Latin American Studies Courses Available for Spring 2024

Fall 2024 registration is open! Find all the information you need to register here. 

Latin American Studies prepares students for a job market that increasingly demands keen global sensibilities and the ability to work between cultures. Introducing diverse methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of Latin America, while providing a core interdisciplinary foundation in the humanities and social sciences, Latin American Studies prepares students to engage a broad spectrum of local and global phenomena with intellectual rigor and flexibility. Students may choose courses from twenty cooperating departments, taught by some seventy affiliated faculty specializing in the region. Interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives on the region offer students a depth of knowledge of hemispheric relations and build area expertise. The curriculum approaches Latin America as both a local and foreign culture, illuminating critical transnational issues such as immigration, climate change, cultural flows, security, and economic development that transcend the boundaries of the region. 

Latin American Studies Major. Requires a minimum of 30 credit hours in 10 Latin American content courses. 

Latin American Studies Minor. Requires a minimum of 15 credit hours in 5 courses. 

To see all available Latin American Studies Major and Minor courses and register, visit the Class Schedule and type “LAST” in the Course field. 



ANTH-2350 — Arch & Power the Ancient World: This class will explore how political, religious, ideological and cultural ideas among the world’s earliest urban civilizations were inscribed in the landscape in the form of monumental construction. To achieve these objectives the class will study five different regions of the ancient world with the goal of evaluating how built space (buildings, monuments, and public plazas) helped develop and maintain socio-political hierarchy, i.e., "civilization". 

ANTH-3090 | ANTH-6090 — Feminist Methodologies: This course introduces students to the theoretical, practical, ethical, and political dimensions of feminist methodologies. We will begin with a critical examination of traditional research methodologies through the lens of feminist critiques, moving into an exploration of the foundational concepts and debates within feminist epistemology. During the second part of the course, we will focus on the theory and practice of research methods. These include traditional approaches like ethnography, interviews, focus groups, discourse analysis, and archival research, alongside unique methods informed by Black and Indigenous perspectives, such as fugitivity, feeling-thinking, revitalizing, connecting, and envisioning. Throughout the semester, students will engage with the works of Black, Chicana, Decolonial, Indigenous, and Transnational Feminist scholars, delving into the theoretical and ethical debates underpinning their methodologies. By putting this knowledge into practice through a series of hands-on exercises, students will cultivate a feminist praxis and acquire essential skills to design and implement feminist methodologies. 

ANTH-3093 | ANTH-6093 — Power & Political Dynamics in Mesoamerica 

ANTH-3310 — Historical Linguistics 

ANTH-3745 | ANTH-6745 — Bioarcheology of Mummies: Mummified human remains open a fragile window into the past. They provide unique information about the physical characteristics, health and diet of ancient peoples, as well as information on cultural modification of the body (head shaping, piercing, tattooing, hair styles), funerary practices, and cultural concepts of death and the afterlife. Mummies can be investigated from various perspectives (textual, iconographic, biomedical, ethnographical, archaeological), but are studied most effectively using a multidisciplinary approach involving archaeologists, biological anthropologists, conservators, and specialists in medical imaging, paleogenetics and geochemistry. Bioarchaeology, the application of biological anthropology to archaeological research questions, is a term commonly used today to describe this multidisciplinary approach to studying the dead. This course will examine preserved human bodies from around the world, with an emphasis on scientific studies that seek to reconstruct their life histories and postmortem treatment. 

ANTH-3750 — Bones, Bodies and Disease: Survey of the field of paleopathology, the study of health and disease in ancient populations. Topics include methods for identifying evidence of injury and disease in bones, teeth, and mummified tissue; ancient medicine and surgery; chemical approaches to reconstructing diet; and human health trends through time. 

ANTH-3780 — Language Death: Every fortnight a human language dies. Half the languages spoken in the Western Hemisphere at the turn of the 19th century have died. This course examines the forces that lead to language death, strategies that speakers whose linguistic heritage is endangered may deploy to revitalize their languages, and tools that linguists have used to preserve the knowledges of human speech communities. 

ANTH-4120 | ANTH-7120 — Conquest and Colonialism: Comparative and global perspectives on the archaeology of culture contact and colonialism. 

ANTH- 6840 — Beginning Kaqchikel (Maya) Language: Kaqchikel is one of the four largest Mayan groups in Guatemala, having over a million self-identified members, about half of whom speak their native mother tongue. Taught in three Kaqchikel communities in Guatemala, this six week course enables students to achieve conversational fluency and elementary reading/writing skills. 

