects of Latin American and Peninsular Spanish. TU/TH 9:45am – 11:05am     

POR 111: Elementary Portuguese I (Prof. Yonaha)

An introduction to spoken and written Portuguese, stressing pronunciation, speaking, comprehension, reading, and writing, with a focus on Brazilian Portuguese. TU/TH  9:45am – 11:35am      

POR 411: Portuguese For Spanish Speakers (Prof. Yonaha)

A one semester accelerated course in Brazilian Portuguese for students with a native or near – native command of Spanish. This course uses Spanish as a base for study of Portuguese grammar vocabulary and pronunciation.  By the end of the semester students will be prepared to read advance materials and will acquire a basic proficiency in speaking, writing and comprehension of standard Brazilian Portuguese. TU  1:15pm – 4:05pm           

SPN 395: Introduction to Latin American Literature I (Prof. Firbas)

This course studies the literature and historiography of the Spanish empire and its colonies in the Americas, mainly in the 16 th and 17 th centuries, at the very beginning of the first global interchanges, transatlantic and world-encompassing travels. Beginning with the writings of Columbus and the cartographic imagination, in the first part the students will read texts produced during the conquest and the early evangelization, leading to debates on the nature of the Indians and the justice of the European occupation of the New World, and the beginnings of international law and human rights movements. In the second part, the focus will be on narrations of the formation of the new  mestizo and  criollo cultures. Emphasis will be on authors such as the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and the Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Contemporary critical readings will complement class discussion. M/W   2:40pm – 4:00pm 

SPN 405: Indigenous Cultures: Abya Yala (Prof. Pierce)

Introduction to cultural production of Indigenous cultures including art, literature, film, sculpture, and performance.  This course will draw on decolonial praxis from across the region known by the Kuna peoples as Abya Yala (Latin America), and will focus on understanding the cultures and histories of different Indigenous people by reading their own narratives, stories, and practices in context.  Classical texts such as the Maya Quiche’ Popol Vuh will be studied alongside contemporary expressions of the modern lives and cultures of Indigenous peoples. M/W   4:25pm – 5:45pm      

SPN 435:  Geographic Fictions: Latin American Deserts in Film and Literature (Prof. Uriarte)

What is a desert? How are deserts created and how do they relate to the people who live in them or traverse them? What is the significance of the desert within a given national space? In this course we will analyze different representations and conceptualizations of the desert in Latin America, working across different regions, time periods and modes of representation. We will be examining narrative texts and films that conceive the space of the desert in different -and sometimes opposing and contradictory- ways: as a construction, the desert turns out to be a way to convey imaginary, political, ideological projects. We will consider these literary constructions in close relationship to the political and historical context in which they're conceived, and mainly to the different nation-state projects that inform these texts. TU/TH  6:05pm–7:25pm         

WST 102:  Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies in the Social Sciences (Prof. Khan)

An introductory social sciences survey examining the continuities and changes women have made in marriage systems, child-rearing practices, and work patterns inside and outside the home. Within this context, the course considers how women have balanced labor force participation and changing child-care responsibilities in a variety of countries. Using the experimental design and case study methods of anthropology, sociology, economics, psychology, and history, and employing texts drawn from these disciplines, the course shows the changes women's lives have undergone over the past 150 years.

LACS- Related Courses Offered in Fall 2021


HIS 517: Comparative Slavery (Prof. Anderson)

From Barbadian sugar plantations to Northern cities, enslaved Africans figured prominently in the history of the early Atlantic world. In myriad ways, they contributed to the economic, social, and cultural formation of European colonies and later of independent nations. In the process, they developed new survival strategies, social relations, and cultural identities amidst the ravages of the slave trade, exploitative systems of coerced labor, and the inherent violence that characterized slave societies. In this class, we will take a comparative approach to consider how slavery—both as an institution and as a lived experience—differed across regions and periods from the Caribbean to New England. We will explore a wide range of relevant topics, including changing labor systems, transatlantic and internal slave trades, plantation and non-plantation economies, early capitalism, cultural continuities and creolization, religion and spiritual beliefs, resistance and revolution, free black communities, anti-slavery activism and abolition. In addition, we will consider how various scholars have interpreted the influence of slavery on intersectional constructions of race, gender, and class. HIS MA Ph.D. student’s register for HIS 517; MAT Social Studies students register for CEG 566. OPEN TO ALL GRADUATE STUDENTS.

