Latin American Studies

Director of undergraduate studies: Ana De La O, C120, 77 Prospect St., 432-5234, ana.delao@yale.edu; macmillan.yale.edu/academic-programs

The major in Latin American Studies is designed to further understanding of the societies and cultures of Latin America as viewed from regional and global perspectives. The Latin American Studies major builds on a foundation of language and literature, history, history of art, theater studies, humanities, and the social sciences; its faculty is drawn from many departments and professional schools of the University.

The major in Latin American Studies is interdisciplinary. With two goals in mind—intellectual coherence and individual growth—the student proposes a course of study that must satisfy the requirements listed below. The proposed course of study must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies. Though all students choose courses in both the humanities and the social sciences, they are expected to concentrate on one or the other.

Prerequisites

Prerequisite to the major is knowledge of the two dominant languages of the region, Spanish and Portuguese. Depending on their interests, students select one language for two years of instruction and the other for one. Other languages necessary for research may in appropriate circumstances be substituted for the second language with the consent of the DUS. Students are encouraged to meet the language requirements as early as possible. Courses used to satisfy the language prerequisite may not be counted toward the major.

Requirements of the Major

The major itself requires twelve term courses: one introductory course approved by the DUS; eight courses related to Latin America from departmental offerings or from a provided list of electives; two additional electives; and the senior essay, LAST 491. The eight Latin American content courses should include courses from the following categories: two courses in the social sciences (anthropology, economics, or political science); two courses in history; two courses in Spanish American or Brazilian literatures beyond the language requirement; one course in art, architecture, film and media studies, music, or theater studies; and one seminar in any area related to Latin American Studies. Students wishing to count toward the major courses that do not appear in the program's course offerings should consult with the DUS.

Students must enroll in three seminars or upper-level courses during their junior and senior years. Elective seminars must be approved by the DUS, who can provide a list of appropriate courses.

Senior Requirement

The senior essay is a research paper written usually in one term in LAST 491. Students choose their own topics, which may derive from research done in an earlier course. The essay is planned in advance in consultation with a qualified adviser and a second reader.

In preparing the senior essay, Latin American Studies majors may undertake field research in Latin America. Students are encouraged to apply for summer travel grants through the Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies to conduct field research for their senior thesis. The Albert Bildner Travel Prize is awarded to an outstanding junior who submits an application in Spanish or Portuguese in addition to the English application essay. Information about these and other grants is available on Yale's Student Grants & Fellowships Website.

Advising

A list of courses intended as a guide to students in preparing their programs is available at the office of the DUS and on the Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies Website. Qualified students may also elect pertinent courses in the Graduate School and in some of the professional schools with permission of the director of graduate studies or professional school registrar and the DUS.

Study Abroad

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of study abroad opportunities during summers or through the Year or Term Abroad program.

REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR

Prerequisites 2 years of 1 lang (Spanish or Portuguese), 1 year of the other

Number of courses 12 courses beyond prereqs (incl senior essay)

Distribution of courses 1 intro course approved by DUS; 8 courses related to Latin America in specified fields; 2 electives; 3 sems or upper-level courses in junior and senior years 

Senior requirement Senior essay (LAST 491)

The major in Latin American Studies is designed to further understanding of the cultures of Latin America and to view those cultures from regional and global perspectives. The major builds on a foundation of language and literature, history, and the social sciences; its faculty is drawn from many departments of the University.

For the major in Latin American Studies, knowledge of both Spanish and Portuguese is required. Each student must complete two college-level years of one of these languages, and one year of the other.

