Latin American Studies (LAST)

* LAST 030b / ANTH 030b / ARCG 030b, Inca Culture and SocietyRichard Burger

History of the Inca empire of the Central Andes, including the empire's impact on the nations and cultures it conquered. Overview of Inca religion, economy, political organization, technology, and society. Ways in which different schools of research have approached and interpreted the Incas over the last century, including the influence of nationalism and other sources of bias on contemporary scholarship. Enrollment is limited to first-year students.   SO
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LAST 100a / HIST 305a, Introduction to Latin American Studies: History, Culture and SocietyLigia Fabris Campos

What is Latin America? The large area we refer to as Latin America is not unified by a single language, history, religion, or type of government. Nor is it unified by a shared geography or by the prevalence of a common language or ethnic group. Yet Latin America does, obviously, exist. It is a region forged from the merging of diverse cultures, historical experiences, and processes of resistance. This course provides an overview of Latin America and the Caribbean from the 16th century up to the present. While the class aims to provide students with an understanding of the region, due to time constraints, it focuses primarily on the experiences and histories of selected countries. The course introduces students to some of the most important debates about the region’s history, politics, society, and culture. The course follows a chronological structure while also highlighting thematic questions. Drawing on academic readings, films, music, art, literature, testimony, oral histories, and writings from local voices the class explores the political transformation of the region, as well as topics related to ethnic and racial identity, revolution, social movements, religion, violence, military rule, democracy, transition to democracy, and migration.   HU0 Course cr
TTh 4pm-5:15pm

LAST 154a / ER&M 154a / FILM 154a / PORT 154a / WGSS 154a, Advanced Studies: Women Filmmakers and Photographers of the Portuguese-Speaking WorldGiseli Tordin

Women Filmmakers and Photographers of the Portuguese-Speaking World is a Portuguese advanced course that delves into the language and culture of the Lusophone world through the lens of women filmmakers and photographers. Organized into three interconnected units, namely, "Diasporas and (De)Territorialities", "Memories They Told Me", and "Reframing Other Existences", students explore how these authors bring forth other perspectives, including those of indigenous people, Afro-Lusophone women, immigrants, and LGBTQIA+ community, among others, challenging societal norms and dominant portrayals. It also explores how their films and photographs reconnect with cultural roots in Africa and Latin America, fragmented by patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism. By exploring a variety of productions by photographers like Yassmin Forte, Madalena Schwartz, Claudia Andujar, and filmmakers like Anna Muylaert, Carolina Paiva, and Lúcia Murat, among others, students investigate links between identities, memory, and language, enabling them to describe, interpret and make inferences about how cultural environments have been historically constructed and how these artistic productions reshape perceptions of our societies. By the course's end, students have a deeper understanding of the Portuguese language and diverse cultural aspects within the Lusophone world. Conducted in Portuguese. Portuguese 140 or equivalent.  L5, HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

LAST 214a / AFAM 186a / PLSC 378a / SOCY 170a, Contesting InjusticeStaff

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 first years and sophomores.  SO0 Course cr
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* 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
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* 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 WritingMayte López

An introduction to the writing of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, with a focus on developing techniques and abilities that are essential for crafting imaginative texts and honing self-expression. Through in-class tasks, substantive discussions on composition and craft, and analyses of contemporary Latinx, Latin American, and Spanish works, students enhance their writing skills and nurture their unique voices as writers. This course takes on the format of a workshop, with students receiving constructive feedback from both the instructor and their fellow writers. Conducted in Spanish.  Enrollment limited to 15. A maximum of one course in the 200-230 range may count as an elective toward the Spanish major.  L5
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LAST 228a / ER&M 278a / SPAN 228a, Borders & Globalization in Hispanophone CulturesLuna Najera

The borders that constitute the geographical divisions of the world are contingent, but they can have enormous ordering power in the lives of people and other beings. Human-made borders can both allow and disallow the flow of people and resources (including goods, knowledge, information, technologies, etc.). Like geographical borders, social borders such as race, caste, class, and gender can form and perpetuate privileged categories of humans that constrain the access of excluded persons to resources, education, security, and social mobility. Thus, bordering can differentially value human lives. Working with the premise that borders are sites of power, in this course we study bordering and debordering practices in the Hispanic cultures of Iberia, Latin America, and North America, from the 1490s to the present. Through analyses of a wide range of texts that may include treatises, maps, travel literature, visual culture, material culture (e.g., currency), law, music, and performance art, students investigate the multiple ways in which social, cultural, and spatial borders are initiated, expressed, materialized, and contested. More broadly, we explore, describe, and trace the entanglements of bordering, globalizations, and knowledge production in Hispanophone cultures. Some of the questions that will guide our conversations are: What are (social) borders and what are the processes through which they persist? How do the effects of practices that transcend borders (e.g., environmental pollution, deforestation) change our understanding of borders? What can we learn from indigenous peoples’ responses to bordering process and globalization?  Prerequisite: SPAN 140 or 145, or in accordance with placement results. The course is conducted entirely in Spanish. Readings are available electronically through Canvas and the University Library. To be conducted in Spanish.  L5, HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* LAST 230a / HSAR 230a, Illustrating Andean History: The Work of Guaman PomaCatalina Ospina

