Fall 2022

Courses of Interest

Introduction to Pre-20th Century Black Diaspora Art
Subject associations
AAS 244 / ART 262 / LAS 244
This course focuses on the networks, the imaginaries and the lives inhabited by Black artists, makers, and subjects from the 18th through 19th centuries. It revolves around the Caribbean (particularly the Anglophone Caribbean), North America and Europe. We will reflect on how pre-twentieth century Black artists are written into history or written out of it. We will explore the aesthetic innovation of these artists and the visionary worlds they created, and examine their travels, their writings, along with the social worlds and communities they formed. The course incorporates lectures and readings and, if possible, museum visits.
Interdisciplinary Design Studio
Subject associations
ARC 205 / URB 205 / LAS 225 / ENV 205
The course focuses on the social forces that shape design thinking. Its objective is to introduce architectural and urban design issues to build design and critical thinking skills from a multidisciplinary perspective. The studio is team-taught from faculty across disciplines to expose students to the multiple forces within which design operates.
Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art
Subject associations
ART 220 / LAS 230
This course focuses on key issues of 20th and 21st c. Latin American art. A thematic survey and general methodological introduction, we will treat emblematic works and movements, from Mexican muralism and Indigenism to experiments with abstraction, pop, conceptualism, and performance. Questions discussed include: What is Latin American art? What is modernism in Latin America? What is the legacy of colonialism? How do Latin American artists engage transnational networks of solidarity under conditions of repression? How can postcolonial, decolonial, and feminist theory illuminate the art and criticism produced in and about Latin America?
Contemporary Latin America in Literature and Visual Arts
Subject associations
COM 353 / LAS 357 / VIS 356 / SPA 367
This course studies contemporary Latin American and Caribbean literature and visual arts. Placing emphasis on the changing relationships between aesthetics and politics, it analyzes literary and visual genres and styles that emerge with new forms of imagining the relations between culture and politics since the sixties. Readings include critical texts on testimony, literature and arts dealing with different forms of violence in the configuration of the global world. Class taught in English; readings and written assignments can be done in English or Spanish.
Economic Development I
Subject associations
ECO 562

An examination of those areas in the economic analysis of development where there have been recent analytical or empirical advances. Emphasis is given to the formulation of theoretical models and econometric analysis and testing. Topics covered include models of household/farm behavior, savings behavior, equity and efficiency in pricing policy, project evaluation, measurement of poverty and inequality, and the analysis of commodity prices.

Tropical Ecology
Subject associations
EEB 521

Intensive three week field course during (dates to be determined) in a suitable tropical locality. Readings, discussions, and individual projects. The content and location are varied to suit the needs of the participants. Students provide their own travel funds

Slavery and Capitalism
Subject associations
FRE 504 / LAS 504 / AAS 503
The course will examine the place of plantation slavery in the development of capitalist modernity. We will focus on two classic texts: Eric Williams' Capitalism and Slavery, and CLR James' history of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins. We will also discuss in this context Marx's critique of capitalist slavery in Capital, and its importance for the tradition of Caribbean critique. Also to be considered are the writings of Toussaint Louverture, Henry Christophe, and Aimé and Suzanne Césaire as they develop original critiques of slavery, colonialism, and Antillean capitalism.
Global Warming: Truths and Lies (SEN)
Subject associations
FRS 123

Global warming is emerging as one of the major issues of our times. It is also highly polarizing. In this seminar, we study climate change through some common claims made by climate skeptics. As we do so, we explore our inherent biases and how they affect our choice of news sources. In our search for "truth," we will do field work to evaluate the assertion that protecting and growing forests is essential to achieving a carbon neutral future. For our final project, we will examine our personal responsibility in the climate problem and the ethical, economical and societal value of buying offsets to erase our carbon footprint.

