Spring 2024 courses

50:590:210 introduction to Latin American Studies 

The course is an introduction to the Latin American area and to the Latin American Studies Program at Rutgers-Camden. Readings and lecturers cover a variety of disciplines and perspectives: Art History, Cultural Studies, Literature, Politics, History and Economics. The aim of introductory studies is to provide necessary knowledge for understanding historical development, demographic characteristics, cultures and societies of Latin America. The course offers a historical background of Latin America but dwells mostly on the contemporary period.


50:590:292 Special Topics in Latin American Studies: Art of the Americas 

Examines the art and architecture of the ancient Americas through a transcultural lens. Surveys civilizations including the Olmec, Maya, Aztec, Inca, the Mound Builders in North America, and the Taíno in Florida and the Caribbean, focusing on their cultural legacy, including the living traditions practiced by their descendants today. 

50:590:391 Special Topics in Latin American Studies: Peoples and Cultures of Latin America 

Cultural and historical background and contemporary situation of the peoples of Latin America including pre-Columbian Indian, European, and African influences. Consideration given to ethnic relations, stratification, religion, family, socioeconomic development, and current economic and political problems.


50:590:291 Special Topics in Latin American Studies: Latin American Politics of Sustainability in Rio de Janeiro 

50:590:389 Latin American Studies Learning Abroad: Jamaica: Culture, Politics, and Health 

Descriptions for Elective Courses

50:512:211 Latin American History I
This course examines the history of colonial Spanish and Portuguese America, beginning in the 15th century with European exploration and the pre-contact civilizations of the Americas, and ending with the independence movements in the region in the early 19th century. Topics covered in the course include the wars of conquest; the ecological, cultural, and economic effects of contact among Europeans, Africans, and indigenous inhabitants of the Americas; colonial labor systems, including slavery; and colonial political structures.

50:512:212 Latin American History II
This course examines major topics in the history of Latin America beginning with the wars for independence from Spain in the early nineteenth century. Drawing on national case studies as well as pan-regional examples, we will explore the themes that have shaped modern Latin America in the past two hundred years: rebellion and wars of independence; nation-building and economic liberalism; slavery and abolition; indios, creoles, and Africans in the construction of nationhood; labor struggles, populism, and mass politics; dependency theory; Cold War politics; and urbanization and migration.

50:516:350 The Caribbean
From its colonial beginnings in 1492 to the present. The course focuses on slavery and independence; 20th-century inter-island politics; relations with the U.S.; migration and cultural change since the 1960s.

50:790:311 Latin American Politics
A critical review of key events and concepts in modern Latin American politics. A focus on social science explanations for the region’s economic, political, and societal challenges. Assessment of the connections between democracy and development. Key issues for study may include urbanization, innovations in governance, migration, the environment, political parties, and contentious politics in the region.

50:940:292 Speaking Latino: Spanish in the US
This course offers a critical overview of the linguistic practices present in different Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. During the semester, we will address contemporary issues related to Latino bilinguals from all over in the country, such as the use of Spanglish in the community, individual and social attitudes towards Spanish, and the presence of this language in the media and in the public sphere. The main objective of the course is to develop critical and linguistic awareness about the relationship between language, individuals, and society, placing a special emphasis on historical and current Hispanic migration patterns and settlements, characteristics of Spanish in contact with English, and bilingual language development.

50:940:391 Gender and Sexuality in Spanish America Literature
Spanish American Modernismo (1890-1920) offers a wide range of representations previously considered “taboo” in Spanish culture; we will look closely at transgressed attitudes toward sex and gender in the period via literary works that feature an array of “dangerous” people: the femme fatale, effeminate men, prostitutes, and hysterics. Authors include works of José Martí (Cuba), Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera (México), Julián del Casal (Cuba), José Asunción Silva (Colombia), Rubén Darío (Nicaragua), Delimira Agustini (Uruguay), among others.

