Latin American Studies

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



The Latin American studies program works to fulfill the college's mission as a center of learning in today's global culture. By encompassing multiple approaches to the study of Latin America (including the circum-Caribbean and its diasporas), the program provides students with a set of well-developed perspectives on the region. It seeks to broaden students' worldviews, challenge ethnocentric attitudes, expand understandings of diversity in today's world, introduce alternative ways of engaging with societies and environments, and develop tools necessary to communicate across cultures.

The Program in Latin American studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latin America, which is understood in its broadest sense. Courses address three different, but interconnected, areas of knowledge as their objective:

1) Race, Gender, and Ethnicity. 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 Students analyze fiction, historical documents, essays, ethnographies, manifestos, poetry, and film in considering the performance and mobilization of identities.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.

2) Cultural Representations. Latin American studies courses address representations of and in Latin America from the colonial era to the postcolonial present. Focusing primarily on narratives and visual texts, they consider the contributions that cultural production makes both to relationships of power and challenges to the hegemonic center. Students develop 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.

3) Power: Imposition and Contestation. Latin American studies courses explore international and national institutions, social norms, cultures, and ideas that shape the distribution of power and resources in Latin America. They examine enduring patterns in inequality and strategies to address these patterns.

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

Major Requirements for classes of 2020 and beyond. Students majoring in Latin American studies must complete a total of ten courses, one of which must a 300-level seminar and one of which must be a senior thesis. In addition, students must complete a breadth requirement by taking courses from at least four different disciplines: anthropology, environmental studies, history, politics, religious studies, sociology, and Spanish.

Because proficiency in Spanish is required for courses in Spanish, students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisor and the program chairs of Latin American studies and Spanish. More information on Latin American studeies may be found on the website (bates.edu/latn-america-studies).

Courses.
AA/AN 251. Imagining the Caribbean.
AA/SP 350. Representing Blacks in Cuban Literature: From the Colony to the Revolution.
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
ENVR 350. Environmental Justice in the Americas.
EU/SP 366. Iberian Nightmares: Fantasy and Horror in Spanish and Portuguese Cinemas.
FYS 385. Power and Authority in Latin America through Film.
FYS 443. Christopher Columbus: From Hero to Villain.
HI/LS s29. Montezuma's Mexico: Aztecs and Their World
HIST 181. Latin American History: From the Conquest to the Present.
HIST 279. The Age of Independence in Latin America.
HIST 282. The City in Latin America.
HIST 301H. The Mexican Revolution.
INDS 277. Chanting Down Babylon: Caribbean Popular Cultural Insurgency.
INDS 290. The Afro-Hispanic Diaspora.
INDS 301Y. The Spanish Inquisition.
INDS 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.
INDS s34. Place, Community, and Transformation: Kingston, Jamaica.
INDS s38. Cannibalism as an Eating Disorder in the Conquest of America.
LAS 360. Independent Study.
LS/SO 106. Sports, Gender, and Nation in Latin America.
LS/SP s21. Human Rights and Social Art in Latin America: The Case of Nogales, Mexico.
PLTC 209. Contemporary United States-Latin American Relations.
PLTC 249. The Politics of Latin America.
PLTC 320. Immigrants and Their Homelands.
SPAN 230. Readings in Spanish American and Caribbean Literature
SP/WS 323. Gendered Experiences in the Américas Borderlands.
SPAN 330. Writing the Caribbean Nation: Race, Religion, and Revolution.
SPAN 343. Postcolonial Thought in Latin America.

Major Requirements for classes of 2017, 2018, and 2019. Students majoring in Latin American studies must complete a total of ten courses in at least four different fields, including five core courses, four courses in a major concentration, and the senior thesis. 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 205 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 double-major in Latin American studies and Spanish should consult the program website (bates.edu/latin-american-studies/).

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

At least three of the core courses must be taken before the senior year.

1) Both of the following:
HIST 181. Latin American History: From the Conquest to the Present.
SPAN 230. Readings in Spanish American and Caribbean Literature.

