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2005-2006 CLA Catalog


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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Course Listings

Latin American Studies

LAS 244 (AR; IT) Latino/Latina Voices in the U.S.  (1)

[Crosslisted with RHET 244 and AES 244]

This course is a historical-critical survey of the public discourse of Latino/Latinas in the United States from colonial times to the present. As such, we will focus significantly on such issues as language, establishment of identities, civil rights, immigration, the formation of communities, political participation, and cultural assimilation. In order to accomplish our task we will study the historical context of the discourse, prominent rhetors, and various pieces of discourse. Analyzing the environment out of which discourse springs, contributors to voice, and the arguments, styles, themes, and issues articulated is crucial for understanding Latino/Latina voices in the United States. This course will also count toward the Rhetoric & Media Studies major.

Mode of Inquiry: Analyzing Arguments, Reasons, and Values and Interpreting Texts.

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Cordova

LAS 251 Latin American Cultures (1)

[Crosslisted with ANTH 251]

This course provides an introduction to major aspects of Latin American Cultures (especially indigenous cultures), including the following: conquest history, ethnicity, national identity, religion, healing, politics, gender, media representations, Latinos in the U.S., and language. A service-learning component involves work with a local community agency serving Latinos.

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Wogan

LAS 336 Latin American Cinema (1)

[Crosslisted with SPAN 336]

This course examines films, features and documentaries, by and about Latin Americans. It focuses on the political, economic, social, and aesthetic tensions that characterize the region and contextualize cinematic production. It explores the constitution of Latin American cultural identity through film. Readings, written and oral work will be carried out in English.

  • Offering: Alternate springs in Fall
  • Instructor: Dash, Varas

LAS 350 (IT; TH) Mesoamerican Civilizations (1)

This course presents the intellectual and material achievements of ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, particularly the Olmec, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Toltec and Aztec; examines the contributions of humanistic and scientific approaches to understanding pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations; and looks at the enduring influences of Mesoamerican cultures in contemporary Mexico and Central America.

Mode of Inquiry: Interpreting Texts; Thinking Historically; Indigenous Peoples and Cultures Cluster

Prerequisite: One of ANTH 250 or LAS/ANTH 251; or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years in spring
  • Instructor: Dash

LAS 379 Latinos in U.S. Politics (1)

[Crosslisted with POLI 379]

This course looks at the role of Latino national origin groups in shaping state and national politics in the United States. It examines the political history, voting behavior, and non-electoral political mobilization of the three largest Latino groups in the United States -- Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban, and questions the degree to which it is useful to conceive of a single Latino politics and Latino community. The course also focuses on specific public policies of concern to Latinos, and it pays particular attention to the transnational hemispheric processes that link U.S. Latinos to their countries of origin. Not open to freshmen.

Prerequisite: One POLI 100 or 200 level course, or one 200 level LAS course or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate falls
  • Instructor: Dash

LAS 497 (W) Senior Thesis in Latin American Studies (1)

In the Senior Thesis, students are expected to integrate various components of the major program in the analysis of a topic of special interest. Topics must be proposed to and approved by the Latin American Studies faculty. The thesis will normally be written in English, but the incorporation of documentation and references in Spanish will be required. Also, a multi-page précis of the thesis in Spanish must accompany the thesis. The thesis is presented to a faculty examination committee upon its completion.

General Studies Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

Prerequisite: Senior standing in Latin American Studies

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff