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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.

Overview of historical and contemporary patterns of multicultural geography within the U.S. Provides students an understanding of the evolution of several American subcultures (white European, Latin@, Asian and Black) through the prism of geography, both in broad context and in separate analyses of socio-economic well-being, housing and healthcare differences over time and between racial/ethnic groups. Not open to seniors.

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

Intensive study of particular themes and problems in Latin American history, determined in advance. May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered.

LACS 200, INTRODUCTION TO LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN STUDIES
(Formerly LACS 105)

This interdisciplinary course provides an introduction to Latin American the Caribbean, emphasizing the region's history, politics, economics, and culture. It focuses heavily on how colonial legacies and U.S. intervention have shaped the region's political, economic, and cultural development. Additional emphasis is placed on an array of Latin American and Caribbean historical facets/components including but not limited to: state formation; race/ ethnicity; religions/epistemologies; and social movements. The course will also study how novelists, poets, activists, artists, and the new media, have portrayed and interpreted Latin America

LACS 202, THE MODERN CARIBBEAN
(Formerly LACS 107)

A broad, interdisciplinary and socio-historical introduction to the Caribbean, beginning with the Haitian Revolution at the end of the 18th Century and ending with the trends and changes emerging during the 1990s. Several themes are covered, including empire and the making of the Caribbean; slavery and emancipation; labor formation and race; nationalist movements, colonialism and neo-colonialism; revolution and resistance; gender oppression and women; and cultural expressions.

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.
(Formerly LACS 106)

This course familiarizes students with issues pertaining to: Latin@s (including Chican@s) and Latin American immigrants in the U.S.; the impact of Western European and U.S. expansion on Latin@s and Latin American peoples; the ways in which Latin@s in the U.S. are affected by events in Latin America and the Caribbean; the manner in which race, ethnicity, nationality, color, class, gender, and sexual orientation have been perceived within Latin@ communities; others' perceptions of Latin@s; and various types of individual and group identifications and socio-political movements.

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

Examines the diverse struggles (political, economic, social, legal, etc.) Asian, Native American, African American, and Latina/Chicana women have historically faced in the U.S., the impact of social movements, personal experiences, and state/governmental policies on their lives, and the means by which they have sought to empower themselves.

LACS 255 (also ANTH 255), INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF TROPICAL LOWLAND SOUTH AMERICA

Emphasizes features shared by indigenous inhabitants throughout the area, as well as distinctive regional differences. Emphasizes neo-tropical ecology, an appreciation of indigenous perception and worldview, and the crucial importance of historical interactions in affecting indigenous existence since the arrival of Columbus and continuing to shape indigenous reality and self-determination today.

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

Examines human arrival, early hunting and gathering societies, origins of agriculture and the evolution of civilization among indigenous peoples of South America. Archaeological data are used to explore the rise of social inequality and political complexity, the origin of state governments, the development of great art and architecture, and other achievements of civilizations in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile and Northwest Argentina.

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

A comprehensive introduction to Inca civilization. Understanding Inca culture, how they conquered and reorganized other Andean states, and how they experienced the world about them. Surviving Spanish domination and the integration into the modern global world?

LACS 271, LIBRARY RESEARCH ON LATIN AMERICA, THE CARIBBEAN AND LATIN@S IN THE U.S.

Focuses on exploring available resources and developing information skills primarily associated with electronic forms of information for research and study of Latin America, the Caribbean and Latin@s in the U.S. The Internet is introduced through demonstrations and hands-on exercises. Assignments focus on historical and contemporary issues relevant to Latin America, the Caribbean and Latin@s in the U.S.

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

May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered. 2 cr.

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

Intensive study of particular themes and problems in Latin American history, determined in advance. May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered.

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

Sociological analysis of slavery as process of social and cultural change and of redefinition of social groups within the world economy. Draws on materials from United States, the Caribbean and Brazil.

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

This course explores key topics in the study of society in Latin America such as immigration, economic development and the nature of politics in the region's revolutionary societies and new democracies.

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

Historic identity as an important factor in social development in multiethnic and multiracial world community. The focus will be on selected communities from Africa, Asia and Europe.

LACS 328 (also SOC 328), COMPARATIVE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Origins and development strategies of regimes in various zones or regions of the world. Social composition of regimes; changes in social base that accompany shifts in development policies. Consideration of costs/benefits that accrue to different social classes.

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

Examines the political, social and economic role of women in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, the impact of personal experiences, social movements, and state/governmental policies on their lives, and the manner in which they seek to empower themselves and their communities.

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

Surveys Black child and adolescent development with a focus on theoretical aspects of psychological development within African Diasporic contexts. Explores how the concept of self contextually is connected to Black psychological development and how Black culture has been instrumental in shaping the lives of Black children and adolescents. Also examines how the intersectionality of race, gender, social class, and sexuality relate to Black child and adolescent development. Topics include Caribbean (English-, Spanish-, and French-speaking) youth and education, legal issues and the criminalization of Black youth. Open only to juniors and seniors currently matriculated in HDEV.

LACS 339 (also HDEV 339), BLACK FAMILIES

This course engages students in the study of Black families within the African Diaspora. Special focus will be placed on exploring the socio-historical, -political, and cultural contexts of Black family life in the African Diaspora. Critically examines the impact of slavery as well as the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and social class poverty on Black families. Open only to juniors and seniors currently matriculated in HDEV.

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

Examines the types of offenses for which women are arrested, the punishment they receive, and the treatment they face once institutionalized. Attention is also given to how women respond to the conditions of incarceration.

