WLS 2201G Intermediate Spanish I (4 credits)
Have you taken 2-3 years of Spanish in high school, or 2 semesters in college? Are you looking for a great class to use towards your Gen Ed Humanities requirement? Also, this class may be perfect for students who received the "Illinois Seal of Biliteracy" and want to continue their language study (ask us for placement advice). You will review grammar points, practice your Spanish in conversation and composition, and broaden your understanding of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Honors section available: WLS 2291G Intermediate Spanish I Honors (4 credits)
WLS 2202G Intermediate Spanish II (4 credits)
Have you taken 3-4 years of Spanish in high school, or 3 semesters in college? Are you looking for a great class to use towards your Gen Ed Humanities requirement? Also, this class may be perfect for students who received the "Illinois Seal of Biliteracy" and want to continue their language study (ask us for placement advice). You will review grammar points, practice your Spanish in conversation and composition, and broaden your understanding of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Note: Taking this class plus 4 more upper-division WLS courses (12 credits) completes a Spanish minor. Honors section available: WLS 2292G Intermediate Spanish II Honors (4 credits)
WLS 4650 Latinx Identity and Cultural Diversity (3 credits)
What does it mean to be Latina, Latino, o Latinx? This course explores a selection of thought-provoking texts from a variety of literary genres, including autobiography, poetry, and essay that capture the diverse U.S. Latinx experiences. It explores the complex ways in which culture, history, language, and environmental influences shape Latinx identities. Class will be conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: WLS 3000
English 2504G: Film and Literature (3 credits)
An introduction to practical and theoretical relations between film and literature. In this course, we will study a variety of film and literary approaches to and appropriations of real-life social and political incidents that had a profound impact on the body politic. We will explore incidents, novels, poetry, and films from around the world (specifically, for this course, in the U.S., Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and Britain) in order to study how different practitioners of literature and film work to explore and make sense of human experience during times of personal or national difficulty. Covers English areas Identity & Culture; Genre, Form & Poetics; Education & Society; Media, Technology & Popular Culture
WLS 4320 Civilization and Culture of Spanish America (3 credits)
Learn about the historical events that have shaped the social and cultural landscape of Spanish-speaking Latin America. We will explore this area's geographic, ethnic, racial, and linguistic diversity. Topics covered include: ancient writing systems, controversies regarding the Conquest and the treatment of the native populations, vocabulary to discuss race, race vs. ethnicity, racial vs. ethnic identities, colonial art, the legacy of the Spanish presence in the Americas. The class will be entirely conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: WLS 3000, 3012 or equivalent.
HIS 2050G US History: Building Latino/a/e Communities (3 credits)
An introduction to the experiences of peoples of Latin American and Hispanic Caribbean descent in the United States from the sixteenth century through the present that emphasizes the influence of immigration, imperialism, racialization, and community building. We will analyze how Latine peoples adjust, integrate, assimilate, resist, and adapt to the political, economic, and social conditions that define their surroundings.
Courses for the LAS minor include the following courses. These courses are not offered every semester:
- WLE 3025 Women in the Hispanic Wrld
- GEO 3070 Geography and Culture of Mexico, C.A., and Caribbean
- LS 3010 Spanish Through Latin American Narrative and Film
- WLS 3500 Hispanic Short Stories
- WLS 3330 Spanish American Film
- WLS 3540 Race and Gender in Spanish American Literature
- WLS 4320 Civilization and Culture of Spanish America
- WLS 4650 Topics: Space and Identity in Spanish American Literature
- WLS 4650: Topics: Culture and Literature of Argentina
- WLS 4650 Latinx Identity and Cultural Diversity
- ENG 2706G Introduction to Latin American and Latinx Literatures
- ENG 4850 Third World Literature: ¿Y los otros?
- ENG 3903 Becoming the Beholder: Women Writing Women's Lives
- ENG 3903B Women, Literature, and Language, post-1800: Crossing Borders, Writing Lives
- HIS 4850 Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
- SOC 2840 Racial and Cultural Minorities
- LAS 4400 Independent Study
For all options see Latin American and LatinX Studies Minor.
