Latin American Studies II

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Fall 2. 2021

Course Title: “Introduction to Critical Theory”
Duration: Six Weeks
Course: Fall 2 of 2021
Dates: Oct 29-Dec 17, 2021
Time: Fridays 3:00pm-4:45pm

Course Description:
Latin American Studies critically analyzes the conceptual boundaries of what Latin America is, who Latin America represents, and how this all came to be. A multi-disciplinary field, Latin American Studies combines international relations, policy and law, cultural studies, history, and literary studies. This course will continue to outline many of the theoretical currents of Latin American Studies as a discipline. Students will be introduced to different approaches in LAS, including visual and literary arts, sexuality and gender, colonialism and history, transnationalism, and indigeneity.

Suggested purchase (Only if you need the physical book): New Approaches to Latin American Studies: Culture and Power (2018), ed. by Juan Poblete

Schedule (readings are meant to be done before the class during which they will be discussed)

Oct 29 – Race & Indigeneity in LAS


  • “Intimacy and Empire: Indian-African Interaction in Spanish Colonial New Mexico, 1500-1800.(Indian-Black Relations in Historical and Anthropological Perspective” by Dedra S. McDonald. The American Indian Quarterly 22, no. 1-2 (January 1, 1998): 143–156.
  • “A Non‐essentialist Theory of Race: The Case of an Afro‐indigenous Village in Northern Peru” by Tamara Hale. Social Anthropology 23, no. 2 (May 2015): 135–151.
  • “Who Is Black, White, or Mixed Race? How Skin Color, Status, and Nation Shape Racial Classification in Latin America” by Edward Telles and Tianna Paschel. American Journal of Sociology 120, no. 3 (November 1, 2014): 864–907.
  • “Race, culture, and history: Charles Wagley and the anthropology of the African Diaspora in the Americas” by Fred Hay. Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências humanas, 2014-12, Vol.9 (3), p.695-705.

Nov 12 – Afro-Diasporic Religions in the Caribbean 


  • “Of Ghosts and Shadows” and “There is no E in Zombi, Which Means There Can Be No You or We” from Ayiti (2011) by Roxane Gay
  • Introduction & Ch. 1 of Queering Black Atlantic Religions (2019) by Roberto Strongman
  • “On the Materiality of Black Atlantic Rituals” in Materialities of Ritual in the Black Atlantic (2014), ed. by Akinwumi Ogundiran, and Paula Saunders
  • “Ritual Life of an Altar-Home A Photographic Essay on Transformational Places and Technologies” by Raquel Romberg. Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft, vol. 13, no. 2, (Summer 2018)
  • “‘Maricón,’ ‘Pájaro,’ and ‘Loca’: Cuban and Puerto Rican Linguistic Practices, and Sexual Minority Participation, in U.S. Santería” by Salvador Vidal-Ortiz. Journal of Homosexuality, vol. 58 (2011)

Nov 19– U.S. Imperialism and Hegemony in Latin America 

Reading: TBA

Dec 3 – The Subaltern: Hegemony, Cultural Studies, and Decoloniality

Reading: TBA

Dec 10 – LAS Approaches: Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Reading: TBA

Dec 17 – LAS Approaches: Affect and Post-Hegemony 

Reading: TBA

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