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

Locates contemporary international trafficking of women and children for forced labor, sexual services and prostitution; studies the inter-relations between transnational migrations, forced labor, sex work, and livelihood strategies under new forms of globalization.

LACS 344 (also SPAN 344), INTRODUCTION TO HISPANIC LITERATURE: LITERARY ANALYSIS

Analysis of representative works of Peninsular and Latin American literature (e.g., poems, plays, essays, narratives.) Emphasis on the study of basic literary concepts and terminology. Prerequisite for students planning to take SPAN 360 and/or 370. Prerequisites: SPAN 212, 250, 251 or equivalent.

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

Examination of how construct of difference raises important questions about problems faced by most women of color in general vis-à-vis historically existent feminism Discussion of ideological differences among feminists and women's rights advocates. Focus on issues of race, gender, sexuality and culture.

LACS 360 (also SPAN 360), HISPANIC LITERATURE FROM THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE 17TH CENTURY

Selected readings reflecting historical developments in Peninsular literature from its origins through the 17th Century; colonial Latin American literature of the 18th Century. Prerequisite: SPAN 344 or equivalent.

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

Discussion of social, political and economic changes in the Third World. Articulation of rural production systems within the world market. Analysis of rural and urban development, famine, population, poverty, inequality and powerlessness. Examination of the economic and environmental impact of United Nations, World Bank and other development organizations.

LACS (also HDEV 365), PSYCHOLOGY OF RACISM

This course will provide students with an understanding of racism within the context of macro- and micro-level inequalities in the U.S. A specific emphasis will be placed on societal processes from the perspective of four groups (i.e., Asians, Blacks, Latin@s, Native Americans) and will demonstrate how these groups have experienced and have had an impact on key institutional structures of U.S. society (e.g., legal, political, economic and educational). Open only to juniors and seniors currently matriculated in HDEV.

LACS 370 (also SPAN 370), HISPANIC LITERATURE FROM THE 18TH CENTURY TO PRESENT

Selected readings reflecting historical developments in Peninsular and Latin American literature from the 18th Century to the contemporary period. Prerequisite: SPAN 344 or equivalent.

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

This course historicizes race by tracing its origins in colonialism and The Enlightenment. We ask whether colonial racial dynamics persisted or changed in modern Latin America. Topics include slavery and emancipation, eugenics, sexuality, racial democracy and social movements. Comparisons to the U.S. are emphasized. Prerequisites: sophomore standing and a previous course in either Latin American studies or history.

LACS 374 (also SOC 374), OIL POLITICS

Course examines the politics of producing and consuming oil. Topics include: the domestic policies and foreign relations among nations that shaped the rise of oil production worldwide; the political processes that led to the rise of state-owned companies in the industry; and the potential political implications of oil-based development such as authoritarianism, revolution and war.

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

This course examines psychological aspects of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. with a focus on psychological theory and research in this area. Students explore the complexities of the AIDS epidemic within the context of the politics of health. Emphasis is placed on critiquing micro- and macro- level processes that influence inequalities in AIDS based on race/ethnicity, gender, social class, and sexualities. Students will engage in critical analysis and thoughtful reflection in exploring and challenging their values, assumptions, perceptions, and biases related to AIDS. Open only to juniors and seniors currently matriculated in HDEV.

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

Intensive study of particular themes and problems in Latin American history, determined in advance. May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered.

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

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

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.
var. cr.

LACS 397, INDEPENDENT STUDY

See individual LACAS professor.
var. cr.

LACS 400 (also HDEV 400), SOCIAL JUSTICE

This course examines the multi-layered processes that create, perpetuate, and challenge stratification, inequalities, and multiple forms of violence within and across societies. It emphasizes the interconnectedness of global, regional, national, and local realities, as they affect the lives of people in everyday domains. Open only to juniors and seniors currently matriculated in HDEV.

LACS 423 (also HDEV 423), MULTICULTURAL COUNSELING

This course provides students with an opportunity to develop an understanding of multicultural counseling and therapy. It focuses on having students develop their awareness/consciousness, knowledge, and clinical skills in relation to racial/cultural differences as these dynamics impact the therapeutic relationships between mental health practitioners and clients of racially/culturally diverse groups. Open only to juniors and seniors currently matriculated in HDEV.

LACS 465 (also HDEV 465), RESEARCHING IMMIGRANT LIVES

This course explores the complex and multiple ways in which citizenship is conceptualized and experienced for immigrants at global, societal, institutional, community, and individual levels. The objective is to conceptualize and actualize a collaborative interdisciplinary research project that will make a significant contribution to the lived experiences of immigrants.

LACS 473 (also SPAN 473), LATIN AMERICAN THEATER

Genesis of contemporary Latin American theater. Prerequisite: SPAN 360 or 370 or equivalent or permission of instructor.

LACS 474 (also SPAN 474), LATIN AMERICAN SHORT STORY

Discussion of the principal developments that have taken place from Independence to present. Prerequisites: SPAN 244 and SPAN 370 or equivalent.

LACS 477 (also SPAN 477), LITERATURE OF THE CARIBBEAN

Discusses literary and historical development of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba in contemporary period. Prerequisite: SPAN 360 or 370 or equivalent.

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

Primarily for history majors and minors. Deals with particular themes or problems in Latin American history. Research paper required. May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing and a 100-level history course, or consent of the instructor.

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

Primarily for history majors and minors. Deals with particular themes or problems in Latin American history. Research paper required. May be repeated for credit if different topic is offered. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing and a 100-level history course, or consent of the instructor.

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.

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Last Updated: 1/3/13