Courses Spring 2019

List of LAS courses

Celia R. Bianconi

  • LP 305.  Topic in Portuguese Language and Culture

Course description

Topic in Portuguese Language and Culture: Advanced Language through Film: Brazilian Films that highlight important episodes and challenges in the advancement of Braziliansociety as well as its cinematic production. The films introduce a variety of themes and genres to promote critical thinking while students further develop listening, speaking, writing skills. (in Portuguese)


Michael Birenbaum Quintero

  • CFA MH 403. Latinos Making Music in the US

Course description

What impact have Latinos and Latinas had on the popular music of the United States? More than you might think. Not only have Latinos in the United States been instrumental in creating globally popular Spanish-language music like

salsa, norteno, and reggaeton, they are also central, if usually unacknowledged, in the histories of jazz, rock and hip hop. The history of US music is usually told as the story of interactions between black and white Americans, so what does a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual music history reveal about music in the United States? To answer these questions, we will trace the participation of Latinos, alongside other ethnic groups, in the creation of US popular music from the 19th to the 21st centuries, surveying the musical styles of Latinos in the US and discussing the role of these musics in articulating race, class, gender and sexual identities for US Latinos, their circulation along migration routes, their role in identity politics and ethnic marketing, and their commercial crossover to Anglo audiences. But then, what is Latino in the first place? Many Latinos are of Mexican descent, others from the Caribbean, and others from elsewhere. Some are Spanish-dominant and some only speak English. Some have been here for generations an others arrived last year. Some have been reticent to highlight their Latino identities, and others have put Latino identity and identity politics at the center of their musical projects. How do these different ways of being Latino manifest themselves in musical activities and musical taste? and how, since the early 2000s boom of Latin artists like Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, and Jennifer Lopez, has the music industry sought to market to all of them? Above all, how can we tell these stories in all their richness and complexity? Case studies may include Mexican-American/Chicano, Puerto Rican/Nuyorican and Cuban/American musics; Latin music in golden age Hollywood; Latin dance crazes from mambo to the Macarena; rock en espanol; reggaeton, race politics, and the creation of the “Hurban” market; and the transnational Latin music industries of Los Angeles, New York, and Miami.


Taylor Boas

  • GRS PO 751. Approaches to the Study of Comparative Politics

Course description

Graduate Core Seminar. In this intensive reading seminar on the political approaches to the study of comparative politics, students get acquainted with the key epistemological and methodological writings that have formed the basic inquiry known today as comparative politics.


David Carballo

  • CAS AR 150. Archaeology of Cities

Course description

An introduction to the archaeology of cities and urbanism. The course includes introductory urban theory, exposure to ancient and early modern cities from geo-temporal contexts that Archaeology Department faculty specialize in, and comparison of cities and urbanism organized along central themes. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I.

  • GRS AR 893. World Archaeology

Course description

This seminar takes an explicitly comparative approach to addressing questions concerning the origins of and variability in human culture viewed through a review of worldwide archaeological literature. (Program core course) To be cross-listed with AN 793.


Susan Eckstein

  • CAS IR 242. Globalization and World Poverty

Course description

(Meets with CAS SO 242.) Globalization and world poverty; how and why over 80% of the world remains poor and inequality increases despite economic modernization and democratization. Addresses urbanization, immigration, religion, politics, development politics, foreign aid, women, drugs, environment, food security. Special attention to Latin American, African, and Asian experiences. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Ethical Reasoning.

  • CAS SO 420. Seminar: Women and Social Change in the Developing World

Course description

Studies women in nonindustrial countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Stresses empirical research, theory, and methodology. Comparisons among regions and with industrial countries important. Focus on sex segregation, female labor force participation, migration, fertility, family roles, and women and political power.


John Galantel

  • CAS PO 565. Latin American Relations

Course description

Explores both sides of the U.S.-Latin American relationship, tracing its development over time and analyzing its current challenges. Each week focuses on a different theme–including imperialism, intervention, hemispheric security, trade, immigration, and drug trafficking–within a roughly chronological framework. 4 cr. Either sem.


Benjamin Juarez

  • GRS IR 713. Latin America Past and Present

Course description

Meets with PO 768. The interdisciplinary study of Latin America through history, from pre- colonial indigenous times to contemporary achievements and challenges, including culture and the arts, archaeology, society, politics, and international affairs.


Adela Pineda

  • CAS LS581 A1. Mexican Revolution

Course description

Study of literary and cinematic representations of the Mexican Revolution in a transnational context as well as against the background of Mexico’s post-revolutionary hegemonic nationalist culture. Works and films by Azuela, Reed, Leduc, and Kazan.

  • CASL LS 850 Graduate Seminar: Fin de Siècle Latin America and the Modern experience

Course description

Fin-de-siècle culture as a constellation of philosophical, aesthetic, and historical problems of indisputable relevance for our epoch. The fin-de-siècle serves as a window into larger discussions about Latin America’s centrality in defining the intellectual foundations of Western modernity.


Mary Ray

  • CAS IR 597. Development and environment in Latin America

Course description

(Meets with CAS GE 597.) Provides an empirically based understanding of the social and environmental aspects of economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) for purposes of analyzing the numerous trade and development policies that nations in LAC are currently considering.


Ana Maria Reyes

  • CAS AH 323. Topics in Latin American Art

Course description

Study of a region, theme, or period in Latin America art and architecture. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topic for Spring 2017: Art of Cuba. Explores issues of race, gender, class, nationalism, internationalism, exile, and revolution in Cuban arts. How images function in the construction of official and avant-garde culture, including instances of dissent and censorship.

  • CAS AH 527. Topics in Art and Society

 Course description

May be repeated for credit as topics change. Two topics are offered Spring 2019. Section A1: Images and Power Relations in Latin America. This seminar studies the role images have played in Latin American power relations since the conquest. Through select case studies, it interrogates the power of images in constituting as well as challenging colonial, gender, racial, national, and modern identities.


Jose Velasco Cruz

  • CAS LS 581. Conflict and conflict resolution in Latin America

Course description

Meets with CAS IR 411. Examines a range of historical and contemporary conflicts and wars in Latin America, both internal and regional, examining their causes and consequences, and the most important factors that explain how they were resolved or why they persist. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered. [ 4 cr.]

Prereq: junior or senior standing.


Jeffery W. Rubin 

  • CAS HI 397. Modern Latin America

Course description

Struggles for equality and inclusion in Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, and Bolivia from the 19th to the 21st centuries.