Course Highlights

Check out this selection of exciting courses from among our many Fall 2016 offerings!

For the full list of Fall Classes, click here or visit the Timetable

For a list of all LALS courses, including those not currently being offered, visit the list All Courses in LALS.

LALS 101: Introduction to Latin American Studies

CRN 39174

MW 10:00-10:50

Joel Palka

This course will explore Latin American cultures, histories, and contributions to modern civilization. We will begin with the earliest peoples in Latin America, such as the Maya, Aztecs, Inca, and ancient Amazonians. Then we will cover Colonial Period history, the independence movements, and the development of modern Latin America. We will also focus on the interactions between societies in Latin America and those of the United States, Europe, and Asia, and contemplate how they shape the future. Finally, we will gain an appreciation of the arts and humanities in Latin America, plus explore issues with Latin@s in the U.S. Students will attend weekly lectures and a discussion period. Student evaluation will be based on exams and quizzes from lecture material and the readings. Students will also track weekly news events concerning Latin America from online sources. Classes will be enhanced by guest speakers, and extra credit through participation in relevant cultural events and institutions will be available.



AH 274, LALS 240     Pre-Columbian Art of Mesoamerica

CRN 40267

MWF  1:00-1:50pm

Andrew Finegold

Introduction to the art and architecture of prehispanic peoples of Mexico and Northern Central America, including Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Zapotec, and Aztec cultures.   Course information:  Same as LALS 240.   Prerequisite(s):  Three hours of art history at the 100 level or consent of the instructor.   Creative Arts course, and World Cultures course.


LALS 242    Government and Politics in Latin America

CRN 39184

TR  9:30-10:45am

Andreas Feldmann

This course seeks to students to the study of Latin America, a rich and diverse region. While comprehensive in its approach, the course will concentrate on the study of politics in Latin America. It will included an in depth study of some of the most important contemporary political issues in the region including democracy, violence, human rights and gender indigenous issues. The first part of the course will investigate the nature of the Latin American state apparatus and its relation to the economic social and political development in selected countries. It will later investigate the main attributes of existing political systems devoting particular attention to the development of democracy and the rule of law. Subsequently, the course will investigate how political systems and practices impact the enjoyment of fundamental rights across the region. While looking at this matter, the course will devote time to study the nature of violence afflicting the region and the struggles of civil society to exercise citizens’ rights. The course will study several important case studies including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile El Salvador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela



LALS 491, POLS 594 Latin American Political Thought

CRN 32584 (undergrad)/32585 (grad)

M 3:00-5:45pm

María de los Angeles Torres

To start we will explore the question of What is Latin America?  This idea has proved to be a powerful organizer of societies and ideas throughout several centuries, and it has included a body of thought that has addressed critical questions of politics. By reading original texts, literature and viewing films, we will survey this body of thought. We will begin with the colonial debates about “New Spain” and its people. As colonies began differentiating themselves from Spain, thinkers and activists concerned themselves with the future organization of their states as the ideas of the enlightenment guided many to envision democratic societies. As new nations emerged, questions of identity took central stage. Currents of nationalism-- populist and radical –many concerned with social justice defined movements of the mid-1900s resulting in military regimes of the right and the left. Democratic regimes that replaced them today are plagued by corruption and citizens are deeply disaffected. Is this the end of politics as it has been defined thus far?

Authors: Bartolomé de las Casas, Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, Simon Bolivar, Jose Martí, Rodo, Carlos Mariategui, Gabriela Mistral, José Vanconcelos, Octavio Paz, Fidel Castro, Ché Guevara, Jorge Castañeda

Films: The Mission, Yo La Peor de Todas, Jose Marti, Evita, Yo Soy Cuba, PM.


LALS 501 Latinos and Latin American in Transnational Contest

CRN 31239

W  3:00-5:45pm

Andreas Feldmann

This course seeks to introduce students to the study of Latin America, a rich and diverse region whose culture and history is significantly linked to that of the United States. The class purports to offer a general overview of Latin America and to help students to familiarize themselves with major concepts, issues and debates in the field of Latin American studies. While comprehensive in its approach, the course will concentrate on the study of politics in Latin America. The first part of the course will examine important historical antecedents, in particular colonialism and the impact this system had on Latin American societies. Subsequently, the class will investigate the nature of the Latin American state apparatus and its relation to the economic and societal development of relevant countries. Topics in this section will include militarism and revolutions. It also will look at the historical link between Latin America and the United States. The last section of the course will examine more contemporary topics including democratic development and human rights; the struggle of indigenous groups and women; and urban violence and the narcotics industry.