*Asterisk indicates that the course is offered in Fall 2013.
Course offerings are subject to change.
LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES
*LA173f History of Latin America Latin America’s search for political stability and economic development from the origins of the indigenous American civilizations to the present. Major themes include the Aztec and Inca imperial conquests of the 14th century, Spanish and Portuguese colonization, the Bourbon and Pombaline rationalization of the 18th century, the independence wars and national civil wars of the 19th century, and right- and left-wing dictatorships. Four credit hours.
LA174s Introduction to Latin American Studies An intensive, cross-disciplinary introduction to Latin American society and culture. Elite and popular search for identity through writings and art (music, painting, murals). Institutions and structures found across Latin America such as frontiers, the landed estate, urban shantytown, religious syncretism. Four credit hours.
*LA483f, 484js Senior Honors Thesis A year-long research project for senior majors, resulting in a written thesis to be publicly presented and defended. Students may register either for two credits in the fall, January, and spring terms or for three credits in the fall and spring terms. Prerequisite: a 3.3 or higher major average at the end of the junior year and permission of the Latin American Studies Advisory Committee. Two or three credit hours.
*LA491f, 492s Independent Study An independent study project devoted to a topic chosen by the student with the approval of an advisor. Only independent studies taken with a Colby faculty member and approved by the director of the Latin American Studies Program may count toward fulfilling major requirements. One to four credit hours.
LA497 Gender, Sexuality, and the Body in Latin American History This seminar provides advanced students with a theoretical and methodological overview of gender and sexuality theory and practice as it relates to Latin American history and an opportunity to put those theories and methods to use in their own work. A historically grounded view from 1500 to present that incorporates valuable perspectives from the social sciences. Goals include broadening students’ understandings of women’s histories, sex/gender norms, queer sexualities, racial categories, labor movements, expressive cultures, medicine, criminology, the body as a historical site, and the family. Four credit hours.
*AY236f Illegal Drugs, Law, and the State Drawing on legal and political anthropology, we will examine the legal regimes and cultures of control that target the commerce and consumption of illegal drugs. We will consider the evolution of these policies, their role in the construction of the state, and their impact in a variety of historical moments and social worlds. Case studies will include Prohibition, cocaine, medical and recreational use of marijuana, and alternative forms of political power facilitated by the drug trade, with a special focus on Latin America. Students will gain critical reading and presentation skills and will refine their writing and research skills through the production of an original case-study research project. For LAS credit, this project must be completed on a Latin American topic. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Four credit hours.
AY242 Latin American Ethnographies Examines the diverse lived realities of everyday people throughout Latin America through a survey of contemporary ethnographic research. Topics include the intersections of race, class, and sexuality; how citizenship and social movements are changing Latin American democracies; and the impacts of neoliberalism and global economic systems on everyday life. Objectives are to pursue a broad understanding of cultural, political, and economic formations in Latin America, and to reflect critically and comparatively on contemporary trends in Latin American anthropology. Students will refine their academic research skills through article reviews and making an ethnographic research plan. Ethnographic and documentary films will supplement classroom readings. Prerequisite: Anthropology 112. Four credit hours.
AY297Af Music and Culture in the Americas Presents ways of thinking about music making and dance as creative social activities and as powerfully affective expressive cultural practices that people invest with social value and meaning. We will study a series of conceptual frameworks for analyzing the special potentials of music in social life as well as some basic music terminology for thinking about, listening to, and discussing musical style, setting your analyses and interpretations within broader socio-historical processes. Selected case studies consider musical traditions from Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, and North America (Waterville included), among other regional examples. Designed for non-music majors (although music majors are certainly welcome). Four credit hours.
EC214s Economic Policy and Performance in Contemporary Latin America Analysis of macroeconomic stabilization policies and microeconomic issues such as regional trade, agriculture, the transnational narcotics industry, the environment, and labor markets in contemporary Latin America. Prerequisite: Economics 133 and 134. Four credit hours.
GO253f Latin American Politics An introduction to the political development of Latin America. Discussion of key ideas about economic development, authoritarianism, revolution and, in particular, democracy. Includes a look at the work of some of the most important political analysts writing about Latin America today. Employs both multidisciplinary and disciplinary approaches to examine key political issues in Latin American politics. The main objective is to develop analytical and critical-thinking skills as well as the ability to think comparatively about political problems. Four credit hours.
GO297f Mexican Politics An introduction to the political development of Latin America. Discussion of key ideas about economic development, authoritarianism, revolution and, in particular, democracy. Includes a look at the work of some of the most important political analysts writing about Latin America today. Employs both multidisciplinary and disciplinary approaches to examine key political issues in Latin American politics. The main objective is to develop analytical and critical-thinking skills as well as the ability to think comparatively about political problems. Fulfills the “regional gateway” requirement. Four credit hours.
