Visiting Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies
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This course explores central topics in contemporary Latin American society and politics by reading recent ethnographic works. The course does a very brief historical introduction to the region and then moves on to analyze current issues by focusing on two recurring problems/themes throughout Latin American history: modernity and nation-making. Although the course will allow students with no previous knowledge of Latin America history or politics to become acquainted with the region, prior work in/about Latin America is recommended. Lastly, although the course seeks to explore the particularities of the Latin American context, we will engage in both the practice and analysis of the ethnographic craft.+– Afro-Latin America: A Diasporic perspective from the South
In this course we will shift the way we see Latin America in two important ways. First, we will approach it as the heart of the New World African Diaspora since colonial times. For this reason, we will study black presence in Latin America by examining the historical and contemporary contributions of afrodescendants to the region's nations, cultures and societies. However, we will not limit our analysis of the African Diaspora to the national borders of Latin American nation-states. Instead, the course will highlight the ties that bind "Afro-Latin America" to the rest of the diaspora, and in particular to the United States. As such, the course will explore the specificities of blackness in Latin America while emphasizing the shared historical experiences of the African Diaspora. Our main object of analysis will be the struggles over the meanings of blackness in Latin America: as a subordinate category produced by structures of inequality and as a foundation for liberatory projects for social justice.+– Trajectories of Race in Latin America
What does the term "race" mean? Is it an appropriate and/or legitimate way to talk about human diversity? What does it mean in different places? Rather than exploring these questions in the abstract, in this course we will look at a grounded history of this concept. That "place" is Latin America and the Caribbean and the historical periods we will explore include the colonial encounter, post-independence nation building, and the contemporary moment. The course is designed to first introduce students to broadly global understandings of racial ideology. It then tracks the manifestation of such ideas through a history of Latin American racial formations. We will pay particular attention to how racial ideas relate to space, class, and national identity throughout the region.+– Contemporary Latin American Social Movements
This course offers students the chance to explore the diversity of grassroots politics, social movements, and alternative democratic practices within contemporary Latin America. The course will first introduce students to various theoretical frameworks to understand social movements. It will then focus on a rigorous comparative analysis of contemporary Latin American social movements oriented towards different political issues. These range from ethnic identity and environmental problems to human rights claims and gender-sex politics. We will examine a broad array of social movements across the region and pay particular attention to how their seemingly different pursuits for social justice are inter-related.