Program in Latin American Studies

Faculty

Director

  • Gabriela Nouzeilles

Executive Committee

  • João Biehl, Anthropology
  • Eduardo L. Cadava, English
  • Vera S. Candiani, History
  • Beatriz Colomina, Architecture
  • Javier E. Guerrero, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Douglas S. Massey, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Gabriela Nouzeilles, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Christina P. Riehl, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Irene V. Small, Art and Archaeology
  • Deborah J. Yashar, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs

Associated Faculty

  • Jeremy I. Adelman, History
  • José L. Avalos, Chemical and Biological Eng
  • Matias D. Cattaneo, Oper Res and Financial Eng
  • Miguel A. Centeno, Sociology
  • Fernando Codá Marques, Mathematics
  • Susana Draper, Comparative Literature
  • Patricia Fernández-Kelly, Sociology
  • Thomas Fujiwara, Economics
  • Rubén Gallo, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Mario I. Gandelsonas, Architecture
  • Maria E. Garlock, Civil and Environmental Eng
  • Hanna Garth, Anthropology
  • Reena N. Goldthree, African American Studies
  • Dannelle Gutarra Cordero, African American Studies
  • Bryan R. Just, Art Museum
  • Thomas D. Kaufmann, Art and Archaeology
  • Christina H. Lee, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Nicole D. Legnani, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Christina León, English
  • John B. Londregan, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Hendrik Lorenz, Philosophy
  • Rosina A. Lozano, History
  • Pedro Meira Monteiro, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Isadora M. Mota, History
  • F. Nick Nesbitt, French & Italian
  • Stephen W. Pacala, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Dan-El Padilla Peralta, Classics
  • Pamela A. Patton, Art and Archaeology
  • Grigore Pop-Eleches, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Rachel L. Price, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Alejandro W. Rodriguez, Electrical & Comp Engineering
  • Maria Micaela Sviatschi, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
  • Rocío Titiunik, Politics
  • Guadalupe Tuñón, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs

Sits with Committee

  • Fernando E. Acosta-Rodriguez
For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

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, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering, the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 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, at least one of the following courses must be a seminar. 

  • One humanities course cross-listed with LAS or with strong Latin American content;
  • Three courses from any field cross-listed with LAS or 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 four courses across several disciplines, at least one of the following courses must be a seminar.

  • One humanities course cross-listed with LAS or with strong Brazilian content;
  • Three courses from any field cross-listed with LAS or with strong Brazilian content.

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

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.

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, students are encouraged to consult a faculty member associated with the program about available sources or professional contacts sometime during their junior year. 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 will require proficiency 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, students are encouraged to consult a faculty member associated with the program about available sources or useful professional contacts sometime during their junior year. 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 will 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 217 Culture, Politics, and Human Rights in Latin America (also
POL 271
/
URB 217
/
ANT 397
) Spring CDSA

From the US-backed dictatorships of the Cold War, to contemporary examples of state violence, many Latin Americans have experienced grave human rights violations. At the same time however, activists in the region have propelled significant international human rights advances. Examining concepts and cases from the anthropology of human rights, this course explores questions of rights as they affect Indigenous peoples, women, gay and lesbian populations, migrants, the urban poor, and children. By analyzing these cases, we will gain a deeper understanding of the opportunities and risks facing the future of human rights in the Latin America. Instructed by: M. Thorpe

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 225 Interdisciplinary Design Studio (See ARC 205)

LAS 233 Languages of the Americas (See SPA 233)

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

LAS 237 Wildness, Whiteness, and Manliness in Colonial Latin America (See SPA 237)

LAS 238 Contemporary Latin American Literature (See COM 238)

LAS 241 Borges for Beginners (See SPA 241)

LAS 244 Introduction to Pre-20th Century Black Diaspora Art (See AAS 244)

LAS 248 Modern Mexican Society (See SOC 248)

LAS 250 Identity in the Spanish-Speaking 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 302 Latin America in Modern World History: Global and Transnational Perspectives, 1800 to the Present (also
HIS 305
) Spring CDHA

This course explores Latin America's multiple interconnections with the rest of the modern world, highlighting the way people, influences, and ideas have constantly flowed into and out of the region. Using both primary sources and secondary literature, we will follow the struggles of enslaved people in the Age of Revolutions, and the impact of global climate trends in the late nineteenth century; we will explore the region's changing position in the world economy and US-Latin American relations; and we will consider Latin America's cultural and political impact during the Cold War, as well as contemporary debates around migration and borders. Instructed by: T. Wood

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 Topics in Latinx Literature and Culture: Latinx Literary Worlds (See ENG 318)

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 Revolution in Twentieth-Century Latin America (also
HIS 313
) Fall CDHA

Over the course of the twentieth century Latin America was transformed by a cascade of revolutions. We will use these upheavals as a red thread for understanding the region's history, from the dismantling of slavery in Cuba to the tumult of Mexico in the 1910s, and from Cold War coups in Guatemala and Chile to guerrilla insurgency in 1980s Peru. Using primary sources alongside a range of secondary literature, we will explore the varied causes and consequences of revolution as well as the social dynamics and motivating ideas they had in common. We will also analyze the new political systems and cultural developments that emerged in their wake. Instructed by: T. Wood

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 Political Natures: The Politics of Nature and Development in Latin America (also
ENV 376
/
ANT 317
) Fall SA

