LAS Courses and Requirements

LAS 210 Exploring Latin America

An interdisciplinary introduction to the field of Latin American studies in which students learn about the histories and cultures of this diverse region, its varied paths of political and economic development, its relations with the United States, and Latin American migration that has made the Latino/a population the largest minority group in the US. A required core course for the LAS Minor and fulfills General Education’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Foundation and World Perspectives requirements.

LAS 220 Intro to Latino/a Studies

An interdisciplinary introduction to the diversity and complexity of the US Latino/a population, with attention to intra-ethnic and interracial relations, formation of social identities, and issues of assimilation and cultural conflict. This is a Social and Behavioral Science Foundation and US Diversity course.

LAS 320 Model Organization of American States

A course that prepares a delegation of GVSU students to participate in a simulation of the Organization of the American States—a week-long international event in Washington DC in which students role-play an OAS member state, negotiate and deliberate inter-American policies on topics such as terrorism, community economic development, environmental sustainability, human rights, and democratization. Counts as an elective for the Latin American and Latino/a Studies minor.

LAS 325 Human Rights in Latin America

An interdisciplinary exploration of the development of human rights in Latin America, with a focus on regimes indicted for human rights violations during the Cold War, and subsequent efforts to reform repressive political systems and resolve difficult questions of how to define and enact justice. Counts as an elective for the Latin American and Latino/a Studies minor, counts towards the Latino/a Certificate, and General Education Human Rights Issue.

HST 330 Early Latin America

A survey of Latin American history, from the time of indigenous peoples prior to European contact and conquest to the independence movements of the early 1800s. Among a variety of topics, students address questions of how and why Europeans conquered indigenous peoples such as the Taínos, Aztecs, and Incans, of the impact of African slavery on the region, and how slaves adapted or resisted their enslavement, and of the significance of 17th century Sor Juana, perhaps the first feminist in the Americas. This course carries SWS credit and is cross-listed with Latin American and Latino/a Studies, and counts as an elective towards its minor.

LAS 373 Latinos in West Michigan

An historical and contemporary survey of a fast-growing population in West Michigan. Students will explore the demographic and cultural diversity of the regional Latino/a community, and address matters of social identity, acculturation, political participation, and economic status. The course gives students the option of writing an original research paper, or performing a service learning project. LAS 373 is as a General Education US Diversity and Identity Issues course, and counts as an elective towards the Latin American and Latino/a Studies minor.

LAS 376 Latin American Cinema

In this course, students will view representative films as works of art and examine them as cultural, historical, political, and economic products that characterize and reveal diverse perspectives on Latin America.

HST 375 The History of Mexico

A survey of the history of a country too many of us little about, from the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations to three hundred years of Spanish rule prior to gaining its independence in the early 19th century. A country that experienced one of most significant revolutions in early 20th century global history, and which has grown to be the 11th most populous nation in the world and the US’s third largest trading partner. Cross-listed with Latin American and Latino/a Studies, and counts as an elective towards its minor.