Contacts | MAJOR PROGRAM IN LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES | MINOR PROGRAM IN LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES | COURSES

Department Website: http://clas.uchicago.edu

MAJOR PROGRAM IN LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES

Students who major in Latin American Studies gain a thorough grounding in selected aspects of Latin American societies, cultures, histories, politics, and economics through one or more of the social sciences as they deal with Latin American materials, and through competence in Spanish or Portuguese (an added intellectual asset). The BA program in Latin American Studies can provide an appropriate background for careers in business, journalism, government, teaching, or the nonprofit sector, or for graduate studies in one of the social sciences disciplines. Students who are more interested in the languages and/or literatures of Latin America may wish to consider the major in Romance Languages and Literatures. Students in other fields of study may also complete a minor in Latin American Studies. Information about the minor follows the description of the major.

APPLICATION TO THE MAJOR PROGRAM

Students who plan to declare a major in Latin American Studies should follow the guidelines below. An informational meeting is held each autumn to describe the program and its requirements, as well as to explain and facilitate the declaration process.

  1. As early as possible in their studies and in consultation with their College adviser and the CLAS program adviser, students should prepare a preliminary plan of study that would meet program requirements.
  2. Students must meet with the CLAS program adviser no later than the Spring Quarter of their third year to discuss their major progress and to discuss the BA Colloquium and their proposed BA thesis topic and relevant readings and resources. Students will choose a suitable faculty adviser to supervise the development of their BA essay project no later than Autumn Quarter of their fourth year.

NOTE: Students who plan to study abroad during Spring Quarter of their third year should meet with the CLAS program adviser before leaving campus.

MAJOR PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

As early as possible in their studies, students should obtain a worksheet from the CLAS program adviser, who will assist them with selecting the five required content courses. For a list of approved courses, visit the LACS website at clas.uchicago.edu or consult with the CLAS program adviser.

Depending on whether the student counts two or three Latin American civilization courses toward the general education requirement, the major requires either eleven or twelve courses. Students who use all three quarters of a Latin American civilization sequence to meet the general education requirement will complete an eleven-course major. Students who fulfill the general education requirement with two quarters of the sequence will count the third quarter of the sequence toward the major, for a total of twelve courses in the major.

Students participating in a study abroad program may petition to have courses accepted in partial fulfillment of requirements for the major.

GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES

Students who are majoring in Latin American Studies must complete the general education requirement in civilization studies with LACS 16100-16200-16300 Introduction to Latin American Civilization I-II-III or SOSC 24302-24402-24502 Latin American Civilization in Oaxaca I-II-III. Either of these sequences provides an excellent introduction to the program. 

LANGUAGE COURSES

Students should complete three courses in second-year Spanish or Portuguese to meet the language requirement for the major. Eligible students may petition for credit.

CONTENT COURSES AND ELECTIVES

To meet requirements for the major in Latin American Studies, students must also take five courses that focus on Latin America or the Caribbean—at least four of the five must be in the social sciences—and two additional courses that cover any social science topic. Students may find listings of quarterly Latin American themed courses at my.uchicago.edu or on the CLAS website at clas.uchicago.edu.

BA COLLOQUIUM

All students who are majoring in Latin American Studies are required to participate in the BA Colloquium and to submit a BA essay. The BA Colloquium in Latin American Studies (LACS 29801 BA Colloquium) is a yearlong course led by the preceptor and BA adviser. Fourth-year students are required to participate in all three quarters, although they register for the colloquium only once in Autumn Quarter. The colloquium assists students in formulating approaches to the BA essay and developing their research and writing skills, while providing a forum for group discussion and critiques. Graduating students present their BA essays in a public session of the colloquium during Spring Quarter.

BA ESSAY

All students who are majoring in Latin American Studies are required to write a BA essay under the supervision of a faculty member. The BA essay is due Spring Quarter of the year of graduation. During the Spring Quarter of their third year, all BA majors (double majors included) will be required to participate in a thesis proposal workshop series. This series will help third-year majors develop a thesis topic, find a faculty advisor, and begin conducting thesis research prior to the start of the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year. Students will be contacted in the Winter Quarter of their third year with information regarding the workshop series.

Registration for a BA essay preparation course (LACS 29900 Preparation of the BA Essay) is optional. Students who do register for LACS 29900 Preparation of the BA Essay may count this course as one of the five they must take dealing with Latin America. The grade students will receive for this course depends on the successful completion of the BA essay.

