Our ongoing effort to include in our concept of Latin America the migration circuit of the Americas, the African diaspora, the Latino culture in the United States, as well as the Caribbean as a distinctive cultural space, both in its Spanish-speaking and Francophone incarnations, was reflected in our curriculum last year. Latino culture in the US was the focus of courses like CuBop, Up-rock, Boogaloo, and Banda: Latinos Making Music in the United States (Birenbaum) and Latinas/os in the United States (López). The relationship between the US and Latin America was also studied from geopolitical, economic and/or sociological perspectives in courses like Political Economy of Pan-Americanism (Meardon), Global Politics of Work (López), and Latin American–United States Relations (Tulchin).
The Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the African diaspora were present in our curriculum through courses like History of Brazil (Premack), Demons and Deliverance in the Atlantic World (Premack), Contemporary Haiti (Beckett), The Haitian Revolution and its Legacy (Wells), Francophone Cultures (Vété-Congolo), and A Journey around Macondo: García Márquez and his Contemporaries, which once again had students traveling to Colombia with professor Nadia Celis. Mexican, Central and South American literatures were studied in their connection with contemporary political issues in classes like Poetry and Social Activism in Latin America (Yepes), The War of the (Latin American) Worlds (Wolfenzon), and Letters from the Asylum: Madness and Representation in Latin American Literature (Faverón). The Andean region was the main concern of courses like Past and Present: Historical Novels in Latin America (Wolfenzon) and Culture and Power in the Andes (Van Vleet).
In the 2014-2015 academic year, the Latin American Studies Program offered a record number of courses, 34 in total, all of them cross-listed with other departments and programs like Africana Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, Art History, Economics, History, Romance Languages (French and Spanish), Music, and, for the first time, Government. Those courses, added to a number of independent studies, reached a total enrollment of 525 students, 63 more than the previous year. We are committed to match this growth with a continuing expansion in the scope of our academic vision of Latin America.
Gustavo Faverón Patriau
L.A.S. Program Director