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LACAS: Courses

Selected Short Course Descriptions

Current class schedules and course information are listed in the Schedule of Classes. You can find additional useful information in the official BU Online Bulletin. Unless otherwise noted, all undergraduate courses carry four credits and are offered every year.

LACS 103 (also GEOG 103): MULTICULTURAL GEOGRAPHIES OF THE U.S.

LACS 180: A-Z, SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN STUDIES

May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered.

LACS 182 A-Z (also HIST 182 A-Z): SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY

LACS 200: INTRODUCTION TO LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN STUDIES

This interdisciplinary course provides an introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean, emphasizing the region's history, politics, society, and culture. A central theme will be resistance: histories of resistance, what constitutes resistance, and what makes for effective resistance. Additional topics include the state; colonialism and anti-colonialism; race and ethnicity; social movements; diasporas and migrations; gender; and U.S. interventions. The course will introduce various approaches to studying Latin America. Offered every Fall. 

 

LACS 202: THE MODERN CARIBBEAN

A broad, interdisciplinary, and socio-historical introduction to the Caribbean, from European colonization to U.S. neo-colonialism. From the conquest of Hispanola, the African diaspora, rise of sugar and coffee plantations, and the Haitian Revolution, through the Spanish-American war and the Cuban Revolution, to the neoliberalism of the present. Themes covered include modern global capitalism; the formation of the Caribbean region; slavery, slave resistance, and emancipation; labor formation and race-class-gender formations; nationalist movements, colonialism and neo-colonialism; revolution and resistance. Nations discussed include the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the United States, among others.

LACS 209:  EXPLORING LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN THROUGH FILM

This is an interdisciplinary course, drawing primarily from the fields of sociology, history, political science and anthropology that focuses on socio-political realities in Latin America and the Caribbean through the lenses of a camera. This course will survey the current status of the region and how its interaction with the United States (and Western Europe) has affected them as individual countries and as a block. Gender, sexuality, culture, politics, economics, war, revolutionary movements, military dictatorships, religion, and racism, are some of the topics to be explored in-depth.

LACS 210: LATIN@S IN THE U.S.

This course is designed to familiarize students with issues pertaining to: (a) Latinas(os) and Latin American immigrants living in the US; (b) The manner in which Western European (e.g., Spanish, Portuguese, British) and U.S. socio-economic and political expansion and interactions with Latin America and the Caribbean have helped frame the social, political, and economic conditions encountered by Latinas/os and Latin American peoples living in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean; (c) The ways in which Latinas/os in the U.S. are affected by events taking place in Latin America and the Caribbean; (d) The manner in which race, ethnicity, nationality, color, class, gender, and sexual orientation have been historically perceived within Chicana(o) Latina(o) communities; (e) The ways in which Chicanas(os) Latinas(os) have been perceived by others; (f) The manner in which these identities and interactions produce various types of individual and group identifications and socio-political movements.

LACS 240 (also SOC 240): WOMEN OF COLOR IN THE U.S.

LACS 261 (also ANTH 262): ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF PERU

LACS 262 (also SOC 262): GENDER AND SOCIETY

Examines the ways in which representations of gender have been understood in terms of race and in terms of how this racialization has intersected social class and sexuality within dominant U.S. cultures. Explores the representation of gender from diverse socio-historical and cultural perspectives.

LACS 263 (also ANTH 263): ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE INCAS AND SOUTH AMERICAN EMPIRES

LACS 271: Research Methods in LACS

Research Methods in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Familiarizes students with the broad range of digital and print resources in the social sciences and the humanities available through the Binghamton University Libraries and the internet. Students gain hands-on experience in using these resources while learning about research methodologies for the study of contemporary and historical issues relevant to the Caribbean, Latin America, and communities of Latin American and Caribbean origin in the U.S. Students design, write, present, and revise their own research papers.

LACS 280 A-Z: SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN STUDIES

May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered.

LACS 281 A-Z (also HIST 281 A-Z): SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY

LACS 282 A-Z (also HIST 282 A-Z): SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY

LACS 284 A-Z: SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN CULTURE

Intensive study of particular Latin American and Caribbean cultural developments and movements (e.g., music, theater, art). May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered.

LACS 301: SLAVERY IN LATIN AMERICA

This course examines the roles played, and the contributions made, by Africans in Latin America with their arrival during the Spanish invasion in the 15th Century. Secondary literature and films illustrate the internal diversity of this group, their interconnection with other groups, and creative forms of adaptation and resistance to the actions of colonial states, national governments, and powerful international actors. Emphasizing "history" and "sociological" change, the course will deepen students' awareness concerning issues of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, human rights, globalization, and social movements.