Prospective majors should take one or more courses in the required areas of history, literature, and social science, and one course in art, architecture, film studies, music, or theater studies. Suitable courses for first-year students include the following:

FACULTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROGRAM OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES

Professors Rolena Adorno (Spanish & Portuguese), Ned Blackhawk (History, American Studies), Richard Burger (Anthropology), Hazel Carby (African American Studies, American Studies), Carlos Eire (History, Religious Studies), Eduardo Fernandez-Duque (Anthropology), Paul Freedman (History), Aníbal González (Spanish & Portuguese), Roberto González Echevarría (Spanish & Portuguese), K. David Jackson (Spanish & Portuguese), Gilbert Joseph (History), Stathis Kalyvas (Political Science), Daniel Markovits (Law School), Mary Miller (History of Art), Stephen Pitti (History), Susan Rose-Ackerman (Law School, Political Science), Alicia Schmidt Camacho (American Studies), Stuart Schwartz (History), Susan Stokes (Political Science), Robert Thompson (History of Art), Noël Valis (Spanish & Portuguese), Frederick Wherry (Sociology), Elisabeth Wood (Political Science)

Associate Professors Robert Bailis (Forestry & Environmental Studies), Susan Byrne (Spanish & Portuguese), Rodrigo Canales (School of Management), Ana De La O (Political Science), Moira Fradinger (Comparative Literature)

Assistant Professors Vanessa Agard-Jones (Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies), Ryan Bennett (Linguistics), Oswaldo Chinchilla (Anthropology), Marcela Echeverri (History), Anne Eller (History), Leslie Harkema (Spanish & Portuguese), Seth Jacobowitz (East Asian Languages & Literatures), Erica James (History of Art, African American Studies), Albert Laguna (American Studies, Ethnicity, Race, & Migration), Dixa Ramirez (American Studies, Ethnicity, Race, & Migration)

Senior Lectors II Margherita Tortora, Sonia Valle

Senior Lectors Sybil Alexandrov, Marta Almeida, Maria Pilar Asensio-Manrique, Mercedes Carreras, Ame Cividanes, Sebastián Díaz, María de la Paz García, María Jordán, Rosamaría León, Juliana Ramos-Ruano, Lissette Reymundi, Lourdes Sabé-Colom, Bárbara Safille, Terry Seymour

Lector Selma Vital

Electives within the Major

Students wishing to count toward the major courses that do not appear on this list should consult with the director of undergraduate studies.

AFST 333a / HIST 332a, African Encounters with ColonialismDaniel Magaziner

How African societies and peoples encountered, engaged, and endured the colonial and postcolonial world, from the arrival of Kiswahili-speaking traders at the shores of Lake Victoria in the 1840s through the rise and fall of European colonialism and the resulting forms of neocolonialism. Transformations and continuities in African religious life; gendered sociability; popular culture.  HU
MW 11:35am-12:25pm

* AFST 353b / MUSI 375b, Topics in World MusicMarissa Moore

A critical introduction to selected cultures of world music. Specific cultures vary from year to year but generally include those of Native America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. Preference to Music majors according to class.  HU
HTBA

* AFST 486a / HIST 388Ja, Slavery and the Slave Trade in AfricaRobert Harms

The slave trade from the African perspective. Analysis of why slavery developed in Africa and how it operated. The long-term social, political, and economic effects of the Atlantic slave trade.  WR, HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* ANTH 301b / ARCG 301, Foundations of Modern ArchaeologyRichard Burger

Discussion of how method, theory, and social policy have influenced the development of archaeology as a set of methods, an academic discipline, and a political tool. Background in the basics of archaeology equivalent to one introductory course is assumed.  SO
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

ECON 325a or b / SAST 281a or b, Economics of Developing Countries: Focus on South AsiaZachary Barnett-Howell

Analysis of current problems of developing countries. Emphasis on the role of economic theory in informing public policies to achieve improvements in poverty and inequality, and on empirical analysis to understand markets and responses to poverty. Topics include microfinance, education, health, agriculture, intrahousehold allocations, gender, and corruption. Prerequisites: introductory microeconomics and introductory econometrics.   SO
HTBA