One of the most famous manuscripts to survive from the Spanish colonial Americas is the 1615 El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno (The First New Chronicle, and Good Government, often called Nueva corónica or New Chronicle). The author was Indigenous Andean Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala (c. 1535–c. 1616). This work is one of the most important sources for understanding Inka culture and colonial rule from an Indigenous perspective. It consists of 1,189 pages with 398 full-page ink line drawings. Few illustrated manuscripts survive from this period, and Guaman Poma’s has no rival. The New Chronicle was written in Peru in Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, and Latin. But one might even consider the many images a fifth, purely visual language that combined Andean and European representation systems. Its images have become the most common illustrations of Andean history. In this course, we delve into the work’s history and many-layered subtleties of its images to understand its import and the legacy of this Indigenous author.   0 Course cr
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

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 11:35am-12:50pm

* LAST 243a / SPAN 243a, Advanced Spanish GrammarLissette Reymundi

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
MWF 9:25am-10:15am

* LAST 261a / SPAN 261a, Critical Contexts in Medieval and Early Modern IberiaJesus Velasco

This course offers a panoramic introduction to Iberian written cultures from the medieval to early modern period (ca. 800-1700). Organized chronologically and guided by the methodology of close reading, we will analyze a wide range of concepts and topics relevant for understanding the multilingual, multireligious contexts in which literary and non-literary works were produced, including knowledge and hospitality; borders and negotiation; authority and power; autobiography and eyewitness narrative accounts; courtly love and love sickness; makeup and cosmetic theory; prostitution and public health; gender dissidence and transgressive bodies; masculinities and misogyny; economic crisis and decline; black Africans and the African diaspora; the Inquisition and religious orthodoxy.  Open to students who have placed into L5 courses or who have successfully completed an L4 course in Spanish. Counts toward the major in Spanish.  L5, HU
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

* LAST 266a / SPAN 266a, Critical Contexts in Colonial Latin AmericaAlexandra Cook

This course offers a panoramic introduction to the written and visual cultural production of colonial Latin America (ca. 1492-1800). Organized chronologically and guided by the methodology of close reading, we analyze works of various genres and formats whose creators were of Indigenous, African, Spanish, and mestizo descent. We investigate how these texts reveal, critique, reimagine, or participate in the power relations of multiethnic societies founded on conquest, colonization, and slavery. Among our objectives is the development of the skills of critical analysis of texts written in Spanish, which we pursue through class discussion, oral presentations, and written and creative projects.  L5, HU
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* LAST 305a / ER&M 285a / SOCY 305a, Latin American Immigration to the United States: Past, Present, and FutureAngel Escamilla Garcia

Immigration from Latin America is the one of the most important and controversial issues in the United States today. The family separation crisis, the infamous border wall, and the Dream Act dominate political debate. Latinos—numbering more than 60 million in the U.S.—are a large, heterogeneous, and growing group with a unique social, political, and cultural history. This course explores key current issues in immigration, as well as the history of Latin American migration to the U.S., with the aim of providing students the tools necessary to thoughtfully participate in current debates.  SO
MW 9am-10:15am

LAST 325b / ER&M 345b / HIST 325b, Introduction to Latin American HistoryAnne Eller

Critical themes and events in Latin American history from pre-Columbian times to the present. Major formative epochs such as the pre-Columbian era, colonization, independence, and contemporary moments; modern political flashpoints, including Haiti, Cuba, Argentina, and Peru.  HU
TTh 1:30pm-2:20pm

* LAST 344a / SPAN 344a, Narrative and Music in Hispanic Caribbean CultureAnibal González-Pérez

The development of the narrative genre in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico from its origins in the nineteenth century to the present. Focus on how music is represented and incorporated into the discourse of Hispanic Caribbean novels and stories. Authors include Villaverde, Carpentier, Cabrera Infante, Nicolás Guillén, Ana Lydia Vega, and Luis Palés Matos. Open to students who have placed into L5 courses or who have successfully completed an L4 course in Spanish. Counts toward the Spanish major.  L5, HU
TTh 9am-10:15am

