Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies Courses

Lcs 501 Community Service and Learning Internship (3)

The LACS Community Service and Learning Internship offers graduate students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the Latin American, Caribbean, or U.S. Latino populations to supervised voluntary work in agencies or organizations that serve local, state, or international communities. Internships are also aimed at providing students with an enriching service and learning experience that is potentially linked to their career or research interests. LACS graduate students not working as teaching assistants or without teaching experience will also have the option to do a teaching internship and receive classroom-related training under the supervision of a faculty member. All internships require a minimum of 8 hours of internship service per week. By permission only from the Department’s Internship Coordinator or the Director of Graduate Studies.

Lcs 502 Theoretical Approaches to Latin American, Caribbean, and Latina/o Studies I (3)

This course provides students with a critical understanding of major theoretical approaches to the study of the political economy and socio-cultural development of Latin America, the Caribbean and US Latinos, and provides the requisite conceptual training to explore the intersections of Area Studies (Latin American and the Caribbean) and Ethnic Studies (U.S. Latinos). Major themes addressed include (1) imperialism and colonialism, (2) neoliberal restructuring and theories of the state in the periphery, (3) revolution and social movement theory, (4) globalization and the formation of transnational communities.

Lcs 503 Theoretical Approaches to Latin American, Caribbean, and Latina/o Studies II (3)

The purpose of this course is to expose students to the major classic and current theoretical frameworks for the study of Latin America, the Caribbean, and US Latinas/os, with especial emphasis on theories produced in the fields of anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, subaltern studies, and postcolonial studies (including the modernity/coloniality/decoloniality project). Focusing on the interconnections between culture and power, the course prepares students to critically address issues of identity, modernity, postmodernity, nation, gender, race, and ethnicity as they pertain to Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latino Studies.

Lcs 504 Latin American Studies Seminar (3)

This course covers issues related to contemporary Latin American politics and twentieth-century history. The specific topic of the course varies. In recent years the focus has been on revolutions in the Americas, with the course asking: what are revolutions, why do they occur, and with what intended and unintended effects, including related to counterrevolutionary backlashes. The course has examined these issues with attention to the Russian, Mexican, Guatemalan, Cuban, Chilean, and Nicaraguan (Sandinista) revolutions and the region's recent left turn. In other years the course has focused on the issue of democracy in the Americas, with attention to the different forms democracy has taken and debates about the quality of democracy in Latin America. The course involves a research paper on a topic of the student's choosing related to the course theme. Only one of LCS 411/504 can be taken for credit.

Lcs 505 Caribbean Studies Seminar (3)

Analysis of the colonial establishment of European power and ascendancy in the Caribbean and Latin America, and the numerous and varied forms of resistance to colonialism in the hemisphere.  Employing critical strategies associated with the field of post-colonial studies, the course revolves around literature (novels) that provide us with fertile ground for a cultural critique of power and resistance. We will read these novels against the background of the hemisphere's history and cultural legacy of colonialism and anti-colonial resistance in an attempt to better understand the cultural modalities of power and resistance in the Caribbean and Latin America. Students who receive credit for ALCS412 cannot receive credit for this course.

Lcs 506 Latina/o Studies Seminar (3)

This course is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of dominant approaches to the study of Latinos in the United States. Scholars have employed a variety of theoretical constructs and methodological approaches to explore a wide range of issues of particular significance for Latinos and Latinas. Latino social science research broadly falls into a set of readily defined categories, but shares a distinctive concern with reinterpreting standard narratives that reinforce structures of white privilege. Much of Latino-directed research aims to develop alternative conceptualizations and interpretations of the Latino experience in order to enhance the capacity of Latinos to purposefully engage U.S. society.  Students who received credit for ALCS413 cannot receive credit for this course.

Lcs 507 Three Island Revolutions (3)

An in-depth analysis of the revolutions of Haiti (1971), Cuba (1959), and Grenada (1979) designed to sharpen research and writing skills at the beginning graduate level.

Lcs 508 Latinos and American Political Change (3)

This course examines the impact of changes in the U.S. political institutions on Latino participation and inclusion in the policy process.  Particular emphasis will be placed on studying Latino political engagement through collective action and mobilization outside the established political party system. 

Lcs 509 (Soc 576) International Migration: Migration and Transnationalism (3)

The first module covers basic technical and theoretical concepts and substantial issues related to the study of IM. The second module deals with the study of transnationalism (its economic, cultural, and political manifestations.) We will explore how these phenomena are studied from the sociological, anthropological, political economy, foreign policy, and political science perspectives. We will also explore the role of general frameworks, such as postcolonial studies and world-systems analysis in their study. Geographically, we will privilege the study of the cases of U.S. bound Latin America, Caribbean, and East Asian migration.

