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Latin American Studies (LAS)

LAS 101  The Other "America": Introduction to Latin American Studies  (6 credits)  

This is a multidisciplinary introduction to the field of Latin American Studies (LAS) featuring overviews of the region's history and literature, together with a brief look at its economic structure and political development. Lectures, seminar discussions, and films. Provides awareness of domestic Latino culture, a rapidly emerging element of the U.S.A.'s ethnic mosaic, and pilots students to specialize in specific fields within LAS.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall.
LAS 150  Modern Latin American Divas: Female Political, Social and Cultural Leadership in the Republican Era  (6 credits)  

The course will focus on the role of women in Latin American society from the nineteenth century to the present. The course will highlight female leaders in the areas of politics, social movements, literature and the arts in one of the most important areas of the developing world. The accomplishments of these women will presented through a variety of readings, film, video, music, slides and Internet resources, as well as two cultural excursions in the New York area.

LAS 201  Latin America: The Caribbean and the World  (6 credits)  

This course provides in-depth understanding of major issues of the economic development, history, class and race relations of Latin America and the Caribbean through a combination of classroom seminars and service learning internships in New York City/Latin Caribbean non-profit entities. All students must be available during Monday-Friday daytime hours to conduct 8 hours per week in unpaid New York City internship agencies. Instructors will assign each student an internship from among their network of agencies. Course is limited to 12 students.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall.
Prerequisites: 3 credits of Non-Western History and 3 credits of Social Science. Satisfies 6 credits toward Latin American Studies BA Program and for LAS Certificate and Minor, Group D. Old Core: Satisfies 3 credits of Economics (equal to ECO 360) and 3 credits of History (200-level). Qualifies as Internship (SPA 490) for Language, Culture and World Trade major. New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Knowledge III or 3 credits in Area of Knowledge I (service learning component) and 3 credits in Area of Knowledge V. Updated
LAS 210  Luz, Camara, Accion! : Film as Mirror of Social Change in Latin American History and Culture  (6 credits)  

This course examines and analyzes the phenomenon of Cinema as a cultural voice reflecting social and political change in contemporary Latin America. Latin cineastes have favored social themes and view themselves as creative warriors in social and political struggles; this has both influenced and mirrored the region’s history, literature and culture. The course includes screenings of eight films reflecting the 21 countries of Latin America. Social issues reflected in Latin Cinema and explored here will include class and racial discrimination, female equality, homosexual rights, the 1970s-80s desaparecidos, immigration to the USA, and the Cuban Revolution. Course includes visits by Latin cineastes, who will share perspectives with the class and may also include one or more local excursions to museums of film screenings.

LAS 220  Caribbean Transnational Cultures: The History, Literature and Film of the Spanish Caribbean  (6 credits)  

The peoples of the Spanish Caribbean share a common history of language, religion, a plantation economy, slavery, race mixing, a patriarchal family structure, and a high rate of population growth that has fueled steady emigration to the USA. Hence, this region offers an opportunity to learn about the common experience and culture of peasants, rural workers, slaves, artisans and elites. This course will study the commonality of their social history, economic development and communities in both the home countries and the USA, utilizing music, art, film, diaries, novels, poetry and other literature. Local field trips to museums and other cultural sites will enhance the in-class experience.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall.
LAS 230  "So Far from God; So Close to Uncle Sam:" Modern Mexico in History and Literature  (6 credits)  

This course will combine the perspectives of Latin American literature and history to probe the culture, literary expression, social and political institutions of Mexico, the United States' most important trading partner. Coverage will extend from independence from Spain in the 1820s through the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the 1990s.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall.
LAS 240  "For Land, Bread and Liberty": The Latin American Social Revolution in History and Culture  (6 credits)  