* LAST 350a / EVST 266a / HUMS 452a / SPAN 365a, Ecologies of Culture: Latin American Environmental AestheticsSantiago Acosta

In the age of rising sea levels, mass extinction, and carbon-driven climate change, can culture and the arts remain unchanged? This course focuses on the intersections between aesthetics and ecological practices in the context of the Anthropocene, a proposed geological epoch wherein humans have become a major geological force shaping the planet. It challenges traditional approaches by examining how culture and the arts can help to understand and respond to environmental crises. Discussions and readings emphasize the role of culture and aesthetics as agents and producers of environmental knowledge, highlighting their potential to challenge socio-ecological relations. Throughout the semester, students explore various themes, including colonialism, anthropocentrism, human-animal relations, fossil capitalism, indigenous ontologies, and the impact of extractive industries on territories and bodies in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Latinx world. Students engage with works by established and emerging artists, aiming to produce ecocritical knowledge about the current climate and environmental crisis. The course also offers a panoramic view of Latin American culture by examining some key historical events and authors whose works can shed light on cultural and ideological processes at the root of climate change. By the end of the semester, students can formulate research questions that are critical to the field of Latin American environmental humanities, as well as produce papers that are relevant to a broader debate about culture and ecology. Lastly, the course hopes to motivate students—beyond the classroom—to examine their place in an increasingly warming world. Taught in Spanish.L5, HU
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

* LAST 360a / FILM 363a / LITR 360a, Radical Cinemas of Latin AmericaStaff

Introduction to the radical New Latin American Cinema movement that started in the sixties, with an emphasis on manifestos that conceived the relation between art and politics for social change and with a corpus of films produced in Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Haiti and Mexico. Examination of films in their historical and aesthetic aspects, and in light of questions concerning national cinema, "militant cinema," "political cinema" and "third cinema." Discussions about the global sixties at large, and about some Latin American texts that were read globally. Conducted in English; knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese helpful but not required.  HU0 Course cr
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LAST 361a / HIST 361a, History of BrazilStaff

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.  HU0 Course cr
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LAST 368a / ER&M 368a / HIST 368a, Political Violence, Citizenship, and Democracy in Latin AmericaStaff

Exploration of how and when definitions of citizenship and democracy have been shaped by violent conflicts; how local and global contexts have influenced individual and collective political action; and the transformation of leadership, ideologies, and utopias in different Latin American contexts.  WR, HU0 Course cr
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* LAST 372b / ER&M 342b / HIST 372Jb, Revolutionary Change and Cold War in Latin AmericaGreg Grandin

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 420a / HSAR 420a, Techniques of the Body in Latin American ArtCatalina Ospina

In a 1934 article titled “Techniques of the Body,” anthropologist Marcel Mauss argued that culture defines the ways bodies are used and trained. Mauss’s insight has sprung a series of studies on embodiment that examine how bodies are culturally construed. Engaging literature on embodiment from diverse disciplines—including philosophy, anthropology, and cognitive science—this course investigates how cultural understandings of the body inform the meaning of artmaking and art-experiencing practices. Discussions center on artworks from Latin America from the Pre-Hispanic to the Contemporary period—including Nazca lines, Maya ceramics, colonial-era mopa mopa, the early 20th-century Anthropophagy movement in Brazil, Hélio Oiticica’s and Lygia Clark’s works from the 1950s and 1970s, and the works of Beatriz Gonzales and Doris Salcedo from the 1980s and 1990s. Discussing these works, students address questions ranging from super-human scale to the diverse strategies artworks use to invoke bodies metonymically. Comparative artworks from other cultures and periods show the applicability of this methodology beyond Latin American art. The course incorporates hands-on components and employs artifacts from Yale’s museums.  HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* LAST 491a, The Senior EssayAna De La O

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.
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LAST 492a, The Senior ProjectAna De La O

A project of creative work formulated and executed by the student under the supervision of a faculty adviser in the fall or spring term. Students work on projects of their own choice. Proposals for senior projects are submitted to the adviser and the director of undergraduate studies by the end of the term preceding the last resident term. An interim project review takes place by the fifth week of the term the project is developed. Permission to complete the senior project can be withdrawn if satisfactory progress has not been made. An exhibition of selected work done in the project is expected of each student.  Approval by the DUS and advisor by the end of the term preceding the last resident term. 
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