GO335s United States-Latin American Relations The evolving relationship between Latin America and the United States. Analysis will focus on the continuities and changes in U.S. policy toward Latin America as well as Latin American perceptions and policies toward the United States. Special attention to post-Cold War issues such as the war on drugs, democracy promotion, international migration, hemispheric trade, financial crises, crime, and terrorism. Prerequisite: Government 131, 151, or 253. Four credit hours.
*GO264A Democratization in Latin America What have been the challenges associated with the establishment and consolidation of democracy in Latin America? Examines political regimes and regime changes in Latin America since the early 20th century, with a particular emphasis on the quality of democracy present in the current period. Topics include the breakdown of democracy, democratization, human rights, state capacity, interest representation and citizenship, and the concentration of power in the executive. Prerequisite: One course in government or Latin American studies. Four credit hours.
For 173, 174, and 497 see LAS above.
HI272s History of Law, Society, and Rebellion in Mexico We look beyond the clichéd image of the Mexican bandit to consider the complex economic, social, and political problems behind ruptures in the legal order from Aztec times to the present. Focusing on revolts, the social origins and political construction of crime, and state regulation of popular culture, we trace the outlines of the history of Mexico and consider how notions of legality vary across time and cultures. Four credit hours.
HI274f Race, Religion, and Frontiers in Iberian-American Colonization Topics include the medieval roots of Iberian expansion and the importance of religion and race in the Conquest; the institutional and social construction of colonial society, including Iberians’ cultural baggage–notions of racial purity and piety and related ideas such as honor and hierarchy; decolonization, focusing on the struggle over abolition; and the persistence of Iberian notions of race and colonization in the Americas. Four credit hours.
HI275j Strongmen and Populism in Modern Spain and Latin America A cross-disciplinary study of the historical factors behind the creation of Trujillo’s dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, the rise of Getulio Vargas’s Estado Novo in Brazil, the role of Zapata as an agrarian warlord in the Mexican Revolution, the failure of the Spanish Republic and the emergence of Franco’s regime, and the crises that have brought populist regimes and caudillos, or charismatic strong leaders, to power. Three credit hours.
HI277s History of the Maya from 200 B.C. A multidisciplinary survey (archaeology, anthropology, sociology, literature, and history) of the trajectory of the Mayan peoples from the writing of the first known Maya glyphs (c. 200 B.C.) to the current conflicts in Chiapas and Guatemala. Four credit hours.
HI298s: History of the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay) Provides students with a survey of the histories of Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, from colonization to the present, including comparisons with the historical processes in other regions of Latin America, particularly Brazil. Key topics include colonization/neocolonialism, race, populism, immigration, gender roles, “civilization and barbarism,” nationalism, state violence, military dictatorship, cultural forms (tango, soccer, carnival), and politics. An emphasis on cultural and social histories, testimonial literature, film, and documentaries will offer students a richer perspective on the histories and experiences of the region. Four credit hours.
*HI473f Research Seminar: Historical Roots of Violence in Modern Latin America Why have Latin American nations experienced persistent violence? We examine its historical roots from an interdisciplinary perspective. How do social, political and cultural historians, as well as anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists and psychologists explain social and ethnic conflicts, domestic violence, torture, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, and “dirty wars”? Objectives include a response paper, in-class presentations, a critical book review, a substantial (c.30 page) research paper, the first draft of which will be presented and critiqued in class. Four credit hours.
*SP135f/s Introduction to Hispanic Literature Introduction to literary analysis through Spanish, Spanish-American, and U.S. Latino/a texts. Students are presented with works of fiction in prose, poetry, drama, and film and learn how to examine the texts through close reading, detailed analysis, and strategies of interpretation. Students develop skills in writing critical essays and learn the basics of scholarly research. Prerequisite: Spanish 131. Four credit hours.
*SP231f/s Advanced Spanish An in-depth analysis of Spanish grammar, focusing on the more complex and subtle linguistic and cultural dimensions of a variety of syntactical and lexical concepts. Students will achieve an advanced mastery of Spanish grammar and vocabulary. Prerequisite: Spanish 131. Four credit hours.
SP268s Latino/a Cultural Expressions in Literature and Film The study of Latina/o expressions through novels, poetry, drama, murals, photography, and film, focusing on expanding knowledge about Latina/os in the context of American identities. To that end, we will engage with questions about how U.S. Latina/os form part of the popular imagination and how institutional marginalizations of Latina/os impact the creative expressions of Latina/os. Taught in English and Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 135 or equivalent. Four credit hours.