LACS 302: HUMAN RIGHTS IN LATIN AMERICA

This course focuses on the dramatic post Cold-War transformation of human rights as a focus of social struggle in The Americas and the effect the "War on Terror" has had in rolling back human rights gains. We explore these questions through an examination of human rights struggles in Central, South, and North America. Drawing on the multidisciplinary literature in this field, particularly from Sociology and Political Science, a central focus will center on resistance to violations of human rights by social movements in The Americas.

LACS 303: LATIN AMERICAN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

Inequalities of power and privilege have always existed throughout history. However, some periods of history are more likely to spawn protest movements by subordinated groups. Using sociological theories of development and change, the course examines the rise of social movements in 20th Century Latin America and the changing role of U.S. intervention in the region. It looks at the neo-liberal era, the limits of formal political democratization, and the rise and decline of the globalization project as it has occurred in Latin America.

LACS 304: ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

As globalization and industrial development have advanced, populations throughout the world, but particularly poor and working-class communities, women and children, have been impacted by environmental destruction. This course examines the development of environmental activism and resistance movements in Latin America and the U.S., as well as models allowing for the development of local economies while providing environmental protection and conservation. Sources will include films, documentaries, newspapers, YouTube and articles drawn primarily from the fields of sociology, environmental studies, and anthropology.

LACS 305: RACE CLASS AND GENDER IN LATIN AMERICA

This interdisciplinary course examines the interrelationship between race, class and gender in 19th and 20th Century Latin America. Drawing from social science literature (e.g., history, sociology, political science, gender studies), it highlights how these categories have been historically defined in relation to one another both at an ideological and practical level. The course intends to discuss the extent to which these categories have been constantly contested, negotiated and redefined historically by elites and subordinate groups to produce flexible yet unstable social, economic and political societies

LACS 306: CARIBBEAN WOMEN WRITERS

This course examines short stories and novels by writers from the Spanish, English, and French-speaking Caribbean from a postcolonial perspective. It discusses the impact of French, British, and Spanish colonialism on the societies in which the texts were produced and then proceeds to a close reading of each one from a literary angle. The course focuses on the texts as they relate to the cultural diversity of the region as well as the specificity of gender issues as represented in these fictional works.

LACS 307: LATIN@/LATIN AMERICAN/CARIBBEAN POP CULTURE

This course examines the production and consumption of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latin@ pop culture. It explores the richness and diversity of Latin American and Caribbean cinematography, comic books, soap operas, popular performances, but particularly music. The course also examines the role of race, class, gender and sexuality in shaping the production and consumption of diverse cultural forms. We will delve into issues of authenticity, hybridity, globalization and trans-nationalism and how these terms relate to the formation of contemporary cultural expressions and musical icons.

LACS 308: CARIBBEAN WRITERS: FICTION/FILM

This course examines short stories, novels and films from Spanish, English, and French-speaking Caribbean that engage questions of Diasporic identities, sexuality and transculturation. It focuses on the texts as they relate to the cultural diversity of this region as well as the specificity of race, ethnicity, sexuality and gender issues as represented in these fictional works. The course discusses the impact of French, British, and Spanish colonialism on the societies in which the texts have been produced as well as the U.S. culture from which all of this fiction is produced. It addresses the immigrant experience in the U.S., the impact of U.S. politics and popular culture on the various Caribbean and Latin American locations and the production of the Caribbean in U.S. popular culture.

LACS 310: ASIAN AND LATIN AMERICAN IMMIGRATION TO THE U.S.

This interdisciplinary course draws primarily on social science methodologies, major concepts, and literature from diverse fields. It compares and contrasts the histories of, and motivations for, Asian and Latin American immigration to the U.S. It examines the impact of diverse laws on Asian and Latin American immigration. It looks at the conditions faced by Asian and Latin American immigrants in the U.S. as well as their responses to them. Lastly, it measures the overall impact of Asian and Latin American immigration on the U.S.

LACS 311: BLACK, LATIN@ AND ASIAN GANGS

This interdisciplinary course examines the emergence and evolution of Asian, Latin@, and African-American male and female "gangs" and street organizations in NY and CA. It explores myths, misconceptions and realities surrounding gangs and the interrelationship between identity, gender, racial-formation, space/territory, and social/economic poverty. It also explores the use of criminalization as a form of social control, the proliferation of laws designed to discipline and punish youths, and diverse forms of resistance to societal/economic/political conditions and carceral punishment.

