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Courses: Latin American Studies (LAS)

Undergraduate Bulletin
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Undergraduate & Graduate Dates to Remember*

Fall Term 2010

August 20-22 MBA Orientation
August 25-29 Wolfpack Welcome
August 30 Classes begin
September 3 Add deadline
October 29 Last day to withdraw & last day
to apply for graduation
December 10 Last day of classes
December 11-17 Final Exams

Spring Term 2011

January 8 New Student Orientation; MBA Orientation
January 10 Classes begin
January 14 Add deadline
March 4 Last day to withdraw
May 4 Last day of classes for undergraduate students
May 5 Last day of classes for graduate students
May 6-12 Final Exams for day division
May 9-12 Final Exams for graduate and evening students
May 14 Commencement - all colleges

*College of Law dates on Law Bulletin

Humanities and Natural Sciences

LAS  H295 Revolution! Latin America/Middle East 3 hrs.

This course focuses on comparisons of literature and film between the Central American and Western Asian geographic regions (with a special emphasis on Guatemala and Iran the last time it was taught) during the Marxist/Indigenous and Islamic revolutions, respectively. Through novels, short stories and film the class engages critical analysis of the differences / similarities in terms of specific revolutionary issues in Latin America compared to a region that is the most violatile region in the world today. The class looks at how the variety in the nuanced human element of political unrest changes the dynamics of revolution in three different stages: before it becomes violent; during the event itself; and after the dust has settled. After all, revolutions attempt to change radically the way we read and write ourselves as individuals as well as how we define and portray our societies as complex combinations of varied elements. The class also considers what different effects US foreign policy has had on these revolutions in Latin America and Western Asia and brings this to bear on discussions of social justice.

LAS  V235 Women Writers of Spanish America 3 hrs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

The purpose of this course is to present the students with a representative sample of important Spanish-American women writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, covering different literary periods, genres and countries (the emphasis will be on narrative).
Through detailed discussion of the texts, plus films (when appropriate) and oral presentations, the student will explore the complex cultural and historical realities that have shaped the writings of Spanish American authors in general and women in particular.

LAS V261 Latin American Thought 3 hrs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course will examine Latin American thought from its pre-Columbian roots, its colonial mixture with scholasticism, the Jesuit tradition in the 18th century, positivism of the late 19th and early 20th century, modern racial, Marxist, and nationalist ideologies to its presence in the U.S.

LAS  V294 Chicana/o, Latina/o Literature 3 hrs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course offers an introduction to the literature produced in the "Hispanic" borderlands of US culture.  THe early model for studying the production of literatures/cultures in the US "borderlands" centered on whether the resulting works advocated either assimilation or resistance to the hegemony of whitebread US culture.  By contrast, in this class we look closely at the historical trajectory of several texts (novels, poetry, short stories, film, visual arts, manifestos) and consider whether they offer viable alternatives to this binary model.

LAS V294 Civil Society & The Common Good 3 hrs.

Examining various socio-economic development issues within the context of Latin American, this course addresses the contentions between top-down, institutional approaches and grassroots, inter-personal solutions. While the former frequently focuses development practices and policies through technical economic and multi-lateral political applications toward development, the latter approach strives to incorporate ethical principles into action toward a more comprehensive, integral human development.

LAS V294 Economy and Politics of the Developing World 3 hrs.

This course examines the connections between politics and international economic development. The students will gain from this course a better understanding of the interaction between political and economic phenomena on an international and global scale, and learn useful tools for analyzing and assessing both current policy and historical developments.

In this class we will address questions such as: Why are tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade high in some countries but low in others? Why do we have a free trade policy for most manufactured goods, but a protectionist policy for many agricultural goods? Why does the dollar go “up” or “down” vis-à-vis other currencies, and why is this a political issue? And does development aid help or harm developing countries? Does foreign direct investment by multinational corporations

LAS V294 Salsa! Music Dance & Culture 3 hrs.

In this course we are going to study Salsa as a musical form and a commercial concept that represents an urban lifestyle which has evolved according to the assimilation of the Puerto Rican minority in the United States, which has had a determining influence upon the whole Latino Caribbean sphere. The contents of Salsa music will be useful to explain the links between society and culture, enabling students to grasp the logic through which the recording industry interprets collective sensibilities and histories in order to conceive and trade aesthetic commodities.

LAS V294 Curriculum As A Political Text 3 hrs.

This course introduces participants to the notion of curriculum as the educational product of contending forces within the society out of which it emerges. It relies heavily on the work of Paulo Freire and his sharp critique of the banking approach to education where knowledge is simply deposited and withdrawn. It explores the forces by which learners are induced or seduced to comply with the dominant ideologies and social practices related to authority, behavior, morality and/or spirituality. It imagines possibilities where all citizens participate freely and fully in the creation and recreation of meaning and values that make democracy healthy.