* ECON 412b, International Environmental EconomicsJoseph Shapiro

Introduction to international and environmental economics and to research that combines the two fields. Methods for designing and analyzing environmental policy when economic activity and pollution cross political borders. Effects of market openness on the environment and on environmental regulation; international economics and climate change. Prerequisites: intermediate microeconomics and econometrics.  SO
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* ECON 465a / EP&E 224a / GLBL 330a, Debating GlobalizationErnesto Zedillo

Facets of contemporary economic globalization, including trade, investment, and migration. Challenges and threats of globalization: inclusion and inequality, emerging global players, global governance, climate change, and nuclear weapons proliferation. Prerequisite: background in international economics and data analysis. Preference to seniors majoring in Economics or EP&E.  SORP
F 9:25am-11:15am

* ECON 467b / GLBL 307b, Economic Evolution of the Latin American and Caribbean CountriesErnesto Zedillo

Economic evolution and prospects of the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. Topics include the period from independence to the 1930s; import substitution and industrialization to the early 1980s; the debt crisis and the "lost decade"; reform and disappointment in the late 1980s and the 1990s; exploration of selected episodes in particular countries; and speculations about the future. Prerequisities: intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics.  SO
M 9:25am-11:15am

ER&M 200a, Introduction to Ethnicity, Race, and MigrationAlicia Camacho

Historical roots of contemporary ethnic and racial formations and competing theories of ethnicity, race, and migration. Cultural constructions and social practices of race, ethnicity, and migration in the United States and around the world.  HU, SO
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* ER&M 300a or b, Comparative Ethnic StudiesStaff

Introduction to the methods and practice of comparative ethnic studies. Examination of racial formation in the United States within a transnational framework. Legacies of colonialism, slavery, and racial exclusion; racial formation in schools, prisons, and citizenship law; cultural politics of music and performance; social movements; and postcolonial critique.  SO
HTBA

* EVST 422a / ANTH 409a / ER&M 394a / F&ES 422a, Climate and Society from Past to PresentMichael Dove

Discussion of the major traditions of thought—both historic and contemporary—regarding climate, climate change, and society; focusing on the politics of knowledge and belief vs disbelief; and drawing on the social sciences and anthropology in particular.  SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* F&ES 020a / EVST 020a, Sustainable Development in HaitiGordon Geballe

The principles and practice of sustainable development explored in the context of Haiti's rich history and culture, as well as its current environmental and economic impoverishment. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.  WR
TTh 9am-10:15am

GLBL 247a / PLSC 128a, Development Under FireJason Lyall

The recent emergence of foreign assistance as a tool of counterinsurgency and post-conflict reconciliation. Evaluation of the effects of aid in settings such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, and the Philippines. Examination of both theory and practice of conducting development work in the shadow of violence. Strengths and weaknesses of different evaluation methods, including randomized control trials (RCTs) and survey experiments.  SO
MW 2:30pm-3:20pm

GLBL 263b / PLSC 439b, Challenges of Young DemocraciesAna De La O

Challenges faced by young democracies, such as organizing free and fair elections, controlling government corruption, building an accountable system of governance, sustaining development, and curtailing conflict and violence. Factors that lead to the consolidation of democratic politics or to stagnation and a return to nondemocratic political systems.  SO
HTBA

* HSAR 471a / AFAM 346a, Black Atlantic PhotographyKobena Mercer

Introduction to the social and artistic history of photography in Black Atlantic contexts from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Uses of the photographic image in shaping understandings of race relations and black identities. Codes and conventions by which photographs are evaluated in terms of truth, reflection, testimony, expressivity, and construction.  HU
W 2:30pm-4:20pm

LAST 214b / AFAM 186b / PLSC 378b / SOCY 170b, Contesting InjusticeElisabeth Wood

Exploration of why, when, and how people organize collectively to challenge political, social, and economic injustice. Cross-national comparison of the extent, causes, and consequences of inequality. Analysis of mobilizations for social justice in both U.S. and international settings. Intended primarily for freshmen and sophomores.  SO
HTBA