This course provides a broad inter-disciplinary study of how the phenomenon of social revolution has emerged as a unique part of the culture and the history of Latin America. The methodology of comparative analysis will be employed to examine how social revolution has played a role in the literature, cinema and history of three major countries: Chile, Cuba and Venezuela. Major focus will aim at the areas of economic and social inequalities and efforts to address them; e.g., land distribution, workers’ rights, racial discrimination, female equality, and problems of poverty and economic underdevelopment. Historical texts, novels, and poetry and films will be utilized as curricula. Theoretical models of revolution will be surveyed, followed by detailed study of the three countries, each of which provides a different pattern of revolutionary change. Course requirements include several short interpretive papers, essay midterm and final exams, study guides on reading and films, regular seminars and group work.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring - odd years.
Prerequisites: One History course. New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Area of Knowledge III and 3 credits in Area of Knowledge IV.
LAS 250  Environmental Policy and History: South American Rain Forest  (6 credits)  

This course combines travel and environmental service learning with classroom seminars at Pace's New York campus. Includes a detailed survey of Brazil's history, culture and economic development, with special reference to issues that have influenced its approaches to environmental problems and indigenous populations living in protected natural areas. Recent conflicts over protection of Brazil's environment will also be examined; in particular the Rain Forest and Pantanal regions. To relate theory with practice and develop concepts of civic competency, a 1-2 week travel/service trip to the Rain Forest region will follow the in-class seminar component. The service segment will provide assistance in a community social service or environmental project.

Course Rotation: NYC: TBA
LAS 260  South American Colossus: The History and Economy of Modern Brazil  (6 credits)  

This course provides a broad inter-disciplinary overview of the modern history and economic evolution of Brazil. Major periods in Brazil’s history will be analyzed, along with its economic structure and the role it plays in the contemporary global economy. The fields of History and Economics will provide a framework of analysis. Brazil’s modern history, beginning with the birth of the Republic in 1889, will be followed to the rise of post-2000 nationalist populist governments; in particular that of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Themes explored include the country’s strong regionalism, the cultural and social impact of its large African descended population and the very late abolition of slavery, changing gender relations after 1920, the rise of Getulio Vargas’ authoritarianism and the latter’s contributions to economic development in the 1930-54 period, the failed Left-populist era of 1954-64, the impact of harsh military rule (1864-88), the 1988 return to democracy, and the country’s recent rise as a regional and world economic power. Economic analysis will focus on Brazil’s remarkable evolution from a classically export-oriented underdeveloped economy to an integrated powerhouse which includes large manufacturing and petroleum exporting sectors. Enhancing classroom study will be a travel segment to Brazil, which will explore historical, cultural and economic themes.

Course Rotation: NY: Spring
LAS 270  Socialism "a la Cubana": The History and Economy of Revolutionary Cuba  (6 credits)  

Provides a broad overview of the history and economic structure of Cuba, from the triumph of the Revolution (1959) to present. Analyzes historical origins of Cuban socialism and its evolution over time; especially since the fall of the USSR in 1991. Economic analysis focuses on performance of socialism as an economic system, in attaining economic development goals, raising mass living standards, and reducing class, racial, gender, and rural/urban discrimination. At faculty's option, a travel segment may be added to the classroom segment of the course. The travel segment will be scheduled during the January intercession period, and will include venues illustrating Cuban culture, economic development, social change, and evolving socialist political structures.

Course Rotation: NYC; Fall.
LAS 296A  Latin Immigration to the USA: Perspectives on the United States' Largest Ethnic Minority  (3 credits)  

This course uses the analytical frameworks of Latin American Studies and Latin American Literature in Translation to examine the phenomenon of recent Latin American immigration to the USA. The life ways of Latinos, today the USA’s largest ethnic minority, will also be studied. The class will use US Census statistical documents complemented by literary accounts to examine the following issues: Why do people emigrate from Latin America to the US; how do they participate politically in the host country? What, on the whole, are the characteristics of their living standards occupations, housing, and communities? How have these immigrants continued to relate to the “madre patria” or home country. How well have they “blended in” within US society? Among Hispanic immigrants, those from the following “sending countries” will receive special attention: Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Central America. This course will be of interests to all seeking understanding of the phenomenon of immigration, the demographics of Latino immigrants, and the sociology/anthropology of ethnic minorities in the USA today.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring (odd years).