ARHS-1811 — Intro to Ancient American Art 

ARHS-6811 — Material Meaning in Americas: This class examines the materials and technologies used to make art in the Ancient Americas to understand how worldviews are expressed in matter. It covers a wide sweep of indigenous empires (Maya, Aztec, Inca, Olmec, Chavin, Moche) and media (jade, gold, feathers, ceramic, paper, flint, obsidian, shell, and bones). It considers  Indigenous categories of art and materials—as expressed in language and the facture of objects themselves—as a way of decentering traditional art historical categories of “art.”  We will also look at bodies of theory coming from literature, anthropology, and art history itself to help us ask frame questions about artworks and their material basis and nature. 

CLAS-4900 | CLAS-6900 — Utopia: Greece and America: “Utopia” – that elusive, perfect society – has captivated people’s imaginations for at least three millennia, but was especially popular in the ancient Mediterranean and the early modern Atlantic world. This seminar investigates the literary, social, and political dimensions of such imaginary societies by surveying some of the genre’s most emblematic texts from Plato and Aristophanes to Thomas More’s Utopia and Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing World. We will explore the ways in which producing alternate versions of reality fits into a broader discourse on important social issues such as gender, class, ethnicity, nationality, and politics. Students will develop research projects on a utopian/dystopian work (literary or cinematic) of their choosing alongside one of the core texts studied in class. This course can be used to fulfill the Tier-2 Writing Requirement and counts toward concentrations in Latin American Studies. 

COMM-2750 — Latin American Icons: This course examines the rise of political icons in modern and contemporary Latin American societies. In particular, it highlights the intersections between historical context, individual biographies and mass media. The course emphasizes how symbolic representations have been mobilized to construct and challenge the iconic status of political actors and explores some of the most important political movements and conflicts that have shaped Latin America's history, including nationalism, populism, and revolution. 

DANC-1920 — Brazilian Dance: Introduction to Brazilian dance, focusing especially on samba, the overview of history and cultural context. Course may be repeated 2 times for credit. 

ECON-3370 — World Economy: This course offers a non-technical introduction to the analysis of international economic issues. While we will be primarily interested in developing standard economic approaches to these issues we will also offer a variety of other useful approaches from political science, sociology, and less mainstream parts of economics. Among specific issues to be treated: protectionism, multinational firms, debt crisis, international macroeconomic policy coordination and European integration. 

ENLS-5010 — Growing Sideways: Latinx coming-of-Age: What does it mean to grow sideways rather than up? How do class, race, migration, gender, and sex impact our sense of self? In this course, we will challenge our traditional understanding of childhood and ‘growing up’ through the reading of contemporary Latinx coming of age novels, or bildungsromane. Borrowing the concept of “growing sideways” from Kathryn Bond Stockton, we will explore the relationship between childhood and colonialism, migration, race, class, gender, and sexualities, and how it impacts the formation of individual and collective identities. We will read contemporary novels by Latinx authors that offer us expansive ways to think about how identities are shaped outside of social norms. 

FREN-3330 — The Haitian Revolution 

FREN-4810 — Voix d’esclaves 

HISE-2410 — Spain, 1369-1716: Surveys the course of Spanish history from the completion of the medieval Reconquest and the rise of the Trastamara dynasty in the fourteenth century until the end of Habsburg Spain in the early eighteenth century, with particular attention to state formation and the role of Spain as a great European power in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Besides politics, the course examines central topics in the social, religious and cultural history of late medieval and early modern Spain. 

HISL-2110 — Colonial Latin America: The year 1492 marked a major watershed in global history, as Europeans began a process of colonial expansion in the Americas that would continue for several centuries. This course explores the long and complex colonial history of Latin America that began in 1492 and ended in most of the region in the 1810s and 1820s. Main themes include the long processes of material and spiritual conquest; indigenous resistance and accommodation; the Columbian Exchange of plants, animals, and diseases; the creation of colonial economies of extraction and regional articulation; the rise of mixed-race societies; and the development of colonial institutions of church and state. The course also treats the expansion of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, along with the rise of resistance movements and frontier challenges to colonial rule. We end with the responses to new crown demands in the eighteenth century and the collective struggle for independence that began in 1808. 