This program may accept a BA essay project used to satisfy the same requirement in another major if certain conditions are met and with the consent of both program chairs. Students should consult with the chairs by the earliest BA proposal deadline (or by the end of their third year, if neither program publishes a deadline). A consent form, to be signed by both chairs, is available from the College advising office. It must be completed and returned to the student's College adviser by the end of Autumn Quarter of the student's year of graduation.

SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS: LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES MAJOR

GENERAL EDUCATION
LACS 16100-16200Introduction to Latin American Civilization I-II200
or SOSC 24302
SOSC 24402
Latin American Civilization in Oaxaca I
and Latin American Civilization in Oaxaca II
Total Units200
MAJOR
One of the following courses if not taken to meet the general education requirement:0-100
Introduction to Latin American Civilization III
Latin American Civilization in Oaxaca III
One of the following sequences: *300
Language, History, and Culture I-II-III
Intermediate Portuguese
   and Advanced Portuguese
   and Curso de Aperfeiçoamento
Five courses dealing with Latin America (four in the social sciences)500
Two courses in the social sciences **200
LACS 29801BA Colloquium100
BA essay
Total Units1100-1200
*

Or credit for the equivalent as determined by petition.

**

These courses must be chosen in consultation with the CLAS program adviser.

GRADING

Each of the required courses for the Latin American Studies major must be taken for a quality grade.

HONORS

Students who have done exceptionally well in their course work and on their BA essay are considered for honors. Candidates must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher overall and 3.25 or higher in the major.


MINOR PROGRAM IN LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES

The minor program in Latin American Studies provides students majoring in other disciplines the opportunity to become familiar with selected aspects of Latin American societies, cultures, histories, politics, and economics through one or more of the social sciences as they deal with Latin American materials, and one or more major language of the region. It can provide an appropriate cultural background for careers in business, journalism, government, teaching, or the nonprofit sector, or for graduate studies in the social sciences. The course of study is designed to be flexible so as to serve students in the humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, and physical sciences. The minor, which can be completed in one year, requires five to six courses depending on how the student meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.

No courses in the minor can be double counted with the student's major(s) or with other minors, nor can they be counted toward general education requirements. They must be taken for quality grades and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.

MINOR PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Students who elect the minor program should meet with the CLAS program adviser before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the program. The CLAS program adviser's approval for the minor must be submitted to the student's College adviser, on a form obtained from the College adviser, no later than the end of the student's third year.

GENERAL EDUCATION

Students must complete the general education requirement in civilization studies with LACS 16100-16200-16300 Introduction to Latin American Civilization I-II-III or SOSC 24302-24402-24502 Latin American Civilization in Oaxaca I-II-III. Students who use all three quarters of a Latin American civilization sequence to meet the general education requirement will complete a five-course minor. Students who meet the general education requirement with two quarters of the civilization sequence will count the third quarter of the sequence toward the minor, for a six-course minor.

LANGUAGE

The minor requires two courses in Spanish or Portuguese at the level of the second year or beyond. Credit may be granted by petition for one of these courses.

CONTENT COURSES

The minor requires three courses with an emphasis on Latin American themes. Students may find listings of quarterly Latin American themed courses at my.uchicago.edu or on the CLAS website at clas.uchicago.edu.

RESEARCH PAPER

Students must submit a research paper treating a Latin American topic for one of their Latin American content courses. The research paper is of intermediate length (ten to fifteen pages) in a course with Latin American content. Each student is responsible for making appropriate arrangements with the faculty member. Completion of the course research paper must be demonstrated to the program adviser in Latin American Studies.

SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS: LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES MINOR

One of the following if not taken to meet the general education requirement:0-100
Introduction to Latin American Civilization III
Latin American Civilization in Oaxaca III
One of the following sequences: *200
Language, History, and Culture I-II
Intermediate Portuguese; Advanced Portuguese
Three courses dealing with Latin America300
Total Units500-600
*

Eligible students may petition for partial credit (for only one language course).


COURSES

The following courses are for reference only. See my.uchicago.edu for specific offerings. See the Center for Latin American Studies Courses webpage at clas.uchicago.edu/page/courses for further information on quarterly offerings.

LACS 16100-16200-16300. Introduction to Latin American Civilization I-II-III.

Taking these courses in sequence is not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This sequence is offered every year. This course introduces the history and cultures of Latin America (e.g., Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands).

LACS 16100. Introduction to Latin American Civilization I. 100 Units.