* LAST 222a / SPAN 222a, Legal SpanishMercedes Carreras

An introduction to Spanish and Latin American legal culture with a focus on the specific traits of legal language and on the development of advanced language competence. Issues such as human rights, the death penalty, the jury, contracts, statutory instruments, and rulings by the constitutional courts are explored through law journal articles, newspapers, the media, and mock trials. Enrollment limited to 18. A maximum of one course in the 200-230 range may count as an elective toward the Spanish major.  L5
HTBA

* LAST 223a / SPAN 223a, Spanish in Film: An Introduction to the New Latin American CinemaMargherita Tortora

Development of proficiency in Spanish through analysis of critically acclaimed Latin American films. Includes basic vocabulary of film criticism in Spanish as well as discussion and language exercises. Enrollment limited to 18.  L5
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* LAST 227a / SPAN 227a, Creative WritingMaría Jordán

An introduction to the craft and practice of creative writing (fiction, poetry, and essays). Focus on the development of writing skills and awareness of a variety of genres and techniques through reading of exemplary works and critical assessment of student work. Emphasis on the ability to write about abstract ideas, sentiments, dreams, and the imaginary world. Enrollment limited to 18. A maximum of one course in the 200-230 range may count as an elective toward the Spanish major.  L5
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

LAST 232a / ANTH 232a / ARCG 232a, Ancient Civilizations of the AndesRichard Burger

Survey of the archaeological cultures of Peru and Bolivia from the earliest settlement through the late Inca state.  SO
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LAST 243a / SPAN 243a, Advanced Spanish GrammarStaff

A comprehensive, in-depth study of grammar intended to improve students' spoken and written command of Spanish. Linguistic analysis of literary selections; some English-to-Spanish translation. Enrollment limited to 18.   L5
HTBA

* LAST 251b / EP&E 257b / PLSC 399b, Politics in Latin AmericaAna De La O

Overview and analysis of politics in Latin America. The emergence of democracy and the forces that led to the unprecedented increase in inequality in the twentieth century. Topics include institutional design, historical legacies, corruption, clientelism, and violence.
HTBA

* LAST 252a / LITR 259a / PORT 356a, Experimental, Visual, and Concrete Poetry in PerspectiveK. David Jackson

Brazilian concrete poetry in international perspective; production and theory of concrete poetry, translation, and criticism during the second half of the twentieth century. Brazilian concrete poets in the context of visual and concrete poetics. Representative works include 'Pilot Plan' and Theory of Concrete Poetry, graphic and spatial poems, and public expositions of works. Brazilian concrete poets were among the leaders of an international neo-vanguard movement in mid-twentieth century related to geometrical abstraction in painting. In the journals Noigandres and Invenção, and the Theory of Concrete Poetry the Brazilians link their poetics to Pound, Mallarmé, cummings and other inventive figures in world poetry, while relating poetry to graphic arts through reference to painting and to semiotics, including Fenollosa's essay on use of the Chinese character. The exhibit in S. Paulo's Museum of Modern Art in December 1956 was the beginning of the public exhibition of concrete poetry, now the topic of anthologies, websites, criticism, and museum retrospectives. Concrete poetics dominated the production of poetry in Brazil for half a century with a major effect on cultural and intellectual life. Prerequisite: PORT 140 or equivalent.  HUTr
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LAST 254b / PORT 355b, Brazilian Modernist PoetryK. David Jackson

The generation of major poets who were part of Brazilian modernism, centered on the "Modern Art Week" of 1922. Poetry written to express the individuality and character of Brazil's language and culture at the onset of modernization, urbanization, and industrialization. Points of analysis include form, use of language, themes of memory and modernization, cultural characterization, humor, and ethical and existential concerns. Prerequisite: PORT 140 equivalent.  L5, HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LAST 255b / ANTH 255b / ARCG 255b, Inca Culture and SocietyRichard Burger

