CHASS Connect: 2008 - 2009 Sequences


The three courses which make up the Latin America CHASS Connect sequence explore the riches and possibilities of Latin America. When you have completed the sequence at the end of the year, you will have fulfilled 3 college breadth requirements; you will have identified the diverse cultural components at work in the Americas; you will have reflected on the political and economic structures which underlie the region. The discussions of the many facets of Latin American will provide you with the means to understand and value difference and to discover pathways to success at UCR and beyond.

Fall 2008
Hispanic Studies, Raymond L. Williams

We will read novels and short stories by contemporary Latin American writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez of Colombia, Carlos Fuentes of Mexico, Jorge Amado of Brazil, and Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru. Consideration of not only what makes these writers modern and innovative in a global context, but also how diverse cultural components originating in Africa, Medieval Spain and among indigenous peoples of the Americas are still, in post-modern Latin America, a key to understanding, analyzing and appreciating selected texts of some of the most accomplished writers in the world.

Winter 2009
History, Juliette Levy

This course will cover 500+ years of Latin American history, starting from the conquest of the Americas all the way through the current immigration debates. The class takes a broad look at the history of Latin America using mixed-media (film, music, first-person narratives) to explore the images and texts that created its history. Each historical topic and era will be analyzed via a modern interpretation of that topic and era. For example-understanding the conquest and its effect in ethnic discourse using Dreamworks' "The Road to Eldorado", or understanding the influence of Christianity in Latin American comparing Mel Gibson's "Apokalypto" to Walter Salles' "Motorcycle Diaries". We will use corridos (Mexican Ballads) to analyze the role of drug trafficking in Latin American economies, and mainstream pop to approach cultural globalization-as in Shakira and Wyclef Jeans' collaboration.

Spring 2009
Dance, Anna Scott

The course will have an emphasis on Brazil, but will work with things like parades, and passeatas/feast days to generate larger discussion about space usage and allocation; parking and traffic flows; tree trimming, leaf blowers, tunas culling & other environmental class issues; redevelopment zoning; noise pollution laws; gender and public space; housing and homelessness, etc. It is a course on mediated performance as political customs in everyday life.