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Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Women's Studies (WMNST)

WMNST 303 (GS;IL) (AF AM 303, ANTH 303) Race and Gender in the Americas: Latin American and Caribbean Cultures (3) Utilizing a theoretical framework of intersectionality, this course examines historical and cultural constructions of race and gender in Latin America and the Caribbean.

WMNST (AF AM/ANTH) 303 Race and Gender in the Americas: Latin American and Caribbean Cultures (3)

Utilizing a theoretical framework of interesectionaly this course examines how racial, gender, sexual, and class identities are constructed in Latin American/Caribbean societies. The course applies an anthropological perspective to a wide range of countries in the region to reflect on how historical events such as the conquest, colonization, slavery, and independence movements are relevant to understanding the region today, as well as how race, gender, and sexuality inform contemporary themes of empire, nation-building, imperialism, neo-colonialism, revolution, violence, militarization, social movements, religion, neoliberalism, U.S. involvement/relations, and popular culture. The course addresses issues of power, culture, racial formation, and citizenship by incorporating interdisciplinary material beyond ethnography such as newspapers, grassroots media, biographies, films, music, novels, personal testimonies, etc.

Rooted in feminist anthropological scholarship, this course emphasizes how power (from above and below) and culture mediate relationships between individual/community agency and institutions/structures. As an effort to encourage students to think about Anthropology and culture beyond superficial or romanticizing celebrations of multiculturalism, food, and music, the course stresses the theoretical importance of situating power and privilege amidst difference. We conceptualize culture not only as socially transmitted patterns of behavior and ideas/meanings, but as a complex and dynamic process/medium grounded in unequal relations in which power is constituted and resisted. The ethnographic emphasis of the course centers on the complex lived realities and voices of people, encouraging students to learn, understand, and respect cultural difference.

The course offers students a broad sense of how power is central in the production of knowledge (particularly within the disciplines of Anthropology and History). Students will critically engage an array of topical issues in Latin America beyond dichotomous thinking. Discussion of course material includes contemplating issues of ethics, subjectivity, bias, and privilege. Conversations regarding processes of ‘Othering’ and traditional “us vs. them” debates that often occur when discussing developing countries will prompt students to situate their own power/privilege and challenge our assumptions and preconceived notions of Latin America. Moreover, this course teaches Latin American Cultures within a global context of racialization. As such it also stresses the historical and contemporary social, economic, cultural and political significance of the U.S. in Latin America, to demonstrate how we are connected and responsible to what happens “over there.”

In order to promote service learning, a core tenant of feminist pedagogy, this course also offers students the opportunity to participate in an optional embedded program entitled “Cuba: Identity, Diversity and Popular Culture”. This two week course in Havana, Cuba promotes interactive learning in and outside the classroom with international study. This course component successfully combines academic classes, hands-on activities, and service learning.

General Education: GS
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2015

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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