50:070:341. Peoples and Cultures of Latin America
Cultural and historical background and contemporary situation of the peoples of Latin America including pre-Columbian Indian, European, and African influences. Consideration given to ethnic relations, stratification, religion, family, socioeconomic development, and current economic and political problems.

50:920:316. Race and Ethnicity
The social construction of race and ethnicity in the United States and around the globe. The formation of racial and ethnic identities and the varieties of group interaction, including prejudice, discrimination, assimilation, institutional domination, and change. Changing concepts, boundaries, and interrelationships within a global context.

50:082:229. Pre-Columbian and Meso-American Art
Art and archaeology of pre-Columbian North and South America; major contributions of the Mexican, Mayan, Andean, and American Indian.

50:082:485. Latin American Art and Culture
Prerequisite: 50:082:102 or 103 or permission of instructor. Multicultural course. Credit not given for this course and 50:070:485 or 486. Native-American, colonial, and modern art and architecture of Latin America in their cultural context. Material culture traced either thematically or chronologically. Topics change from year to year.

50:940:208 Spanish American Culture and Civilization
This course will introduce students to the richness and diversity of the cultures of Spanish America from their inception to the present. Such a large project requires a selection of themes that will reveal the political, social and artistic components that contributed to the unique cultural development of Spanish America. Students will have reading assignments from our text which will provide basic background information. This information will be complemented by guided readings on the Internet and film viewings. Students will be responsible for contributing additional information to class discussions found through Internet links or traditional library materials. Class time will be spent predominantly analyzing the material read and discussing its relevance to the development of Spanish American culture and civilization. Conducted in Spanish.

50:940:301 Introduction to Spanish American Literature
This course provides students with general knowledge of and appreciation for the principal authors, works, and movements of Spanish American literature, from the precolonial period to the present. Students will read and analyze texts of several genres including poetry, prose and theater presented in chronological order. In the analysis of these works, we shall discuss not only the literary techniques employed by their authors in accordance with the literary fashions of their time, but also the social, historical, ideological, religious, philosophical, and political backgrounds that contributed to their creation. This will allow students to learn the basic components of literary analysis and familiarize them with the origin and evolution of some leading genres and styles. The course will prepare students to analyze literary texts from a variety of critical perspectives and to better express themselves in both spoken and written Spanish. Conducted in Spanish

50:070:485 Latin American Art and Culture: Mayan Culture
An introduction to the cultures, philosophies, and achievements of the Maya; presents Mesoamerican culture from ancient times to the present, examining the historical continuity of Mayan societies and the groups’ current situation. Uses art, history, culture, society, language, and beliefs. Conducted in English

50:070:344 Dance of the African Diaspora
Exploration of how African dance forms and institutions were transported to and transformed in the New World. Includes studio component in which students learn and analyze the development of African-American dances. 

50:352:392 Latino Writers
This course will trace the tradition of protest in Latino writers, beginning with Jose Marti. We will look carefully at questions of “citizenship,” voice, uplift, and cultural conflict. The role of rhetoric and persuasion will important. READINGS: Oscar Zeta Acosta, Julia Alvarez, Gloria Anzaldua, Luisa Capetillo, Junot Diaz, Manuel Martinez, Pedro Pietri, Piri Thomas, Bernardo Vega, among others.
Conducted in English

50:940:280 Speaking of Film “Hablando de cine”
Conducted in Spanish, this is a conversation class for advanced-intermediate students of Spanish intended to provide an introduction to the world of Spanish and Latin-American film. The course supplies the historical, cultural and cinematographic background of Oscar-awarded/nominated films that have been selected for their artistic qualities and cultural transcendence.

50:163:370 Childhood and Migration
This course considers the unprecedented movement of children around the world in the 21st century. The movement of children around the globe may result in losses of family, friends, culture and language and give rise to considerable challenges of adaptation and integration. Students will have the opportunity to examine the migration of children by drawing on international case studies from Europe, North and South America, Southern Africa and the Middle East. The course will include critical examination of theories of migration and their applicability to children and issues of integration into host societies.