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.
Professor Coráñez Bolton will be offering this course completely online via Zoom. The class will have a mix of synchronous “live” class meetings and some asynchronous components via Moodle (discussion threads, recorded lecture materials and presentations, etc). The class will also feature some live online screenings of relevant documentaries and films to encourage a community of viewership. While there will be some asynchronous work, a greater emphasis will be on synchronous class meetings and discussions. This class will require several short oral reading presentations, one longer formal oral presentation, and an analytical essay of approximately 7-10 pages. For the final projects, students will have latitude to prepare something more free-form, artistic, literary, or visual if it is desired and always in consultation with the professor.
Limited to 15 students.
Fall semester. Professor Sony Coranez Bolton.Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2023
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 2020-21. Professors Barba and Coranez Bolton.2023-24: Not offered
(Offered as LLAS 341 and HIST 341 [LA, TE, 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.
Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor R. Lopez.2023-24: Not offered
A patient, detailed, Talmudic reading of Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece, Cien años de soledad, known as “the Bible of Latin America.” The course sets it in biographical, historical, and aesthetic context. Conducted in Spanish.
Limited to 25 students. Fall 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