Professors del Moral, R. López (Chair), Schmalzbauer*, and Schroeder Rodríguez; Associate Professor Lohse; Assistant Professors Barba, and Coranez Bolton*.
Affiliated Faculty: Professors Cobham-Sander‡, Corrales*, and Stavans; Associate Professors Arboleda, and Walker*; Assistant Professors Infante, Ravikumar*, Sanchez-Naranjo, and Vicario.
Latinx and Latin American Studies (LLAS) is an interdisciplinary major program designed for students interested in critically examining the diverse histories and cultures of Latin America, the Caribbean, and U.S. Latinxs. Students in the major gain breadth and depth of learning through courses in the humanities and the social sciences that situate these histories and cultures within local, national, regional, hemispheric, and global contexts over time, while practical experiences such as community projects and study abroad provide opportunities to apply this learning in transformative ways.
Major Program. Majoring in LLAS requires the completion of nine courses: seven courses as described below, plus two additional courses to be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.
LLAS majors may credit up to three courses from another major, provided they fall into one of the categories listed above. In addition, majors must have
Departmental Honors Program. Candidates for Latin Honors must complete a senior thesis. The work of the thesis may be creative or scholarly in nature. Interested candidates must apply and be accepted by the end of their third year, and must, in addition to the coursework described above, enroll in LLAS 498 and/or 499 during their senior year.*On leave 2021-22. †On leave fall semester 2021-2021. ‡On leave spring semester 2021-22.
(Offered as LLAS 200 and AMST 206) In this course students will become familiar with the major debates that have animated Latinx and Latin American Studies, addressing a wide range of issues from the Conquest to the present. Each week students will focus on specific questions such as: Does Latin America have a common culture? Is Latin America part of the Western world? Is Latinx a race or an ethnicity? Is U.S. Latinx identity rooted in Latin America or the United States? Are Latin American nations post-colonial? Was the modern concept of race invented in the Caribbean at the time of the Conquest? The opposing viewpoints around such questions will provide the main focus of the reading assignments, which will average two or three articles per week. In the first four weeks, students will learn a methodology for analyzing, contextualizing, and making arguments that they will apply in developing their own positions in the specific controversies that will make up the rest of the course.
Limited to 15 students. Spring Semester. Professor Coranez Bolton .Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2023
(Offered as HIST 264 [LA/TC/TE/TR/P] and LLAS 264) Over the course of three centuries, massive migrations from Europe and Africa and the dramatic decline of indigenous populations in South and Central America radically transformed the cultural, political, economic, and material landscape of what we today know as Latin America. This course will investigate the dynamism of Latin American societies beginning in the ancient or pre-conquest period and ending with the collapse of European rule in most Spanish, Portuguese, and French speaking territories in the New World. We will explore this history through the eyes of various historical actors, including politicians, explorers, noble men and women, indigenous intellectuals, and African slaves. In addition to interrogating the myriad of peaceable and creative cross-cultural exchanges and interactions that characterized the relationship between these groups, we will also explore how conflict, exploitation, and natural disaster shaped the Colonial Latin American experience. Through a mixture of lecture, small and large group activities, and analysis of primary and secondary sources we will also consider how historians understand the past as well as the foundational debates which shape our current interpretations of colonial Latin American history. Two class meetings per week.
Omitted 2022-23. Professor Lopez.2023-24: Not offered
(Offered as LLAS 300 and SPAN 300) This course offers a broad historical analysis of the Chicanx and Filipinx labor movement histories of the 1960s and 1970s. Accepted students must commit to traveling to California during Spring Break. To situate this course we will begin by considering the shifting contexts of race framed in the United States' imperialism through wars, borders, immigration policies, and labor contracting to feed the nation. Our class will make ample use of Amherst College’s own archives on the United Farm Workers. The course will also be interdisciplinary, focusing on how these movement histories have been represented in literature, cinema, and theatre. The course will be conducted in English. Students taking the course to fulfill the Spanish or LLAS major have the option to conduct written work in Spanish.
Limited to 10 students. Omitted 2022-23. Professors Barba and Coranez Bolton.2023-24: Not offered
(Offered as LLAS 341 and HIST 341 [LA/TE/TR/TS]) What inspires individuals to risk everything to try to change their world? Students will attempt to answer this question through cases ranging from personal acts of rebellion, to social movements and armed conflict. The course pays close attention to personal acts of rebellion against repressive racial, political, and gender structures, focusing on such figures as Hernán Córtes’s legendary consort La Malinche (Malintzin Tenepal), the seventeenth-century protofeminist Sor Juana Inéz de la Cruz, the transgender revolutionary general Amelia/o Robles Ávila, and the artists Gerardo Murillo, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. We also will address armed conflicts such as the Tlaxcalan war against the Aztec Empire, the Wars of Independence (1810-1821), the Maya uprising against white domination in the second half of the nineteenth century, guerrilla resistance against US and French invasions in the 1840s and 1860s, the War of Reform (1857-1860), the Cristero War (1926-1929), the Zapatista uprising of the 1990s, and, most importantly, the Mexican Revolution of (1910-1921). And we will examine social protests, such as the student movement that ended in the Tlatelolco Massacre of 1968, El Barzón, #YoSoy132, MORENA, APPO, the Ayotzinapa protests, and peasant ecology initiatives.
Omitted 2022-23. Professor R. Lopez.2023-24: Not offered
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel One Hundred Years of Solitude is the best novel ever written in Spanish in the Americas. Appearing inauspiciously in 1967, it became the flagship of the so-called "El Boom," an aesthetic movement that inscribed Latin America in the banquet of world literature. It also inaugurated the style called "lo real maravillioso," loosely translated into English as Magical Realism. The narrative tells the rise and fall of Macondo, a mythical town in Colombia's Caribbean coast. At its center is the Buendias, a family of dreamers and entrepreneurs through whom the history of the entire region is told. It is fair to say that after One Hundred Years of Solitude, which brought Garcia Marquez the Nobel Prize, global literature has never been the same. Its influence on figures as diverse as Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Orham Pamuk, and Mo Yan is enormous and continues to reverberate. The course is structured as a Talmudic (e.g., detailed, contextual, ahistorical) reading of the novel. Other works by the author and his contemporaries will also be discussed. After decades in Spanish, this is the first time the course will be taught in English, meaning that students will engage with the material in Gregory Rabassa's masterful translation. However, native Spanish speakers who choose so will be allowed to immerse themselves in the original and write in Spanish.
Limited to 25 students. Spring Semester. Professor Stavans.2023-24: Not offered
Independent reading course.
Fall and spring semesters. The Department.2023-24: Not offered
Spring semester. The Department.Other years: Offered in Spring 2023