Latin American History and Culture
Universidad Latina - Heredia
Heredia, Costa Rica
Area of Study
History, Sociology, Spanish
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
ATIN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE
I. LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION:Spanish
II. AUDIENCE: ISA students
III. CONTACT HOURS: 45 contact hours
IV. GENERAL COURSE DESCRIPTION AND COURSE
The purpose of this course is to provide an introductory and brief analysis of Latin American history and culture. The course will focus on general aspects of the very rich and complex Latin American history, starting from the most important pre-colonial indigenous groups up to a contemporary view of the different Latin American countries. For culture, the course will cover pre-colonial, colonial, nineteenth century literature, modernism, and the literary boom which led to Magic Realism and other movements. Other issues to be included are the many diverse styles of Latin music and basic aspects of cultural interaction as nonverbal communication and misconceptions among cultures. During the course, students will be able to read, study, and discuss documents related to the main topics as well as be exposed to authentic material such as music and dance. Finally, students will take a field trip in which they will learn more about coffee.
The students will acquire basic knowledge of Latin American history and culture.
* To get a panoramic view of Costa Rica?s social, educational, historical, and political life
* To obtain a brief introduction to the three main indigenous groups that the Spaniards faced during the conquest: Aztecs, Mayas, and Incas
* To study the most important contributions and the socioeconomic and political structure of the Aztecs, Mayas, and Incas
* To discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the Spanish and Portuguese conquest
* To identify the different causes and effects of various Latin American countries? independence
* To understand Bolivar?s goal to create Gran Colombia and San Martin?s fight to obtain South American countries? independence
* To critically examine present Latin American political leaders and to analyze the current situation of Latin America
* To read and discuss the importance and contribution of pre-colonial writings
* To read and analyze some examples of the authors who belong to the Latin American literary boom
* To read and discuss some Latin American contemporary authors
* To compare and contrast some of the many diverse styles of Latin American music
* To identify and demonstrate some gestures that are particular to Latin people
V. COURSE PRE-REQUISITES:
This course has no prerequisites.
VI. REQUIRED READINGS/TEXTS:
This course will not use any specific textbook; instead, a combination of texts from diverse sources will be used.
Williamson, Edwin. The Penguin History of Latin America. London, England: Clays Ltd., 1992.
Biesanz, Richard, Karen Z, and Mavis H. The Costa Ricans. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, Inc, 1982.
Latin American History http://www.lib.washington.edu/subject/History/tm/latin.html
The European Voyages of Exploration http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/eurvoya/index.html
VII. COURSE CALENDAR:
Discussion Class Homework
Week 1 Introduction (program, contents, guidelines, expectations)
Gestures and misconceptions among cultures
Week 2 General Information ? Costa Rica
General overview Pictures Aztecs, Mayas, Incas (5 per student min.)
Week 3 Aztecs, Mayans, Incas
Socioeconomic & political contributions
Biography of Conquistador
Week 4 Spanish & Portuguese Conquest
Conquistadores: Cortes, Pizarro, Balboa Advantages, disadvantages
Compare & Contrast
Week 5 Movie: 1492: Conquest of Paradise
Forum: accuracy of events &
Encounter vs. clash of cultures
Ways countries celebrate their independence
Week 6 Independence in L.A. countries
Independence of Mexico Causes & Effects
Effects on L.A.
Week 7 Simón Bolívar: Gran Colombia
San Martin: Independence of South America
Jose Martí: Cuba
Presidents of L.A.
Week 8 Present L.A. political leaders &
Situation of L.A. Critically examine
Week 9 Free topic
Field Trip: Café Britt - Coffee in Costa Rica
Relevance of coffee in Costa Rica
Week 11 Popol Vuh and other Colonial Writings
19th century authors
L.A. Literary Boom & Modernism
Contemporary authors Importance
characteristics Read, understand, analyze
Oral Book Report Relevance of Coffee CR
Relevant products L.A.
Week 12 Coffee in CR ? Grano de Oro
Other products in other countries Effect on socio, economic & cultural areas
Show and Tell Turn in journal (12 entries minimum)
Week 13 Latin American music
Present different rhythms
Dance lessons //
Week 14 General Review ? Oral
Typical food day Show and Tell
Origin of ingredients// Turn in Summary Study for final
Week 15 Final Exam
VIII. EVALUATION CRITERIA:
1. Student?s journal: 15%
2. Written summary 15%
3. Group project (debate capitalism vs. socialism) 15%
a. Oral presentation of assigned president 5%
b. questions to pose during debate 5%
c. participation 5%
4. Class participation 10%
5. Pop quizzes 10%
6. Oral and written presentations 20%
a. Conquistadores 5%
b. Independence 5%
c. Liberators 5%
d. Book report 5%
7. Final Exam 15%
IX. ATTENDANCE POLICY:
Classes start on time. Arriving more than 10 minutes late is equivalent to being tardy. Three tardies equal one absence. Students who arrive more than 30 minutes late are marked absent. A student who accumulates four (4) or more absences fails the course.
X. DESCRIPTION OF SPECIAL ASSIGNMENTS/ACTIVITIES:
The Coffee Tour will provide a vivid representation of how coffee originated and how it is produced in Costa Rica. This information will complement the class discussion on the importance of coffee in the Costa Rican economy.
XI. OTHER EXPECTATIONS, RULES, CONDUCT GUIDELINES, SPECIAL RECOMMENDATIONS:
All assignments must be handed in on the due date.
Exams must be taken on the assigned date and will only be made up in case of documented emergencies. If an emergency occurs, it is the student?s responsibility to communicate with the professor and make arrangements.
There is a 17,000 colon charge for make-up tests/activities which require the professor?s presence.
The University provides, upon request, appropriate academic adjustments for qualified students with disabilities. Any student with a documented disability (physical or cognitive) who requires academic accommodations should contact the Academic Coordinator as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations. Approved accommodations will not change the basic elements of the course/class.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations
Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.