Latin American Studies

http://krieger.jhu.edu/plas

The Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) promotes the study of the histories, cultures, societies, and political systems of Latin America and the Caribbean at the Johns Hopkins University. PLAS’s curricular offerings and extracurricular activities provide undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities to explore the rich political, aesthetic, intellectual, and scientific traditions of Latin America. The program also regularly sponsors scholarship and teaching related to Latino Studies. Drawing on faculty expertise across the disciplines, PLAS aims to generate new perspectives on Latin America, the Caribbean, and the experience of Latinos in the United States.

PLAS coordinates an undergraduate major and minor in Latin American studies. The major and minor are designed to deepen student interest in, and understanding of, Latin America through course work and extracurricular programs. The program encourages and supports students wishing to undertake summer research in Latin America as well as those who seek to study abroad at Latin American universities.

PLAS contributes to the professional training of graduate students through an array of interdisciplinary seminars, colloquia, and symposia featuring eminent senior scholars. The program also supports an annual conference organized by the graduate student group. PLAS offers pre-dissertation winter and summer research grants as well as a graduate teaching fellowship. It also co-sponsors student-initiated exhibitions, conferences, and special events. Information about PLAS may be found on its website:

http://krieger.jhu.edu/plas/

Major/Minor in Latin American Studies

Also see Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.

The Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) coordinates a major and a minor in Latin American studies. It aims to provide undergraduate students with a broad understanding of the complexity and richness of Latin American political, social, and cultural phenomena. As a result of completing the major or the minor, students will have gained a deep understanding of Latin American politics, economy, society, and culture, as well as of the intricate relationship between the region and the United States.

Learning Goals:

Students who graduate with a major or a minor in Latin American studies from Johns Hopkins will be able to:

  • Demonstrate command of either Spanish or Portuguese in order to read documents, literature, or view media at an advanced level.
  • Write effectively and support their arguments with appropriate evidence.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of research methodologies drawn from both the humanities and social sciences appropriate to the field of Latin American studies.
  • Critically evaluate the position of Latin America in an increasingly globalized world
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the variety of cultures in Latin America.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the Latin American literary tradition and be able to analyze and interpret literary texts.

Students who decide to major or minor in Latin American studies are required to study Spanish or Portuguese. Language requirements can be waived for those who demonstrate suitable knowledge of either Spanish or Portuguese, or in an Amerindian language such as Quechua or Guarani. The general "Introduction to Latin American Studies" course is required for the major.

Though students may choose to emphasize a particular area of specialization within Latin American studies (e.g., politics, public health, literature), the major and minor programs require a distribution of courses across a variety of areas.

Requirements for the Major

The requirements for a major in Latin American Studies are as follows:

  • Four lower-level courses (100- and 200-level courses) dealing with Latin America, one of which must be the general introductory course (AS.361.130 Introduction to Latin American Studies) to Latin America.
  • Five upper-level courses (300-level courses and above) focused on Latin America.
  • Two electives courses (at any level) relevant or with reference to Latin America.
  • Language proficiency (i.e., reading fluency and basic conversational skills) through the advanced level in either Spanish or Portuguese will be required. Language requirements can be waived for those who demonstrate a suitable proficiency in either Spanish or Portuguese.
  • No grade below C- will be accepted for the major requirements and courses may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Language proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese through the advanced level *0-20
AS.361.130Introduction to Latin American Studies3
Three 100- or 200-level courses relating to Latin America9
Five 300-level or higher courses relating to Latin America15
Two elective courses relating to Latin America chosen with advisor's approval.6
Total Credits33-53
*

Language proficiency can be demonstrated by the completion of AS.210.312 Advanced Spanish II or AS.210.392 Advanced Portuguese: Language and Literature II or via placement exam.  Students may begin at a higher level of language acquisition via placement exam.

Honors in the Major

To be eligible for honors in Latin American Studies, a 3.5 GPA in the major courses as well as the completion of a senior honors thesis in Latin American Studies is required.

Sample Four Year Plan of Study

Freshman
FallCreditsSpringCredits
AS.361.130Introduction to Latin American Studies3100/200-level Latin American Studies course3
AS.210.111 or 177Spanish Elements I*4AS.210.112 or 178Spanish Elements II*4
  7  7
Sophomore
FallCreditsSpringCredits
100/200 level Latin American Studies Course3100/200 level Latin American Studies Course3
AS.210.211 or 277Intermediate Spanish I*3AS.210.212 or 278Intermediate Spanish II*3
  6  6
Junior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
300+ level Latin American Studies Course3300+ level Latin American Studies Course3
Latin American Studies advisor approved elective (any level)3Latin American Studies advisor approved elective (any level)3
AS.210.311 or 391Advanced Spanish I*3AS.210.312 or 392Advanced Spanish II*3
  9  9
Senior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
300+ level Latin American Studies Course3300+ level Latin American Studies Course3
300+ level Latin American Studies Course3 
  6  3
Total Credits: 53

