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Fall 2014 Latin American Courses of Interest

Because the Latin American Studies (LAS) undergraduate and graduate programs are interdisciplinary in nature and draw on coursework from many departments at UNM, Latin Americanist courses on campus change frequently. Below are a few of the courses of interest that will be offered this term. To review the complete list of courses, see the compilation of LAS Course Offerings.

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AFST 388: Blacks in Latin America with Prof. Natasha Howard

A comprehensive analysis of the plight of Black people in Latin America as compared with their experiences in North America, from the 15th to 19th century. This course examines the resemblance and diversity among blacks in the United States, blacks in Latin America, and blacks in the Hispanophone Caribbean. Through literature, the class will explore what it means to be 'black' in the Americas (that is, a US/American, Caribbean or Latin American person of African descent). We will also examine the growing usage and acceptance of the term Afro Latinos/Afrolatinos as a racial, ethnic and/or national identity. y engaging novels such as Child of the Dark: the Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus (Brazil), Las Criadas de La Habana (Cuba), and Geographies of Home (United States), students will unearth varied histories and religions; cultural and racial identities; sociopolitical and power relations; and lived realities and ideologies that comprise the black experience(s) in the America. All novels are taught in English, with novels from Latin America comprising 50% of the course texts.

CRP 570: Indigenous Latin America with Prof. Kimberly Gauderman

Before 1492, there were no Indians in America. Columbus' notorious expedition brought not only Europeans to America it also brought the "Indian." Disparate native peoples, with different cultures and languages, living in roaming bands and empires, located on islands, in mountains, deserts, and tropical forests would all, after 1492, be called Indians. The origin of the "Indian" lies in this infamous crossing of the Atlantic by Europeans. For indigenous groups and individuals, however, crossing between ethnic identities would not cease; for some it would even be a daily occurrence. In this course, we will examine how indigenous and European peoples understood, maintained, and dismantled ethnic identities from pre-Hispanic to modern times in Latin America. We will begin by looking at indigenous societies before Spanish conquest and then explore the political, economic, and social strategies of indigenous peoples during the colonial and modern eras. We will consider how indigenous and nonindigenous peoples used ethnic categories to construct power and authority. The central idea of the course is that ethnic identities are interconnected with gender and class and that we therefore have to move away from essentialist approaches and ask how and why, at a certain time and place, a particular group chooses to define itself, or is defined by others in terms of ethnicity, gender or class.

MUS 437: Music & Latin American Identity with Prof. José Luis Hurtado

This course will survey the richness and diversity of the music of Latin America and its impact in the development and transformation of its people and the making of their national identity. Origins, history, and social significance mainly of the concert music of Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Cuba, including relevant composers and works will be covered. Other topics include: Pre-Hispanic Music, African Influence, Folk Music, Nationalism, Relevant Musical Figures, Non-Latin American Composers Influenced by Latin American Music, Contemporary, Latin Jazz, and Latin American Rock. An extensive use of audiovisual materials will be made. Listening and discussion sessions as well as guest artists, speakers and music concerts will complement the course content.

Image: Photograph of musicians in Cienfuegos, Cuba, reprinted CC © from Bruce Tuten; photograph of dancers in Havana, Cuba, reprinted CC © from Nick Leonard; photograph of woman in Cusco, Peru, reprinted CC © from Matthew Barker, Peru for Less.

--Posted Monday, August 18, 2014.