Featured Spring 2019 Courses
Latin America: An Introduction
Crosslisted: AfroAm/Anthro/C&E Soc/Geog/History/LACIS/Poli Sci/Spanish
lecture: 9:30-10:45am TTh
discussion options: 12:05pm, 1:20pm, 2:25pm, and 3:30pm Th
If you are looking for a broad introduction to the history, culture, and peoples of Latin America taught in English, LACIS 260 may be your class! Organized around the themes of “Myths, Icons and Heroes”, Professor Kathryn Sanchez covers an impressive overview of the Latin American region starting as far back as the Pre-Colombian civilizations and ending with the political landscape of the present day. Professor Sanchez chooses significant movements within the history of the region to bring variety to the course without losing its coherence. She also focuses on the bridges between Latin America and the United States as she encourages students to build on their prior knowledge of international relations. As an introductory course, the class is designed to appeal to a wide range of majors. Topics covered include pre-conquest civilizations, colonial rule, slavery, populist regimes, the Mexican revolution, revolutionary art, dictatorial rule, neoliberalism, social inequalities, the rise of fascism, football, and the Amazon region, with classes devoted to Moctezuma, Columbus, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Simón Bolívar, Pancho Villa, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Augusto Pinochet, Eva Perón, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Chico Mendes, and Hugo Chavez, among others. Professor Sanchez has traveled extensively through Latin America and returns frequently for her own research interests. She brings to the class her first-hand experience of the region, her knowledge of the people, their history and cultures, and many personal narratives and original visual materials to keep the class engaged.
Introduction to Romance Languages
Have you ever wondered why Portuguese and Spanish are so similar? or why Italian (and Romanian) form the plural of some words with an -i (amici), but Spanish and Portuguese use an -s instead (amigos)? In this course, taught by Professor Fernando Tejedo, students will learn some of the structural similarities and differences within the Romance languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, etc.). Students will work hands-on with historical and modern-day data to uncover some of the main developments that explain the different outcomes in the pronunciation and grammar of these languages. They will also learn how these languages are different and similar with respect to their vocabulary.
Through this course students will:
• Gain an understanding of some structures of the Romance languages.
• Hone analytical skills as applied to the study of the Romance languages.
• Learn main concepts to describe how languages change over time.
• Increase awareness of both the linguistic similarities and diversity within the Romance languages.
Culture and the Environment
Spanish/Environmental Studies 445
This advanced undergraduate course, taught by Professor Kata Beilin, investigates how economy and culture work together, consuming or restoring their environments in divergent scenarios of the Hispanic World. Applying perspectives from environmental humanities, we countervail economistic discourses with stories “from below”, featuring human and non-human experiences resulting from existing cultural and economic arrangements. From scenarios of the expansion of a neoliberal global economy, we move to those of resistance (environmentalism of the poor) and alternative economies (local currencies, eco-villages), where we encounter new social movements that seek to live by better respecting their local environments. Focusing on chosen localities in the Hispanic World, we discuss some of the most significant aspects of culture, economy and environment in global growth and de-growth scenarios: (1) cultures of food production and consumption, (2) biotechnology, agroecology and permaculture (3) cultures and economies of time and work, (4) interspecies relations (5) cultures of energy production and urbanism, and last but not least (6) cultures of education that lead us towards considering innovations in our own classroom.
1) Finding out how culture, environment and economy are interconnected in the Hispanic world
2) Getting to know and understanding various new trans-disciplinary conceptualizations coined in Hispanic cultures and aimed at improving human relationships with the environment
3) Becoming critically aware of various environmental conflicts in Latin America
4) Reflecting on alternative cultures and sustainable economies emerging in Spain and in the Americas as well as in our own backyards in Wisconsin.
requisites: Spanish 223 and 224
Human Rights in Literature
Human rights are fundamental rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled. Our rights include the right to life, to be free from torture and abuse, to go to school and to work, to think and speak as long as we do not hurt anyone. While this course, taught by Professor Ksenija Bilbija, will explore human rights violations related to military dictatorships in Argentina (1976-1983) and Chile (1973-1990), our discussion will assume that complexity of concepts such as restorative justice, reconciliation, traumatic memory, revenge, offers challenges to many communities around the globe.
In the context of Argentine and Chilean dictatorships and subsequent democracies we will determine what kind of memory was invoked through available cultural venues and what kind of memory market has been created as a response to neo-liberal economic project. Furthermore, we will look into the means by which literary and cultural responses are produced, circulated and consumed, what seems is to be remembered and forgotten as well as who takes ownership of memories and how the state produced official story compares with individual as well as community generated accounts. The course material will consist of plays, short stories, feature films, performances, documentaries and testimonies, as well as visual materials such as photographs and museum exhibitions.
Ultimately, our discussions will revolve around what it means to become a responsible and active citizen.
requisites: Spanish 223 and 224