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Latin American Studies

Professors Carnegie (Anthropology) and Fra-Molinero (Spanish); Associate Professors Aburto Guzmán (Spanish), Melvin (History), and Pieck (Environmental Studies, chair); Assistant Professors Dellachiesa (Economics), Pérez-Armendáriz (Politics), and Pettway (Spanish)



Latin America's fate has been intertwined with that of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the United States for more than a thousand years. The influences have been deep and mutual, yet also troubling and uneven. The study of Latin America encourages students to grapple with such questions as the historical dimensions of encounter, conquest, resistance, negotiation, and hybridity; the impact of globalization and the multiple connections among different world regions; and the importance of race, ethnicity, religion, class, and gender in shaping historical and contemporary Latin America.

The Latin American studies program aims to enhance the college's mission to serve as a center of learning in today's global culture. By encompassing multiple approaches to the study of Latin America, the program seeks to broaden students' worldview, challenge ethnocentric attitudes, expand our understanding of diversity, introduce alternative ways of engaging with societies and environments, and develop tools necessary to communicate across cultures.

The program explores a range of aspects of a large and diverse regions including Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, as well Latin American communities in diaspora. The program draws on different methods of inquiry to better understand Latin America, including anthropology, economics, environmental studies, history, politics, and Spanish. Courses examine the history, culture, language, and politics of Latin America and the Caribbean from the period of initial European encounter to the present. More information on Latin American studies is available on the website (bates.edu/latin-american-studies).

Major Requirements. Students majoring in Latin American studies must complete a total of ten courses in at least four different fields. These include five core courses: HIST 181, SPAN 215 and one other Spanish course focused in Latin American cultural studies, and two social science courses on Latin America. At least three of the core courses must be taken before the senior year. Majors also take four courses from one of the concentrations within the major, including a junior-senior seminar chosen with a view toward their thesis topic, and they must complete a thesis (LAS 457 or 458).

As an interdisciplinary program, Latin American studies relies on courses offered by a number of departments and programs. In some cases these courses carry prerequisites. Because proficiency in Spanish (above the SPAN 208 level) is required for the core and concentration courses in Spanish, students are strongly encouraged to plan their courses early and consult with their advisor and the program chair.

Students who wish to pursue their interest in Latin America but do not major should consider fulfilling the General Education concentration, Latin American Studies (C072).

Core Courses. Courses taken to fulfill the core requirements may not be counted toward the concentration.

1) Both of the following:
HIST 181. Latin American History: From the Conquest to the Present.
SPAN 215. Readings in Spanish American Literature.

2) One of the following:
SPAN 250. The Latin American Short Story.
INDS 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.
SP/WS 323. Gendered Experiences in the Americas Borderlands.
SPAN 330. Spanish-Speaking Caribbean Literature.
SPAN 366. Fantastic Hispanic Cinema.

3) Two of the following:
AA/AN 251. Imagining the Caribbean.
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
PLTC 209. Contemporary United States-Latin American Relations.
PLTC 249. The Politics of Latin America.

Concentrations. Majors take four courses in one of the following concentrations. At least one of these courses must be a 300- or 400-level seminar. Up to two study-abroad courses may count toward the concentration with the approval of the Committee on Latin American Studies, but study-abroad courses may not count toward the upper-level seminar.

1) Race, Gender, and Ethnicity. An interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latin American identities. Courses study the process of identity construction and the cultural politics of these identities. Students analyze fiction, historical documents, essays, ethnographies, manifestos, poetry, and film in considering the performance and mobilization of identities. The political and cultural discourses of women, indigenous communities, and blacks are examined in the context of the enduring struggle for self-determination, including responses to voluntary and forced movements of individuals and groups. Courses include:

INDS 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.
AAS 390F/SPAN 490F. The Afro-Hispanic Diaspora.
AA/SP 450. Representing Blacks in Cuban Literature: From the Colony to the Revolution.
AN/SO 232. Ethnicity, Nation, and World Community.
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
ENVR 350. Environmental Justice in the Americas.
FYS 329. Latin American Time Machine.
HIST 279. The Age of Independence in Latin America.
HI/RE 390Y. The Spanish Inquisition.
PLTC s13. Immigration Reform.
SPAN 232. Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Culture in the Hispanophone Caribbean.
SP/WS 323. Gendered Experiences in the Americas Borderlands.
SPAN 330. Spanish Caribbean Literature.
SPAN 345. Twentieth-Century Spanish Drama.
SPAN 440. Postcolonial Thought in Latin America.
SPAN 449. Identity Discourse in Contemporary Latin America.