Requirements for the Minor

The requirements for a minor in Latin American Studies are as follows:

  • Four upper-level courses (300 or above) focused on Latin America. Intersession courses may not be used to fulfill this requirement.
  • Two additional courses at any level dealing with Latin America. Note: 3-credit intersession or summer session non-language courses offered by JHU may be used to fulfill this requirement. 
  •  Language proficiency through the intermediate level in either Spanish or Portuguese.
  • No grade below C- will be accepted for the minor requirement and courses may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Language proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese through the intermediate level *0-14
Two courses at any level relating to Latin America6
Four courses at the 300-level or higher relating to Latin America12
Total Credits18-32
*

Language proficiency can be demonstrated by the completion of AS.210.212 Intermediate Spanish II or AS.210.278 Intermed/Adv Portuguese or via placement exam.

For current course information and registration go to https://isis.jhu.edu/classes/

Latin American Studies

AS.361.130. Introduction to Latin American Studies. 3.0 Credits.

The goal of this course is to provide an overview of Latin America, analyzing political and cultural aspects, chronologically organized. We will begin studying the origins of the multi–ethnic societies, starting with the ancient civilizations and their transformation under colonization. It is important to understand the survival of cultural traits among indigenous peasants today in the countries that were the cradle of ancient civilizations: Mexico, Guatemala and the Andean countries. In the republican era the course will focus on the classical Caribbean dictators in the first half of the 20th century and their reflection in the literature, comparing the historical reality with the magic representation in the work of Garcia Marquez. The course will scrutinize the most important revolutions in the continent: the Mexican, Cuban and Bolivian revolutions and the geopolitics of USA in the Americas. Weekly lectures related to the assigned reading will focus on specific periods, topics and regions. After each lecture, we will review the material, connecting specific details from the readings with the more theoretical aspects provided in my lecture. The course has a website where the PowerPoint presentations will be posted. Students are encouraged to post their questions, comments and suggestions on the web after their readings. Students will be given a study guide for each lecture, which will be the basis for the exams. Our perspective on Latin America will be enhanced by a selection of few films related to the topics.
Instructor(s): Staff
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.361.502. Independent Study. 0.0 - 3.0 Credits.

Instructor(s): D. Poole; E. Gonzalez; G. Paquette; H. Robbins; S. Castro-Klaren.

AS.361.550. Internship. 1.0 Credit.

Instructor(s): D. Poole; G. Paquette.

Cross-Listed Course Offerings

Anthropology

AS.070.285. Understanding Aid: Anthropological Perspectives for Technology-Based Interventions. 3.0 Credits.

This course combines anthropological perspectives with the discussion and examination of technology–based interventions in the field of development and aid policies, with particular focus on activities related to water resources, sanitation, and hygiene. Readings and discussions analyze some of the theoretical, historically rooted, and practical issues that challenge those who hope to provide effective aid. A key aim of this course is to provide students with better understanding of cultural, social, environmental and economic issues relevant to technical intervention in developing countries.
Instructor(s): E. Cervone; W. Ball
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

German and Romance Languages & Literatures

AS.211.380. Modern Latin American Culture. 3.0 Credits.

Taught in Spanish. This course will explore the fundamental aspects of Latin- America culture from the formation of independent states through the present—in light of the social, political, and economic histories of the region. The course will offer a general survey of history of Latin- America, and will discuss texts, movies, songs, pictures, and paintings, in relation to their social, political, and cultural contexts. May not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Prerequisites: AS.210.312
Area: Humanities.

AS.211.394. Brazilian Culture & Civilization. 3.0 Credits.

This course is intended as an introduction to the culture and civilization of Brazil. It is designed to provide students with basic information about Brazilian history, art, literature, popular culture, theater, cinema, and music. The course will focus on how indigenous Asian, African, and European cultural influences have interacted to create the new and unique civilization that is Brazil today. The course is taught in English, but ONE extra credit will be given to students who wish to do the course work in Portuguese. Those wishing to do the course work in English for 3 credits should register for section 01. Those wishing to earn 4 credits by doing the course work in Portuguese should register for section 02. The sections will be taught simultaneously. Section 01: 3 credits Section 02: 4 credits (instructor’s permission required)
Instructor(s): F. De Azeredo Cerqueira
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.215.458. Cuba and its Culture Since the Revolution. 3.0 Credits.

We will study the visual and textual arts, cinema, political culture, and blogosphere; reaching back to the first phases in the building of the revolutionary state apparatus and its sovereign mandate. Taught in Spanish.
Prerequisites: AS.210.312[C]
Instructor(s): E. Gonzalez
Area: Humanities.

AS.215.658. Whose Caribbean? Colonialism and its Legacies.

Readings from colonial times to the present from three cultural legacies, Hispanic, English and French. Centered on slavery and its sequels.
Instructor(s): E. Gonzalez.

History

AS.100.439. Cuban Revolution and the Contemporary Caribbean. 3.0 Credits.

