2018-19 Courses in Latino Studies

Spring 2019

The Politics of Hip-Hop Dance
Hip-Hop is one of the most important cultural movements of the last half-century. But although hip-hop culture comprises a wide range of artistic practices - including music, dance, theater and graphic arts - its cultural politics are almost always analyzed through the lens of rap music. This seminar, by contrast, will explore the social and historical implications of hip-hop culture through its dance forms.
Instructors: Joseph Schloss
Latino History
Covering the history of Latinos in the United States, this course explains the historical origins of debates over land ownership, assimilation expectations, discrimination, immigration regulation, intergroup differences, civil rights, and labor disputes. It ends by explaining how Latinos became an identifiable group. History 306 looks transnationally at Latin America's history to explore shifts in public opinion and domestic policies in the US. This course talks about all Latinos who have (im)migrated from across Latin America, but focuses most heavily on Mexican Americans, and then on Puerto Ricans and Cubans.
Instructors: Rosina Amelia Lozano
Locked Up in the Americas: A History of Prisons and Detainment
This course explores the history of incarceration, detention centers, and internment camps in the Americas from the 1800s to the present. It addresses a range of issues, including political suppression, inmate labor, immigration, and the architectures of confinement, to show how penal colonies, convict transport, exile, and international policing have been evolving endeavors of state and social control since independence. We will look at a series of case studies, from detainment on the US-Mexico border and a panopticon in Cuba to the famed escapes at Devil's Island and the Chilean penal island that inspired the story of Robinson Crusoe.
Instructors: Ryan C. Edwards
Immigration Politics and Policymaking in the U.S.
Founded and built by immigrants, the U.S. has a complicated relationship with newcomers. How have politics shaped U.S. immigration policy and the policymaking process? How and why do changing demographics affect the public's views about immigrants? What role do cultural concerns play? Do immigrants conform to nativist fears? How do members of Congress vote on immigration policy, and do they follow their constituents' preferences? How is immigration used in elections; with what consequences? We will tackle these and other questions about immigration by examining published research and applying it to on-going policy debates.
Instructors: Ali Adam Valenzuela
Immigrant America
This course seeks to expose students to the recent social science literature on contemporary immigration to the United States, its origins, adaptation patterns, and long-term effects on American society. The course will consist of lectures by the instructor combined with class discussion of assigned texts.
Instructors: Tod G. Hamilton
Spanish in the Community
This course explores the complexities of Spanish language in the United States. Through a variety of readings, videos, and documents in Spanish and English, we will address a range of issues including the past and present of Spanish language in the US, the relationship between language and identity, and the tensions and hopes around the maintenance of Spanish in immigrant communities.
Instructors: Alberto Bruzos Moro
Rapping in Spanish: Urban Poetry in Latino Global Cities
This course studies contemporary urban poetry composed in Spanish on both sides of the Atlantic in cities such as New York, Madrid, Los Angeles, Mexico D.F., Barcelona and Buenos Aires. It focuses on lyrical practices that combine sound and language in a wide range of literary expressions. Contemporary hip-hop poetry and rap lyrics are at the center of the course.
Instructors: Germán Labrador Méndez

 

Fall 2018

Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2018

Documentary Film and the City
Non-fiction film workshop through lens of Trenton's Latinx population, particularly Central American immigrants. Through films, readings, guest lectures, and hands-on filmmaking, students will study history and strategies of migrant populations, culture of remittance between global north and south, and immigration policy. Student collaboration with community partners to research, produce and edit short films. Specific journalistic, ethical, and cinematic challenges of non-fiction filmmaking. Exploring documentary balances between sociological study, mimetic art form, and engaged voice in public media. Two public screenings of student films.
Instructors: Purcell Carson
Introduction to Latin American Cultures
This course offers an introduction to modern Latin American literature and culture. It focuses on the complex ways in which cultural and intellectual production anticipates, participates in, and responds to political, social, and economic transformations in the 20th and 21st centuries. Through a wide spectrum of sources (essays, fiction, poetry, film, and art), students will study and discuss some of the most relevant issues in Latin American modern history, such as modernity, democracy, identity, gender, memory, and social justice.
Instructors: Javier Enrique Guerrero
Spanish in the Community
This course explores the complexities of Spanish language in the United States. Through a variety of readings, videos, and documents in Spanish and English, we will address a range of issues including the past and present of Spanish language in the US, the relationship between language and identity, and the tensions and hopes around the maintenance of Spanish in immigrant communities.
Instructors: Alberto Bruzos Moro
Afro-Diasporic Dialogues: Black Activism in Latin America and the United States
This course investigates how people of African descent in the Americas have forged social, political, and cultural ties across geopolitical and linguistic boundaries. We will interrogate the transnational dialogue between African Americans and Afro-Latin Americans using case studies from Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, and Puerto Rico. We will explore how black activists and artists from the US have partnered with people of color in Latin America and the Caribbean to challenge racism and economic inequality, while also considering why efforts to mobilize Afro-descendants across the Americas have often been undermined by mutual misunderstandings.
Instructors: Reena N. Goldthree
Witchcraft, Rituals and Colonialism
This course will explore witchcraft and rituality in the Americas through accusations and identity claims. We will look at how witchcraft has been used in colonial and imperial contexts to control, sanction, and extract power from women and marginalized groups in different periods, as well as how people make claims to witchcraft and rituals as a way to thwart domination. Topics include: shamanism in Latin America, the Mexican Inquisition, Afro-Latinx and Caribbean diasporic religious systems, and the contemporary social media ritual activism of "bruja feminisms." Students will be introduced to theories of race, gender, and sexuality.
Instructors: Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús
Theater and Society Now
As an art form, theater operates in the shared space and time of the present moment while also manifesting imagined worlds untethered by the limits of "real" life. In this course, we undertake a critical, creative and historical survey of the ways contemporary theater-making in the United States - as both industry and creative practice - does (and does not) engage the most urgent concerns of contemporary American society.
Instructors: Brian Eugenio Herrera
Advanced Seminar in American Studies: Race and Ethnicity in 20th Century Popular Performance
This course offers an intensive introduction to the particular tools, methods and interpretations employed in developing original historical research and writing about race and ethnicity in twentieth century popular performance (film, television, theater). Through collaborative, in-depth excavations of several genre-straddling cultural works, course participants will rehearse relevant methods and theories (of cultural history, of race and ethnicity, of popular culture/performance) and will undertake an independent research project elaborating the course's guiding premise and principles of practice.
Instructors: Brian Eugenio Herrera