Autumn Quarter examines the origins of civilizations in Latin America with a focus on the political, social, and cultural features of the major pre-Columbian civilizations of the Maya, Inca, and Aztec. The quarter concludes with an analysis of the Spanish and Portuguese conquest, and the construction of colonial societies in Latin America.

Instructor(s): A. Kolata     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 23101,CRES 16101,HIST 16101,HIST 36101,LACS 34600,SOSC 26100

LACS 16200. Introduction to Latin American Civilization II. 100 Units.

Winter Quarter addresses the evolution of colonial societies, the wars of independence, and the emergence of Latin American nation-states in the changing international context of the nineteenth century.

Instructor(s): D. Borges     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 23102,CRES 16102,HIST 16102,HIST 36102,LACS 34700,SOSC 26200

LACS 16300. Introduction to Latin American Civilization III. 100 Units.

Spring Quarter focuses on the twentieth century, with special emphasis on the challenges of economic, political, and social development in the region.

Instructor(s): B. Fischer     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 23103,CRES 16103,HIST 16103,HIST 36103,LACS 34800,SOSC 26300

LACS 22501-22502-22503. Elementary Haitian Kreyol I-II-III.

This three-course sequence will provide students with an in-depth study of the Haitian Kreyol language in its modern context, with emphasis on developing students' proficiency in speaking and writing, and in listening and reading comprehension. The course will also provide necessary cultural and historical context.

LACS 22501. Elementary Haitian Kreyol I. 100 Units.

This three-course sequence will provide students with an in-depth study of the Haitian Kreyol language in its modern context, with emphasis on developing students' proficiency in speaking and writing, and in listening and reading comprehension. The course will also provide necessary cultural and historical context.

Instructor(s): Lecturer     Terms Offered: Autumn 2015
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 32501

LACS 22502. Elementary Haitian Kreyol II. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): Lecturer     Terms Offered: Winter 2016
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 32502

LACS 22503. Elementary Haitian Kreyol III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Lecturer     Terms Offered: Spring 2015 (tentative)
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 32503

LACS 24705. Argentine Histories. 100 Units.

This seminar introduces students to current scholarship on modern Argentina, with an emphasis on the 20th century but drawing also on cutting-edge literature from the 19th to understand long-term processes. The themes are diverse: the links between Argentina and global history; social classes, economic regions, and political regimes; urban and domestic spaces; the gendered nature of politics; the history of the state and its elites; the anthropology and economics of food and music; the forms of remembering; human rights; sexual identities; and, of course, football and psychoanalysis. All revolving around the production of, and the challenges to, Argentina's egalitarian ethos.

Instructor(s): P. Palomino     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 34705,HIST 26122,HIST 36122

LACS 25109. Clientelism and Elections in Latin America. 100 Units.

After the Third Wave of democracy, many believed clientelism would naturally disappear as citizens in developing nations became wealthier and less tempted by the exchange of government goods and services in return for votes. In Latin America, however, even as almost all nations have democratized and economies have grown, clientelism continues to play an important role in mobilizing voters. This course will use several nations in Latin America, including Mexico, Argentina, and Peru to illustrate why clientelism has survived; how both politicians and parties use it; and some of its consequences for politics, especially representation. This course will use both classic readings as well as more modern scholarly work. By studying clientelism in Latin America, one is able to understand politics in developing nations in a more profound way.

Instructor(s): Joy Langston, Tinker Visiting Professor     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 35109

LACS 25110. Revolutions, Constitutions, and War: A Continent Transformed. 100 Units.

During the central decades of the 19th century (1840–1870), the decentralized political structures that had been set up after independence throughout most of the continent, north and south, were refashioned. Under the banners of nationalism, freedom, and democracy, through war, diplomatic wrangling, and innovative law-making, the American republics—and the continent’s monarchical regimes—took on new shapes. The course will explore the ways in which political and territorial controls were refashioned, as were some of the central—and most contentious—tenets of the political order (sovereignty, property, citizenship) during these turbulent decades.

Instructor(s): Erika Pani, Tinker Visiting Professor     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 35110,HIST 26316,HIST 36316

LACS 25111. Tiempos mexicanos: la violencia y la comunidad por venir. 100 Units.