2) One of the following:
EU/SP 366. Iberian Nightmares: Fantasy and Horror in Spanish and Portuguese Cinemas.
INDS 290. The Afro-Hispanic Diaspora.
INDS 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.
SP/WS 323. Gendered Experiences in the Américas Borderlands.
SPAN 330. Writing the Caribbean Nation: Race, Religion, and Revolution.

3) Two of the following:

AA/AN 251. Imagining the Caribbean.
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
ENVS 350. Environmental Justice in the Americas.
FYS 443. Christopher Columbus: From Hero to Villain.
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-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. This concentration offers 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 290. The Afro-Hispanic Diaspora.
INDS 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.
AA/SP 350. Representing Blacks in Cuban Literature: From the Colony to the Revolution.
INDS s38. Cannibalism as an Eating Disorder in the Conquest of America.
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
ENVR 350. Environmental Justice in the Americas.
FYS 443. Christopher Columbus: From Hero to Villain.
HIST 279. The Age of Independence in Latin America.
HIST 282. The City in Latin America.
INDS 301Y. The Spanish Inquisition.
SP/WS 323. Gendered Experiences in the Américas Borderlands.
SPAN 330. Writing the Caribbean Nation: Race, Religion, and Revolution.
SPAN 343. Postcolonial Thought in Latin America.

2) Cultural Representations. This concentration examines 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.
EU/SP 366. Iberian Nightmares: Fantasy and Horror in Spanish and Portuguese Cinemas.
FYS 443. Christopher Columbus: From Hero to Villain.
HIST 279. The Age of Independence in Latin America.
HIST 282. The City in Latin America.
INDS 277. Chanting Down Babylon: Caribbean Popular Cultural Insurgency.
INDS 301Y. The Spanish Inquisition.
INDS 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.
INDS s38. Cannibalism as an Eating Disorder in the Conquest of America.
SPAN 330. Writing the Caribbean Nation: Race, Religion, and Revolution.

3) Power: Imposition and Contestation. This concentration explores 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

AA/AN 251. Imagining the Caribbean.
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
FYS 385. Power and Authority in Latin America through Film.
FYS 443. Christopher Columbus: From Hero to Villain.
HIST 279. The Age of Independence in Latin America.
HIST 282. The City in Latin America.
HIST 301H. The Mexican Revolution.
INDS 301Y. The Spanish Inquisition.
INDS s34. Place, Community, and Transformation: Kingston, Jamaica.
INDS s38. Cannibalism as an Eating Disorder in the Conquest of America.
LS/SP s21. Human Rights and Social Art in Latin America: The Case of Nogales, Mexico.
PLTC 209. Contemporary United States-Latin American Relations.
PLTC 249. Politics of Latin America.
PLTC 320. Immigrants and Their Homelands.
SP/WS 323. Gendered Experiences in the Américas Borderlands.
SPAN 343. Postcolonial Thought in Latin America.

Senior Thesis.. Planning for the senior thesis (LAS 457 or 458) 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 course work and that the student consults with a thesis advisor to develop the proposal.

Study Abroad. Up to three courses taken at a study-abroad program may count toward the major. These courses do not count toward the breadth requirement and they do not substitute for the 300-level senior seminar. 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. Courses taken pass/fail will not count toward the Latin American studies major.

Courses

HI/LS 181. Latin American History: From the Conquest to the Present.

Beginning with the first encounters between Europeans and Americans and ending with the challenges of globalization in the twenty-first century, this course offers a chronological and topical overview of 500 years of Latin American history. It examines individual lives within the frameworks of sweeping political, social, and cultural transformations. Students use primary documents, images, analytical texts, and films to explore the major themes of the course, including the nature of conquest; the mixing of European, African, and American cultures; independence and nation building; and twentieth-century social revolutions and military dictatorships. Special attention is given to issues of race, gender, religion, and the role of the United States. Not open to students who have received credit for HIST 181. Enrollment limited to 50. (Latin American.) (Early Modern.) (Modern. ) Normally offered every year. K. Melvin.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

LS/SO 226. Sports, Gender, and Nation in Latin America.