Lcs 510 Workers and Globalization in the Americas (3)

This course explores different theoretical perspectives for assessing the impact of "globalization" upon male and female workers in the hemisphere. It examines current debates and emerging research issues regarding the effects of structural adjustment programs, export processing zones and regional trade agreements upon society as well as workplaces. It also seeks to illuminate the nature of the challenge posed by global -- hyper-mobile -- capital to worker resistance, regulatory frameworks and alternative policy formulation.

Lcs 511 (Spn 511) Introduction to Latin American Cultural Studies (3)

The course reviews major concepts of cultural studies, such as subjectivity and consciousness, ideology and hegemony, critique and polisemy and their manifestation in Latin American texts. Authors studied will be: Angel Rama, Néstor García Canclini, Eduardo Galeano, Diamela Eltit, Roger Bartra, Román de la Campa, Nelly Richard, Alberto Moreiras, John Beverly, Paulo Freyre, Roberto Schwarz.

Lcs 512 (Ant 507, Gog 512) Tourism, Culture, and Identities (3)

This course is designed as an in-depth examination of tourism in relation to culture and its impact on the identities of both hosts and guests. Some questions to be explored in this course include the role of tourism in the formation of regional, national, and transnational identities, how tourism reflects global inequities and the consequences tourism creates for local communities and everyday lives.

Lcs 514 (Spn 531) Literature of the Hispanic Caribbean (3)

Selected major writers of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Special consideration of literature as a reflection of situations and problems peculiar to the Hispanic Caribbean. Conducted in Spanish. Students who have received credit for ASPN443 cannot receive credit for this course.

Lcs 515 Latinos en EE.UU.: Historia, Cultura, y Literatura (3)

A study of the historical, cultural, and socioeconomic development of U.S. Latino groups. Emphasis on the experiences of Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, and Mexicans. Particular attention will be given to how gender, race, ethnicity, and class shape the U.S. Latino experience. Prerequisite: Knowledge of Spanish at the 300 level or above is required.

Lcs 517 Cultural Foundations of Latin American Literature (3)

Latin American civilization from the pre-Columbian period through the colonial era and independence to the present, social and anthropological considerations, economic development and political institutions emphasizing their relationship to literature. Offered in Spanish. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Lcs 518 US Latino/a Health, Inequality and Wellness (3)

This course will explore health disparities in US Latino populations, with particular focus on New York State and/or the northeastern US, encompassed within a transnational conceptualization of the problem. US Latinos are the fastest growing minority population. According to the New York State Health Equity Report, Hispanics/Latinos continue to experience increased risks for certain chronic conditions, lack access to quality health care, and experience poorer health outcomes than their Non-Hispanic/Latino White counterparts, yet research on health and inequality is sparse. The course will critically assess sociocultural and political foundations of health disparity and wellness and consider ongoing strategies designed to address health disparities. Students will to design a research project that engages health disparities of Latino/as in local, transnational contexts.

Lcs 529 (Pad 563, Pln 529) International Development Planning for Jobs, Housing and Community Service (3-4)

Reviews the potential for community development and the improvement of physical, social and economic conditions in the poor urban neighborhoods of countries characterized by mass poverty. Focuses on shanty-town upgrading, sites and services, job-creation programs, and micro-enterprise promotion. Discusses the roles of local and national governments, community participation, business, non-profits, and international aid.

Lcs 530 (Afs 529, Wss 530) Environmental Justice: Racism, Classism, Sexism (3-4)

In Environmental Justice: Racism, Classism, and Sexism we will explore how, racism, classism and sexism effect current environmental "events", including environmental policy-making, public health outcomes, and the rhetoric and politics of environmentalism. Surveying the development of environmental awareness among the public, philosophies behind such awareness and resulting shifts in policy, we will focus on the growth of the environmental justice movement, and will consider how various groups have addressed environmental degradation and justice. Also, under consideration will be a set of related issues: how globalization has effected these events, the feminist critique of science and its impact, relationships between grass-roots activism (for example, native American activists and other Environmental Justice group) and between these groups and more scholarly approaches and contributions by artists, labor-rights groups, religious leaders, animal rights activists, and deep ecologists. Prerequisite: Students, at whatever level, are welcome. The requirements will differ for graduate and undergraduate students. For example, graduate students will be reading more theoretical articles, and will be responsible for explaining these to the undergraduate students. In addition, graduate students will be required to submit a final research paper that is much longer (12-20 pages) than that required for undergraduate students.

