50:590:210 Introduction to Latin American Studies
The aim of introductory studies is to provide necessary knowledge for understanding historical development, demographic characteristics, cultures and societies of Latin America. Readings and lectures cover a variety of disciplines and perspectives: art history, cultural studies, literature, politics, history and economics. Guest lectures supplement lectures by the course director. Each participating instructor and guest speaker has a broad and deep level of interest and experience in the region, which serves to enrich the learning process. You benefit from the unique perspectives and insights that each discipline has to offer. The course offers a historical background of Latin America but dwells mostly on the contemporary period.
UNIT 1: Physical and cultural geography of Latin America. Human/environment relationships
UNIT 2: Review of early history of Latin America. Emergence and Development of the Colonial System
UNIT 3: Latin American political and economic structures and institutions. Democracy, production systems and economic development of nation-states. The role of the military. “Populismo” and “Caudillismo”
UNIT 4: The role of the continent in world economy. Theories of development. Current economics: Globalization, Neoliberalism and economic change. The role of the IMF. The World Bank and the BID
UNIT 5: Social change. Union organization. Labor movements. Revolutionary movements. Human rights issues
UNIT 6: Religions, ideologies and social movements in Latin America. Syncretism (Yoruba, Santería), Liberation Theology.
UNIT 7: Environment and population in Latin America. Politics of cultural identity. Indigenous and minority groups. Environment and ecological features, the relation of environment, economy and population, migration movements and urbanization
UNIT 8: Position of women
UNIT 9: Political performance. Performance as resistance: Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo
UNIT 10: Foreign policy. Relationship to industrialized nations. United States foreign policy towards Latin America. Global policies
UNIT 11: Hispanos and Latinos in the United States
UNIT 12: Education, Culture, and Art
A) POPULAR CULTURE. Fútbol, Carnaval, and Soap Operas
C) VISUAL ARTS