Catalog descriptions of Latin American Studies courses

Capstone course

LAS 470: Issues of Latin America
Capstone course for the Latin American Studies interdisciplinary minor. Thematic focus varies depending on interest and expertise of the instructor. Past topics have included sustainable development, current politics, and the intersection of literature and history. Course is taught in English and is recommended for juniors and seniors.
Required for completion of the interdisciplinary minor in Latin American Studies.


ANT 201: Peoples of Latin America
Survey of contemporary issues in the social and cultural anthropology of Latin America (and the Caribbean), including ethnicity and race, family and gender, and political economy and environment.


ART 260: Arts of Pre-Columbian Societies
Survey of art and architecture of Pre-Columbian societies in Mesoamerica and South America. Consideration of style, iconography and aesthetics and of the functions of art and architecture within each culture.


BIO 341: Tropical Ecology
Prerequisite: BIO 101, 102 or 111
The composition, structure, and function of tropical ecosystems, communities, and populations. Laboratories focus on ecological sampling methods. 2 credits.

BIO 342: Field Studies in Tropical Ecology
Prerequisite: BIO 341
Studies of the composition, structure, and function of tropical ecosystems, communities, and populations. Taught in Costa Rica. The emphasis is field studies in rain forests and other tropical habitats. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

BIO 424: Biology of the Andes/Galápagos
Prerequisite: BIO 342 and permission of instructor
Ecology of the Andes Mountains, with emphasis on the unique flora and fauna endemic to this region. Ecological and behavioral studies in the Galápagos Islands as viewed from an evolutionary perspective. Taught in South America.


HST 141: Colonial and Revolutionary Latin America
Survey of the Spanish and Portuguese empires in the western hemisphere, from the first explorations and settlements until the achievement of independence in the 1820s. The course includes coverage of political and religious institutions and social issues such as race relations, witchcraft and piracy.

HST 142: Modern Latin America
Survey of Latin America since the early nineteenth century. Themes include, but are not limited to, the consolidation of nation states, nationalism, social revolution and military authoritarianism. Case studies will often be used to highlight broader, continental trends.

HST 233: American Immigration History
Prerequisite: one history course numbered between 100 and 199
History of immigration to the United States with particular attention to issues of race, ethnicity, and citizenship. Gender and migration, incorporation into American society, the politics of nativism, and exclusion and immigration laws.

HST 244: Revolution in Modern Latin America
Prerequisite: one history course numbered between 100 and 166
Revolutionary movements in modern Latin America, considering their origins, evolution and outcomes. Case studies and a comparative methodology are likely. Possible cases are Mexico, Cuba and Nicaragua. The role of the United States will be considered.

HST 352: Travel Study in Latin American History
Investigation of key events, movements and individuals in one or more regions of Latin America. Specific topics and periods determined by the instructor in conjunction with the Latin America study abroad program.


PHL 260: Latin American Philosophy
Prerequisite: PHL 101
Latin American philosophical reflection from four key eras of the region's history: Pre-Conquest; arguments for/against the Conquest; the19th century struggle for independence; and exciting currents in twentieth-century thought (liberation and feminist philosophies).

Political Science

PSC 230: Politics of Latin America
Prerequisites: PSC 102
Emphasis on the institutions, processes and policies through which Latin American countries attempt to accommodate the forces of tradition and of political, economic and social change.

PSC 244: Issues in Latin American Politics
This course offers a comparative analysis focusing on the persistence of authoritarianism and the processes and challenges associated with democratic transition and consolidation in selected Latin American countries. It is a component of Furman's Latin America study away program.


SOC 260: Global Health Inequities
Prerequisite: SOC 101
Investigation of morbidity and mortality, common epidemics (HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria), cultural factors shaping ideas about health, illness, and healing along with an examination of the role of national health care deliver systems, international groups and NGOs in Southern Africa. This course is part of a study away program in Southern Africa and Latin America. Note: the Southern Africa iteration of this course does NOT carry LAS credit.


SPN 210: Introduction to Spanish Readings
Prerequisite: SPN 201
Builds upon the proficiency developed through SPN 201. Reading of short works of fiction and nonfiction with discussion and written assignments in Spanish on cultural and literary topics.

SPN 240: Latin American Civilization
Prerequisite: SPN 201
Introduction to Latin America through its Iberian, Indian, and African heritage; its social institutions; its religious and social customs, festivals, and folklore; its language and other systems of communication; its literature and arts; and its diversions and cuisine.

SPN 340: Foreign Study in Spanish-American Literature
Part of the study abroad curriculum. Overview of contemporary Spanish American literature, focusing on the poetry, narrative, and drama of the country. Readings and discussions of representative texts complemented by viewing of selected works in the theatre.

SPN 350: Foreign Studies in Contemporary Spanish-American Culture
Prerequisites: two courses numbered 210 or greater in Spanish
Through lectures, literary readings, and visits to areas of cultural interest, students familiarize themselves with contemporary Spanish-American life, as well as with the contributions of indigenous cultures to contemporary Spanish-American society. Research on a cultural topic will culminate in a written project.

SPN 361: Survey of Spanish-American Literature
Prerequisites: two courses numbered 210 or greater in Spanish
Introduction to the major authors and representative works of Spanish America, with concentration on the age of Modernism to the present.

SPN 440: Spanish-American Narrative
Prerequisites: two courses numbered 210 or greater in Spanish
Study of the development of the Spanish-American narrative from the period of discovery and conquest to the present, with emphasis on contemporary writing. Indigenous works such as the Mayan Popul-Vuh are also considered. Examination of historiography, the essay, novels and short stories.

SPN 445: Latin American Women’s Literature
Prerequisites: two courses numbered 210 or greater in Spanish
Survey of literature by Latin American women from Colonial times to the present, including all major genres. A study of the evolution of women’s thought from the private realm of convent and home to the public arena of politics, women’s rights and the environmental movement.

SPN 448: Spanish-American Short Story Prerequisites: SPN 331, 332, or 361
In-depth consideration of the development of the short story in Spanish America, with a primary focus on the definitive works of the Twentieth Century by authors such as Borges, Cortázar, García Márquez, and Valenzuela. Includes a brief overview of short fiction in colonial and nineteenth-century Spanish America.

SPN 460: Readings in Spanish-American Literature
Prerequisites: SPN 331, 332, or 361
In-depth focus on a period, movement, author, or genre. Possible topics might include Contemporary Spanish-American Poetry, Gabriel García Márquez, Dissidence in Spanish American Literature, etc. May be repeated once with a change of topic.

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