Lcs 540 (Spn 540) African Diaspora in Latin America (3)

This course provides students with an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the global, cultural, and historical experiences of all peoples of African descent in the Latin American and Caribbean including communities of Black presences from the period of the transatlantic slave trade and their descendants, and from recent migration movements. The course places a strong emphasis on Afro-Latin American cultural expressions through discussions of current day social and political issues. By examining the work of Afro-Latin American writers and artists, the course emphasizes their contributions to the political development of his own country while promoting social change and debating hegemonic discourse of national and continental identity. This course also offers to students the opportunity to discuss the impact of discursive racial constructions to the everyday practices in Latin America. This course is taught in Spanish.

Lcs 545 (Afs 545, Wss 545) Black Diasporas, Feminisms, and Sexual Politics (3-4)

This course will explore in global perspective concepts of blackness and its relationship to feminist and other women-led and gender-based political movements that have shaped complex discourses on the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and nationality.  Challenging such terms as the “African Diaspora” – a reference to the dispersed locations of African-descended people across the globe – or even the “Black Atlantic” – as coined by Paul Gilroy – we will expand the geopolitical spheres of Europe, America, Africa, and the Caribbean to traverse different oceanic spaces that include “Black Australia” and Afro-Asia.  Through these transnational lenses, we will question how blackness, and black femininity in particular, shift meanings in varied locations but also converge in formations of global identities, marginalized experiences, and political movements.  Topics covered may include history-telling and memory-making, cultural representations of the “black” body in arts and popular culture, sex trafficking and migrations, articulations of “black feminisms” and sexual identities, and social crises and social change. 

Lcs 550 Legislative/Community Organization Internship (3-6)

The internship connects NYS legislative committees and community based organizations with graduate students. Students acquire knowledge about the operation of state level government agencies that provide direct aid services to poorer communities. They also learn about the service, advocacy and educational programs of local non-profit community based service and advocacy organizations. Through hands on experience students acquire skills as they assist the host institution/organization achieve their important social and public goals. Open only to graduate students who have completed at least one year of graduate study and are in good academic standing. Bilingual and multicultural skills will prove particularly useful.

Lcs 551 (Wss 551) Gender and Class in Latin American Development (3)

The study of the historical interplay of cultural, ideological, and structural factors affecting women's lives during the course of Latin America's experience with modernization and industrialization during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics covered may include: household work, paid work, migration, growth of female headed households, women's political participation, and women's participation in social movements. Prerequisite(s): Any course in Latin American Studies and/or Women's Studies and/or History.

Lcs 555 Social Justice and Community Empowerment Internship (3)

In this course, students will learn about and engage in a public engagement internship related to social justice and community empowerment, broadly construed. The course will be primarily practice based, with students doing internship with local social justice/community empowerment organizations for a minimum of 10 hours a week. Students will meet on a weekly basis to discuss and critically reflect on their internship with others in the class. An important component of the internship will be field notes through which students engage in an ongoing dialogue-cum-reflection on the process. Beginning in Week 3 students will write short (3-4 double-spaced) reflection papers, summarizing their field notes, every other week, meaning that half the class will present each week (and the other half will present the following week). In addition to the internship, students will also be given readings asking them to think about public engagement in a number of different ways. The reading will be heaviest in the first 3 weeks of the semester, and will then be no more than 25-30 pages per class session. At the end of the semester, students will produce a final paper, in which they present a theoretically informed argument about their internship.

Lcs 556 Authoritarian and Comparative/Representative Regimes in Latin America (4)

A review of the ideological foundations, sources of support, and administrative styles of authoritarian and competitive/representative regimes. Power elites are examined to evaluate their programs and proposals, as well as the extent of the elites' effectiveness to implement them. Special attention will be paid to elite recruitment and to systemic response to societal demands.

Lcs 565 Latino/as and Inequality in America (3)

This course is about the political engagement of Latinas and Latinos and the political and economic forces that historically have impeded their full incorporation in U.S. society. Prerequisites: Open to seniors and graduate students. Students who receive credit for ALCS465 cannot receive credit for this course.

