Course Descriptions

Latin American Studies

LATI 141 - Latin America Through Women's Eyes

Latin American women have overcome patriarchal "machismo" to serve as presidents, mayors, guerilla leaders, union organizers, artists, intellectuals, and human rights activists. Through a mix of theoretical, empirical, and testimonial work, we will explore issues such as feminist challenges to military rule in Chile, anti-feminist politics in Nicaragua, the intersection of gender and democratization in Cuba, and women's organizing and civil war in Colombia. Teaching methods include discussion, debates, simulations, analytic papers, partisan narratives, lecture, film, poetry, and a biographical essay. This class employs an innovative system of qualitative assessment. Students take the course "S/D/NC with Written Evaluation." This provides a powerful opportunity for students to stretch their limits in a learning community with high expectations, but without a high-pressure atmosphere. This ungraded course has been approved for inclusion on major/minor plans in Political Science, Latin American Studies, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Cross-Listed as

POLI 141 and WGSS 141 

LATI 151 - Caribbean Literature and Culture: Aesthetics of Resistance

Explore literary, visual and musical expressions of resistance against colonialism and neocolonialism in the Caribbean, and examine street performance as a means of redefining public space and creating community. Students will learn about the tensions between culture and capital. Offered as a First Year Course only.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

HISP 151

LATI 171 - Susurros del Pasado: Whispers Toward the 21st Century

This course explores expressions of indigenismos both past and present throughout the Americas. Students will examine literary, historical and political texts that convey the ongoing struggle of Native Americans to retain cultural and sociopolitical autonomy in North and South America. Offered as a First Year Course only.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

HISP 171

LATI 181 - Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean

This course offers a general survey of the complex and heterogeneous region we somewhat reductively term Latin America. It follows a roughly chronological approach, beginning with the eve of encounter and continuing through the contemporary era. Discussions will consider themes such as the institution and legacy of colonialism, the search for new national identities, and the onset of modern racial and political strife. The course will emphasize the import of global economic, political, and cultural trends on the formation of the region.

Frequency: Offered every year.

Cross-Listed as

HIST 181

LATI 194 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

LATI 244 - Urban Latino Power

Comparative study of Latino and Latina political struggles in the United States. We will explore the themes of subordination and empowerment through issues such as anti-immigrant ballot initiatives in California, the election of Latino mayors in Denver and San Antonio, Cuban dominance in Miami politics, multiracial violence in Los Angeles, and battles over labor conditions, affirmative action, bi-lingual education, and racial profiling. Student projects will involve field research among the Latino communities and organizations of the Twin Cities.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

AMST 244 and POLI 244

LATI 245 - Latin American Politics

Comparative study of political institutions and conflicts in several Latin American countries. Through a mix of empirical and theoretical work, we analyze concepts and issues such as authoritarianism and democratization, neoliberalism, state terror and peace processes, guerrilla movements, party systems, populism, the Cuban Revolution, and U.S. military intervention. Themes are explored through diverse teaching methods including discussion, debates, simulations, partisan narratives, lecture, film, and poetry. This class employs an innovative system of qualitative assessment. Students take the course S/D/NC with Written Evaluation. This provides a powerful opportunity for students to stretch their limits in a learning community with high expectations, but without a high-presure atmosphere. This ungraded course has been approved for inclusion on major/minor/concentration plans in Political Science, Latin American Studies, and Human Rights and Humanitarianism.

Frequency: Every year.

Cross-Listed as

POLI 245

LATI 246 - Comparative Democratization

This course focuses on theories of democratic breakdown, regime transitions, and democratization in Southern Europe, Latin America, and Post-Communist Europe. Some of the cases we will study include Pinochet's coup and Chile's return to elections, the end of the South African apartheid regime, and Russia's post-Cold War shift toward both democratic elections and new strands of authoritarianism. Building on the literatures on transitions, consolidation, civil society, and constitutional design, the course culminates in an examination of democratic impulses in Iran and the Middle East. Themes are explored through diverse teaching methods including discussion, debates, simulations, partisan narratives, lecture, film, and poetry.

Frequency: Offered every year.

Prerequisite(s)

POLI 140 or LATI 141 recommended.