The history and organization of the Inca empire and its impact on the nations and cultures it conquered. The role of archaeology in understanding the transformation of Andean lifeways; the interplay between ethnohistoric and archaeological approaches to the subject.  SO
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* LAST 266a / SPAN 266a, Studies in Latin American Literature IRolena Adorno

Origins of Latin American literary tradition from preconquest Aztec poetry to Baroque poetry of the seventeenth century. Study of works that helped define the future Latin America, from the Caribbean, to Mexico, and to the Andes of South America. Readings from the works of fifteenth century Texcocan poet, prince Nezahualcoyotl, through to seventeenth century Mexican Baroque poet, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.  L5, HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

LAST 267b / SPAN 267b, Studies in Latin American Literature IIRolena Adorno

An introduction to Latin American literature from the nineteenth century to the present. Works by Borges, García Márquez, Paz, Neruda, Cortázar, and others.  L5, HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* LAST 334b / ER&M 364b / HIST 334Jb, Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Politics of Knowledge in Latin AmericaMarcela Echeverri Munoz

Examination of ethnicity and nationalism in Latin America through the political lens of social knowledge. Comparative analysis of the evolution of symbolic, economic, and political perspectives on indigenous peoples, peasants, and people of African descent from the nineteenth century to the present. Consideration of the links between making ethnic categories in the social sciences and in literature and the rise of political mechanisms of participation and representation that have characterized the emergence of cultural politics.  WR, HURP
M 9:25am-11:15am

LAST 361a / HIST 361a, History of BrazilStuart Schwartz

Brazilian history from European contact to the reestablishment of civilian government in the 1990s. Focus on the multiethnic nature of Brazilian society, the formation of social and political patterns, and the relationship of people to the environment.  HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* LAST 372a / ER&M 342a / HIST 372Ja, Revolutionary Change and Cold War in Latin AmericaGilbert Joseph

Analysis of revolutionary movements in Latin America against the backdrop of the Cold War. Critical examination of popular images and orthodox interpretations. An interdisciplinary study of the process of revolutionary change and cold war at the grassroots level.  WR, HU
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LAST 385b / LITR 260b / PORT 385b, Brazilian Novel of the 21st CenturyK. David Jackson

Changing narratives, themes, styles, and aesthetic ideals in current Brazilian prose and poetry. The writers' attempts to express or define a personal, national, and global consciousness influenced by the return of political democracy to Brazil. Focus on readings published within the last five years. Readings and discussion in English; texts available in Portuguese.  WR, HU
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

* LAST 386a / GLBL 215a / MGRK 237a / PLSC 375a / SOCY 389a, Populism from Chavez to TrumpParis Aslanidis

Investigation of the nature of the populist phenomenon and its impact on politics, society, and the economy in various regions of the world. Conceptual and methodological analyses are supported by comparative assessments of various empirical instances, from populist politicians such as Hugo Chavez and Donald Trump, to populist social movements such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.  SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LAST 391b / LITR 289b / SPAN 392b, Literature of the Americas, North and SouthRolena Adorno

Readings of U.S. and Latin American short stories and novels to explore related themes and narrative structures. Topics include the literary dialogue between Anglo and Latin American writers and their comparative treatments of history, myth, memory, and war. Paired readings of Poe and Cortázar; Bierce and Fuentes; Crane and Borges; and Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! and García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. Conducted in English; a section in Spanish available depending on demand. Readings of Latin American texts in Spanish for Spanish and Literature majors. Prerequisite: SPAN 140, 142, 145, or equivalent.  HU
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* LAST 392a / LITR 296a / PORT 392a, Brazil's Modern Art MovementK. David Jackson

A study of Brazilian modernism in literature and the arts, centered on São Paulo's "Modern Art Week" of 1922 from the perspective of the European avant-gardes (cubism, futurism, surrealism). The Cannibal Manifesto and cultural independence from Europe; avant-garde practices in literature and the arts from the 1920s to the construction of Brasília. Reading knowledge of French and Portuguese helpful but not required.  WR, HUTr
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LAST 416a / GLBL 189a / HLTH 325a, Methods and Ethics in Global Health ResearchLeslie Curry

