Major and Minor Curriculum

Major and Minor Curriculum

Bachelor of Arts in Latin American and Latina/o Studies

This major explores the context and forces that have shaped the experiences of members of Latin American societies and U.S. Latina/o communities. The major engages students in the interdisciplinary study of the political, historical, socio-economic and cultural possibilities and obstacles for achieving social justice and equity; cross-cultural and intercultural understanding; respect for human integrity and dignity; and awareness of political and human rights. Students will gain an integrated understanding of two fields of growing significance: Latin American studies and the study of Latina/os in the United States.(Admissions Information).
Major Advisor: Professor Brian Montes, 212.237.6809

Latin American and Latina/o Studies Minor

This multi-disciplinary minor and program includes courses in the areas of history, culture, law, psychology, sociology, politics and literature relating to the experience of Puerto Rican/Latinas/os in the United States and of Latin Americans in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Minor Advisor: Professor Brian Montes, 212.237.6809

Latin American and Latina/o Studies Honors Minor

This minor seeks to encourage and assist students enrolled to excel in all their courses by providing research and writing skills workshops as well as workshops about graduate and law school studies. Coursework is centered on Latin America and the Caribbean, Latinas/os in the United States as well as race and ethnicity generally in the United States. For more details contact the minor advisor.
Honors Minor Advisor: Professor Brian Montes, 212.237.6809

Minor in Latina/o Literature

This minor examines U.S. Latino/a authors writing in English and focuses on the four major U.S. Latino/a groups – Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican – as well as other significant U.S. Latino/a populations – Colombian, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan. While applying literary criticism and taking an interdisciplinary approach, which may also include the study of music, religion, politics, film, and the visual arts, this minor provides a well–rounded understanding of the cultural elements that contribute to U.S. Latino/a Literature. In addition, this minor will enable students to develop the critical reading and writing skills essential for graduate study and careers in the law, education, public policy, writing, and government. Among the broad issues this minor will address include the following: diaspora; bilingual aesthetics; street literature; criminal and social justice; border narratives, citizenship, and the law; experiences of exile; Afro–Latinidad; Latina feminisms; queer identities; orality; and ethnicity.Minor Advisor: Professor Belinda Rincón, 212.237.8650



LLS 124 Latina/Os In The United States
This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the field of Latin American and Latina/o Studies focusing on the establishment and development of the diverse Latina/o communities in the United States through the processes of migration, colonization, racialization, and integration. Students will explore the intersections of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality through such topics as identity formation, language rights, economic and political participation, transnationalism, law and civil rights and social justice movements.

LLS 130 Introduction to Latin American History 
This is a survey course spanning Latin America’s history from the pre-Columbian period to the recent past.  Focus is on the origins and development of Latin American social, political and economic systems, Amerindian and African peoples, the legacies of colonialism and slavery, the pursuit of nationhood and identity, the persistence of inequality, and the role of the United States in shaping the destiny of the region.

LLS 220 Human Rights and Law in Latin America
A comparative study of human rights policies, procedures, legislation and practices in Latin American countries. The impact of international and national conventions, bills and laws on the present observance of these rights. Inquiry into morality, social justice, social and professional ethics.

 *This course can be taken to satisfy requirements for the International Criminal Justice major.

LLS 242 U.S. Foreign Policy in Latin America
(Same course as GOV 242 and POL 242 and HIS 242)
U.S. economic and political relations with Latin American countries during the 19th and 20th centuries. U.S. reactions to reform and revolutionary movements. The ideological framework of U.S. foreign policy.

