Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Academic Programs

Commonly Offered Courses

For information about current course offerings go to the Tulane University Schedule of Classes.

AFRS-2000-01: Intro to Africana Studies
Professor: Christopher Dunn
Of the nearly 12 million Africans who survived the Middle Passage to the Americas, only about 450,000 arrived in what is now the United States. The great majority of enslaved Africans were sent to the South America, the Caribbean, and Mesoamerica. This course will focus on the Black Atlantic, the complex system of human, material, and cultural traffic that connected southern Europe, West Africa, the Americas from 1500 to the present. Grounded in a historical perspective, this course will address a range of topics, including the regional and ethnic origins of enslaved Africans, comparative slavery, slave resistance and emancipation movements, modern ideologies of race, black culture and national identity discourse, the interplay between race and gender, affirmative action initiatives, and contemporary multiculturalism and identity politics in a transnational context.

ANTH-3260-01: Highland Mex PreHistory
Professor: Tatsuya Murakami
Patterns and processes of cultural development in the highlands of central Mexico, western Mexico, and Oaxaca as known from archaeological and ethnohistorical data. Early cultures, Toltecs, Aztecs, Mixtecs, Zapotecs.

ANTH-3310-01: Introduction to Historical Linguistics
Professor: Marc Zender
Historical Linguistics traces language change over time. Reconstruction through comparative method and internal paradigm examination is used to retro-project earlier stages of a language or a language family, elucidating interrelationships among languages, paths of migration, spheres of influence, and varieties of contact. Reconstructed vocabulary yields inferences about ancient homelands, social organization, and culture constructs. The processes observed in language change yield insights into human cognition and the language faculty.

ANTH-3710-01: Historical Ecology of Amazonia
Professor: William Balée
Interactions between local peoples and Amazonian landscapes from prehistory to the present. Amazonian landscapes as an analytic unit will be examined from the interdisciplinary perspective of historical ecology. Changes and development of forests and savannas since the arrival of human beings. Historical, ecological, cultural forces involved in biological and edaphic diversity in modern forests. Long-term effects of prehistoric and historic human occupations and manipulation of landscapes. Implications for conservation and development.

ARHS-3910-01: Art in 20th Century Latin America
Professor: Adrian Anagnost
Art in 20th Century Latin America introduces students to art from Mexico to the Southern Cone from circa 1900 to the present. We will consider national and regional histories and artistic trajectories, beginning with the advent of the artistic avant-gardes, and investigate the complex relationships between European and Latin American developments in the history of art. The course will focus on different experiences and understandings of modernity and modernism in Latin America, relationships between the national and the international, and the intersections of art and politics within twentieth-century art of Latin America.

DANC-3240-01: American/Afro-Caribbean Social and Vernacular Dance Forms
Professor: Beverly Trask
This course will study, compare selected social and vernacular dances from early American vernacular jazz dance and selected Afro-Caribbean dance idioms: Coursework includes assigned reading, lecture, research, videotape viewing and studio dancing.

EBIO-2110-01: Tropical Biology
Professor: Renata Ribeiro
Tropical Biology will provide an introduction to ecological and evolutionary studies of living organisms in the tropics, with a special emphasis in the Neotropics. The course will focus on major themes in tropical biology, many of which are as important today as they were when early tropical naturalists first wrote about them. We will read a number of classic papers in the field and compare their insights with those of contemporary tropical biology literature. There are no prerequisites for this course.

HISL-2912-01: Modern Latin America
Staff Instructors
This course is designed to introduce you to the history of modern Latin America from the wars of independence through the late twentieth century. This is a large and daunting project; therefore, instead of attempting to cover the ‘€œhistory of all Latin America,‘€ we will be surveying a selection of themes‘€“economic, cultural, social, and political‘€“that aim to reveal the unifying elements (or lack thereof) of the region we have come to understand as ‘€œLatin America.‘€ As we survey case studies of state formation, ideas of identity and difference within national contexts, and the organization of social movements and revolution, we will also be taking the opportunity to examine how Latin American history has been written, by whom, and why. This will allow us to take on a more critical approach to the ways in which we understand the region today.

HISL-2912-01: Caribbean History
Professor: Laura Rosanne Adderley
A historiographical course focusing on major texts, major themes, and major trends in the historical literature of the Caribbean, including the island territories along with Belize and the Guianas.

LAST-1010-01: Intro to Latin America
Staff Instructors
Majors and minors in Latin American Studies must take LAST 101, a wide-ranging interdisciplinary discussion of Latin America with an emphasis on the 20th century. The course probes the social and cultural institutions and production of modern Latin America through the concepts of Encounter, Identity, Nation, and Welfare. Readings, lectures, discussions, and media presentations are integral components of the course.The objective of the course is to introduce students to the region, institutions, and cultural production of Latin America. Students will become familiar with the physical, political, and cultural boundaries of the region and then examine modern Latin America through the use of case studies, primary source materials, discussion and current research. Several sections of this course are offered during the fall and summer semesters. LAST 101 is designated a service learning course.