A History of the World
Subject associations
HIS 201
An introduction to the history of the modern world, this course traces the global processes that connected regions with each other from the time of Genghis Khan to the present. The major themes of the course include the environmental impact of human development, the role of wars and empires in shaping world power, and the transformations of global trade, finance, and migration.
Colonial Latin America to 1810
Subject associations
HIS 303 / LAS 305
What is colonization? How does it work? What kind of societies does it create? Come find out through the lens of the Latin America. First we study how the Aztec and Inca empires subdued other peoples, and how Muslim Iberia fell to the Christians. Then, we learn about Spanish and Portuguese conquests and how indigenous resistance, adaptation, and racial mixing shaped the continent. You will see gods clash and meld, cities rise and decline, and insurrections fail or win. Silver mines will boom and bust, slaves will toil and rebel; peasants will fight capitalist encroachments. This is a comprehensive view of how Latin America became what it is.
Modern Brazilian History
Subject associations
HIS 333 / LAS 373 / AAS 335
This course examines the history of modern Brazil from the late colonial period to the present. Lectures, readings, and discussions challenge prevailing narratives about modernity to highlight instead the role played by indigenous and African descendants in shaping Brazilian society. Topics include the meanings of political citizenship; slavery and abolition; race relations; indigenous rights; uneven economic development and Brazil's experiences with authoritarianism and globalization.
Colonial Latin America to 1810
Subject associations
HIS 504 / LAS 524
We cover the history, historiography and theory of Latin America's early modernity. Canonical works are compared to recent literature in economic, social, political, environmental, and cultural history. Key questions: Why and how do historiographical modes change? Is colonization a class, national, or ethnic phenomenon? Why does Spanish colonization in the Americas differ from French, English, and Portuguese? Why did the peasantry survive in Latin America and not elsewhere in the continent? Was race structuring? How did Latin America become capitalist? Welcome, students of early modernity, empires, the Americas, global history, and pedagogy.
Art Archives in Latin America
Subject associations
LAS 339 / ART 336 / VIS 329
This course aims to help students elaborate a critical and historical perspective on transformations, taking Latin American art as its case of study. Considering the archive as a historical apparatus, it focuses on understanding the complexity of archives in the contemporary art world. The course will provide students with a knowledge that will help them in their own use of archives. This course is developed for students interested in the Latin American region including those focusing on art history, literature, politics, and students from additional fields interested in pursuing comparative perspectives to conduct their research.
Multispecies Worlding and Global Health Policies
Subject associations
LAS 390 / ANT 392 / GHP 390
This course examines pandemics, diseases, and other global health concerns through the lens of multispecies relations. We study knowledge production (epistemology) throughout this course, the cultural structures that make certain "ways of knowing" possible, and the shifting boundaries of knowing and being provoked by modes of inquiry centering multispecies entanglements. We consider the ongoing effects of environmental change and the world-making knowledge practices of experts that drive new perspectives on global health. Finally, we reflect critically on multispecies care and the future of planetary health. First-year students are welcome.
Latin American Studies Seminar: Direct and Participatory Democracy in Latin America
Subject associations
LAS 402
The purpose of this Workshop-Seminar is to analyze different theories and experiences of direct and participatory democracy in Latin America that aimed to correct the deficits of representative democracy. Social movements, left wing parties and governments argued that profound reforms were needed in order to address extreme socioeconomic inequalities, and political exclusions in Latin American societies. These democratic innovations also aimed to improve government efficiency, to reduce corruption, and to reduce violence by strengthening community ties among citizens.
Portuguese in the City
Subject associations
POR 262 / AAS 265 / ECS 314
Luanda, Lisbon, Rio, São Paulo...Through readings of selected texts and audiovisual materials, this course will visit the diverse cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world through the lens of culture produced in, by and about major cities. We will compare and contrast both "official" and "unofficial" narratives of these spaces and investigate how cultural productions from and about the periphery contest hegemonic representations of urban spaces and culture(s).
Liberation & Culture in Portuguese-Speaking Africa (CD or LA)
Subject associations
POR 408

This course examines the history, cultural production, and revolutionary thought of Portuguese-speaking Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe, during the liberation process broadly conceived, from the first expressions of nationalism in the late 1800s to the post-colonial challenges of today. By examining mainly literature and social thought, but also music, cinema, the press, diaries, letters, and pieces of legislation, among other objects, we will explore the imaginations of class, race, gender of revolutionary movements and moments of Portuguese-speaking Africa.

