Latin American and Latino/a Studies Minor

West Chester University


Courses

These are the courses included in the LALS minor with their descriptions.

Please refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for the most updated information.

TRACK I: Languages & Cultures and Music

POR 201

Intermediate Portuguese I (3)
Review and continuation of basic Portuguese with emphasis on vocabulary expansion and cultural insights through increased reading. Introduction to selected Portuguese and Brazilian authors. PREREQ: POR 102.

POR 202

Intermediate Portuguese II (3)
Review and continuation of basic Portuguese with emphasis on vocabulary expansion and cultural insights through increased reading. Introduction to selected Portuguese and Brazilian authors. PREREQ: POR 201.

SPA 201

Intermediate Spanish I (3)
Spanish with an emphasis on proficiency development at the intermediate level. Elements of grammar and pronunciation are introduced in class and via laboratory work. Literary and journalistic readings are utilized as a basis for writing assignments and class discussions in Spanish. PREREQ: SPA 102 or placement.

SPA 202

Intermediate Spanish II (3)
Spanish with an emphasis on proficiency development at the intermediate level. Elements of grammar and pronunciation are introduced in class and via laboratory work. Literary and journalistic readings are utilized as a basis for writing assignments and class discussions in Spanish. PREREQ: SPA 201 or placement.

SPA 118

Spanish for Professional Development (3)
Lower-level topics course with the content varying in response to the instructional focus, which ranges from “Doing Business in Latin America” to “Spanish for Hospital Nurses,” among other topics. The specific instruction covered in the course is designed to address and meet the language and cultural needs and provide continuing education venues for area professionals.

ESP 300

Latin American Culture and Civilization (3)
Cultural, geographic, literary, philosophical, and artistic manifestations of the Hispanic-American world. No knowledge of Spanish is required.
Culture cluster
Approved interdisciplinary course. Writing emphasis course.

ESP 309

Latin America on Film (in English) (3)
This course screens several films about Latin America, and it addresses critical issues (history, political, economic, religion, ethnic diversity, and gender and class discrimination) necessary to understand Latin American culture.
Culture cluster

ESP 311/CLS 311

Contemporary Latin American Narrative (3)
An examination of Latin American narrative (short story, novella, novel, and testimonial literature). Spanish- and Portuguese-language writers from South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean will be studied, from the period of magical realism (1950's and 1960's) through the present. They may include Isabel Allende, Jorge Amado, Miguel Angel Asturias, Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez, Clarice Lispector, Elena Poniatowska, and Luis Rafael Sánchez. No knowledge of Spanish is required.
Culture cluster

ESP 324

Latinos in the U.S. (3)
An interdisciplinary examination of Latinas/Latinos in the U.S. Course examines the changing cultural, historical, political, and economic situations of several Hispanic groups, including Central Americans, Cubans, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans.
Culture cluster
Approved interdisciplinary course

ESP 333/CLS 333

Latina Writing (3)
An examination of the literary works produced by Latinas in the 20th century. The study of this literature will include a cross-cultural approach that will elucidate sociopolitical themes emerging from the texts. No knowledge of Spanish is required.
Culture cluster
Diverse communities course

ESP 334/CLS 334

Politics and Economics in the Literatures of the Modern Americas (3)
A comparative historical and literary examination of political and economic issues reflected in 20th century U.S. and Latin American literature. The study of representative texts of various genres will also elucidate issues of race, class, and gender. No knowledge of Spanish is required.
Culture cluster

ESP 335/CLS 335

Latino Literatures in the U.S. (3)
This course examines the history of Latino groups (e.g., Mexicans, Cubans, and South Americans) in the U.S. through literary texts written by Latinos, and studies the cultural, economic, and political experiences leading to their acculturation or alientation in mainstream America.
Culture cluster
Diverse communities course

ESP 362

New World: America (3)
The impact the discovery, conquest, and colonization of the New World had on Europe is seen through diverse sources in literature, history, the arts, and related disciplines. Topics include the trans-Atlantic exchange of ideas and cultures, indigenous religions, ethic of conquest, evangelization, cartography, colonial science, changing views of humanity, and nature. Course includes a field trip and guest lecturers. No knowledge of Spanish is required.
Approved interdisciplinary course

AES 153

Latin Jazz Ensemble (.5)

TRACK II: History and Social Sciences

ANT 224

Native Peoples of South America (3)
This course will introduce the student to the study of native peoples of South America after the European contact. Geographically, the course will cover the cultural characteristics, similarities, and differences among South American natives including the Amazonia.
Culture cluster

ANT 322

Ethnology of Central America (3)

Survey of the modern cultures of Central America: relationships to ancient peoples; the process of modernization in this area. PREREQ: ANT 102.
Culture cluster

ANT 324

Native Peoples of the Andes (3)

This course provides a comprehensive survey of the historical formation and development of the Andean society before and after the Spanish conquest.
Culture cluster

ANT 362

Archaeology of Central America (3)

The archaeological record of Central America, covering the significant features of each culture area from modern Mexico to Panama.
Culture cluster

ANT 400 LEVEL

See Catalogue and Consult with LALS Advisor.

SOC 341

Social Stratification (3)
Analysis of inequalities in wealth, power, and prestige in contemporary societies. PREREQ: SOC 200.

GEO 302

Latin America (3)
Central and South America are studied with emphasis on geographic understanding of the major sources of change in recent times. The course focuses on selected individual countries in addition to presentation of the region as a whole.
Culture cluster

GEO 400

Senior Seminar in Geography (3)
The study of historical and contemporary trends in geography; the design, preparation, and defense of a research proposal.
Writing emphasis course

SWO 225

Race Relations (3)
The course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of race, ethnicity, and culture. By integrating findings from history, political science, sociology, and social work, students are introduced to cultural differences as they affect family life, the development of law, and the nature and magnitude of racism in our society. The overarching goal of this course is to encourage the student to embark on the process of becoming culturally competent.
Diverse communities course
Approved interdisciplinary course

HIS 315

Colonial Latin America (3)
Pre-Columbian period, colonial Latin America, and movements for independence; Indian, European, and African backgrounds; government, economy, society, religion, culture, and enlightenment. Interaction of diverse cultures in the New World.
Culture cluster

HIS 316

Modern Latin America (3)
Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries; liberalism, conservatism, dictatorship, revolution, socialism, industrialization, agrarian reform, cultural-intellectual achievements, and international relations. Topical approach, using individual countries as case history illustrations.
Culture cluster

HIS 317

Modern Latin America (3)
Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries; liberalism, conservatism, dictatorship, revolution, socialism, industrialization, agrarian reform, cultural-intellectual achievements, and international relations. Topical approach, using individual countries as case history illustrations.
Culture cluster

HIS 407

History of Brazil (3)
A general survey of Brazil from 1500 to the present. Emphasis will be placed on economic and political issues, slavery and race relations, literature, and current ecological problems relative to the Amazon Basin.

HIS 400 LEVEL

See Catalogue and Consult with LALS Advisor.

PSC 213

International Relations (3)
Politics among nations, including politics carried on through international organizations. Examines power politics, techniques of diplomacy, and methods of current international organizations. Special attention to U.S. interests and policies.

PSC 310

The United States and Latin America (3)
This course examines U.S. relations with the nations of Latin America. Emphasis is on understanding the goals of U.S. policies and the real impact of those policies. U.S. views of Latin America, both contemporary and historical, are explored as are Latin American attitudes and views toward the United States. The extent to which the United States has been motivated in its dealing by great power hegemonic concerns, economic self interests (dollar diplomacy), cultural imperialism, human rights, and desire to champion democratic governance are all examined. Contemporary concerns with promoting market economics, narcotic trafficking, and immigration are also considered.

PSC 340

Latin-American Culture and Politics (3)
Comparative analysis of contemporary Latin-American systems. Political cultures, decision making, ideologies, and political processes. Emphasis is on Mexico and Central America. Offered each semester.
Culture cluster. Diverse communities course.

PSC 353

Latino Politics (3)
This is a "hands-on" course for upper-level social science students, as research methods are explored and put into practice in coordination with local organizations working with Latinos. Service-learning projects with Latinos in the region are required. Content material includes demographics of Hispanics in the United States, critical theories from Latino perspectives, interdisciplinary immigration studies, and Hispanic perspectives in relation to social welfare, education, employment, crimes and justice, and politics. PREREQ: Permission of instructor required.

PSC 400 LEVEL

See Catalogue and Consult with LALS Advisor.