Fall quarter will explore cultural encounters in Latin America prior to the 20th century and lay the conceptual foundations for work in subsequent quarters. After a brief look at medieval Spain, we will examine violence against indigenous and Black peoples during Spain's process of imperial expansion, its subsequent decline as an empire, and how colonial institutions were contested by diverse thinkers and social movements, concluding with Latin America's struggles for independence in the 19th century.
Winter quarter will turn to the 20th and 21st centuries, considering multiple perspectives on iconic historical and cultural events. We will explore some of the following: transitions to democracy in the contexts of authoritarianism, neoliberalism, resistance and memory in the Southern Cone; revolutionary movements, indigenous communities, and the challenges of peacemaking and social transformation in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Colombia; immigration to the U.S.; and ways that intersectional feminist lenses complicate and enrich our understandings of the aforementioned contexts. In each case, we will explore the interrelationships between politics and cultural production, and how literature and the political imagination impact processes of social change. In winter, students may choose between a creative/research project or community work. The creative/research project option allows students to investigate an area of interest, preferably connected to their spring quarter plans. The community work is intended to build cross-cultural skills.
Spring quarter offers an option for study abroad in Mexico, or, for students staying in WA, ongoing classes plus an internship option. Our study abroad in Mérida, Mexico is coordinated with the HABLA Language School and Culture Center, and is open to 15 or more students of all language levels: the program includes immersive language-learning, field trips around the Yucatán peninsula, and work with local community organizations. For students staying in WA, the program will have an on-campus core of Spanish classes and seminars focused on Latinx communities in the U.S., and the opportunity for student-originated projects and/or internships with organizations supporting Latinx and immigrant communities. All classes during spring quarter, in Olympia and abroad, will be conducted entirely in Spanish.
Course Reference Numbers
Latin American and international studies, literary and cultural studies, Spanish language, politics, history, education, writing, and human and social services.
$150 fee for fall and winter quarter for field trips. Students studying abroad in Mexico should consult study abroad fees.
Winter and spring quarters offer possibilities for creative or research projects (optional).
Students remaining on campus spring quarter may intern with organizations serving local Latinx communities. Students must complete an in-program Internship Learning Contract in consultation with the faculty and Academic Advising. For more information about developing in-program internships, see Evergreen web pages for Individual Study and for the Center for Community-Based learning and Action.