Urban Sociology: The City and Social Change in the Americas
Subject associations
SOC 210 / LAS 210 / URB 210 / LAO 210
By taking a comparative approach, this course examines the role of social, economic, and political factors in the emergence and transformation of modern cities in the United States and selected areas of Latin America. We consider the city in its dual image: both as a center of progress and as a redoubt of social problems, especially poverty. Attention is given to spatial processes that have resulted in the aggregation and desegregation of populations differentiated by social class and race.
Languages of the Americas
Subject associations
SPA 233 / LIN 233 / LAS 233
This course explores the vast linguistic diversity of the Americas: native languages, pidgins, creoles, mixed languages, and other languages in North, Central, and South America, including the Caribbean. We will examine historical and current issues of multilingualism to understand the relationship between language, identity, and social mobility. We will discuss how languages played a central role in colonization and nation-building processes, and how language policies contribute to linguistic loss and revitalization. This course has no prerequisites and is intended for students interested in learning more about languages in the Americas.
Pájaros en la boca: Latin American Women Writers and Artists' New Languages
Subject associations
SPA 236 / LAS 236
From Argentina to Mexico, Chile to Ecuador, women writers and artists from across Latin America are enjoying growing acclaim after years of marginalization. Their path-breaking work has brought to the fore new themes and perspectives, embracing both experimental and documentary poetics. Through a series of short texts, films, theater, and visual artifacts, this course offers an introduction to Latin American women's remarkable literary and artistic contributions in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Literature and Politics in Latin America
Subject associations
SPA 315 / LAS 387 / COM 388
The course will explore the relationship between literature and politics since the 19th century, starting from the processes of independence led by intellectuals who based their ideas on the French illustration to the U.S. Constitution of 1776. Those ideas defined the new Latin American nations. However, dictatorships dominated above the laws. This contradiction gives oppression and misery a decisive weight in literary creation and the figure of the dictator emerges as the dominant character in the 20th century novels. The seminar will be taught by internationally acclaimed writer Sergio Ramírez, former vice president of Nicaragua.
Junior Seminar: Spanish and Portuguese-Speaking Worlds
Subject associations
SPA 330 / POR 330
This seminar has been designed to assist SPO concentrators in the production of their fall JP. With such end, the seminar will be conducted as a writing workshop. The emphasis of the first part of the seminar will be on introducing students to the approaches, critical concepts and tools utilized in cultural studies in the Luso-Hispanic and Latinx world. In the second part of the seminar, students will be expected to write and share their JP-in-progress, as well as comment on their peers' ongoing work. By the end of the semester, students should have completed about eighty percent of their independent work.
Education Economics and Policy
Subject associations
SPI 396 / ECO 396 / LAS 399
This course is designed to describe the policies defining the provision of educational services with special attention to the context of the US and Latin America. The focus will be on policies that have implications for understanding inequality in education and income through the lens of economic theory of human capital. The course topics will include governance, accountability, choice, finance, and personnel policies for K-12 education, with a focus on the role of teachers; it will also briefly cover issues related to early childhood education and higher education. Class sessions are a mixture of lectures and student-led discussions.
Microeconomic Analysis for Policymakers
Subject associations
SPI 511B

This course presents concepts and tools from microeconomic theory with an emphasis on how they are applied to public policy analysis. No previous experience in economics required although students should be familiar with basic concepts in calculus. A strong understanding of algebra is a prerequisite.

Language Courses

Introduction to Portuguese I
Subject associations
POR 101
Students will be taught the fundamental skills of oral comprehension, speaking, reading and writing, while gaining exposure to the Portuguese-speaking world through the media, literature, film and the music of Brazil, Portugal and Lusophone Africa.
Introduction to Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
Subject associations
POR 106
Normally open to students already proficient in Spanish, this course uses that knowledge as a basis for the accelerated learning of Portuguese. Emphasis on the concurrent development of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing skills. The two-semester sequence POR 106-109 is designed to provide in only one year of study a command of the language sufficient for travel and research in Brazil, Portugal, and Lusophone Africa.
Intermediate Portuguese
Subject associations
POR 107
Students will continue to develop their speaking, reading and writing skills while being exposed to realia related to the Lusophone world, such as daily news, reports, short stories, chronicles, videos, films, critical reviews, etc. Through different communicative genres, students will learn not only the language but also the culture, art and lifestyle of a range of Portuguese-speaking societies.
Intermediate Portuguese for Spanish Speakers
Subject associations
POR 109
Students will further develop their language skills, especially those of comprehension and oral proficiency, through grammar review, readings, film, and other activities. The two-semester sequence POR 106-109 is designed to give in only one year of study a command of the Portuguese language sufficient for travel and research in Portuguese-speaking countries.
Intensive Portuguese
Subject associations
POR 199
An intensive course designed for students who have fulfilled the language requirement in Spanish or another Romance language. Knowledge of one of these languages provides the basis for the accelerated learning of Portuguese. This one-semester 'crash' course teaches fundamental communication skills--comprehension, speaking, reading and writing--and some exposure to cultural aspects of the Portuguese-speaking world, but does not offer an in-depth study of grammar.