LLS 261 Revolution and Social Change in Contemporary Latin America (Same course as HIS 261)
Analysis of political and socioeconomic development, emphasizing major approaches to social change in the 20th century. Topics covered are class structures, demographic patterns, economic dependence, democratic liberal reform, neo-imperialism, the Mexican Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, and new trends of the last decade. A comparative, inter-American perspective, drawing on other relevant disciplines, is used.  
LLS 280 Latinx Identity in the 21st Century
This course is a Global Learning Community with the University of Texas at El Paso. Students will interrogate how Latinx identity is constructed in the United States in relation to internationality, or other social identities and systems of colonization, domination and oppression including but not limited to race, class, gender, immigration, citizenship, language, etc. 
LLS 315 Research Methods in Latin American and Latina/o Studies
This multidisciplinary course is designed to provide students with the tools necessary to critically evaluate and use the range of methodological approaches and data sources most commonly used to study Latin America and U.S. Latina/o communities. The course includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches used in the social sciences, humanities, and the legal profession. The course will also guide the student through the process of conceptualizing and crafting a prospectus in his or her area of interest that will be used to conduct research during the Senior Seminar. 
LLS 322 Latino/a Struggles for Civil Rights and Social Justice
This course provides an interdisciplinary overview of the experiences of Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans and other Latino/as during the Civil Rights period. It focuses on the Latino/a social movements during the 1960s and their consequences today for the struggles for civil rights and social justice of Latino/as and other racial minorities in the U.S. Topics include access to education and employment; immigrant rights; detention and deportation; race and crime; Latino/a and African American alliance building; Latino/a citizenship and the military, and gender values and sexuality.
LLS 325 The Latina/o Experience of Criminal Justice
This course analyzes the criminal justice system and its impact on the lives and communities of Latino/as and other groups in the United States. Particular emphasis is placed on Latino/as human and civil rights and the role that race, ethnicity, gender and class play in the criminal justice system. Interdisciplinary readings and class discussions center on issues such as the over-representation of Latino/as and racial minorities in the criminal justice system; law and police community relations; racial profiling; stop and frisk policies; immigration status; detentions and deportations; Latino/a youth; media representations; gangs; and access to education and employment and the school-to-prison-pipeline.
LLS 343 Race and Citizenship in the Americas
This course explores the relationship between citizenship and racial ideologies in the Americas. Framed by theoretical analyses of race and ethnicity, this course uses historical essays, biographies, novels and films to examine the lived experience of race and blackness in Latin America and the United States. Focusing on the different meanings attributed to blackness in the Americas, the course ultimately aims to compare the diverse racial, class and gendered experiences of U.S. Latinos with those of ethnic and racialized groups in Latin America. 
LLS 356 Terror and Transitional Justice in Latin America
This course explores the field of transitional justice as it addresses past state violence and genocide. The course will move from an exploration of background material examining the Cold War years in Latin America to providing an in-depth analysis of the role played by truth commissions, and other strategies such as war tribunals, which seek justice and reconciliation in divided societies. We will question the root causes of violence, examine national and transnational actors, and conclude with a discussion of research methodologies used when documenting human rights abuses. The question of “forgiveness” will be also explored in the context of redress for wrongdoings.
LLS 362 Entangled Tongues: Bilingualism in U.S. Latino/a Literature
This course will examine the ways in which U.S. Latino/a writers use bilingualism or Spanglish to render, via fiction, Latino/a experiences. In combining two languages, U.S. Latino/a writers capture the rhythms of daily vernacular, and draw attention to an irresolvable split in identity. Spanglish, then, represents a thriving language practice that forms the basis for U.S. Latino/a expressive life. In this course, students will closely read U.S. Latino/a texts particularly preoccupied with bilingual expression. Students will also read critical essays on language, aesthetics and poetics. 
LLS 363 Il-legal Subjects: U.S. Latina/o Literature and the Law
This course examines how the law shapes contemporary Latina/o life in the United States. Students will examine the relationships between legal texts and literature. Latina/o literature not only responds to the law, but also to its inequitable enforcement. We will read court cases, law reviews, and literary analysis in order to study the way Latina/o literature exposes contradictions in the legal system. Topics covered may include the legal construction of race, the criminalization of youth, law and U.S. colonialism, violence against women, and challenges to individual civil liberties.
LLS 364 Ethical Strains in U.S. Latina/o Literature
This course will use Latina/o literature to examine the beliefs that instruct individuals’ moral judgments and actions. Through a range of literary texts students will discuss the social and political issues that confront Latina/o communities: the psychological consequences of colonialism; the moral dilemmas surrounding immigration; the epistemological violence of racism and sexism; and the cultural norms that inform or constrain personal conduct. Specific topics will vary based on the instructor’s specialization and will cover a range of theoretical approaches to the study of moral inquiry in Latina/o literature. 
LLS 425 Senior Seminar in Latin American and Latina/o Studies: Issues of Justice and Injustice
In this senior seminar, students will engage in an original research project that synthesizes the knowledge, central themes, and critical skills acquired in the major. Research projects will explore diverse topics in Latin America and Latina/o studies, focusing on the recurring themes of justice and injustice found throughout the major. Students will demonstrate familiarity with relevant literature in the field; competence in research, research methods and forms of analysis; proficiency in written, oral, and critical thinking skills; and command of key concepts in the discipline.