A lecture course dealing with the development of the Cuban Revolution and the tortuous history of the Caribbean during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Instructor(s): F. Knight
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

History of Art

AS.010.105. Art of the Ancient Americas. 3.0 Credits.

Surveys the art of Olmec, West Mexico, Teotihuacan, Maya, and Aztec.
Instructor(s): L. Deleonardis
Area: Humanities.

AS.010.320. Art of Colonial Peru. 3.0 Credits.

The visual arts of viceregal Peru (16th-18th c) are considered in historical context. Religious orders, art schools, artisan guilds and cofradía are examined as are the social and political implications of art patronage.
Instructor(s): L. Deleonardis
Area: Humanities.

AS.010.334. Problems in Art of the Ancient Americas. 3.0 Credits.

Following a historical narrative that traces the formation of princely collections in the sixteenth century, to the establishment of national museums in the nineteenth, this course surveys the acts of collecting, preserving, interpreting, and appropriating ancient American art. Draws on case studies from North America, Mesoamerica, and the Andes. Collections study in museums.
Instructor(s): L. Deleonardis
Area: Humanities.

AS.010.365. Art of the Ancient Andes. 3.0 Credits.

The ancient visual arts of Andean South America and their respective cultural contexts form the basis of this course. In conjunction with the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum students will have access to collections for study.
Instructor(s): L. Deleonardis
Area: Humanities.

History of Science

AS.140.390. Science and Technology in Latin America. 3.0 Credits.

The course surveys the development of western science and technology in Hispanic America (1492 to the present). We begin studying the hybridization of scientific practices between European and Native American cultures during the early colonial era and end with the transfer of technologies and industrialization of the 20th century. We emphasize the role on science and technology in state formation, the acculturation of foreign ideas in colonial and postcolonial societies, and the role of intellectual elites in modernization programs.
Instructor(s): M. Portuondo
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Sociology

AS.230.343. Political Sociology of Latin America. 3.0 Credits.

This course provides an overview of Latin America through its historical, economic, social, and political dimensions. Emphasis will be given to the analysis of social structures: class, race and ethnicity, and the contemporary social movements. The course begins with an overview of the pre-Columbian civilizations and colonial legacies that gave rise to the multiethnic societies and the ethnic conflicts which characterize contemporary Latin America.Cross-listed with Program in Latin American Studies and International Studies (CP)
Instructor(s): M. von der Heydt-Coca
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.230.346. Economic Sociology of Latin America. 3.0 Credits.

This course will offer an overview of Latin America’s economic reality as an intertwined process of economic and political domestic factors within the constraints of the world economy. Latin American development will be analyzed from a historical perspective. The first half of the semester the course will focus on the analysis of the economic developmental patterns starting in the middle of the 19thcentury to the populist era in the middle of the 20thcentury. In the second half of the semester, we will analyze in depth the contemporary neoliberal approach to development. Globalization is the force that drives economic, social and political processes in Latin America. The course will include case studies as well the social conflicts generated by the increasing polarization of the society. Students will be exposed to important sociological theories.
Instructor(s): M. von der Heydt-Coca
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

For current faculty and contact information go to http://krieger.jhu.edu/plas/

Faculty

Director

Gabriel Paquette
Director, Program in Latin American Studies; Professor, Department of History

Professors

Sara Castro-Klarén
Professor, Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures

Laura Caulfield
Professor, International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Lisa DeLeonardis
Professor, Department of History of Art

William Egginton
Professor, Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures

Eduardo González
Professor, Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures

Deborah Poole
Professor, Department of Anthropology

Lawrence Wissow
Professor, Health Behavior and Society; International Health; Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Associate Professors

Juan Carhuapoma
Associate Professor, Neurology; Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine, Neurosciences Critical Care Division, School of Medicine

Francisco Gonzalez
Riordan Roett Senior Associate Professor of Latin American Studies, School of Advanced International Studies

Clara Han
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

Deanna Kerrigan
Associate Professor, Health, Behavior and Society; International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Juan Obarrio
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

Maria Portuondo
Associate Professor, Department of History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

Assistant Professors

Marc Boulay
Assistant Professor, Health, Behavior, and Society, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Rafael Guerrero-Preston
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine

Sebastian Mazzuca
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

Kathleen Page
Assistant Professor, Medicine-Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine

Daniela Rodriguez
Assistant Scientist, International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Erin Rowe
Assistant Professor, Department of History

Pamela Surkan
Assistant Professor, International Health; Health Behavior and Society; Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Lecturers

Flavia De Azeredo-Cerqueira
Portuguese Language Program Director and Lecturer in Portuguese

Magda von der Heydt-Coca
Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology

Professors Emeriti

Mary M. Bensabat-Ott
Lecturer, German and Romance Languages and Literatures

Richard Kagan
Professor, Department of History

Margaret Keck
Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science

Franklin Knight
Professor, Department of History

Lea Ybarra
Interdepartmental, cross-listed with: Romance Languages & Literatures, Political Science, History, Sociology and Chicano Studies