VIOLENCIA. El tejido social en México se ha roto con la llamada "guerra contra el narcotráfico". De acuerdo con Reporteros sin Fronteras, México se ha convertido en el país más peligroso para ejercer el periodismo. Pese a esto, la crónica se ha mantenido muy activa, dando cuenta de una realidad en apariencia incomprensible. ¿Qué desplazamientos y qué diferentes captaciones de sentido han ofrecido las narrativas sobre la violencia? ¿Cómo se intersectan las interpretaciones hegemónicas, la visión de Estados Unidos, la presunta narcocultura y las narrativas independientes? MEMORIA. El curso se propone reflexionar sobre el ejercicio del testimonio y la ficción en tiempos violentos. Al mismo tiempo, propongo analizar la construcción de una memoria alterna al discurso oficial, a partir del ejercicio narrativo e incluso las anticipaciones poéticas de alteridad possible. PORVENIR. Por otra parte, a pesar de sus convulsiones, México no deja de ser un país donde se imagina, para usar la expresión de Giorgio Agamben, una "comunidad por venir", representada, fundamentalmente, por los proyectos de las comunidades en la zona zapatista de Chiapas. En este empeño, las interpretaciones de distintos intérpretes de la realidad se cruzan con la actualización de los relatos indíginas y la copiosa producción literaria del subcomandante Marcos, recientemente transformado en subcomandante Galeano. En cierta forma, el futuro más visible proviene de reciclaje creativo de tradiciones atávicas.

Instructor(s): Juan Villoro, Tinker Visiting Professor     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): This course will be taught in Spanish
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 35111,SPAN 25117,SPAN 35117

LACS 25112. History in Practice: Musical Multiculturalism in Brazil. 100 Units.

Brazil is a country uniquely identified with its musical history. This course is designed to describe how Indigenous, African, and European influences merged over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries to create Brazil’s rich and complex musical tradition. We will focus especially on the interaction of erudite and popular influences, and on the musical and social processes that gave birth to distinctly Brazilian genres such as Samba, Choro, Maracatu, and Frevo. Taught by a renowned Brazilian composer and guitarist, this course will explore Brazil’s musical history through live musical performance as well as lectures, readings, recordings, and discussion.

Instructor(s): Sergio Assad     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 35112,HIST 26818,HIST 36218,MUSI 23817,MUSI 33817

LACS 26121. Nature, Science, and Empire in the Early Modern Iberian World. 100 Units.

Full title: "Nature, Science, and Empire in the Early Modern Iberian World, 1400–1800." Historians have often relegated Iberia and its New World domains from accounts of the developments of modern science. They have traditionally claimed that strict censorship and a commitment to orthodox Catholicism prevented Spain, once the most powerful empire of the world, from embarking on the path towards scientific modernity in the eighteenth century. Modern scholars, however, have challenged this narrative by embracing more inclusive concepts of "science" to explain the many ways in which early modern people related to nature. Some of these practices include the writing of natural histories, botanical research, and linguistic studies, all fields that Iberian scholars pioneered in their efforts to govern their vast domains. This course will introduce students to a diversity of scientific practices that flourished in the Hispanic world between 1400 and 1800.

Instructor(s): V. López Fadul     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 26121,HIST 26121

LACS 26123. Aztecs and Romans: Antiquity in the Making of Modern Mexico. 100 Units.

Modern Mexico stands in the shadow of two vibrant premodern urban societies: the Mexica (commonly known as the Aztecs) and the Romans. In this course, we will examine how Mesoamerican and Mediterranean antiquities overlapped and interacted in shaping the culture, politics, and society of the area we call Mexico from the late colonial period to the twenty-first century. Topics will include creole patriotism, the political thought of the early Mexican Republic and the Mexican Revolution of 1910, nationalist archæology, indigenismo, mestizaje, and neoclassical and neo-Aztec art and architecture. All readings will be in translation.

Instructor(s): S. McManus     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Taught by Stuart McManus, postdoctoral fellow, Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge
Equivalent Course(s): CLCV 26916,KNOW 23001,HIST 26123

LACS 26219. Colonial Latin American History. 100 Units.

This course studies the indigenous, Iberian, and African interactions that forged Spain's colonial empire in the Americas from the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus to the movements of independence at the beginning of the nineteenth century. We will explore the social, political, and economic organization of indigenous societies in the Americas, the impact of the Spanish conquest on these, focusing on the transformations wrought by Christianization and hispanicization, particularly as manifested in the labor, racial, and sex/gender regimes that developed in the colony. The course ends with an analysis of the place of Mexico and Peru in Spain's immense global empire, the empire's over-extension, its fault lines, and the series of European and American events that led to the formation of independent republics in the years after 1808.

Instructor(s): R. Gutiérrez     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 36219,LACS 36219,HIST 26219

LACS 26412. Music and Globalization in Modern Latin America. 100 Units.

