Program in Latin American Studies

Faculty

  • Director

    • Gabriela Nouzeilles
  • Executive Committee

    • João G. Biehl
    • Eduardo L. Cadava
    • Beatriz Colomina
    • Javier Guerrero
    • Douglas S. Massey
    • Gabriela Nouzeilles
    • Rachel L. Price
    • Christina Riehl
    • Irene Small
    • Deborah J. Yashar
  • Associated Faculty

    • Jeremy I. Adelman
    • Jose Avalos
    • Vera Candiani
    • Miguel A. Centeno
    • Fernando Coda Santos Cavalcanti Marques
    • Susana Draper
    • Thomas Fujiwara
    • Rubén Gallo
    • Mario Gandelsonas
    • Maria E. Garlock
    • Reena N. Goldthree
    • Thomas D. Kaufmann
    • Christina Lee
    • Nicole D. Legnani
    • Christina A. León
    • John B. Londregan
    • Rosina Lozano
    • Pedro Meira Monteiro
    • F. Nick Nesbitt
    • Stephen W. Pacala
    • Dan-El Padilla Peralta
    • Pamela Patton
    • Grigore Pop-Eleches
    • Christina Riehl
    • Alejandro Rodriguez
    • Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
    • Maria Micaela Sviatschi
    • Marta Tienda
  • Sits with Committee

    • Fernando Acosta-Rodriguez
    • Patricia Fernandez-Kelly
    • Dannelle Gutarra Cordero
    • Ines Ter Horst
    • Bryan Just
    • Stanley Katz
    • Magaly Sanchez-R

Program Information

The Program in Latin American Studies promotes interdisciplinary study and seeks to foster knowledge of and experience in Latin America.

Courses are offered by the Departments of African American Studies, Anthropology, Art and Archaeology, Comparative Literature, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Economics, English, French and Italian (appropriate French courses only), History, Music, Politics, Religion, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering, the Woodrow Wilson School, the Program in Latino Studies, and the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS). Through various approaches in the humanities and the social and natural sciences, the program seeks to guide students toward an understanding of Latin American arts, cultures, histories, socioeconomic conditions, politics, and natural environments. The student's work is supervised by a departmental adviser and is combined with a departmental program in a regular field of concentration.

Experience abroad is not required, but PLAS strongly encourages students to travel to and explore Latin America. Funds are available to support student travel to Latin America for research purposes. First- and second-year students are eligible for exploratory research grants and juniors and seniors can apply for senior thesis research funding. Seniors are encouraged to apply to Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) for postgraduate opportunities.

Admission to the Program

Students from all departments are welcome. There are no prerequisites to enroll. Interested students should contact the program coordinator.

Program of Study

The Program in Latin American Studies offers two tracks of study: Latin American Studies and Brazilian Studies. For satisfactory completion of the program, a student must meet the following requirements:

1. Completion of the requirements of a departmental concentration.

2. Completion of the language requirement in Spanish, Portuguese, or French (for students focusing on the French-speaking Caribbean). 

3. For students pursuing the Latin American Studies track, satisfactory completion of four courses across several disciplines:

  • One humanities course cross-listed with LAS or with strong Latin American content;
  • Two courses from any field cross-listed with LAS or with strong Latin American content;
  • One seminar course with strong Latin American content.

With the program director's permission, a maximum of two courses from study abroad may count toward fulfilling the course requirements.

In agreement with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, only one course can be used toward both the certificate in the Program in Latin American Studies and a certificate in Spanish or Portuguese.

Students pursuing science studies may fulfill program requirements by taking a number of approved courses in ecology and evolutionary biology and environmental studies.

No course may be taken pass/D/fail or audit for program credit.

3a. For students pursuing the Brazilian Studies track, satisfactory completion of three courses across several disciplines:

  • One humanities course cross-listed with LAS or with strong Brazilian content;
  • Two courses from any field cross-listed with LAS or with strong Brazilian content;
  • At least one of these courses must be a seminar.

Courses that are not focused entirely on Brazil must be preapproved by the program director, and the final written work must be Brazil related.

With the program director's permission, a maximum of one course from study abroad may count toward fulfilling the course requirements. 

In agreement with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, only one course can be used toward both the certificate in the Program in Latin American Studies and a certificate in Spanish or Portuguese.

No course may be taken pass/D/fail or audit for program credit.