LAST-1020-01: Intro to Latin American Studies II
Staff Instructors
Majors and minors in Latin American Studies must take LAST 102, a wide-ranging interdisciplinary discussion of Latin America with an emphasis on the 20th century. The course probes the social and cultural institutions and production of modern Latin America through the concepts of Creativity, Exchange, Land, and Peoples. Readings, lectures, discussions, and media presentations are integral components of the course. The objective of the course is to introduce students to the region, institutions, and cultural production of Latin America. Students will become familiar with the physical, political, and cultural boundaries of the region and then examine modern Latin America through the use of case studies, primary source materials, discussion and current research. Several sections of this course are offered each spring semester.

LAST-4960-01: Food, Migration & Culture
Professor: Sarah Fouts
Tacos, banh mi, and bagels are products encountered everyday in the United States; their cultural significance has been shaped by centuries of migration. From the Irish and Mexicans to Vietnamese and Jews, waves of migration continue to impact our culinary palettes and our cityscapes. Concepts like food gentrification, authenticity, creolization, and hybridity complicate static images of cherished recipes, inviting analysis into the impacts of globalization and local movements, and an exploration of the heightened interest into foods and food systems. Drawing from interdisciplinary scholarship and grounded in ethnographic methodology, this course examines the role of migration and foodways, with an emphasis on Latino/a foodways in the Gulf South. During the semester, students will conduct community-engaged research through oral history interviews with food industry workers and owners that represent New Orleans’ shifting foodways. Through this course, students will develop skills in qualitative methodology, learn to link historical contexts to contemporary events, and gain a critical lens into the cultural production and consumption of foodways.

POLC-3350-01: Politics of Latin America
Professor: Gustavo Silva
This course will focus on the current state of Latin American politics and society by analyzing the social and political forces at play in the region, the challenges of its economic development, and its external interaction with the United States and other world regions. Although regional in its scope the course will rely on individual countries from South America as well as Mexico to exemplify particular issues confronting the region.

PORT-4130-01: Brazilian Cities
Professor: Rebecca Atencio
Taught in Portuguese, this class introduces students to several Brazilian cities through cultural, historical, journalistic and literary readings. In doing so, it examines important issues facing urban centers in the 21st century, among them land ownership, migration and displacements, public transportation, pollution, segregation, police brutality, crime, and megaprojects and events. As we will see, Brazilian cities have invented creative solutions to many of these pressing urban challenges. The cities we will study include São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Recife, Brasília, Manaus, and Porto Alegre.

SOCI-2490-01: Latin American Social Structure
Professor: Timothy Gill
An historical examination of the human condition in Latin America emphasizing three primary spheres of social relations: political, economic, and ideological. Within each sphere the following themes are addressed: national-international relations, urbanization, rural social structure, demographic trends, cultural change, and stability.

SOCI-2650-01: Latin America & the Environment
Professor: Amalia Leguizamón
Nature‘€™s abundance has been to Latin America a blessing and a curse. Ever since colonial times, there has been a rush to extract natural resources: gold, silver, coffee, sugar, and lately, oil, soy, lithium, water. Paraphrasing Eduardo Galeano, the open veins of Latin America are still bleeding. This course takes a global and historical perspective to study the political economy of the environment in Latin America. Who has control over natural resources? What is the goal of natural resource extraction? What are social and environmental consequences of these extraction-based development projects? These are some important questions we will attempt to answer as we explore environmental issues in Latin America through the sociological lens. Some topics/issues to be explored in this class are: theories in development and environmental sociology; water (privatization, mega-dams); oil; mining; and industrial agriculture (food production and distribution, GMOs, deforestation). Emphasis will be placed on studying current issues, in particular in relation to the neo-extractivist projects of the ‘€˜new‘€™ Latin American left and the local struggles to contest these projects.

SOCI-6990-01: Sustainable Development in Latin America
Professor: Amalia Leguizamón
In Our Common Future, Sustainable Development is defined as ‘€œdevelopment that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.‘€ What is ‘€œDevelopment‘€ and what should be its goals? Is it poverty reduction, wellbeing, justice? What does a ‘€œsustainable‘€ use of natural resources may look like? Who decides what ‘€œdevelopment‘€ projects are implemented and on which basis? Who wins and who loses from these decisions? What are the alternatives?
In this course, we will attempt to answer these questions by exploring the dimensions of sustainable development in Latin America, taking a historical and global perspective to understand the region. We will examine the most prominent development theories as they unfold in the region. We will assess the results, the failures, and successes in addressing social and environmental issues such as poverty, inequality, food production and distribution, and climate change. We will take special consideration to look at challenges, struggles, and alternatives that are taking place in the region nowadays.

SPAN-4060-01: Pre-20th Century Readings in Spanish
Professor: Dale Shuger
An introduction to the literature and critical issues of early Hispanic cultures until modernismo”. Students acquire fundamental skills in literary and critical analysis as well as a basic understanding of key cultural topicssuch as medieval “convivencia” the social order in early modern Spain indigenous concerns in colonial Latin America.

SPAN-4120-01: Social Problems in Spanish American Literature
Professor: Maureen Shea
The chief problems of Latin American society as reflected in poetry, short fiction, essay, and theatre. Representative works concerning the Mexican revolution; the social status of women, Indians and blacks; the life of urban and rural working classes; tyranny and political repression.