LACS 312: HIP HOP: BLACK, LATIN AND URBAN POETS

This interdisciplinary course explores the early roots of Hip Hop in the U.S. and how it became a popular musical genre in Latin America and the Caribbean. It traces the connections between U.S. Hip Hop culture and its influences on the Latin American and Caribbean musical genre (e.g., reggeaton, brown pride hip hop, dancehall reggae). It considers how censorship, sexism, obscenity, the socio-economic position of rap around the world, and race politics in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean relate to rap music.

LACS 313 (also SOC 313): SLAVERY, RACE, CULTURE

LACS 314 (also SOC 302): SOCIOLOGY OF LATIN AMERICA

LACS 321 (also SOC 321): RACE AND CULTURAL RELATIONS IN THE WORLD COMMUNITY

LACS 328 (also SOC 328): COMPARATIVE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

LACS 330 (also SOC 330): LATIN AMERICAN WOMEN AND THEIR COMMUNITIES

LACS 336 (also HDEV 336): BLACK CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT

LACS 339 (also HDEV 339): BLACK FAMILIES

LACS 340 (also SOC 340): WOMEN AND THE U.S. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

LACS 342 (also SOC 342): SEXUAL TRAFFICKING, SEXUAL TOURISM

LACS 344 (also SPAN 344):  Advance Reading & interpretation

LACS 352 (also HDEV 352): GENDER, POWER AND DIFFERENCE

LACS 360 (also SPAN 360): Hispanic Culture

LACS 363 (also ANTH 363): ANTHROPOLOGY OF DEVELOPING NATIONS

LACS 365 (also HDEV 365), PSYCHOLOGY OF RACISM

LACS 370 (also SPAN 370): Hispanic Literature

LACS 373 (also HIST 373): RACE IN LATIN AMERICA

LACS 374 (also SOC 374): OIL POLITICS

LACS 375 (also HDEV 374): PSYCHOLOGY OF HIV AND AIDS

LACS 380 A-Z: SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN STUDIES

May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered.

LACS 382 A-Z (also HIST 382 A-Z): SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY

LACS 383 A-Z: SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN LITERATURE

May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered.

LACS 384 A-Z: SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN CULTURE

Intensive study of particular Latin American and Caribbean cultural developments and movements (e.g., music, theater, art). May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered.

LACS 395: INTERNSHIP

See LACAS Director.

LACS 397: INDEPENDENT STUDY

See individual LACAS professor.

LACS 400 (also HDEV 400), SOCIAL JUSTICE

LACS 465 (also HDEV 465): RESEARCHING IMMIGRANT LIVES

LACS 480 A-Z: SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN STUDIES

May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered.

LACS 482 A-Z (also HIST 482 A-Z): SENIOR SEMINAR IN LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY

LACS 483: SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN LITERATURE

May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered.
var. cr.

LACS 484 A-Z: SPECIAL TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN CULTURE

Intensive study of particular Latin American and Caribbean cultural developments and movements (e.g., music, theater, art). May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered.

LACS 491: TEACHING PRACTICUM

Independent study in which an undergraduate student (Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, UTA) assists a faculty member with a particular LACAS course. The ultimate objective is to mentor UTAs who want to gain a basic sense of what is entailed in teaching a university course. May be repeated for total of eight credits. Credit may not be used in conjunction with course in which the student is currently enrolled. Does not satisfy major or Harpur College Distribution requirements.

LACS 482 A-Z (also HIST 482 A-Z): SENIOR SEMINAR IN LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY

LACS 496: INDEPENDENT FIELD RESEARCH

Off-campus independent field research. A LACAS professor must approve in advance the proposed project. The student then writes a proposal in communication with an on-site academic institution or organization and a LACAS professor. The work is written up as a senior thesis (LACS 498) during the term after returning from the field.
var. cr.

LACS 497: INDEPENDENT STUDY

See individual LACAS professor.
var. cr.

LACS 498: SENIOR THESIS

The senior thesis, under the guidance of a LACAS professor, is the conclusion of the field research. The student writes up and provides the analytical framework for the interpretation of the data gathered in the field. Papers written for the course may be submitted for consideration for Honors on advice of the instructor.

Last Updated: 3/13/18