2) Cultural Representations. An examination of representations of and in Latin America from the colonial era to the postcolonial present. Focusing primarily on narratives and visual texts, this concentration considers the contributions that cultural production makes both to relationships of power and challenges to the hegemonic center. It develops critical reading methods to discern characteristics embedded in the artifacts under study, situating them in Latin American context and underscoring the regional and national differences that make the artifacts unique to their time and place. Courses include:

AA/AN 251. Imagining the Caribbean.
INDS 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.
HIST 279. The Age of Independence in Latin America.
HI/RE 390Y. The Spanish Inquisition.
SPAN 250. The Latin American Short Story.
SPAN 330. Spanish-Speaking Caribbean Literature.
SPAN 366. Fantastic Hispanic Cinema.
SPAN 442. Hybrid Cultures: Latin American Intersections.
SPAN 449. Identity Discourse in Contemporary Latin America.
SPAN 454. Revolucion en el cine.

3) Power: Imposition and Contestation. An exploration of international and national institutions, social norms, cultures, and ideas that shape the distribution of power and resources in Latin America. The concentration examines enduring patterns in inequality and strategies to address these patterns. Courses include:

AA/AN 251. Imagining the Caribbean.
AAS 390F/SPAN 490F. The Afro-Hispanic Diaspora.
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
ANTH 330. The Development of Underdevelopment.
FYS 329. Latin American Time Machine.
FYS 385. Power and Authority in Latin America through Film.
HIST 390H. The Mexican Revolution.
HI/RE 390Y. The Spanish Inquisition.
PLTC 320. The Politics of Latin American Migrant Transnationalism.
SP/WS 323. Gendered Experiences in the Americas Borderlands.
SPAN 440. Postcolonial Thought in Latin America.

Senior Thesis. Planning for the senior thesis begins in the junior year with the submission of a thesis proposal. Information on the proposal may be found on the Latin American studies program website (bates.edu/latin-american-studies). It is expected that the thesis relates thematically to a student's chosen concentration and that the student consults with a thesis advisor to develop the proposal and subsequent thesis.

Study Abroad. Study-abroad courses cannot substitute for the core courses or the seminar, but may count toward the concentration. Study-abroad courses to be applied toward the major must be approved by the advisor before the student begins the program abroad.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may be elected for the elective courses taken to fulfill the major.

Courses

LAS 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff.

LAS 457. Senior Thesis.An in-depth independent study of Latin America related to the student's major concentration. Majors register for LAS 457 in the fall semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for LAS 457 in the fall semester and LAS 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.

LAS 458. Senior Thesis.An in-depth independent study of Latin America related to the student's major concentration. Majors register for LAS 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for LAS 457 in the fall semester and LAS 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.

Short Term Courses

LS/SP s21. Human Rights and Social Art in Latin America: The Case of Nogales, Mexico.This course focuses on the social dynamics that generate social art committed to change in Latin America. Students examine three settings in which artists utilize the arts to generate aesthetic and production models that represent the "uniqueness of place." During ten days off-campus, students work with artists who engage technology to raise consciousness about the "needs of place." In Nogales, Mexico, students consider human rights discourses that address migrants' dislocation. They also work with volunteers, hike the desert, and visit shelters to contextualize the social and natural environments. Prerequisite(s): SPAN 207. New course beginning Short Term 2014. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. One-time offering. C. Aburto Guzmán. Concentrations

LAS s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff.