Approved by Faculty Senate.
University Studies Course Approval Submission
Residential College Course Proposal
Interdisciplinary Approach to peoples and Cultures in Latin America RC 232 is being proposed as a Global Perspectives Course. The intent of RC 232 is to provide students with an anthropological perspective of different cultures in Latin America. It is designed to give students an overview of some of the distinct human adaptations to varied environments in Latin America. Their experiences represent their diverse interpretations, in addition to their interactions with outsiders. It is expected that approximately 30 students will participate in class discussions and presentations, and certain topics may vary contingent upon new data available.
Specific Outcomes for USP Global Perspective Course
This is a University Studies Course that satisfies 3 credits of you Global
Perspective requirement. The outcomes specified for a USP Global Perspectives course
specify that the course provide students the activities and opportunities to:
Interdisciplinary Approach to Peoples and Cultures in Latin America
Residential College 230
Dr. Linda DAmico
Latin America is one of the world's most misunderstood continents. Geographically it is very complex, culturally diverse and historically it has been the scenario of constant abuse and violence. In this introductory course a global explanation of the processes that interrelate the three major cultural groups (Indians, Afro-Americans and Iberian or
Portuguese settlers) to each other is given. This violent clash will be looked at in a geographical, historical and ethnographic context. The main objective is to debunk some of the more current myths about the region, gain understanding of contemporary events and to search for the unexpected creative consequences that this violent confrontation has produced in society, religion, arts and culture.
A word about the course beyond the syllabus. I intend to provide in a broad sweep a framework that will allow you, the student, to understand long and short term processes about any particular region or ethnic group, so you can in the future pursue your own particular interests. It is based on a geographical, historical and economic variables that shift peoples and cultures around. I will use three cases, the Andes, the Indians in the
tropical forest in Amazonia and the African-Latin American populations, but the framework is applicable to other situations.
In addition to assigned readings and class discussions, a research and/or community service component is integrated into the course, and important for you to experience and interpret cultural diversity. We are fortunate to have Latino immigrants in and around Winona- who you will have the opportunity to interact with- through volunteer work and interviews- as a means to collect data and gain a deeper understanding of the contemporary Latin American experience. You are expected to dedicate 1-3 hours a week outside of class time to field work, taking detailed notes, which you will analyze, interpret and synthesize into a final paper.
Class Expectations & Evaluation Criteria:
Class participation: 10%
3 short essays pertaining to topics relevant to the units being covered: 30%
Field work notes and Final Paper: 20%
Textbooks and Readings:
Allen, Catherine. The Hold Life Has: Coca and Cultural Identity in an Andean Community. Smithsonian Institution Press. 1988.
Lizot, Jacques. Tales of the Yanomamai: Daily Life in the Venezuelan Forest. Cambridge Studies in Social Anthropology, Cambridge 1985.
Chagnon, Napoleon. The Yanomami: The Fierce People. Holt, Rhinehart 4th edition
Randall, Margaret. Sandinos Daughters: Testimonies of Nicaraguan Women in Struggle. Rutgers University Press.
For each topic area the salient USP outcomes addressed in that area is identified (A-C)
Week 1 Culture Areas and Diversity
Read article: Conquistador and Pestilencia (pp 35-61) from The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 Alfred W. Crosby. (A, B, C)
Begin Allen, The Hold Life Has: Introduction
Week 2 First Encounters- Core and periphery
Read article: Wolf, Eric and Edward Hansen: Chapter 2 "Indians and Europeans: in : The Human Condition in Latin America Oxford University Press (A, B, C)
Allen, The Hold Life Has: Chapter 1, 2
Week 3 Discussion on the Incas
Allen, The Hold Life Has: Chapters 3, 4, 5
Week 4: Traditional Andean culture
Allen, The Hold Life Has: Chapters 6-10
Assignment of essay topics (A, B, C)
Week 5 Essay due
Introduction to the Amazonia
Read: Chagnon Introduction and Chapter 1 (A, B, C)
Week 6 Cultural Ecology
Chagnon Chapters 2-3 (A, B, C)
Week 7 Shamanism
Chagnon, Chapters 4-5 MIDTERM
Week 8 Social Organization and Warfare
Chapters 6-7 ( B, C)
Week 9 Chapter 8 and Thierneys article in the New Yorker (October 2000)
Assignment of Essay 2 (A, B, C)
Week 10 Essay 2 due
Introduction to Nicaragua
The Rainforest versus cattle ranching
Randall: Introduction (A, B, C)
Week 11 Mestizo or Ladino culture
Randall: Chapters 1-3
Week 12 Afro-Latin Americans
Randall: Chapters 4-6 ( B, C)
Week 13 Women and Poverty
Randall: Chapters 7-10
Assignment of Essay 3 ( B, C)
Week 14 Essay 3 due
Discussions of fieldwork in relation to theoretical implications. (A, B, C)
FINAL EXAM and Paper due