Cross-Listed as

POLI 246 and RUSS 246

LATI 249 - Regional Geography of Latin America

This course explores one of the world's most vibrant regions, Latin America. Extending from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego, this world region stretches across diverse landscapes, from tropical rainforests to the snowcapped peaks of the Andes, from mega-cities to empty deserts and plains. This variety of environments fosters great cultural diversity, as well: although the nations of Latin America share similar historical roots, each one has its own character and its own complex geography. This course explores the geography of Latin America through a combination of thematic and regional approaches. Major topics include physical geography and the natural environment; pre-Columbian, colonial, and modern history; race and identity; urbanism; agriculture and land use; major environmental problems; economy and development; international migration; Latino culture and identity in the U.S.; and the economic and cultural impacts of globalization. Along with such general themes, we will also examine the cultural geography of specific core regions, including The Caribbean, Mexico, Brazil, the Andean Countries, and the Argentine Pampas. Through projects that explore different elements of Latin America's cultural geography, students will get a close-up perspective on the region.

Frequency: Offered every fall.

Cross-Listed as

GEOG 249

LATI 255 - Peoples and Cultures of Latin America

This course is an introduction to the cultural diversity and complexity of Latin American societies. We will examine regional differences from an anthropological perspective and discus how social institutions and cultural practices and traditions have been shaped, and how they have dealt with continuity and change. Ethnographic case studies will allow us to explore relevant topics related to ethnicity, social stratification, gift-giving/reciprocity, kinship, rural/urban relationships, cosmology and religion, and gender. These issues will be examined within the context of particular histories, considering the legacy of colonialism, the formation of the nation-state, the emergence of social movements, post-colonial nationalism, the impart of migration and urbanization, and the effects of neo-liberalism and globalization. We will conclude with a critical examination of forms of representation of Latin America, which involve notions such as -indigenismo-.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Prerequisite(s)

ANTH 101 or ANTH 111

Cross-Listed as

ANTH 255

LATI 269 - Economics of International Migration

This course will examine the global movement of people through an economic lens. The course will study the impact that emigration has on the economy of the home country, such as brain drain and population change, the historic role that migration has played in economic development, and finally the effect that immigration has on immigrant-receiving countries. The various economic issues in the current immigration debate in the United States will be analyzed including the economic assimilation of immigrants, and the impact of immigration on native born workers. Cross-listed with ECON 269 and INTL 269.

Frequency: Every other spring.

Cross-Listed as

ECON 269 and INTL 269

LATI 281 - The Andes: Race, Region, Nation

This course provides a survey of Andean history with an emphasis upon the formation of collective identities. Class discussion will treat continuities and divergences between the Andean colonial and post-colonial experiences, especially the intersection between racial and regional tensions and their impact upon the emergence and construction of nation-states. Recent topics explored have included the role of landscape in Andean culture, Incan and neo-Incan cultural mythologies, the conflation of racial and class identities in the twentieth century, violence and guerrilla movements, urbanization, and the various shades of indigenismo.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

HIST 281

LATI 282 - Latin America: Art and Nation

This course presents an historical overview of the interaction between artists, the state, and national identity in Latin America. After an introduction to the import of images to crafting collective identities during the colonial era and the 19th century, we will focus on the 20th century. Topics to be discussed include the depiction of race, allegorical landscapes and architectures, the art of revolution, and countercultures. Multiple genres will be explored with an emphasis on the visual arts, architecture, and popular music.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

HIST 282

LATI 283 - Amazon: A Cultural History

This course traces depiction of the Amazon rainforest from the 16th century to the present with an emphasis on three central allegories - the Amazon as cultural crossroads; the Amazon as untapped economic resource; and the Amazon as a-historical paradise (or hell). This course seeks to contextualize the rhetorical process of image-making in "the Amazon, " highlighting the contingency of history, discourse, and violence in this process. Besides introducing students to the specific history of cultural representations of the forest, the class seeks to draw resonances between historical discourses and contemporary views of the forest. Moreover, it seeks to add to the college's commitment to sustainability by considering the culturally contingent nature of this term in an arena often thought of as "pristine" despite the extensive human history of interaction with the forest. Given the interlacing of these cultural histories within specific economic development models, the course will not only add to the offerings in History and Latin American Studies, but also count toward the International Development concentration.

Frequency: Every other year.

Cross-Listed as

HIST 283

LATI 294 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

LATI 307 - Introduction to the Analysis of Hispanic Texts

This course presents the student with essential tools for the critical analysis of a broad range of topics and forms of cultural production (literature, cinema, art, e-texts, etc.) in the Hispanic world. It also teaches the student advanced language skills in written composition and public oral presentation.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

HISP 305

Cross-Listed as

HISP 307

LATI 308 - Introduction to U.S. Latino Studies

Provides an interdisciplinary discussion of the Latina/o experience in the United States with a focus on Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cuban Americans. Using fiction, poetry, films and critical essays, we will examine issues of race and ethnicity, language, identity, gender and sexuality, politics, and immigration. Students will further engage with the Latino population of the Twin Cities by working with a local community organization.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

HISP 305 or consent of the instructor.