HISL-2500 — History of Medicine and Public Health in Latin America: In this course, we explore Latin America's fascinating history of medicine and public health - from the colonial encounter of indigenous, African and European healing practices to the unique ways in which Latin American nations faced the greatest public health challenges of the 20th century. The course explores a variety of subjects beginning in the early colonial era: African healing in the Americas, the evolution of tropical medicine, international public health missions, midwifery and the rise of obstetrics, funerary practices, miasma theory, and disease epidemics ranging from malaria to the HIV/AIDS crisis. We will focus heavily on how both patients and practitioners of alternative forms of healing reacted to treatments, sometimes with resistance, and in turn shaped the very nature of medicine in the region. The course approaches the history of medicine from a transnational perspective, seeing how practitioners and researchers in Latin America interacted with the global scientific community. 

HISL-2910 — Monster & Demons in Latin America: Zombies, Chupacabras, La Llorona. These are some of the monsters that inhabit the culture of the Americas. So, too, do real life political figures like Rafael Trujillo, Tachito Somoza, and Augusto Pinochet, who along with secret police, jailers, and assassins, have murdered and tortured hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans during the 20th century. Why do we dream of monsters? What do our fears teach us? In this course we will explore the history of both real and imaginary monsters—those that seem like folklore, those that inhabit peoples’ daily lives, and those that define their nightmares of the future—and what they can teach us.

HISL-2929 — Piracy in the Americas, 1500-1750: This 3-credit course examines the phenomenon of sea raiding in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans from the time of Columbus to the great anti-piracy campaigns of the early eighteenth century. We explore the phenomenon from multiple perspectives in order to understand both victims and perpetrators.  

HISL-6620 — Crime-Violence-Rebellion in Latin America: In this seminar, we will explore several forms of resistance and rebellion throughout Latin America - from rebellions by the enslaved and armed insurgencies to everyday forms of resistance against oppression. In the context of understanding how Latin American governments have maintained social order, we investigate the history of crime, policing, and other forms of state control. 

HISL-6750 — Africans In The Americas: This seminar will explore the dispersion and fate of African peoples and their descendants in the United States, the Caribbean, and Central and South America with a view to developing an understanding of African-American culture as a diverse regional phenomenon rather than one confined to the United States. 

HISL-6850 — U.S.-Latin American Relations: Traces the diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations between the United States and Latin America from the American Revolution to the present. This course seeks to demonstrate the interrelated roles of diplomacy, commerce, and inter-American cultural relations throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. 

HISL-7910 — Into the Archive 

HISU-6840 — United States Empire: What is an empire, who defines it, and does the United States have one? This class will begin by studying sites of formal US control of overseas territories, namely Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. It will then consider definitions of economic and cultural empire, particularly after the end of World War II. The course aims to provide students with several case studies in the early twentieth century and to ask students to ponder their legacies in the present. 

LAST-1010 — Intro to Latin American Studies: This course provides a basic historical, cultural, and socio-political introduction to the study of Latin America, including the Latinx influence on US culture and society. The class seeks to find cultural and historic continuity within this vastly diverse region relative to a complex history of exchange and interchange with the US and Europe. Students discuss the influence of foreign perceptions on our understanding of Latin America and Latinx America and survey how Latin American and Latinx artists, writers and intellectuals represent their nations and cultures to themselves and to the world. The class equips students for more advanced coursework on the region in a wide array of disciplines at Tulane. Focusing on the development of cultural understanding and intercultural communication and creating the foundations for area expertise, the class provides critical skills for numerous professions an increasingly globalized society and economy including business, social policy, public health, law and advocacy, among others. 

LAST-1890 — Service Learning: Students complete a service activity in the community in conjunction with the content of a three-credit co-requisite course. Course may be repeated up to unlimited credit hours. 

LAST-3000 — Indigenous Feminisms: This course explores women’s movements in Abiayala (the Americas) as a nexus for interdisciplinary scholarship. Our focus is twofold. On one hand, we will explore the form and content of Indigenous feminist activism through primary texts. On the other, we will engage in a meta-analysis of academic writing to evaluate the methodologies used to study Indigenous women from various (inter)disciplinary backgrounds. Through this process, we will break down the barrier between knowledge object and producer and begin to practice decolonial research methodologies. You will leave this course equipped to challenge external constructions of Indigenous women and instead listen and engage with them on their own terms. 

LAST-3010 — Approaches to Latinx Studies: This course introduces students to the study of the Latinx diaspora and Latinx experience in the United States as a step toward a more holistic understanding of the region we call Latin America. Latin America and the US have long shared porous borders that blur easy division between histories and identities. This class looks at the United States’ historical relationship with Latin America to explore push and pull factors of Latinx immigration, regimes of migration and citizenship, borders and border cultures and emergent forms of political and social action. It introduces students to key theories on Latinx politics, culture and identity, introducing canonical texts in the field. Students will become familiar with interdisciplinary approaches and discipline-based theories of identity, assimilation, transnationalism, and citizenship, and other issues that contribute to the field of Latinx studies. 