Lcs 575 Caribbean Migration (3)

Focus on post-World War II migration between the Caribbean and the United States. Interdisciplinary in nature, though highlighting approaches from the fields of economics, sociology, political science and history. Major topics include Migration theory; U.S. migration policy impact on receiving and sending populations; socio-historical background to post- war Caribbean Migration; and specific migrations from Cuba, the West Indies, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

Lcs 582 (Ant 572) Social Movements in Latin America (3)

This class takes an anthropological perspective to discuss contemporary Latin American social movements. It considers why the intensification of social movements throughout the region may follow some traditional forms of resistance and mobilization, but also why it is a response to neoliberal globalization. These new movements seek to define a novel relation to the political realm. Unlike traditional guerrilla movements or electoral expressions of the left, they are not fundamentally organized to seize state power. Yet they have contributed to destabilizing, even, ousting governments. Social movement formation and resistance to neoliberalism are explored. Social movements, such as the indigenous mobilizations in Ecuador, mobilizations against water privatizations and gas pipeline investments in Bolivia, the Zapatista movement in Mexico, landless rural workers in Brazil, Afro-Colombians resisting investors, the urban worker strikes in Argentina, and other movements are covered. Students who receive credit for AANT/ALCS472 cannot receive credit for this course.

Lcs 585 Land and Labor in Latin America (4)

An interdisciplinary study of Latin American economies including analysis of productive systems and institutions, with emphasis on the relations between economic and cultural domains. Prerequisite: Admission to any graduate program.

Lcs 592 Transnationalism, Culture, and Power (3)

This course is designed for graduate students seeking a deeper understanding of the process of transnationalism and how it affect cultural logic, power relations, and hegemonic practices. Methodologically, it juxtaposes political economy, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, and transnational approaches that problematize class, gender, and ethnicity in a comprehensive framework. It focuses on transnational practices in East Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean in a comparative perspective.

Lcs 593 International Relations of Latin America (4)

A review of the foreign policies of those Latin American nation-states which attempt to play a significant role at the supra-national level. The readings and discussion will include regional exchanges, as well as relations with the developed nations and with the rest of the Third World.

Lcs 599 Special Topics in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (2-6)

Specific topic, indicated by a discrete title, to be selected by instructor. May be repeated for credit under different titles. Format may include a regular course, seminar, or workshop. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Students who receive credit for ALCS403/ALCS475 cannot receive credit for this course.

Lcs 600 Research Methods (3)

The aim of this course is to assist students hone and define the research method particular to their topic and interests. We will examine recent work in a number of different disciplines and interdisciplinary approaches to Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latino Studies. Students will analyze methods in order to draw from them for structuring a project. The final project either will be a research proposal or, if that already exists, a research paper.

Lcs 691 Directed Readings (MA) (3)

This course is designed to ensure that the required reading for the Master’s Project or comprehensive exam are systematically accomplished under the supervision of the project’s director or comprehensive exam committee chair.  In accordance with departmental guidelines, the student will prepare an annotated bibliography based on a reading list approved by the project director or comprehensive exam committee chair.  This course may not be repeated for credit.  Prerequisite: By Permission Only.

Lcs 695 Independent Study and Research in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (1-6)

Study and research of a selected topic under faculty supervision. Students should select a topic within their selected area of specialty. Prerequisites: Graduate enrollment and consent of supervising faculty member or department chair.

Lcs 696 Selected Topics in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (3)

LACS core faculty according to their specialty will assign discrete titles. The course will be aimed at LACS Master's and doctoral students. May be repeated for credit.

Lcs 697 Directed Master's Project (3)

Supervised research pertinent to the student's course of study and leading to an acceptable written paper for a master's degree. Prerequisites: Enrollment in the LACS MA program and consent of the instructor.

Lcs 781 Directed Readings (PhD) (3)

This course is designed to ensure that the required reading for the comprehensive exam and doctoral dissertation is systematically accomplished under the supervision of the dissertation director.  In accordance with departmental guidelines, the student will prepare an annotated bibliography based on a reading list on the content and methods of the student’s dissertation research topic. This bibliography must be approved by the dissertation director and the student’s doctoral committee. This course may not be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: By Permission Only.

Lcs 782 Independent Field Research (3)

Faculty supervised field research of a topic independently selected by the student. Students should select a topic within their selected area of specialty. Course may be repeated twice. Prerequisites: Completion of Ph.D. core sequence (Lcs 502, 503, 504, 505, 506 and 600); 1-3 page research plan approved by Doctoral Dissertation Committee Director and Graduate Program Director. Permission of Graduate Director.

Lcs 893 General Readings in LACS (1-12)

Individual work in preparation for the comprehensive exam and doctoral dissertation proposal. This is a load credit course and students will register for the load units that indicate the appropriate portion of their course load to be devoted to either of the activities previously described. May be repeated. Course grading is Load Only and does not earn credit. Prerequisite: Permission of department chairperson or LACS Graduate Program Director.

Lcs 899 Doctoral Dissertation (1)

Required of all candidates completing the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.  Prerequisite: Advancement to Candidacy in the LACS track of the Spanish Ph.D.  Course grading is Load Only and does not count toward the 60 credit requirement. Permission of department chairperson or LACS Graduate Program Director.