Cross-Listed as

AMST 308 and HISP 308

LATI 323 - Economic Restructuring in Latin America

This course uses economic principles to examine the transition from Import Substitution Industrialization to trade liberalization in Latin America. The goal of the course is to understand the economic antecedents to free trade as well as the resulting impact on workers and resource allocation. The course also addresses peripheral aspects of economic restructuring, such as the drug trade, migration, and the maquiladora industry. Requires an Economics 200 level course from the Group A electives, Economics 221 preferred.

Frequency: Offered every year.

Prerequisite(s)

Grade of C– or higher in any 200-level Economics course, ECON 221 preferred

Cross-Listed as

ECON 323 and INTL 323

LATI 341 - Comparative Social Movements

Comparative study of social movements in Latin America and other world regions. This research seminar engages several major theories that attempt to explain the origins and development of movements struggling for subsistence rights, labor rights, gender and sexuality rights, social rights, and racial and ethnic rights. The course focuses principally on Latin American movements, but also engages cases from the United States and Europe through an examination of transnational advocacy networks and global activism.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Prerequisite(s)

POLI 140 recommended

LATI 342 - Urban Politics of Latin America

Democratic elections have penetrated metropolitan Latin America, offering the urban poor new avenues for demand making. In this research seminar, we will explore how the changing rules of political competition affect urban struggles for land, racial equality, and municipal representation. The course focuses on mayoral elections, urban segregation, informal communities, and social movements in major cities such as Caracas, Lima, Mexico City, Montevideo, Porto Alegre, and São Paulo. Major student responsibilities include seminar leadership roles, a research project, and presentation of your findings in a public colloquium. For students with previous coursework in Latin American or urban politics.

Frequency: Every year.

Cross-Listed as

POLI 342

LATI 381 - Transnational Latin Americas

Examines critical and primary literatures concerning the transnational, hemispheric, Atlantic, and Pacific cultures that have intersected in Latin America since the early colonial era, with a particular focus on the 19th and 20th centuries.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Cross-Listed as

INTL 381 and HIST 381

LATI 394 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

LATI 415 - Cultural Resistance and Survival: Indigenous and African Peoples in Early Spanish America

In the Old World, Spain defined its national identity by locating its "others" in Jews, conversos, Muslims, moriscos, Turks, gypsies, pirates and Protestants. In the New World, Spaniards employed many of the same discursive and legal tactics—along with brute force—to subject Amerindian and African peoples to their will and their cultural norms. But indigenous and African populations in the Americas actively countered colonization. They rejected slavery and cultural imposition through physical rebellion, the use of strategies of cultural preservation and the appropriation of phonetic writing, which they in turn wielded against European hegemony. We will examine a fascinating corpus of indigenous pictographic codexes, architecture, myths, and histories and letters of resistance, along with a rich spectrum of texts in which peoples of African descent affirm their own subjectivity in opposition to slavery and cultural violence. What will emerge for students is a complex, heterogeneous vision of the conquest and early colonization in which non-European voices speak loudly on their own behalf. This course satisfies the Area 1 requirement for the Hispanic & Latin American Studies major.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Prerequisite(s)

HISP 307 or consent of instructor.

Cross-Listed as

HISP 415 and INTL 415

LATI 416 - Mapping the New World: Exploration, Encounters, and Disasters

Europeans were by no means the first peoples to explore new territories and human populations. Renaissance scientific methodology, however, led European travelers to meticulously document each New World encounter in writing and develop new tools with which to navigate and represent space, devices that subsequently became weapons of colonial domination. But as Nature and indigenous populations refused to be subjected to European epistemology, failure and disaster were frequent events: shipwrecks left Old World survivors stranded among unknown lands and peoples in the Americas; Amerindians rejected the imposition of a foreign culture and religion, murdering colonists and missionaries; Africans rebelled against slavery and escaped to mountains and jungles to form autonomous communities. An examination of maps, exploration logs, missionary histories, travel literature, historiography and colonial documents will provide the foundation for this course on the ambivalent reality of the Old World's encounter with the Americas, in which Europeans were often the losers. This course satisfies the Area 1 requirement for the Hispanic & Latin American Studies major.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Prerequisite(s)

HISP 307 or permission of instructor.

Cross-Listed as

HISP 416 and INTL 416

LATI 422 - Modern Hispanic Novel and the Visual Arts

We use an interdisciplinary approach to narrative that focuses on the cooperation between the written and the visual text. For example, how did nineteenth-century painting influenced the novel? Or, what are the connections between cinematic adaptations of narratives? We also consider the perennial dilemma of literal versus personal interpretation. This course satisfies the Area 2 requirement for the Hispanic & Latin American Studies major.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Prerequisite(s)

HISP 307 or LATI 307or consent of instructor

Cross-Listed as

HISP 422

LATI 436 - Spanish Dialectology

A survey of modern dialectal variations of Spanish that includes examination of American Spanish dialects as well as those of the Iberian Peninsula. Sociolinguistic issues and historical aspects of dialect variation and study will be addressed, along with other extralinguistic factors. Through this course, students will be provided an introduction to theories of language change, as well as the history of the language, and will gain a broad understanding of the different varieties of Modern Spanish.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Prerequisite(s)

HISP 309 or consent of the instructor.

Cross-Listed as

HISP 436 and LING 436

LATI 445 - Frontera: The U.S./Mexico Border

The border region between the United States and Mexico exists as both a physical space and an ideological construct. This seminar uses literary and filmic narratives to explore issues of identity, opportunity, and violence that arise from this contested space. How does the border shape individual and cultural identities? In what ways does the border create opportunities for both advancement and exploitation? How do these works engage conflicts and tensions of race, nationalism, gender, and power? The course will include writers and filmmakers from both countries, and we will read original texts both in Spanish and English.

Frequency: Offered occasionally.

Cross-Listed as

AMST 445 and HISP 445

LATI 446 - Constructions of a Female Killer

The rise in femicide across Latin America, most shockingly exhibited in the city of Juarez, Mexico, has resulted in broad discussions of women's relationship with violence. However, what happens when the traditional paradigm is inverted and we explore women as perpetrators, rather than victims, of violence? This class will dialogue with selected Latin American and Latino narratives (including novels, short stories, films, and newspapers) constituting different representations of women who kill. This course satisfies the Area 4 requirement for the Hispanic & Latin American Studies major.

Frequency: Alternate years.

Prerequisite(s)

HISP 307 or LATI 307 or permission of instructor

Cross-Listed as

HISP 446 and WGSS 346

LATI 488 - Senior Seminar

An integrative, research-oriented capstone which gathers senior majors of diverse regional and disciplinary focuses during the final semester. A faculty convener will integrate a schedule of issue-area seminars, faculty methods and topics presentations, talks by visiting speakers, and student reports on research projects. The course culminates in a lengthy final paper.

Frequency: Every fall.

LATI 494 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

LATI 601 - Tutorial

Closely supervised individual or small group study for advanced students on a subject not available through regular catalog offerings.

Prerequisite(s)

Approval of program director and permission of instructor.

LATI 602 - Tutorial

Closely supervised individual or small group study for advanced students on a subject not available through regular catalog offerings.

Prerequisite(s)

Approval of program director and permission of instructor.

LATI 603 - Tutorial

Closely supervised individual or small group study for advanced students on a subject not available through regular catalog offerings.

Prerequisite(s)

Approval of program director and permission of instructor.

LATI 604 - Tutorial

Closely supervised individual or small group study for advanced students on a subject not available through regular catalog offerings.

Prerequisite(s)

Approval of program director and permission of instructor.

LATI 611 - Independent Project

An opportunity for advanced students to pursue an independent research project of some scale under the supervision of a sponsoring faculty member. Such a project must begin with a brief written proposal to the faculty supervisor and the program director.

Frequency: Every spring.

Prerequisite(s)

Junior standing and permission of instructor.

LATI 612 - Independent Project

An opportunity for advanced students to pursue an independent research project of some scale under the supervision of a sponsoring faculty member. Such a project must begin with a brief written proposal to the faculty supervisor and the program director.

Frequency: Every spring.

Prerequisite(s)

Junior standing and permission of instructor.

LATI 613 - Independent Project

An opportunity for advanced students to pursue an independent research project of some scale under the supervision of a sponsoring faculty member. Such a project must begin with a brief written proposal to the faculty supervisor and the program director.

Frequency: Every spring.

Prerequisite(s)

Junior standing and permission of instructor.

LATI 614 - Independent Project

An opportunity for advanced students to pursue an independent research project of some scale under the supervision of a sponsoring faculty member. Such a project must begin with a brief written proposal to the faculty supervisor and the program director.

Frequency: Every spring.

Prerequisite(s)

Junior standing and permission of instructor.

LATI 621 - Internship

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

LATI 622 - Internship

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

LATI 623 - Internship

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

LATI 624 - Internship

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

LATI 634 - Preceptorship

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

LATI 641 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

LATI 642 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

LATI 643 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

LATI 644 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the senior honors project.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.