Popular imaginaries depict Latin America as both brimming with pristine nature and afflicted with devastating environmental degradation. This lecture explores Latin American nature as an ecological, political and cultural creation, asking: Where do these imaginaries of pristine/despoiled nature come from? How are they used, perpetuated or debunked by scientists, Indigenous peoples, politicians and NGOs? We apply these questions to an array of environmental issues, including climate change, deforestation and ecotourism, to analyze the effects of these imaginaries on people's lived experiences of nature, conservation and economic development. Instructed by: M. Thorpe

LAS 319 Brazilian Cinema (See POR 319)

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

LAS 322 Studies in Religion (See REL 373)

LAS 324 Battling Borders in the Americas (also
ANT 324
) Fall CDSA

In this course we will study borders, literal and imagined, and those who contest and enforce them. From internal, invisible gang borders in Central America, to the externalization of the US border, to barriers to belonging, we will look at movements that challenge borders (migrant caravans, immigrants' rights activism, coyote networks) and the enforcers of borders (the regional migration regime, the asylum system, and non-state actors who police mobility.) Tying together migration, deportation, and resistance, this course asks: how are borders maintained? What does transgressing them mean for those in power and for those who do the crossing? Instructed by: Staff

LAS 325 Muertos: Art and Mortality in Mexico (also
ART 381
/
ANT 325
/
SPA 397
) Fall CDLA

For two millennia, the peoples of Mexico have lived in close proximity with the dead. When in the 16th century uninvited Europeans arrived in Tenochtitlan, today Mexico City, offering a path to "eternal life", Mexicans were decidedly uninterested. In this course, students will journey down the road to Mictlan, the watery Mexican underworld, to learn from artworks an ancient, alternate approach to understanding the social construction of death. Three quarters of the course will consider arts of the Native pre-Hispanic context, with equal time dedicated to Teotihuacan, the Maya, and the Mexica ("Aztecs"). Instructed by: Staff

LAS 326 Becoming Latino in the U.S. (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 358 The Skins of the Film: Latin America and the Politics of Touching (See SPA 388)

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 371 The Politics of Development (See POL 351)

LAS 372 Latin American Philosophy (See PHI 372)

LAS 373 Modern Brazilian History (See HIS 333)

LAS 374 Drag Kings: An Archeology of Spectacular Masculinities in Latinx America (See SPA 372)

LAS 376 Crafting Freedom: Women and Liberation in the Americas (1960s to the present) (See COM 376)

LAS 377 Modern Caribbean History (See AAS 313)

LAS 378 Screening Saudade (See POR 308)

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

LAS 381 Puerto Ricans Under U.S. Empire: Memory, Diaspora, and Resistance (See SPA 387)

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

LAS 384 Workshop on Contemporary Cuban Arts (See SPA 383)

LAS 385 Reading Islands: Caribbean Waters, the Archipelago, and its Narratives (See ENG 358)

LAS 386 Havana: A Cultural History (See SPA 385)

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 Multispecies Worlding and Global Health Politics (also
ANT 392
/
GHP 390
) Fall ECSA

This course focuses on the politics of health, environment, interspecies relations, and scientific/biomedical interventions in Latin America. We examine pandemics, diseases, and other public health concerns through the lens of interspecies/multispecies entanglements to analyze the ongoing effects of ecological and environmental changes in the Latin American region and the practices of world-making that drive new imaginings and becomings of natureculture. We analyze the rise of global health and examine the role of experts and recent projects of securitization, containment, and biotechnological control. Instructed by: Staff

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

LAS 392 The Fiction of Mario Vargas Llosa (See SPA 392)

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

LAS 395 Thinking Through Soil (See ENV 345)

LAS 396 Poetry Matters: Latin American Poets and the Power of Language (See SPA 396)

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 399 Education Economics and Policy (See SPI 396)

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 Amazonia, The Last Frontier: History, Culture, and Power (also
ENV 414
/
ANT 329
) Spring SA

This course focuses on the Brazilian Amazon, the world's largest tropical forest and the ancestral home of over one million indigenous peoples, now threatened by deforestation and fires. Further degradation will have disastrous consequences for its peoples, biodiversity, rainfall and agriculture, and global climate change. Combining perspectives from the social sciences and the humanities, we will critically examine projects to colonize, develop, and conserve the Amazon over time and reflect on the cultural wisdoms of its guardians. Students will work together to develop alternative visions to safeguard the forest for Brazil and the planet. Instructed by: M. Mugge

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 416 Reading the Landscapes of Colonial Latin America (also
HUM 416
/
ART 416
) Spring CDHA

The three centuries of Spanish and Portuguese colonialism in the Americas saw some of the most dramatic transformations in global history, from massive population collapse to the first global commodity chains. This course explores the relationships between abstractions like 'colonialism' and 'capitalism' and the concrete places that shaped and were shaped by indigenous rebels, colonial administrators, missionaries, and enslaved laborers. Bringing together insights from history, archaeology, and historical ecology, we will explore these landscapes through a rich combination of archival maps, satellite imagery, and archaeological datasets. Instructed by: Staff

LAS 423 Topics in Francophone Literature, Culture, and History (See FRE 403)

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

LAS 433 Seminar in Comparative Politics (See POL 430)

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 449 Violence, Migration, and Literature in the Americas (See COM 449)

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)

LAS 484 Borderlands, Border Lives (See HIS 484)