SPAN-4270-01: Iberoamerican Dialectology
Professor: Harry Howard
Survey of the varieties of Spanish spoken in Spain, Latin America, and the United States. We look at variation in pronunciation and grammatical usage, such as the tu/usted/vos, as well as variation by age, gender, and social class.

SPAN-6520-01: Mexican Literature
Professor: Yuri Herrera-Gutierrez
Study of the various tendencies of Mexican literature from the colonial period to the present. Special attention is given to representative authors such as Balbuena, Sor Juana, Fernández de Lizardi, Gutiérrez Nájera , Azuela, Rulfo, Fuentes, Paz, Garro and others.

SPAN-6790-01: Latin America Film & Visual Culture
Professor: Antonio Gomez
A study of Latin American cinema and visual culture from a historical, theoretical, and cultural perspective. Possible topics include: national cinemas, genre, main historical movements in Latin American film, Third Cinema and armed struggle in Latin America, New Latin American cinemas, cinema and other visual arts, Latin American documentary.

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Upcoming Events

Graduate Student Writing Group

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Weekly structured writing sessions for Latin Americanist graduate students in all departments. Students, who arrive with a project and a goal, work in communal silence during two 45 minute blocks separated by a 10-minute coffee break. All meetings will be held in the Latin American Library Seminar Room. Co-sponsored by the Stone Center and the Latin American Library.

Latin American Writers Series: Alberto Barrera Tyszka

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Ecuadorian writer and Tulane Visiting Scholar Gabriela Alemán interviews Venezuelan writer Alberto Barrera Tyszka about his life, interests, and influences. Their discussion will be followed by an open Q&A and an informal reception. This event will be held in Spanish.

About the Latin American Writers Series

This series brings together Latin America’s most representative creative voices and the editorial entrepreneurs that publish them. By way of interviews conducted by renowned Ecuadorian writer Gabriela Alemán and presentations of various editorial missions, the guests will shed light on a literary world shaped by the contemporary issues of the continent. Moving forward, their conversations will comprise the centerpiece of a digital archive that introduces their ideas to a global audience.

Este serie reúne a los autores más representativos de la escritura continental y los editores que los publican. A través de entrevistas con la reconocida escritora ecuatoriana Gabriela Alemán y presentaciones de proyectos editoriales, los invitados explorarán los vínculos entre el mundo literario y la realidad continental. Sus conversaciones se convertirán después en el eje de un archivo digital que busca llevar estas ideas a un público global.

About the Author

Born in Caracas, Alberto Barrera Tyszka has published over a dozen works of poetry, short story, chronicle, novel, and biography. His most recent publications include the novels Patria o Muerte (2015) and Rating (2011), the poetic anthology La inquietud (2013), the collection of chronicles Un país a la semana (2013), and the short story collection Crímenes (2009). In 2005, he collaborated with Cristina Marcano to write the definitive biography of Hugo Chávez, Hugo Chávez sin uniforme: una historia personal (2005). Patria o muerte won the 2015 Premio Tusquets de Novela, and his novel La enfermedad, translated into English as The Sickness (2010), received the 2006 Herralde Award. Barrera also writes for television and has scripted soap operas for Venezuelan, Mexican, Colombian, and Argentinian networks.

Pan-American Life in New Orleans: Exhibition Opening and Reception

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Pan-American Life Insurance Group and The Latin American Library at Tulane University cordially invite you to an exhibit opening and reception to unveil the Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG) Collection. The PALIG Collection, generously donated to The Latin American Library, documents the company’s 109 years connecting New Orleans with Latin America. The exhibit will feature photographs, manuscripts, and other materials from the PALIG archives as well as other holdings from the LAL that shed light on the long history of commercial and cultural ties between New Orleans and Latin America.

See the LAL Facebook page for more details and updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/454592075187553/

Bate papo!: Portuguese Conversation Hour

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A weekly hour of Portuguese conversation and tasty treats hosted by Prof. Megwen Loveless. All levels are welcome!

The theme for this semester will be Passion Fruit. So bring your sweet tooth to try this week’s homemade delicacy: Bala de maracujá.

Latin American Writers Series Fall 2019 Book Display

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The Latin American Library has put together a display of books written by authors participating in the Fall 2019 Latin American Writers Series: Luis Negrón, Power Paola, Alberto Barrera Tyszka, and Gabriela Weiner. All books on display are available for check out. When you visit, be sure to grab a free bookmark commemorating the series!

Café con Alberto Barrera

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The Stone Center invites you to Café con Alberto Barrera. This intimate meet and greet will be an opportunity to connect with Barrera, an influential writer and thinker from Venezuela. In addition to his creative work as a poet and novelist, he has co-authored, with journalist Cristina Marcano, Hugo Chávez sin uniforme: una historia personal, the first biography written on this controversial figure. He has also penned Alta Traición and Un país a la semana, two texts that chronicle the tumultuous political landscape in the Venezuela of recent years. Barrera will be answering questions about his non-fiction work during this casual conversation with faculty and students.