This course introduces students to the cultural history of Latin America as a region and the history of the region's globalization, from the perspective of the history of Latin American modern music. Lectures, group work, readings, and individual assignments deal with the role of music in producing Latin America's modern culture from a global perspective. It deals with the histories of folk, classical, and urban musical traditions, diasporic music styles, entertainment corporations, state policies in the realm of music, music pedagogy, music and cinema, Latin American musicology, musical nationalism, and musical diplomacy. The emphasis is on the late 19th and the 20th centuries, but students interested in colonial music are welcome to take the course.

Instructor(s): P. Palomino     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 26116,MUSI 23416,LACS 36412

LACS 26413. Progress, Development, and the Future in Latin America. 100 Units.

“Progress,” and its derived concept of “development” have puzzled Latin Americans throughout their modern history: they were an ambitious goal and a challenge for intellectual and political elites, a reality and an elusive dream for ordinary Latin Americans, and the cause of new challenges and problems wherever they actually or presumably took place. For historians, progress and development used to represent the very sense of universal history, a narrative that sneaked into visions of “Western modernity” and “globalization.” But later on, they became a myth to debunk rather than an object of reflection. What has “progress” meant particularly for Latin Americans? What is, for instance, the meaning of “progress” in the Brazilian flag? How did those notions shape the one of “development” since WWII? In political terms, what ideas of “progress” and “development” animated oligarchic, liberal, populist, military, revolutionary, and democratic projects across the region? Because both concepts involve planning and envisioning the outcome of present actions, the history of progress and development is also, in a certain way, a history of the future.  The goal of this seminar is to help students situate a problem of their choice and trace its history in terms of the political debates that pursued the goal of progress and development in that specific realm.

Instructor(s): P. Palomino     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 26117,ANTH 23091

LACS 27901-27902-27903. Beginning Modern Spoken Yucatec Maya I-II-III.

This sequence is a basic introduction to the modern Yucatec Maya language, an indigenous American language spoken by about 750,000 people in southeastern Mexico. Three consecutive quarters of instruction are intended for students aiming to achieve basic and intermediate proficiency. Students receiving FLAS support must take all three quarters. Others may elect to take only the first quarter or first two quarters. Students wishing to enter the course midyear (e.g., those with prior experience with the language) must obtain consent of instructor. Materials exist for a second year of the course; interested students should consult the instructor. Students wishing to continue their training with native speakers in Mexico may apply for FLAS funding in the summer.

LACS 27901. Beginning Modern Spoken Yucatec Maya I. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): John Lucy     Terms Offered: Autumn,TBD
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 27901,CHDV 47901,LACS 47901

LACS 27902. Beginning Modern Spoken Yucatec Maya II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): J. Lucy     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 27902,CHDV 47902

LACS 27903. Beginning Modern Spoken Yucatec Maya III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): J. Lucy     Terms Offered: Spring,TBD. Will tentatively be offered during 2016-17
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 27903,CHDV 47903,LACS 47903

LACS 29700. Reading and Research in Latin American Studies. 100 Units.

Students and instructors can arrange a Reading and Research course in Latin American Studies when the material being studied goes beyond the scope of a particular course, when students are working on material not covered in an existing course or when students would like to receive academic credit for independent research.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Summer,Autumn,Winter,Spring
Prerequisite(s): Consent of faculty supervisor and program adviser
Note(s): College students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Typically taken for a quality grade.
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 40100

LACS 29801. BA Colloquium. 100 Units.

This colloquium, which is led by the preceptor and BA adviser, assists students in formulating approaches to the BA essay and developing their research and writing skills, while providing a forum for group discussion and critiques. Graduating students present their BA essays in a public session of the colloquium during the Spring Quarter.

Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Required of students who are majoring in Latin American Studies. Students must participate in all three quarters but register only in Autumn Quarter.

LACS 29900. Preparation of the BA Essay. 100 Units.

Independent study course intended to be used by 4th year BA students who are writing the BA thesis.

Terms Offered: Summer,Autumn,Winter,Spring
Prerequisite(s): Consent of faculty supervisor and program adviser. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form.
Note(s): Typically taken for a quality grade.


Contacts

Administrative Contact

CLAS Program Adviser
Jamie Gentry
Kelly 109A
773.702.8420
Email

Director

Director, Center for Latin American Studies, Professor of History
Brodwyn Fischer
SS 511
773.702.7550
Email

Listhost

http://eepurl.com/5bvcD