Introduction to research methods in global health that recognize the influence of political, economic, social, and cultural factors. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method approaches; ethical aspects of conducting research in resource-constrained settings; the process of obtaining human subjects' approval. Students develop proposals for short-term global health research projects conducted in resource-constrained settings.  SORP
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LAST 423a / EP&E 243a / GLBL 336a / PLSC 423a, Political Economy of Poverty AlleviationAna De La O

Overview of classic and contemporary approaches to the question of why some countries have done better than others at reducing poverty. Emphasis on the role of politics.  SO
F 1:30pm-3:20pm

PLSC 148b / HMRT 100b, Theories, Practices, and Politics of Human RightsThania Sanchez

Introduction to core human-rights issues, ideas, practices, and controversies. The concept of human rights as a philosophical construct, a legal instrument, a political tool, an approach to economic and equity issues, a social agenda, and an international locus of contestation and legitimation. Required for students in the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights.  SO
HTBA

* PLSC 152a / EP&E 245a, Global Firms and National GovernmentsJoseph LaPalombara

Interactions between large-scale firms that make international investments and policy makers and government officials in the “host” countries. National and subnational officials who work to attract investments (or not) and who set policies regulating global firms and their investments. Focus on less-developed countries. Theories as to why firms “globalize”; case studies of controversies created by overseas corporate investments; the changing economic landscape associated with investments by countries such as China, Brazil, and India.  SO
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* PLSC 399b / EP&E 257b / LAST 251b, Politics in Latin AmericaAna De La O

Overview and analysis of politics in Latin America. The emergence of democracy and the forces that led to the unprecedented increase in inequality in the twentieth century. Topics include institutional design, historical legacies, corruption, clientelism, and violence.
HTBA

* PLSC 415a / EP&E 241a / SOCY 172a, Religion and Politics in the WorldKatharine Baldwin

A broad overview of the relationship between religion and politics around the world, especially Christianity and Islam. Religions are considered to constitute not just theologies but also sets of institutions, networks, interests, and sub-cultures. The course’s principal aim is to understand how religion affects politics as an empirical matter, rather than to explore moral dimensions of this relationship.  SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

PLSC 439b / GLBL 263b, Challenges of Young DemocraciesAna De La O

Challenges faced by young democracies, such as organizing free and fair elections, controlling government corruption, building an accountable system of governance, sustaining development, and curtailing conflict and violence. Factors that lead to the consolidation of democratic politics or to stagnation and a return to nondemocratic political systems.  SO
HTBA

Directed Reading and Senior Essay Courses

* LAST 471a, Directed ReadingStaff

For students who wish to investigate an area of Latin American Studies not covered by regular offerings. The project must terminate with a term paper or its equivalent. No more than one term of credit may be earned. To apply for admission, a student should present a prospectus and a bibliography to the director of undergraduate studies no later than one day before the course selection period concludes. Written approval from the faculty member who will direct the student's reading and writing must accompany the prospectus.
HTBA

* LAST 491a or b, The Senior EssayStaff

Preparation of a research paper about forty pages long under the direction of a faculty adviser, in either the fall or the spring term. Students write on subjects of their own choice. During the term before the essay is written, students plan the project in consultation with a qualified adviser or the director of undergraduate studies. The student must submit a suitable project outline and bibliography to the adviser and the director of undergraduate studies by the third week of the term. The outline should indicate the focus and scope of the essay topic, as well as the proposed research methodology. Permission may be given to write a two-term essay after consultation with an adviser and the director of undergraduate studies and after submission of a project statement. Only those who have begun to do advanced work in a given area are eligible. The requirements for the one-term senior essay apply to the two-term essay, except that the two-term essay should be substantially longer.
HTBA