Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023

Course Description

Teaching Latin American and Caribbean cultures is always a daunting task. Where do we begin, which path to take and where to end? Rather than try to cover material as if people live within the fixed boundaries or containers of culture, the objective for this course is to understand common themes and variations in processes occurring across the interconnected Americas. Some of these themes include: The active role of indigenous peoples, the legacy of colonialism, as well as the processes of racialized and gendered identities. Using an anthropological framework, we will ground our discussions in ethnographic portraits of the communities and cultures in the Americas. In addition to the Latin American and Caribbean course content, we will also focus on the craft of writing - working to expand our creativity and self-confidence as writers

Student Outcomes

The objectives for this course are that students will: Gain a broader appreciation of the cultural diversity found in Latin American and Caribbean communities as well as the contemporary impact of colonialism on lived experiences throughout the Americas; Actively engage course material by working collaboratively with other students throughout the semester in the creation of a community of learning within the classroom; Increase, expand and strengthen their writing skills. Create well crafted and thought provoking written assignments that connect, relate, and integrate their analysis of divergent viewpoints to their own personal experience and sense of self; and Expand their knowledge and understanding of key anthropological terms as well as various ethnographic methods of documentation that include life histories, interviews, and participant observation. Global Learning (GL) Goals include: Engagement with cultural difference: Gain a critical understanding of perspectives and voices of specific people and places outside of the U.S.; Historical/structural analysis: Understand and analyze the complex historical relationships between cultures and identities in a globalized framework; Recognition and development of cross-cultural skills: Develop a self-reflective sensibility towards cultural difference through the critical understanding of your globally-situated identities and responsibilities.