• A Hartwick student using a microscope in the science lab.
  • A Hartwick professor helping a student during class.
  • Hartwick students giving a presentation in front of the class.
  • A Hartwick professor discussing Botany with a student.

Course Descriptions

237: Peoples and Cultures of Latin America.
This course takes an anthropological perspective on the Latin American region.  It begins with the question of what makes Latin America a distinct region, examining the specific conjuncture of Spanish and Portuguese colonial rule, the indigenous populations at the time of conquest, and the importation of enslaved Africans as the region was shaped around the demands of the colonial powers.  These themes continue in the national era, as the newly independent nations wrestled with issues of racial and ethnic identity in the context of a push to the “progress” of nationalism and economic development.  This historical material forms a necessary ingredient for understanding present issues of migration, development, inequality, neo-liberal economic policies, and revolutionary ideologies.

203: Arts of the Americas.
This course surveys the arts of the Americas from prehistory through the present. The course emphasizes the native arts of the Americas in the broadest sense by examining the work of native cultures, immigrant cultures with special attention to Latino art, and the dominant white culture after the 15th century. Hence the course contrasts Western arts with non-Western art in order to show how different cultures make art for very different reasons. The course, like the other art history surveys, addresses art historical methods and approaches, definitions and concepts. Suitable for non-majors.

250: Natural History of Costa Rica. 
The goal of this course is to introduce students to tropical biodiversity and its conservation in Central America. Participants live and study at biology field research stations in tropical rain forests, cloud forests and dry forests on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of Costa Rica. Most activity centers on observing communities of organisms (their population densities, feeding, movement, reproductive and other interactions) in their natural environment. Emphasis is placed on vertebrates including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. The course also examines invertebrates and a huge variety of plants. In addition, participants visit volcanoes, museums, national parks, and historical sites. The course also includes a tour of the University of Costa Rica, with talks on biological, environmental and political-social issues.

260: Caribbean Literature. The course will introduce students to a major body of literature written in the Caribbean region. The course will focus on the engagement of literature with Native American life, European colonialism, the African diaspora, the formation of creole language and society, and the problems and potential of the hybrid cultures of the Caribbean. Readings include the literature of discovery and exploration, as well as contemporary writers from the French and Spanish Caribbean, such as Cesaire, Glissant, Garcia Marquez and Carpentier. Writers in English include Brathwaite, Goodison, Jamaica Kincaid, Lovelace and Walcott.
201: Colonial Latin America. This course is an overview of the most significant historical processes and themes that contributed to the formation, evolution and development of Colonial Latin America. The course studies the main streams that have contributed to the emergence of Latin America, from pre-Columbian cultures and the first encounter between the Old and New Worlds to the military, religious and bureaucratic conquests of the New World and the formation and evolution of a colonial society that came to an end with the Wars of Independence from Spain in the early 19th century.

202: Modern Latin America. This course examines the most significant themes, events and personages that played an important role in shaping contemporary Latin America. The period under examination encompasses the two centuries beginning with the precursors of the Wars of Independence in the 19th century and the events taking place at the close of the 20th century.

225: History of Brazil.  Through lecturers, readings, and discussions, together with films and slides, this course examines changes and continuities in Brazilian history from independence (1822) to the present.  Special emphasis is placed on race, class, gender, and ethnicity.  We will discuss how colonial heritages determined the "fate"of Brazil as a modern nation-state; and how various forms of power relationship emerged, evolved, disappeared, and/or transformed during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

226: History of Mexico.  This course analyzes the evolution of some of the most significant strands conforming the complex tapestry of Mexican history.  It begins with an examination of the High cultures of Ancient Mexico, the Iberian conquest and the emergence of a colonial society; it continues with a study of the Wars of Independence and concludes with an evaluation of the Mexican Revolution and its impact on present-day Mexican society.

251: The US-Mexico Borderlands. This course will survey the history of the US Southwest and Northern Mexico from pre-Columbian times to the recent past.  The course will begin with a discussion of the concept of a borderland and contrast it with other models, such as "the frontier."  Special emphasis will be given to the impact of European contact on indigenous societies: the nature of Spanish control over the area; gender, race, and identity formation; labor, both free and enslaved; US invasion and annexation; music and culture; recent developments, including the rise of the maquilladoras, migration, and NAFTA.  The main readings are: Cabeza de Vaca, Castaways; Hurtado, Intimate Frontiers: Sex, Gender, and Culture in Old California; Paredes, With His Pistol in His Hand: A Border Ballad and its Hero; Foley, White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture.  We will also watch several films.