LAST-3890 — Service Learning: Students complete a service activity in the community in conjunction with the content of a three-credit co-requisite course (LAST-3010). 

LAST-4000 | LAST-7000 — Core Seminar: Required of all senior students majoring in Latin American Studies (LAST-4000) and all graduate students (LAST-7000). The Core Seminar develops students' capacity for interdisciplinary problem solving and understanding of Latin American culture, society, and politics. Topics vary but all involve bibliographical study, reading, and discussion culminating in preparation of individual papers. 

LAST-4560 — LAST Internship | CPS LAST Internship: An experiential learning process coupled with pertinent academic course work. Open only to juniors and seniors in good standing. 

LAST-4910 | LAST-6910 — Independent Study 

LAST-9980 — Master’s Research 

LAST-9990 — Dissertation Research 

MUSC-2420 — World Musics: An overview of the field of ethnomusicology and the types of issues and concerns that have guided the research of world music within that field. A number of selected musical case studies from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas that illuminate the differences and similarities between Western musics and their counterparts in other parts of the world. Particular interest will be given to the way in which cultural, social, and religious beliefs have informed stylistic, performance practice, and aesthetic development in other parts of the world as a means of reflecting about the same types of connections in Western music. 

MUSC-3460 — Music, Religion, Spirit: Music forms vital part of ritual for most religions around the world. In performing and listening to music, religious affiliates seek connection with the supernatural, foster community ties, and create tradition bridging past, present, and future. Furthermore, music gives religious groups visibility in the broader society, whether in live or recorded performance. This course explores the traditional musical practices of the three major monotheistic religions -Judaism, Christianity, Islam -followed by one unit on Indian religions, and one unit about of selected spiritual practices inherited from Africa currently practiced in the Americas, including voodoo, candomble, and Santeria. We will also critically look at historical and current social perceptions reacting to these musical practices and to their practitioners. This is a cultural history class; no musical training is required. 

MUSC-4956 | MUSC-6941 — Latin American Popular Music 

POLC-3010 — Democracy & Autocracy in Latin America 

POLC-3350 — Politics of Latin America: 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. 

POLC-4480 — Populism Politics Change: A populist tide clamoring for change in the political status quo is sweeping the world. Populists – those abandoned, forgotten, ignored by the establishment – believe that anti-establishment politics offer the best hope for inclusion of their dreams, aspirations, and beliefs in politics. The establishment fears them believing that their polarized, confrontational politics herald the “end of the world” as we know it. The battle lines are drawn, the stakes seem clear. But reality is much more complex. This course seeks to make sense of the populist tide. Populist movements are hugely varied. Some are more authoritarian and conservative while others are more left oriented emphasizing greater social inclusion and welfare. All claim to be perfecting, saving, or protecting good government and democracy. To sort out the cacophony around really existing populisms we will explore the following questions. What is populism? Who are populists? Why are they gaining so much traction? Are they anti-democratic? What is at stake in the rising populist tide? We will examine these questions in the context of Latin American, US, and European cases. 

POLI-4620 — Global Environment Politics: An examination of the political dimensions of international environmental problems. The course will include investigation and analysis of the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to a range of environmental problems. 

POLI-6530 — International Human Rights: This course is an exploration of the history, theory and practice of human rights law. It pays particular attention the interactions between international law and repressive campaigns, transnational social movements, and the operation of domestic courts. Students will be challenge to assess claims about progress and decline in human rights over time. 

PORT-4100 | PORT-6910 — Gender & Sexuality Brazilian: This course proposes a historicized and interdisciplinary consideration of gender and sexuality in modern Brazil through short fiction, films, documentaries, popular music, and critical texts. It will address a wide range of topics, including patriarchal power and the construction of masculinity, the quest for female subjectivity, gender in relation to race and class, the constitution and crisis of the bourgeois family, marital strife and infidelity, homosexuality, and transgender performance. 

PSDV-3200 — Development Issues & Strategies: This course gives insight into how to make development more sustainable, durable, compatible with nature, the needs of current and future generations, and, in particular, the essential needs of the world’s poor. Keeping in mind that the definition of sustainability is heavily dependent on local contexts and concerns, the course provides several approaches to understanding sustainable development. These include: governance at global, national, and local levels, the resource curse hypothesis, sustainable and durable peace, international aid and debt structures, and a gender lens. The assignments take the students through a process of developing a policy for a current problem in a developing country of their choice. 

