Sample syllabus: LAS 100 Introduction to Latin American Studies
Contemporary Latin America is the product of a long and turbulent history of conquest, resistance, and cultural mixing. The result is a rich and unique amalgam of African, indigenous, and European cultures. In this era of globalization, understanding the complex societies of Latin America has never been more crucial than it is today.
Latin American Studies is a unique interdisciplinary program that provides Mason students an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of this fascinating and important region of the world. Students may pursue a major or a minor in Latin American Studies.
LAS 100 introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of Latin America. different faculty members of the Latin American Studies Program lecture about their research and important research questions in their fields of study, ranging from literature to politics to history to music, dance, and conservation issues. The course prepares students to think and write critically about one of the most dynamic regions of the world today.
LAS 100 Requirements: LAS 100 is a pass/fail, one-credit class, which meets every other week during the fall semester, starting August 28. Students are required to attend all classes to obtain a pass grade. More than one unexcused absences will result in a fail grade. Students are also required to maintain a journal documenting their reading responses and other assignments throughout the semester. The class meets on alternating Thursdays at 4:30 until 7:10 pm.
Required Reading: John Charles Chasteen, Born in Blood & Fire: A Concise History of Latin America (W.W. Norton, 2011); Other readings TBA
Sample Schedule - LAS 100 - (Based on Fall 2013)
Week 1 Jo-Marie Burt (Public & International Affairs), The Politics of Human Rights in Latin America (half session, 4:30—5:50)
Debra Lattanzi Shutika (Folklore/English), From La Llorona to the Mason Pond Ghost: Migration and Latin American Folklore, (half session, 6:10-7:10)
Week 2 Joan Bristol (History), Colonial Latin America: The Inquisition and Slavery
Week 3 Michael Gilmore (New Century College), Biocultural Conservation in the Amazon Basin - A Case Study of the Maijuna
Week 4 Ben Cowan (History), Gender and the Politics of Sexuality in Latin America (half session, 4:30—5:40)
Jim Lepore (Dance), Afro-Cuban Music and Dance (half session, 6:00-7:10)
Week 5 Lisa Rabin & Ricardo Vivancos-Pérez (Modern & Classical Languages), Latin@ and Latin American Cultural Studies
Week 6 Lisa Breglia (Global Affairs), Natural and Cultural resources and Sustainable Development in Latin America
Week 7 Jennifer Leeman & Michele Back (Modern & Classical Languages), Linguistic approaches in Latin American and Latino studies
Week 8 Carrie Meyer (Economics), Economy & Society in Latin America (half session, 4:30—5:40)
Matt Karush (History), Imperialism & Ambivalence: Latin America & the US (half session, 6:00-7:10)