Issues in Latin American and Latino Studies: Migrations and Immigrations
Latin American & Latino Studies 680 (Class code: 6152 )
Spring 2012
Tuesdays: 5:30 p.m.-8:15 p.m.
202 Gottschalk Hall
Dr. Manuel F. Medina

A class on Latin American Social Sciences or Humanities helpful but not required

Course description, objectives & goals:
A. To study the development of Latin American culture, arts and literature from Pre-Columbian times concentrating on the following criteria: 
  1. The social-political-cultural evolution of the Latin-American culture(s)
  2. The development of Latin-American fine arts and literature and their role in the establishment of national identities.
  3. A discussion of past Latin America's social-cultural issues and problems and their influences in the present, and a study of the possibilities for the future

Course Goals:
To learn about the main events and historical characters that have forged the development and the evolution of the Latin-American culture(s) , arts and literature from Pre-Columbian times to the present. To address social-cultural and political issues derived from the tutelage of the Spanish Empire.

Required Texts: 
  • ...y no se lo tragó la tierra / ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him. [Tomás Rivera, 1964. Trans. Evangelina Vigil-Piñón].
  • In the Time of the Butterflies [Julia Alvarez, USA/Dominican Republic, 1994].
  • Dreaming in Cuban [Cristina Garcia. Cuba/USA, 1993].
  • Additional materials available from the class website.

    Optional Text: Global Studies: Latin America and the Caribbean [Paul Goodwin, McGraw-Hill/Dushkin; 14 edition, 2010]

    Teaching Methods:
This class demands active student participation. I expect you to contribute to the class discussions. Be sure to complete the assigned reading before each class. Otherwise, you will be unable to take effective notes and to take part in the discussions. Reading beforehand will make it easier to follow my lecture in Spanish. While lectures will cover the general topics, the assigned readings will provide you with complimentary information.

First: If you don’t attend class, you’ll miss important information that will help you better understand the subject matter, the readings and to do well on the exams.
Second: I will deduct points from your grade for every un-excused absence, after the first two, using the following scale:
  • Three to five: 5% deduction from the class grade
  • Six to eight: a one letter grade reduction
  • Nine or more: a failing grade (F) in the class
Note: Please, contact me regarding excused absences such as medical and family emergencies, jury duty, and other I could include in this category.

Grading policies: Assignments Percentage of Course Mark
  1. Class participation & attendance 10% 
  2. Reading responses and similar assignments 10% 
  3. A midterm 25%
  4. Presentations:
    1. Country case 1 2.5%
    2. Country case 2: 2.5%
    Research presentation/lead class discussion 20%
  5. Term paper:
    1. Thesis statement and annotated bibliography: 5%
    2. Draft: 5%
    Revised Draft 20%
Grading scale:

95.5%-100% A+
92.5%-95.4% A
89.5%-92.4% A-
85.5%-89.4% B+
82.5%-85.4% B
79.5%-82.4% B-
75.5%-79.4% C+
72.5%-75.4% C
69.5%-72.4% C-
65.5%-69.4% D+
62.5%-65.4% D
59.5%-62.4% D-
0%-59.4% F

Class Participation: 
Reading, analytical thinking, questioning, challenging old beliefs, expressing one's own opinions and writing represent the main components of this course. Please, make sure to complete all the assigned reading before class so you can participate in class discussions.

The exams will consist of essays that will measure your knowledge of the assigned readings, the videos, the class lectures, and the material introduced in the oral presentations.Your answers must incorporate ideas and issues addressed in class, along with your own points of view.

I will provide details about the term paper on the second class session.

Submitting work: 
You must submit your paper and related assignments at the start of the class on the date stated in the assignment schedule. I will not accept late papers unless you and I have mutually agreed upon an extension before the paper's deadline. I very seldom grant extensions.

Oral Presentations: 
Students will lead the discussion for half-class period. Dr. Medina will assist seminar participants to select reading materials and additional assignments on the topic to be discussed that day.

Student Academic Rights and Responsibilities:

Every student is expected to be thoroughly familiar with the University's Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities and Student Conduct which can be found in the General Information section of the Undergraduate Catalog.
Along with preparing for and attending class, each student has the responsibility of promoting high academic standards. Students are expected to cooperate in all classes with the instructor to achieve an optimal learning environment. The College of Arts and Sciences does not tolerate cheating, fabrication, falsification, multiple submission, plagiarism, or complicity in academic dishonesty. The College of Arts and Sciences has a statement of academic discipline for action against students who cheat or plagiarize.

University Policy on Discrimination and Sexual Harassment:
The University of Louisville strives to maintain the campus free of all forms of illegal discrimination as a place of work and study for faculty, staff, and students.
Sexual harassment is unacceptable and unlawful conduct and will not be tolerated in the workplace and the educational environment.
If an individual is shown to have violated the sexual harassment policy, the individual will be subject, depending upon the seriousness of the violation, to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from the University.

Policy on Instructional Modifications or accommodations:
I encourage students who have a disability or other educational, physical or mental limitations or conditions which may impair their ability to complete assignments or otherwise satisfy course criteria to meet with me to identify, discuss and document any feasible instructional modifications or accommodations. Please notify me no later than the end of the second week of the semester or no later that the end of the second week after you get diagnosed with a disability or condition, whichever occurs first. You may contact the Disabilities Resource Center for information and auxiliary aid.
The University of Louisville is committed to providing access to programs and services for qualified students with disabilities. If you are a student with a disability and require accommodation to participate in and complete requirements for this class, contact the Disability Resource Center (852-6938) for verification of eligibility and determination of specific accommodations.

Note: The instructor reserves the right to make changes in the syllabus when necessary to meet learning objectives, to compensate for missed classes, or for similar reasons.