324: Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean.  This course examines how the institution of slavery was transplanted in Latin America and the Caribbean during the sixteenth century, why slavery developed in some parts of Latin America and the Caribbean (and why not in other regions), and how the institution was eventually abolished by the last decades of the nineteenth century.  It also examines other important topics, such as the transatlantic slave trade; gender and ethnicity; family and kinship; uprisings and rebellions; and the historical formation of the Black Atlantic.
326: Gender and Power in Latin America.  This course discusses various topics concerning gender and power in Latin American history from the late colonial period to the present time.  By reading articles and monographs written by historians, life histories, women's narratives, as well as by viewing four Latin American films, we will be able to relate our own experiences to women and men in Latin America.  We will also compare and contrast the experiences of different groups of women according to such factors as race, ethnicity, and class.

327: Revolutions in Latin America and the Caribbean.  This course examines four cases of attempts to change fundamentally the social structure and the social basis of political power in Latin America and the Caribbean. They are: Haiti, 1789-1820; Mexico, 1910-1934; Bolivia, 1952-1960; and Cuba, 1959-1995.  The four revolutions represented attempts – not always entirely successfully – of altering the fundamental ways the social basis of political power. The course attempts to ascertain the degree of indelible change imposed by the revolutionary experience.

Political Science
268: Latin American/Caribbean Politics.
A survey of post-World War II politics in Latin America and the Caribbean, with special attention to the changing political and economic policies and prospects of these states. The effects of history, culture and international contacts on local institutions are examined, as is the dynamism of grassroots movements for change in the region. Prerequisite: POSC 101 or 105 or permission of instructor. Typically offered alternate years.

160: Introduction to Regional Hispanic Studies. Stresses the unique historical, linguistic, cultural and traditional differences of individual areas of the Hispanic world. Normally this course will be offered during the term preceding the trip abroad and will deal with the area to be visited.

202: Intermediate Spanish II.  This course continues the focus upon fluency and idiomatic use of Spanish.  Selected readings will be used to study literary tenses and to increase vocabulary.  The course will include conversations, discussions and compositions in order to improve language skills and comprehension.  Except when prevented by extraordinary circumstances, Spanish 202 should be taken the semester immediately following Spanish 201.  Prerequisite: Spanish 201, with Spanish faculty approval and placement exam. (Will count if the content is on Latin America)

203: Advanced Intermediate Spanish. This course is a prerequisite for all students who want to continue with more advanced Spanish courses such as Advanced Conversation and Composition, Advanced Spanish Grammar and literature courses.  Selected readings, conversations, discussions, compositions to further improve language, oral and written skills, etc.  (Will count if the content is on Latin America)

205: Communicative Spanish. Designed to enable the student fluidity in the language with emphasis on the four skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening.  Emphasis will be placed on vocabulary building, the use of idiomatic expressions, correct pronunciation and intonation, grammar review and assignments to improve correct usage of written Spanish.  Prerequisite: SPAN 202 or permission of professor. (Will count if the content is on Latin America)

246: Latin American Cultural Studies.  A course primarily for the non-speaker of Spanish who would like to study all aspects of Latin American culture (literature, culture, politics, etc.).  A single author, a genre, a particular theme or a time period might be studied.  This course may be taken more than once if the topic is different.  This course will also count toward the Spanish major or minor as long as the student completes all readings and assignments in Spanish.
250, 350, 450: Seminar in Hispanic Studies.
A seminar in a selected topic of Spanish language, literature or civilization.  Occasionally, the course is taught in English.

285, 485: Spanish Term Abroad. Will count when the trip is to Puerto Rico or Chile, or any other part of Latin America. 

225: Human Rights.  This course will focus on the dramatic post cold-war transformation of human rights as a focus of social struggle and will examine the contradictions between the Human Rights standards the U.S. demands of other countries and its own practices at home and abroad. Case studies include many from Latin America.

335:  Mexico- U.S.  Bordering on Justice North and South.  The effects of globalization are being contested and discussed North and South. We enter this dialogue and begin by examining our own US policies regarding immigration, racial segregation, racial stereotyping, economic inequality, labor conditions, and human rights. The course also acquaints students with the cultural traditions of the Mayan people including their cosmology as revealed in language, art, and architecture, issues of contact during Spanish colonization, and contemporary political, economic, and social issues for the region of Chiapas, Mexico.

350: Globalizing Solidarity: Fair Trade, Social Justice, and Human Rights-Chiapas, Mexico.  The effects of globalization are being contested and discussed North and South. We enter this dialogue and begin by examining international agreements like NAFTA and Plan Pueblo Panama and their impact on the global south. We study contemporary issues in Chiapas, Mexico, and place these current events in colonial and Mayan cultural contexts. Other current issues we explore include: the movement for indigenous rights, economic and political autonomy, and women's rights. The course also acquaints students with the cultural traditions of the Mayan people including their cosmology as revealed in language, art, and architecture, issues of contact during Spanish colonization, and contemporary political, economic, and social issues for the region of Chiapas, Mexico. We examine gender, ethnicity, class, and global political economic interests as they intersect in Chiapas in the Mayan village context, as well as in the North.