4. For students pursuing the Latin American Studies track: Completion of a senior thesis on a Latin American subject. Normally it should be written under the supervision of a faculty member associated with the program. If this is not the case, a faculty member associated with the program should be consulted early in the senior year concerning available sources. The thesis should also demonstrate an ability to use primary source materials in the original language. If the senior thesis is not devoted exclusively to a Latin American topic, the director and relevant program faculty will determine its acceptability. Ordinarily, at least half of the thesis content will deal with Latin America, or a substantial portion of the research for the thesis should be conducted in a language -- other than English -- spoken in Latin America.

4a. For students pursuing the Brazilian Studies track: Completion of a senior thesis on a Brazilian subject. Normally, it should be written under the supervision of a faculty member associated with the program. If this is not the case, a faculty member associated with the program should be consulted early in the senior year concerning available sources. The thesis should also demonstrate an ability to use primary source materials in Portuguese. If the senior thesis is not devoted exclusively to a Brazilian topic, the director and relevant program faculty will determine its acceptability. Ordinarily, at least half of the thesis content will deal with Brazil, and a substantial portion of the research for the thesis should be conducted in Portuguese.

5. Students whose thesis cannot be devoted to a Latin American or Brazilian topic may complete the program requirements either by writing a research paper of sufficient complexity and length to substitute for the thesis requirement (the topic should be determined in consultation with the director and relevant program faculty) or by taking an additional approved course.

Certificate of Proficiency

Upon graduation, students who have met all the program requirements will receive a Certificate of Proficiency in Latin American Studies along with their diploma.

 

Courses

LAS 210 Urban Sociology: The City and Social Change in the Americas (See SOC 210)

LAS 215 Arts of the Americas: The First 5,000 Years (See ART 103)

LAS 219 Rap, Graffiti and Urban Cultures in the Hispanic Worlds (See SPA 239)

LAS 220 El Género Negro: Crime Fiction (See SPA 220)

LAS 221 Art of Hispania (See ART 221)

LAS 222 Introduction to Latin American Cultures (See SPA 222)

LAS 223 Introduction to the Literature and Culture of the Portuguese-Speaking World (See POR 221)

LAS 224 Archaeology of South America (also
ART 224
/
ANT 394
) Fall HA

South America continues to be an object of fascination for travelers from outside the continent, eager to encounter an exotic landscape of rainforests and hidden cities. This course pushes aside this romantic view to explore the true cultural and ecological diversity of a continent with over 15,000 years of human history. We will engage with the archaeology of South America as a dynamic field of discussion and controversy, examining topics such as the initial peopling of the Americas, social complexity in the Amazon, Inca and Spanish imperialism, and questions of decolonizing the discipline. Instructed by: Staff

LAS 225 Interdisciplinary Design Studio (See ARC 205)

LAS 233 Languages of the Americas (See SPA 233)

LAS 235 Of Shipwreck and Other Disasters (See SPA 235)

LAS 238 Contemporary Latin American Literature (See COM 238)

LAS 248 Modern Mexican Society (See SOC 248)

LAS 250 Identity in the Hispanic World (See SPA 250)

LAS 259 Spirits on Fire: Mysticism in The Spanish Empire (See REL 259)

LAS 267 Mesoamerican Art (See ART 267)

LAS 275 Religion and Social Change in Early Latin America (See REL 275)

LAS 276 Saints and Sinners: Women and the Church in Colonial Spanish America (See REL 276)

LAS 278 Histories and Themes in Mexican Religion (See REL 278)

LAS 300 The Literature and Culture of Spain and Colonial Latin America: Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque (See SPA 300)

LAS 303 Modern Brazilian Literature and Culture (See POR 301)

LAS 304 Modern Latin America since 1810 (See HIS 304)

LAS 305 Colonial Latin America to 1810 (See HIS 303)

LAS 306 History of the Modern Caribbean (See HIS 305)

LAS 309 Topics in the Sociology of Latin America (See SOC 309)

LAS 310 Gender and Development in the Americas (See SOC 310)

LAS 311 Topics in Brazilian Cultural and Social History (See POR 304)

LAS 312 History of Modern Mexico (See HIS 309)

LAS 314 Topics in the Study of Gender (See GSS 302)

LAS 315 Luso-Afro-Brazilian Literary Traditions (See POR 300)

LAS 316 Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Latin America (See SOC 315)

LAS 317 Institutions of Justice and Democracy in Latin America (also
POL 495
) Fall SA

