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  • Introduction to Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
    Fall 2001
    Professor Avi Chomsky
    T/Th 1-2:15; SB 105A

    Avi Chomsky: Office SB 109; 978-542-6389; achomsky@salemstate.edu

    An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino histories and cultures. Draws upon disciplines of history, political science, anthropology, language and literature, sociology, music, art, and geography, as well as the explicitly interdisciplinary fields of area studies, defined by geography (Latin America, Caribbean) and ethnic studies, defined by history, culture and identity (Latinos in the United States). The course explores commonalities and differences in the diverse societies of Latin America and the Caribbean, and of peoples of Latin American and Caribbean origin in the continental United States. Prepares students for fieldwork in Latin American/Latino/Caribbean Studies.

    Course Requirements: Attendance and participation are mandatory. There will be five short (2-3 page) papers giving an informal response to class readings, and two longer (5-7 page) papers. Your grade on the final papers will be based on process as well as the final product. In-class written final exam.

    Grades will be calculated as follows:

    Short papers (5, 2-3 pages each)—25%
    Longer papers (2, 5-7 pages each)—30%
    Discussion and participation—30%
    Final revised paper—15%

    ALL ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE COMPLETED IN ORDER TO PASS THE COURSE. There will be no formal final exam. You will turn in a revised paper in lieu of a final.

    Required books:
    Peter Winn, Americas: The Changing Face of Latin America and the Caribbean.
               Berkeley: Univ California Press, 1999. ISBN: 0520221818
    NACLA Reports, July/Aug 2001 issue (Widening Destruction: Drug War in the Americas); July/Aug 2000 issue
               (Human Rights in the Americas) (212-870-3146)
    Publications of the Mauricio Gastón Center, University of Massachusetts, Boston:
    Andrés Torres and Lisa Chavez, Latinos in Massachusetts: An Update,
               November 1998.
    Miren Uriarte, Ph.D. and Lisa Chavez, Latino Students and the Massachusetts Public Schools
              , April 2000.
    Leslie Bowen, et al, Latino Agenda 2000.
    Two books of your choice, in consultation with me: a Latin American, Caribbean or Latino creative work (literature), and a work of scholarly analysis published in the last five years (connected to your research project).
    I. Defining Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies

    Sept 6 NO CLASS. I will be attending the Latin American Studies Association meeting.

    Sept 11 Introduction

    Sept 13 Ethnic Studies and Area Studies
    Winn, chap. 1, “A view from the South”

    Sept 18 Identifying sources on the internet and elsewhere. Meet in the computer lab.

    Sept 20 Student webpage presentations. Short paper #1 (website report) due.

    II. Race, ethnicity and identity

    Sept 24 MONDAY, Community Time: Joel Suárez of the Martin Luther King Center, Havana, will speak. TBA.

    Sept 25 Indigenous peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean
    Winn, chap. 7, “Children of the Sun”

    Sept 27 Africans in the Americas
    Winn, chap. 8, “A question of color”
    Film: “Mirrors of the Heart: Race and Identity”
    Proposal for research project due.

    Oct 2 Modern migrations
    Winn, chap. 6, “A continent on the move”

    Oct 4 Latinos in the United States
    Winn, chap. 14, “North of the border”

    Oct 9 Latinos and Latino Studies in Boston
    Mauricio Gastón Center publications

    Oct 11 Latinos and Latino Studies in Boston, continued
    Mauricio Gastón Center publications
    Short paper #2 due. Comment on issues related to race, ethnicity and identity as discussed in class and in class readings, relating them if possible to personal experience.

    Oct 16 Latinos on the North Shore
    Guest speakers: Dinorah Mendez, Rebecca Farahbakhsh

    Oct 18 Discussion of literature and secondary topics for two long papers. NOTE: You should have communicated with me EXTENSIVELY by email about your choices by now!
    Short paper #3, annotated bibliography for your research project, due.

    III. Society and culture

    Oct 23 Religion in Latin America and the Caribbean
    Winn, chap. 10, “The power and the glory”

    Oct 25 Literature in Latin America and the Caribbean
    Winn, chap. 11, “The magical and the real”

    Oct 30 Student presentations on Latin American literature

    Nov 1 Student presentations on Latin American literature
    Literature paper due.

    Nov 3 SATURDAY. 32nd Annual Meeting of the New England Council of Latin American Studies, to be held at Salem State College. If you are planning to continue in Latin American Studies, and/or are considering going to graduate school, I strongly urge you to attend this meeting!

    IV. Economic alternatives and revolution

    Nov 6 Economic alternatives in Latin America: The Southern Cone
    Winn, chap. 5, “Capital sins”

    Nov 8 Revolution in Latin America and the Caribbean
    Winn, chap. 13, “Making revolution”
    Short paper #4 due. Report on the NECLAS meeting. (NOTE: If you did not attend the meeting, you will write TWO papers on the NACLA issues (Nov. 27 and Dec. 4.)

    Nov 13 Film: Guatemala, Journey to the End of Memories

    Nov 15 Women and social movements
    Winn, chap. 9, “In women’s hands”

    Nov 20 The United States and Latin America
    Winn, chap. 12, “Endangered states”

    Nov 22 No class. Thanksgiving break.

    Nov 27 Human rights activism in Latin America
    NACLA, July/Aug 2000
    Short paper #5 due. Respond to one of the NACLA essays, with reference to relevant chapters in Winn. (This will be paper #4 for those not attending NECLAS. Those attending NECLAS can choose between this paper and the Dec. 5 paper for your paper #5.)

    Nov 29 Film: Chile, Obstinate Memory

    Dec 4 The Drug Wars
    NACLA, Sept/Oct 2001
    Short paper #5 due. Respond to one of the NACLA essays, with reference to relevant chapters in Winn. (NOTE: If you did the paper on the NECLAS meeting, you may choose between this paper and the Nov. 28 paper for your paper #5.)

    Dec 6 Student presentations on secondary work/research project

    Dec 11 Student presentations on secondary work/research project
    Secondary work/research project due.

    Monday Dec 17. Final exam. No in-class exam. Instead, revise/expand one of your short (or long) papers into a final paper, by doing further research on the topic. Paper will be due in my mailbox (SB 109B) by 1:30 pm.


    Short paper #1.

    Website report: prepare short paper and class presentation on a useful website for research and/or primary sources. Some samples, or places to start:
    http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/ (check out especially the Foreign Relations of the United States series)
    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/ (government documents declassified through the Freedom of Information Act)

    Literature paper: Choose one creative work from Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latino literature. (If you want to choose a work in another genre—music, art, etc.—feel free to discuss this with me.) Write a critical analysis that places your work in the context of class readings and discussion.

    Research/secondary paper: Choose any topic of interest to you. Sources may include secondary works (scholarly analyses), primary works, interviews, fieldwork, etc., etc.
    Salem State College is committed to providing equal access to the educational experience for all students in compliance with Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act and to providing all reasonable academic accommodations, aids and adjustments. Any student who has a documented disability requiring an accommodation, aid or adjustment should speak with the instructor immediately. Students with Disabilities who have not previously done so should provide documentation to and schedule an appointment with the Office for Students with Disabilities and obtain appropriate services.

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