The state and civil society in Latin America have been involved in the individual practice of professional sports that channel aspirations of inclusion among different social, ethnic, and racial groups. Sports in Latin America developed into a phenomenon of mass spectatorship that supersedes and at times displaces political debate. In Latin America national and local pride are challenged by transnational sport stars in a time of increasing globalization. This course considers the history of sports in Latin America from male-dominated origins (soccer, baseball, boxing) to the more recent media attention on Latin American women in Olympic disciplines, challenging the identification of the nation with the male body. Course renumbered Fall 2016 from LS/SO 106. Not open to students who have received credit for LS/SO 106. Open to first-year students. B. Fra-Molinero.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDC 277. Chanting Down Babylon: Caribbean Popular Cultural Insurgency.

Caribbean popular culture exerts influence on the world stage disproportionate to the region's size. This course examines the politics and creolized development of Caribbean popular culture through some of its best-known modes of expression such as music, the Trinidad Carnival, and the game of cricket. Placing these cultural forms in their historical and social contexts reveals their oppositional, dissenting qualities. By applying various critical analytical lenses, however, including gender and sexuality, ethnicity, nationalism, and transnationalism, the course also considers certain conservative undercurrents of these cultural formations. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, and Latin American studies. Not open to students who have received credit for INDS 374. Enrollment limited to 20. C. Carnegie.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

HI/LS 279. The Age of Independence in Latin America.

Most areas of Latin America gained their independence from Spain or Portugal during the early nineteenth century, but were these political transformations accompanied by equally great social, economic, or cultural change? This course explores not just the struggles to overthrow colonial powers, but also what it meant to live in the decades surrounding these tumultuous events. The first Latin American novel, The Mangy Parrot, provides the basis for exploring topics that include education, family, and daily life. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (Latin American.) (Early Modern.) K. Melvin.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

HI/LS 282. The City in Latin America.

Today the majority of people in Latin America live in cities, but this was not the case 500 years ago when the first Europeans arrived. Since then cities have become home to people of all races and social strata. This course examines the development of cities as meeting grounds among different groups of people, as centers of wealth and power, and as sites where much of Latin America's culture was formed. It concentrates on major cities in Mexico, Peru, Argentina, and Brazil from precolonial civilizations through twentieth-century mass urbanization. Not open to students who have received credit for HIST 282. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. (Latin American.) (Modern. ) K. Melvin.
Concentrations

INDC 290. The Afro-Hispanic Diaspora.

The 500-year presence of Africans and their descendants in the Spanish-speaking world has produced a significant body of literature by blacks and about blacks. Spanish America was the main destination of the African diaspora. Afro-Hispanic writers attest to the struggle for freedom and the abolition of slavery. Their literature shows how the participation of blacks in the wars of Latin American independence was a struggle for their emancipation. Afro-Hispanic writers in Spain, the Americas, and Africa use their art and ideas to address the postnational migrations of the twenty-first century, a diaspora that has not ceased. Recommended background: AAS 100. Cross-listed in African American studies, Latin American studies, and Spanish. Open to first-year students. B. Fra-Molinero.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

HI/LS 301H. The Mexican Revolution.

Although best known for the military phase that featured such colorful figures as Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, the Mexican Revolution encompassed a range of ideologies, state-building projects, and social movements. This course examines how scholars have explained the revolution and how its legacies have figured in the creation of modern Mexico. Students develop their own interpretations by analyzing books, articles, novels, and films; considering theories of revolution; and evaluating primary sources. Topics covered include the roles of popular classes and women, the creation of a postrevolutionary government, and the influence of the United States. Not open to students who have received credit for HIST 390H. Enrollment limited to 15. (Latin American.) (Modern. ) [W2] K. Melvin.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDC 301Y. The Spanish Inquisition.

Were witches and heretics really tortured in the Spanish Inquisition's infamous jails? This course examines both the institution of the Spanish Inquisition and the lives of those who came before it. The sins that concerned the Inquisition depended on the time and place, and the crimes prosecuted in sixteenth-century Spain or eighteenth-century New Spain reveal a great deal about early modern (ca. 1500–1800) culture and society. Students read and analyze original Inquisition cases from Spain and New Spain as well as consider the ways historians have used cases to investigate topics such as sexuality and marriage, witchcraft, and the persecution of Jews and Muslims. Cross-listed in history, Latin American studies, and religious studies. Not open to students who have received credit for HI/RE 390Y. Enrollment limited to 15. (European.) (Latin American.) (Early Modern.) [W2] K. Melvin.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.

This course studies the response of black writers and intellectuals of the Spanish-speaking world to issues related to the natural environment. In three countries, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, and Equatorial Guinea, modernity has brought serious challenges to notions of economic progress, human rights, and national sovereignty, as well as individual and communal identity. Course materials include written texts from local newspapers and magazines as well as other sources of information such as Internet sites that discuss issues related to the environment and the arts. All readings are in English. Cross-listed in African American studies, environmental studies, Latin American Studies, and Spanish. Prerequisite(s): one 200-level Spanish course above SPAN 205. B. Fra-Molinero.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

ES/LS 350. Environmental Justice in the Americas.

This course explores issues of environmental justice in the western hemisphere by focusing on how lines of difference—especially race, class, and gender—mediate people's relationships to each other and to the natural world. How do power relations shape differential access to and control over resources? What makes people more or less vulnerable to environmental changes? The course applies critical social theory to case studies from across the Americas to explore how political, economic, and cultural forces shape environmental inequalities and how, in trying to address those inequalities, various groups challenge and broaden the assumptions and practices of modern environmentalism. Prerequisite(s): ENVR 204 and two additional courses in environmental studies or three courses in Latin American studies. Not open to students who have received credit for ENVR 350. Enrollment limited to 15. S. Pieck.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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. 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. 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 205. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. C. Aburto Guzmán.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

HI/LS s29. Montezuma's Mexico: Aztecs and their World.

The Aztec state encompassed millions of people, featured a capital whose size and towering pyramids left the first Spanish visitors in awe, and developed a culture that continues to influence contemporary Mexico, from food and dress to festivals like the Day of the Dead. Yet Aztecs are more commonly remembered for their cannibalism than their complex civilization. This course examines the Aztec world: what it was like to live under Aztec rule, how society was organized, what people believed about how the cosmos worked, and why Aztecs practiced ritual human sacrifice. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. (Latin American.) (Premodern.) K. Melvin.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDC s34. Place, Community, and Transformation: Kingston, Jamaica.

The course evaluates the feasibility of green space development in Kingston, Jamaica, a city marked by class disparities, political polarization, and the impoverishing impact of neoliberal economic policies. Through assigned texts students explore the city's physical and demographic development under colonial and postcolonial rule. They examine development initiatives, challenges, and failures through guest lectures and tours led by practicing architects, engineers, planners, environmentalists, and community workers. Students undertake ethnographic research in neighborhoods, parks, and public spaces on the use of outdoor recreational space, perceived needs, and food gardening practices to gather data that might guide future community-building green initiatives. Cross-listed in African American studies, anthropology, environmental studies, and Latin American studies. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Community-Engaged Learning.) C. Carnegie.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC s38. Cannibalism as an Eating Disorder in the Conquest of America.

Christopher Columbus coined the word cannibal during his first voyage to the American continent. The word and the concept have been used ever since to situate the Other, people to be conquered or worthy of destruction. This course explores historical texts of the conquest that describe cannibalism and challenge the practice's very existence among Caribs, Aztecs, Incas, and enslaved Africans. Students explore the related concept of the manhunt, the use by the state of modern and ancient technologies of persecution against individuals and groups it has determined to eliminate. All readings are in English. All readings are in English. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, Latin American studies, and Spanish. Prerequisite(s): one 200-level Spanish course above SPAN 205. Recommended background: course work in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, history, literature, or women and gender studies. B. Fra-Molinero.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

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.