WLS 3530 Spanish American Women’s Novel (3 credits)
This course focuses on Latin American novels written by female authors. Students will explore how the most influential female novelists used their voices to advocate for gender equality and political inclusion. A great emphasis will be placed on understanding the cultural and social context in which these novels were produced. Students will enhance their cultural proficiency and interpretive skills in the study of novels that have profoundly and unapologetically changed the social landscape of Latin America. Prerequisite: WLS 3000 or equivalent.
WLS 3300 Hispanic Film
This course will introduce you to film made by Latin American, Spanish, and Latinx artists. You will develop critical and interpretive skills as you explore cultural themes through movies. The course format consists mainly of class and group discussion. Pre-requisites: WLS 3000 or WLS 3012. 3 credits.
WLS 3500 Hispanic Short Story
This course focuses on short story narrative of both Latin America and Spain from the late 19th to the 20th Century. Students will examine a wide range of authors across the two continents. The discussions in class will include both primary textbooks as well as photocopies provided by the professor. Other materials that will be included are videos, movies, and web pages. Class meetings will consist mainly of class and group discussions based on readings, and Internet searches made by the students. Class will be conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: WLS 3000, WLS 3520 recommended.
WLE 3025 Women in the Hispanic World
This course explores the contributions of Hispanic women to literature, the arts and politics in the Spanish-speaking world from the colonial period to the present. Students will read original work by women, as well as critical essays written about them. Students will also be introduced to scholarship on gender, race, class and national identity. (Course taught in English—no proficiency in Spanish language required.)
WLS 4320 Civilization and Culture of Spanish America (3 credits)
Learn about the events that have shaped the social and cultural landscape of Spanish-speaking Latin America. You will be introduced to the history and geography of the area, and explore its ethnic, racial, and linguistic diversity. Prerequisite: WLS 3000 or equivalent.
HIS 3260- Modern Latin America
Survey of Latin America from Independence, including the nineteenth century struggle between liberalism and conservatism, the Mexican Revolution, popularist and authoritarian paths to development, the Cuban and Central American Revolutions, and the recent rise of neo-liberalism.
HIS 4775L Selected Topic, University Cultures in Latin America
An exploration of histories of higher education and campus activism in twentieth and twenty-first century Latin America. We will center the role of universities in the region’s nation building processes, evaluating connections between the expansion of universities, the growth of Latin American middle classes, and the evolution of radical networks. We will also evaluate the impact of transnational youth cultures in learning and rebellion as campus communities grew and evolved. Overall, this course analyzes the advantages and limitations of universities as activist spaces and the diverse ways in which students, faculty, university workers, and administrators interact to bolster political change.
SOC 2840 Racial and Cultural Minorities
The causes and consequences of prejudice and discrimination; the effects of majority and minority status for intergroup relations. Detailed: This course is designed to introduce students to the study of minority groups and group relations from a sociological perspective. Throughout the course we will discuss and apply various theoretical perspectives that address racial, ethnic, and cultural group experiences and intergroup relations; explore evidence of prejudice, discrimination, and privilege; identify social dynamics influencing categories of and perceptions regarding various subordinate groups across time; examine historical and contemporary experiences of various subordinate groups as a consequence; and explore the implications prior and current perceptions, and lived realities may hold for the future of racial and ethnic group experiences and relations. In general, the course is designed to 1) enable students to identify how racial, ethnic, and cultural group categories—as social constructs—influence everyday life, and 2) support the development of a sociological imagination to explain and understand these influences, their causes, and their consequences.
GEO 3070 Geography and Culture of Middle America
This course studies the natural and cultural landscapes of Middle America including Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. Special attention is given to the geographical identity and cultural diversity of the region. Topics include environmental issues, colonial history, natural resources, industrialization, geopolitical contexts, transportation, agriculture, population patterns, urban growth and migration.