HIS 601: Sonic & Visual History  (Prof. Zolov)

This research seminar explores the interconnected realms of sound and visual history. We will spend the first part of the course exploring the vibrant, interdisciplinary field of Sound Studies, whose influence has recently begun to spill over into History. How can sound be interrogated as historical text? How can historians find sound (methodologically), interpret history through sound (epistemologically), and integrate sound texts and soundscapes into our analysis of the past? Next, we will shift to the field of Visual Studies. Here we will focus in particular on certain modern genres of visual culture, such as photography, posters, and cartoons, yet with an eye toward linking the interpretative lens of visual culture with that of sonic culture. We will read and discuss various foundational texts for sound and visual studies, as well as selected chapters, articles, and other readings that demonstrate the important dialogue transpiring between historians and scholars of Sound and Visual Studies. These discussions will lay the foundation for students to develop a research topic of their choosing, with the goal of a final paper suitable for scholarly publication in an appropriate journal. The latter third of the course will thus focus on research and writing strategies, presentations of rough drafts, and peer review. This course is open to doctoral students working on any topic in any world area, time period, or affiliated field with History. Prerequisite: Enrollment in a History Graduate Program or MAT in Social Studies.

SPN 641: Race, Gender, and Penal Colonies in the Philippines (Prof. Vialette)

This course delves into the racial, ethical, political, and social issues involved in the Spanish penal colonization process in the Philippines in the nineteenth century. We will see that incarceration, in this context, became a method to dispossess indigenous and Muslim people of their land in the Philippines, and to cleanse the Spanish peninsula of those considered a threat to industrial society —criminals, the poor, prostitutes, and vagrants. To that end, labor and procreation were crucial and instrumentalized in the use of prisoners, both male and female, to build the colonial structure.

Our discussions will center on Islands studies, Iberian studies, Atlantic studies, Critical Race theory and Gender studies. Readings will include: Archival documents from the Ministerio de Ultramar, Giorgio Agamben, Concepción Arenal, Juan Luis Bachero Bachero, Jeremy Bentham, John Blanco, Robert Chase, Adela Cortina, Angela Davis, Gilles Deleuze, Robert Esposito, Michel Foucault, Josep Fradera, Teresa Fuentes Peris, Antonio Gramsci, Franz Kafka, Samuel Llano, Cesare Lombroso, Achille MBembe, Mary Louise Pratt, Isabel Ramoz Vázquez, Christopher Schmidt-Nowara, John Schumacher, Nancy Shoemaker, Rita Segato, Joseph Slaughter, Ann Stoler, Anibal Quijano, among others.

This course will help understand the centrality of a transnational and transhistorical approach to understanding the contemporary treatment of prisoners. We will specifically look at the Spanish debates on penal colonies in the Philippines to address still-unresolved questions of prison labor, race politics through imprisonment, and the importance of heteropatriarchy, linked to gender violence, in the prison system. W  2:40pm – 5:30pm 

SPN 645: Trans-Mediterranean Visual Culture and the Spanish Empire  (Prof. Loffredo)

This graduate seminar focuses on the visual culture of and the artistic interconnections between the territories under the global hegemony of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires, across the Mediterranean and beyond. Students will explore the so-called Spanish Golden Age through the lens of the circulation of ideas, artworks, and artists as a practice that significantly shaped Early Modernity. We will navigate and discuss the mutual artistic exchanges between Spain, its territories in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa, as part of an extraordinarily extended network of political and cultural relationships, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power. Several sections of the seminar will be devoted to the Portuguese Empire, with a special focus on Brazil and India. The syllabus includes topics such as: the reception of the Renaissance in Columbus’ mudéjar [Moorish] Seville; traveling Iberian artists in search of Michelangelo; El Greco’s Mediterranean; the Philippines and the global trade of ivory; the Virgin of Guadalupe and the visual responses to miraculous images in Latin America; Velázquez’s travels; the canonization of Rosa of Lima, the first saint of the New World; Slavery and Catholicism in the Caribbean and Brazil; Aleijadinho and early modern Afro-Brazilian visual culture. TH 3:00pm – 5:50pm  

POR 511: Portuguese for Spanish Speakers (Prof. Yonaha)

A one semester accelerated course in Brazilian Portuguese for students with a native or near – native command of Spanish. This course uses Spanish as a base for study of Portuguese grammar vocabulary and pronunciation.  By the end of the semester students will be prepared to read advance materials and will acquire a basic proficiency in speaking, writing and comprehension of standard Brazilian Portuguese.  TU  1:15pm – 4:05pm