Latin American Studies

Latin America is a complex and diverse region that resulted from the encounter of indigenous societies, European colonizers, and African peoples. Latin America today is one of the most dynamic regions in the world in terms of economic growth, political interaction with the U.S., and the preservation of natural and cultural resources. The minor in Latin American Studies provides students an opportunity to study this field from a variety of disciplinary angles. By employing the tools of various disciplines, including art and art history, history, Spanish, geography and others, students can begin the process of understanding these fascinating peoples and nations. The increasing interdependence of the Americas demands that students gain as much exposure as possible to the issues and forces related to the constantly changing relationships between the United States and Latin America.

 

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Courses

 ANTH 320 - CULTURAL ECOLOGY (3 credits)

An examination of key perspectives, theories, and methods in the study of ecological anthropology. Students learn about the use and definition of the environment by groups from different cultural backgrounds, and build a comparative perspective in so doing. The focus is on contemporary groups, but archaeological examples are used as comparison and to build time-depth in our understanding of cultural ecology. Prerequisite: ANTH 107 or instructor permission.

 ART 421 - ART MESOAMERICA AND ANDEAN REGION OF SOUTH AMERICA (3 credits)

A survey of the arts of the Pre-contact civilizations in Middle America and the Andes. The art and architecture of these ancestral peoples are examined within their cultural contexts. Prerequisite: junior standing or instructor permission.

 ECON 303 - INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS AND GLOBALIZATION (3 credits)

An exploration of economic, political, and social effects of globalization. This is examined from the perspectives of trade, development, finance, and the environment. The first half of the course focuses on the impacts of international trade. This includes preferential trading relations, protectionism, global trade agreements, competitiveness, and possible conflicts between trade and social objectives. The second half of the course focuses on international monetary relations and regimes. This includes understanding the balance of payments, exchange rate determination, currency crises, and international debt. Prerequisites: MATH 140, MATH 141, or MATH 151with a minimum grade of "C-"; ECON 201; ECON 202 recommended.

 GEOG 351 - GEOGRAPHY OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (3 credits)

A thematic study of the physiographic and cultural regions of Latin America and the major historical and contemporary geographic processes that characterize the region. Major topics of discussion include climate and physiography, environmental concerns and human rights, the nature of Latin American cities, pre-Hispanic and modern agriculture, and the nature of contemporary economic processes in the region. Prerequisite: GEOG 120 or sophomore standing.

 HIST 260 - HISTORY OF LATIN AMERICA (3 credits)

A survey of the major events, issues and themes of Latin American History from pre-Columbian times through the modern era. Tracing the development of political, cultural, social and economic institutions resulting from the interaction of New and Old World cultures, students reflect upon the diverse responses of peoples in the region to the impact of change. Through the study of the complexities of indigenous cultures, colonialism, nation-building and identity politics, and the impact of modernity and globalization, students learn how larger human processes impact this particular region of the world and how the challenges and achievements of Latin America today are reflected in the region's historical experiences.

 HIST 360 - MEXICO (3 credits)

A broad survey of Mexican history from pre-Columbian times to the present, with particular emphasis on social, cultural, political and economic issues. This course also examines Mexico's relations with Europe during the colonial and early national periods and with the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. Prerequisite: minimum sophomore standing or instructor permission.

 HIST 364 - WOMEN IN LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY (3 credits)

A survey of the roles of women in Latin American history. This course examines indigenous, Hispanic and mestizo women in economic, cultural, social and political roles from the pre-Columbian era to the modern period. Prerequisite: minimum sophomore standing or instructor permission; HIST 260 is recommended.

 HIST 365 - LATIN AMERICAN REVOLUTION (3 credits)

Beginning with an examination of theories of revolution, students explore how the theoretical relates to events in Latin American history. Students examine the development of revolutionary consciousness and the role of women, indigenous peoples and the rural and urban masses in revolutionary movements throughout the region. Students consider the influence of revolution on Latin American artistic expression. Finally, students investigate specific historical case studies of Latin American revolutions. Prerequisite: junior standing or instructor permission.

 LAS 400 - LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES SENIOR PORTFOLIO (0 credits)

A culminating experience to the minor in Latin American Studies in which students develop a portfolio of their best work from courses taken in the minor, and write a reflective essay indicating how those projects represent their learning in the program. The portfolio and essay will be assessed by the LAS Council members, and the Coordinator's signature is required as evidence of completion of the requirement. A grade of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory will be reported to the Registrar once the portfolio has been evaluated by the Coordinator. Prerequisite: senior standing and prior completion of all, or co-enrollment in any remaining LAS requirements.

 POLS 255 - INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS (3 credits)

An introduction to the challenges and problems encountered in the study of comparative politics. Students examine various issues of local and national governance through a comparative lens. By looking at similar political phenomena in several contexts, students explore the question of why some countries have successfully developed their political, economic and social systems while others are lagging behind. Some of the issues examined in the class deal with women's rights, poverty, underdevelopment, the environment, and democracy.

 SPAN 254 - INTERMEDIATE SPANISH I (3 credits)

A continuation of SPAN 102. A grammar review and extensive practice in conversation, reading, and writing. Prerequisite: SPAN 102 or equivalent (two years or more of high school Spanish).

 SPAN 255 - INTERMEDIATE SPANISH II (3 credits)

A continuation of SPAN 254. Further practice and development of speaking, reading, and writing skills. Prerequisite: SPAN 254 or equivalent.

 SPAN 341 - LATIN AMERICAN CIVILIZATION AND CULTURE (3 credits)

An introduction to the general trends of Latin American civilization, culture and the national character, as expressed in everyday life in the various countries of Latin America. Includes pre-Columbian history to the present. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 255 or equivalent.

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Assistant Professor of Politics and Government
B.A., James Madison University, M.A., University Colorado at Boulder , Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder
Phone: (970) 943-2043
Office Location: Kelley 205
Professor of Geography
B.A., Trinity Western University;, M.A., Ph.D., University of Texas-Austin.
Phone: (970) 943-2800
Office Location: Kelley Hall 220
Professor of History
B.A., University of Saskatchewan; M.A., Flinders University of South Australia; Ph.D., Tulane University.
Phone: (970) 943-7128
Office Location: Kelley Hall 225