ENG 2706G Introduction to Latin American and Latinx Literatures
This course introduces students to a diversity of Latin American/Latinx literatures from a variety of national and cultural contexts, with a historical span from colonization through revolution to the 21st century, with attention to political, geographical, and literary contexts. Course requirements will include one literary analysis essay, one research-based project and essay, and midterm and final exams. Authors we will read include: Gabriela Mistral, Octavio Paz, Jorge Luis Borges, Isabel Allende, and Kali Fajardo-Anstine.
ENG 3903 "Becoming the Beholder: Women Writing Women's Lives"
ENG 3903 will explore the power of language and visual arts to critique structural oppression and empower feminist resistance. In particular, we will pay attention to texts that explore the relationship of feminist thinking and activism to the body. Students enrolled in this section of ENG 3903 will engage significantly with the feminist art exhibition scheduled in the Tarble Art Galleries on campus this fall. Course texts may include: Julia Alvarez, In the Time of the Butterflies; Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands La Frontera; Ana Castillo’s So Far from God; Louise Erdrich’s Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse; Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate; Gayl Jones’ Corregidora; Cherríe Moraga’s “Heroes and Saints”; Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming and selected essays, poems, and short stories. ENG 3903 counts toward the Women’s Studies minor. 50% or more of the course materials in this section will be by authors who identify as Chicana, Latina, Latin American, or Caribbean; therefore, this course will count as an elective toward the Latin American Studies minor.
ENG 4850 Third World Literatures: ¿Y los otros?: Remembering and Identity in Latin American Literatures
In this course, we will cast a critical eye upon the term “Third World Literature” and explore a variety of exciting literature often obscured by the shadows of the United States/North America, Britain, and Western Europe. We will study primarily Latin American and Latino/a literary and cinematic narratives (novels and films) that will broaden our understanding of the complicated ways in which identity—both personal and national—have developed in the late twentieth century and early twenty first century. In particular, we will consider the innovative strategies that Latin American and Latino/a writers use to address problems of existence, political strife, and nationhood—from the excitingly bizarre literary experiments of “magic realism” to the current re-invigoration of gritty social realism and crime fiction, mystery narratives. These literary experiments illustrate a new generation of global voices from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinos/as in the U.S. responding to everything from life in the USA, to the brutal legacy of political dictatorships in South and Central America, to the ongoing culture of drug cartel violence.
Central to all these explorations will be a set of thematic questions: How do these writers imagine new conceptions of the self/identity? How are personal issues of love, romance, and family altered? And most importantly, just what is “history,” and how do narratives of the past affect us? Open to majors and non-majors. A great course for future teachers and anyone interested in gaining a more in-depth global perspective.
ENG 3903B Women, Literature, and Language, post-1800: Crossing Borders, Writing Lives
“[T]he Borderlands are physically present wherever two or more cultures edge each other, where people of different races occupy the same territory, where under, lower, middle and upper classes touch, where the space between two individuals shrinks with intimacy.” Gloria Anzaldúa, “Preface,” Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza.
ENG 3903 will explore the power of languages to break down barriers and enable resistance. In particular, we will study texts that explore the experiences of those who live on or cross over borders: im/migrants and refugees; queer, trans, and nonbinary persons; people with disabilities; and those who live or work on the margins of dominant society. ENG 3903B is an elective in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor. 50% or more of the course materials in this section will be by authors who identify as Chicana, Latina, Latin American, or Caribbean; therefore, this section will also count as an elective toward the Latin American Studies minor.
HIS 4850 History of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
This course covers the history of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands from the pre-contact period to the present day. This course will cover the political, cultural, and economic shifts that altered the region and gave it is present shape. Key topics will include the colonial history of the region, the rise and fall of the Atlantic Slave trade, the Cuban revolution, US involvement in Central America during the Cold War, the drug trade, and the historical shifts in immigration. No prior knowledge of the subject matter is required.