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 “history 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 “Latin 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 “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” What is “Development” and what should be its goals? Is it poverty reduction, wellbeing, justice? What does a “sustainable” use of natural resources may look like? Who decides what “development” 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

Film Screening: El Súper with filmmaker Iván Acosta

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The 1979 film version of Cuban filmmaker Ivan Acosta’s award-winning play El Súper, which gained critical and international success for its depiction of exiled Cubans in New York City, will be screened. Mr. Acosta will be in attendance and a discussion in English will follow. Iván Acosta is a playwright, filmmaker, and creative director originally from Santiago de Cuba, now in New York City. His creative endeavors include documentaries, plays, films, and books, and he’s served as writer, director, and producer, among other roles.

A small reception will follow the screening. Seating may be limited. Admission is free and open to the public. For questions email ccsi@tulane.edu.

For further reading visit: https://www.nytimes.com/1979/04/29/archives/the-screen-el-super-a-cubanamerican-tale-the-cast.html


Collaborators of these events with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute include Beatriz Ball, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, the Newcomb Art Museum, Park View Historic Hotel, and St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

Equity speaker series to host panel on navigating immigrant relations in the current political climate

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The Center for Academic Equity at Tulane University is proud to present Border Li(n)es: Excluding, Extracting, and Expelling Immigrants in the Southern U.S. on September 25, 2018 at 7:00 PM as part of the Equity Speaker Series.

Following a summer of turbulent immigration relations in the United States, the Fall 2018 Equity Speaker Panel will focus on immigration on our Southern border and will feature specialists whose experiences vary from grassroots to professorial work. Panelists will include Josiah Heyman, Director of the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies, Ronald Martinez, New Orleans immigrant activist and spokesperson for the Congress of Day Laborers, Hiroko Kusuda, Clinical Professor and Director of Immigration Law at the Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice at Loyola, and Laila Hlass, Clinical Professor of Law at Tulane Law School and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies.

These four distinguished speakers will share the stage of Freeman Auditorium to discuss the drastic variation in immigrant relations across the national, regional, and local spaces and ways that members of American society may become engaged in or change the now toxic and polarized political climate. This inaugural discussion will be followed by a question and answer session.

See also Tulane New Wave for more information and a description of the event.




Cover photo from CNN story What the US-Mexico border looks like before Trump’s wall.

Mexican Cultural Institute's new exhibition features Hispanic women artists' empowerment and identity

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The Mexican Cultural Institute in New Orleans in collaboration with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation is proud to announce the opening of the groundbreaking exhibition Hispanic Women Making Art: Creative Empowerment and Identity. The exhibition will feature artists Verónica Bapé, Belinda Flores-Shinshillas, Ana Hernandez, Josephine Sacabo, Laura Velez and Luba Zygarewicz and is curated by Marcela Correa, MFA.

The opening reception will be held on September 26 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM. The exhibition will be open beginning September 26 and continue through November 24, 2018. For more information, please visit the Mexican Cultural Institute website.

Cover photo is a work by Verónica Bapé from the series ABUNDANTE COSA 1 MES 1 ARTISTA.

In 2018 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico established the Mexican Cultural Institute in New Orleans. The primary objective of the Mexican Cultural Institute is to promote the image of Mexico by supporting cultural expressions in its broadest and fullest sense, including multidisciplinary forms like visual arts, music, performing arts, film, literature and gastronomy. The mission of the Cultural Institutes is to be protagonists of the cultural scene in their different host cities.


Louisiana Archaeological Society to host talk by Francisco Estrada-Belli on the use of LiDAR in Maya archaelology

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The Louisiana Archaeological Society/Delta Chapter guest speaker series will be hosting Francisco Estrada-Belli, Research Assistant Professor in the Tulane University Department of Anthropology and the Middle American Research Institute for a talk titled The Scaling Factor: How Lidar Technology is Changing our views on Maya Agriculture and Settlement.

A new quantitative analysis of LiDAR data on agricultural features and settlement carried out since 2016 by a consortium of scholars working in Guatemala has generated a series of baseline facts on how much land was available for cultivation and how much land was developed by diverting water, terracing and other geoengineering methods. These data are coupled to more accurate population estimates on a scale that had never been attained before. The results of the study, co-led by Marcello Canuto, Thomas Garrison, and myself are now being published in “Science*:https://www.sciencemag.org/. Francisco Estrada-Belli will present an overview of the results with particular attention to his area of study, the Holmul region, where we made many unexpected finds.

Parking can be found along St. Charles Avenue, Walnut Street, Calhoun Street, and Loyola Avenue.

For additional questions, please visit the Louisiana Archaeological Society’s Delta Chapter event page.

Iván Acosta book presentation: With A Cuban Song in the Heart / Con Una Canción Cubana en el Corazón

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Iván Acosta will present his memoir, With a Cuban Song in the Heart/ Con Una Canción Cubana en el Corazón, published by Un-Gyve Press, 2017. At this event, Mr. Acosta will incorporate his favorite Cuban songs in a musical and historical journey. His book features artwork from 280 album covers in his private collection and weaves a rich narrative combining real life experiences from his childhood in Santiago, Cuba along with tidbits of local lore and historical references. His favorite songs will be performed by local performers during the presentation.
This fascinating presentation, starting at 6:00PM, will be held at Tulane University in the Freeman Auditorium of the Newcomb Art Building (in Newcomb Circle) New Orleans, LA, 70118. A book signing and reception will follow on Woodward Way, right outside the Freeman Auditorium and in the Newcomb Art Museum. The book will be available for purchase for $60.00.

This event is free and open to the public. For questions email ccsi@tulane.edu.

For further reading visit: https://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/16/nyregion/public-lives-cuba-on-his-mind-the-dual-life-of-an-artist-exile.html


Collaborators of these events with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute include Beatriz Ball, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, the Newcomb Art Museum, Park View Historic Hotel, and St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

K-12 Educator Workshop Celebrating 25 Years of the Américas Award with 2018 winners Ibi Zoboi and Duncan Tonatiuh

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This year marks the 25th year that the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs and CLASP will honor the work of the many authors, illustrators, publishers, educators, and readers of the award with 2018 award winners Ibi Zoboi and Duncan Tonatiuh.

Zoboi’s book, American Street is a complex and multi-layered story anchored around relationships and questions of loyalty. She will share her experiences writing this book and provide context for teaching this book in a high school classroom.

The second 2018 award winner by Duncan Tonatiuh, Danza is a magnificent celebration of Amalia Hernández, the dancer and choreographer who founded the famed Mexican dance company, el Ballet Folklórico de México. Tonatiuh will share with educators his unique illustrative style and engage participants in an exploration of Amalia Hernández and her impact in the world of dance. This picture book is the perfect book for every library.

The workshop will explore this year’s winners, providing guidance and resources that span the 25 years of the award. This special 25th anniversary workshop will focus on diversity and the role of community.

Co-sponsored by the national Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP), Howard University, and Teaching for Change. Organized by the Center for Latin American Studies, Vanderbilt University and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University.