The course will examine the relationship between democracy building and the justice institutions in Latin America. We will address issues in human rights violations, globalization and challenges Lat Am regimes face in building a rule of law. Although political liberties associated with democracy have been partially secured by many Lat Am countries, the systematic violation of human rights by governments still pose a challenge to democracy and the rule of law across the region. Many Lat Am countries continue to suffer from high levels of economic inequality, social exclusion and discrimination along ethnic, racial and gender lines. Instructed by: Staff

LAS 319 Brazilian Cinema (See POR 319)

LAS 321 Topics in the Intellectual History of Modern and Contemporary Spain (See SPA 321)

LAS 322 Public Health in Latin America (also
GHP 322
) Fall SA

This seminar explores the history of public health in Latin America, the most unequal region of the world, and probes contemporary political and economic challenges in health care delivery. Drawing from the social sciences, epidemiology and the humanities, we will consider efforts at the control of tropical and infectious diseases, study people's mobilizations around the social and political determinants of health, and address pressing health and human rights issues such as abortion, violence, and access to biotechnology and quality care. Students will develop a biosocial and comparative understanding of public health in the region. Instructed by: Staff

LAS 324 The Urban Revolution in Latin America (also
URB 324
/
SOC 314
) Fall SA

This course examines the rapid urbanization of Latin America, focusing especially on the political, economic, environmental, demographic, and cultural/aesthetic dimensions of urbanization processes and their implications. Topics to include: urban resource wars, gentrification and neighborhood change, planetary urbanization, vanguard urbanism, and the politics of aesthetics. Lectures and reading material will explore these issues across such paradigmatic urban places as Rio de Janeiro, Cochabamba, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, and Bogotá. Instructed by: B. Gerlofs

LAS 326 Latino History (See HIS 306)

LAS 327 Modernism in Fiction (See COM 327)

LAS 330 Social Exclusion in Latin America (See SOC 331)

LAS 331 Modern Latin American Fiction (See SPA 331)

LAS 332 Modern Latin American Poetry (See SPA 332)

LAS 333 Latino Politics in the U.S. (See POL 333)

LAS 334 Critical Theory in Latin America and Beyond (See SPA 363)

LAS 336 Latinos in American Life and Culture (See LAO 200)

LAS 338 The Sociology of Latinos in the U.S. (See SOC 338)

LAS 342 Topics in Latin American Modernity (See SPA 342)

LAS 343 The Invention of Latin American Traditions (See SPA 343)

LAS 344 Literature and Society in Early Latin America (See SPA 344)

LAS 345 Topics in Latin American Literature and Ideology (See SPA 345)

LAS 347 Topics in the Culture of Cities (See SPA 351)

LAS 348 Fictions and Communities in the Andes (See SPA 348)

LAS 349 Topics in Latin American Cultural Studies (See SPA 350)

LAS 350 Pre-Columbian Peoples of Tropical America and Their Environments (See EEB 332)

LAS 351 Tropical Biology (See EEB 338)

LAS 353 Topics in Gender and Representation (See SPA 353)

LAS 354 Topics in Cinema and Culture (See SPA 319)

LAS 355 The Itinerant Languages of Photography (See SPA 355)

LAS 356 Topics in the Politics of Writing and Difference (See SPA 352)

LAS 357 Contemporary Latin America in Literature and Visual Arts (See COM 353)

LAS 360 Urban Modernism and Its Discontents (See POR 306)

LAS 361 Brazilian Cinema in a Global Context (See POR 351)

LAS 364 Modern Latin American Fiction in Translation (See SPA 346)

LAS 365 Roberto Bolaño: Adventures in Cultureland (See SPA 356)

LAS 366 Ancient Arts of Mexico (See ART 366)

LAS 367 Latin American Politics (See POL 367)

LAS 378 Screening Saudade (See POR 308)

LAS 379 Religion, Gender, and Sexuality in Early Latin America (See REL 378)

LAS 380 Religious Experience, Expression, and Authority in Colonial Latin America (See REL 370)

LAS 383 Masterpieces of Latin American Literature (See SPA 339)

LAS 385 Introduction to Digital Humanities (See HUM 346)

LAS 388 Indigenous Expressions: Native Christianities in Colonial Mexico (See REL 359)

LAS 389 Poisonous Flowers: Radical Women in Latin America (See SPA 329)

LAS 390 Junior Seminar: Spanish and Portuguese-Speaking Worlds (See SPA 330)

LAS 391 Human Rights in Latin America (See WWS 364)

LAS 393 Brazilian History: Slavery, Race and Citizenship in Modern Brazil (See POR 309)