SP265s The Short Novel in Spanish America Close readings of contemporary Spanish-American short novels by representative authors. Explores representations of gender, history, human rights, politics, race, and sexualities within the context of the social and political realities of Spanish America in the 20th and 21st centuries. Also considers critical literary concepts such as narrative perspective, parody, intertextuality, and self-consciousness. Previously offered as Spanish 298A. Prerequisite: Spanish 135 Four credit hours.
SP276s U.S. Latina/Chicana Women Writers An examination of a selection of novels, short stories, poetry, theater, and non-fiction by United States Latina and Chicana women writers. Interdisciplinary in approach, the course will focus on the relationship beween the texts read and several important issues. Topics include feminism, the social and cultural construction of race and ethnicity, immigration, cultural nationalism, and identity formation. Readings are in English. Four credit hours.
SP297f Latina Feminist Writings An exploration of how the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality inform the theoretical and literary writings of Latinas living in the United States. Readings and class are in English. Prerequisite: Spanish 135 or Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 201. Four credit hours.
SP298s Adaptations: Latin American Texts to Films Students read contemporary Latin American texts (short stories, novels, plays, nonfiction) and view their film adaptations. Readings and films deal with key issues of Latin American culture from the second half of the 20th century and the 21st century. Students analyze literature and films as well as explore the relationship between these artistic languages. Students write weekly responses to texts and films, present in class, and write a final essay. Prerequisite: Spanish 135. Four credit hours.
SP354f Detectives and Spies: Popular Culture in Spanish-American Fiction A consideration of how the classic detective story has permeated the realm of high or respectable art, and, in particular, how writers such as Bioy Casares, Borges, García Márquez, Leñero, Padura Fuentes, Puig, Sábato, Valenzuela, and Vargas Llosa have simultaneously appropriated and subverted the genre. While focused on the function of parody and intertextual relations, and on the distinction between the mimetic and the reflexive modes, the course will provide a framework to address questions of ideology, community, gender, sex, and sexuality. Previously offered as Spanish 398. Prerequisite: A 200-level literature course in Spanish. Four credit hours.
SP371s The Colonial Experience: European and Amerindian Responses Close readings of representative primary documents and iconography from throughout the Spanish and Portuguese empires that were produced to report, understand, legislate, and record various dimensions of the encounter between Europe and the New World during the 16th and 17th centuries. Emphasizes efforts by Europeans and Amerindians to control the memory of events and to position themselves in colonial societies. Students will explore texts and cultural productions used to exert dominance or resistance during a specific historical context, become critical readers of primary documents, and engage with key issues of colonial literature. Prerequisite: A 200-level literature course. Four credit hours.
*SP397Bf The Diasporic Imagination: Cubans Beyond An examination of the cultural production of Cubans living in the diaspora after the 1959 Revolution. Representative works in several genres by authors such as Reinaldo Arenas, Rafael Campo, Lourdes Casal, Dolores Prida, Nilo Cruz, Mayra Montero, Achy Obejas, Gustavo Pérez Firmat, Sonia Rivera Valdés, Guillermo Rosales, and Zoé Valdés. Topics will include the traumas of migration, the politics of exile, the workings of memory and nostalgia, the fantasies of return, the hybridization of culture, and the class, generational, gender, linguistic, political, racial, and sexual diversity of Cubans beyond Cuba. Four credit hours.
SP493s Seminar: Sexual Dissidence in Revolutionary Cuba A study of the textual production of same-sex sexual subjectivities in post-1959 Cuba in the context of the government’s official attitude toward homosexuality, which has developed from the oppressive policies of the 1960s and the 1970s to the somewhat less intolerant views of the 1990s. While focused on same-sex sexualities in Cuba, the seminar will provide a framework for discussing literary, cultural, and political dimensions of sex, gender, sexuality, desire, identity, and community. Prerequisite: Senior standing and a 300-level literature course. Four credit hours.
SP493As Seminar: Andean Colonial World An examination of narratives from the Andean Colonial period: Cristobal de Mena, Pedro Cieza de Leon, Pedro de Sarmiento, Titu Cusi Yupanqui, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, and Bernabé Cobo. Exposes students to 16th- and 17th-century language and images and to the challenges of producing critical editions of colonial manuscripts. Involves close readings of primary sources and hones critical thinking and interpretative skills. Topics include empire, conquest, representation, identity, memory, food, and nature. Requires weekly responses, short presentations, and a final research paper. Prerequisite: Senior standing and a 300-level literature course. Four credit hours.
SP493s Seminar: The Latina Body Theories, narratives, and images of Latinidad will be explored. We will analyze how the multiple representations of Latinas in contemporary popular culture and literary texts influence definitions of race, identity, femininity, gender roles, beauty, and cultural authenticity in a dialogue among art, popular culture, and novels. Prerequisite: Senior standing and a 300-level literature course. Four credit hours.