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2011-2012 CLA Catalog

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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Course Listings

Latin American Studies

LAS 251 (US) Latin American Cultures (1)

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.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Chambers

LAS 330 Landscapes and Cultures of South America (1)

This course is designed to serve as an introduction to the lands and peoples of South America. The nature of the colonial experience is of primary concern to us, with similarities and differences drawn between the operation of the two great imperial powers, Spain and Portugal.

  • Offering: Alternate springs
  • Instructor: Chambers

LAS 331 Landscapes and Cultures of Middle America (1)

Landscapes and Cultures of Middle America is designed to serve as a general introduction to the lands and peoples of Middle America, defined territorially as Mexico, Central America, and the Greater and Lesser Antilles. As our opening lecture will demonstrate, these geographical limits are increasingly blurred as the lives of North Americans are inexorably tied to those of our southern neighbors. The course will feature regular film screenings, with visual representations of Middle America reality drawn from several genres (documentary, drama, historical reconstruction).

  • Offering: Alternate springs
  • Instructor: Chambers

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

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: Staff

LAS 380 Latin American Cinema (1)

[Crosslisted with SPAN 380]

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 years in fall
  • Instructor: Varas, Staff

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