PSDV-4320 — Migrants Refugees & Development: This course provides students with the opportunity to consider the implications of global population movements – 258 million in 2017, exclusive of internal migrants – and the events they reflect. We examine internal and external migration flows, their political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental causes and consequences. Moreover, we consider whether migrants may be an engine of development, a hindrance, or both. Success stories of migrant integration, upward mobility and thriving businesses go alongside with tales of discrimination, crowded slums and refugee camps where disease is rampant, education is scarce, and youth widen the ranks of the unemployed and revert to crime as a way of living and violence as a means of surviving. Based on migration theories and case studies, this course aims at understanding these patterns and exploring how the pace of migration may be slowed and conditions improved in order for migrant populations to better integrate their new societies and become positive agents of change. 

PSDV-4561 — Politics of Foreign Aid 

SOCI-2600 — Environmental Sociology: This course examines political and economic aspects of global and local environmental problems. Topics include how societies and the environment interact, why some environmental risks have gained most attention, how support for environmental concerns can be measured, responses by environmental social movements, and visions of sustainable societies in the First and Third Worlds. 

SOCI-6650 — Sustainable Development in Latin America: This course examines the dimensions of sustainable development in Latin America from the theoretical perspectives of environmental sociology and the sociology of development. 

SPAN-3130 — Intro to Latin American Cultures: Introduction to the cultural diversity of Latin America through the study of contemporary literary, social, political, and popular culture trends as observed by selected literary figures, intellectuals, and artists. 

SPAN-3280 — Spanish & Latin American Literature & Film: Through a series of film viewings, readings, and access to other visual media from Latin America and Spain, students receive instruction in how to discuss and analyze visual culture in Spanish. Vocabulary building and strategies for enhanced viewing and reading comprehension are stressed. Significant emphasis on the continued development of linguistic skills. 

SPAN-3350 — Latino Studies 

SPAN-4060 — Pre 20th Century Reading: 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 topics such as medieval "convivencia," the social order in early modern Spain indigenous concerns in colonial Latin America, and the formation of national literatures in 19th century Latin America. 

SPAN-4120 — Soc Prob in Span Am Lit: 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-4130 — Span-Am Literature: Readings in Spanish American stories, essays, and poems, focusing on a topic of historical and cultural importance. Some themes: women in Spanish American literature, regionalism and indigenismo, Afro-Latin American writing, testimonio. The precise topic varies from year to year. Course may be repeated up to unlimited credit hours. 

SPAN-4190 — Intro to Latin American Film: The development of cinema in Latin American from its arrival as an imported technology to the present. Films studied in relation to the sociopolitical environment and emphasis placed on close analysis as well as a contextual understanding of the material. Topics include the struggle to create national film industries, the “art film” and New Cinema movements, and recent trends in countries such as Mexico and Argentina. 

SPAN-6100 — Literary Theory: An introduction to modern theories of literary analysis. Readings consist of primary texts in the schools of thought to be studied, which may include formalism, stylistics, semiotics, reader-oriented approaches, structuralism, deconstruction, feminism, poststructuralism, queer theory, and postcolonial studies. 

SPAN-6850 — La narrativa policial latinoamericana 

SPAN-7920 — Caribbean Migrations 

SPHU-2410 — Health & Women’s Rights: This course addresses health and women’s rights around the world from health equity, gender, and ethnicity perspectives. The main topics are: women’s human rights and gender equality, discrimination against women and girls; rights of LGBTI people; gender-based violence; early marriage and pregnancy; right to contraception and abortion; forced sterilizations and abortions, and virginity examinations; female genital mutilation; maternal mortality; sexual transmission of HIV; trafficking of women and girls; women’s rights during complex humanitarian emergencies; migration and reproductive health; and postcolonial feminism and health. The course contextualizes and analyzes: 1) health and women’s rights within their economic and political context, 2) the social inequality roots of health and women’s rights issues, and 3) the main health and rights challenges faced by women and girls. It uses country case studies from around the world. It is open to all undergraduate students. 

URST-2910 — Latin American Cities: This course sets out to explore urban culture and intellectual history in Latin America. Topics include: colonization and power in the ancient Mexico; suburban violence in Nineteenth-century Latin America; populism and architecture in the 1930s; high-modernism and the politics of informal urbanizations in Brazil; human rights and urban activism during the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone; aesthetic and material collapse in Cuba; globalization and border cities. We pay particular attention to gender, racial, and ethnic identities, as well as popular and high cultures, using examples from Tenochtitlan, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Havana, and Miami.