LAS 394 New Approaches to Indigenous and Ecological Issues (also
SPA 394
/
ENV 393
) Fall LA

The demographic shifts and new processes of cultural circulation associated with global capital and media, have disrupted traditional notions of geographically-bound identities and national cultures as apparatuses of power. At the same time, previously hidden, marginalized, and devalued forms of indigenous and native wisdom have reemerged, precisely to contest the destructive tendencies of Western epistemology. This seminar will therefore focus on the theories and methods of global Indigeneities to examine from their standpoint the dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. Instructed by: Staff

LAS 396 Political Violence and "Dirty Wars" in 20th Century Latin America (also
SPA 396
) Fall HA

This research seminar takes up the topic of political violence in 20th century Latin America and the Caribbean. Examples include the systematic killing of Haitians by the Dominican military in the late 1930s; the "dirty wars" of the southern cone in the 1970s; and the civil wars that overtook Central America and Peru in the 1980s. Using the explanatory framework provided by the concept of "dirty war," we will explore how scholars have used it to understand state-sponsored political violence through key case studies. With this foundation, students will develop their own research projects examining political violence in the region. Instructed by: Staff

LAS 397 Mexico's Tenth Muse: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (See SPA 335)

LAS 398 Comparative Studies in Spanish and Portuguese Literatures in Latin America (See SPA 399)

LAS 401 Latin American Studies Seminar (also
SPA 412
/
LAO 401
) Not offered this year LA

The seminar will concentrate upon themes and topics in Latin American history, politics, society, literature, and/or culture. The focus will vary from year to year. Instructed by: Staff

LAS 402 Latin American Studies Seminar Not offered this year SA

The seminar will concentrate upon themes and topics in Latin American history, politics, society, literature, and/or culture. The focus will vary from year to year. Instructed by: Staff

LAS 403 Latin American Studies Seminar Not offered this year LA

The seminar will concentrate upon themes and topics in Latin American history, politics, society, literature, and/or culture. The focus will vary from year to year. Instructed by: Staff

LAS 404 Latin American Studies Seminar (also
SPA 410
/
POR 411
) Not offered this year LA

The seminar will concentrate upon themes and topics in Latin American history, politics, society, literature, and/or culture. The focus will vary from year to year. Instructed by: Staff

LAS 405 Latin American Studies Seminar Not offered this year

The seminar will concentrate upon themes and topics in Latin American history, politics, society, literature, and/or culture. The focus will vary from year to year. Instructed by: Staff

LAS 406 Latin American Studies Seminar Not offered this year

The seminar will concentrate upon themes and topics in Latin American history, politics, society, literature, and/or culture. The focus will vary from year to year. Instructed by: Staff

LAS 407 Commons, Enclosures and Colonization in the Early Modern Atlantic (See HIS 407)

LAS 408 Selected Topics in 20th-Century Latin America (See HIS 408)

LAS 409 Writing and Urban Life (See POR 406)

LAS 412 Topics in Francophone Literature, Culture, and History (See FRE 403)

LAS 413 Museum as Laboratory: Experimental Art Practices in Latin America and Beyond (See ART 467)

LAS 415 Latin American Essays (See POR 405)

LAS 428 Topics in Hispanic Culture (Europe and America) (See SPA 401)

LAS 429 Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America (also
ENV 425
) Fall SA

What roles have science and technology played in shaping modern Latin American nations, communities, and environments? This course explores the history of Latin American since independence (1800s-present) through various lenses, including the natural sciences, infrastructure and engineering, and health and medicine. The goal is to use science and technology as a way of exploring state-formation, territoriality, social control and resistance, and environmental relations. Instructed by: R. Edwards

LAS 443 Global Exchange in Art and Architecture (See ART 443)

LAS 447 Shooting the Enemy in Non-Fiction Cinema (See POR 401)

LAS 448 Las Ciudades del Boom: Economic Growth, Urban Life and Architecture in the Latin American City (See ARC 448)

LAS 453 Digital Histories of Crime in the Americas (See HIS 453)

LAS 460 Theorizing the Archive in Latin American Art (See ART 460)

LAS 462 Building Mestizo Worlds: Early Colonial Mexican History in a Global Perspective (See HIS 462)

LAS 463 A Social and Multi-Dimensional Exploration of Structures (See CEE 463)

LAS 467 Populism in Global History (See HIS 468)

LAS 468 The Art and Politics of Ancient Maya Courts (See ART 468)

LAS 469 Maya Painting (See ART 469)