FYS: Encounters & Identities in Latin America

Prof: Dr. Katie Holt

TA: Asha Beasley  (Office hour: Tuesays at 8pm in CoRE)

CCP Mentor: Jason Cerniglia

Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 12:00-12:50 in Kauke 035

Course Description

How did Latin America develop its incredibly diverse range of peoples and cultures?  In this seminar, we’ll look at the interactions between New World, European, and African peoples, examining cultural exchanges and the formation of new, hybrid identities.  We’ll start with Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca’s account of his years wandering the Southwest, and move from there to analyzing more recent examples of cultural production and exchanges, from the creation of Afro-Cuban jazz, the rise of the Dominican Republic as a baseball powerhouse, the sway of Brazil’s soap operas, and the global popularity of tacos.

This FYS is participating in the Community Connections Program (FYS CCP), and we’ll volunteer as a group at a local school.

Student Learning Goals:

Required of all first-year students, the First-Year Seminar in Critical Inquiry focuses on the processes of critical inquiry in a writing-intensive, small seminar.  Each seminar invites students to engage a set of issues, questions, or ideas which can be illuminated by the disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives of the liberal arts.  Seminars are designed to enhance the intellectual skills essential for liberal learning and for successful participation in the College’s academic program.

All FYS seminars have the following student learning objectives:

  1. Students should be able to develop the abilities, especially the writing skills, that are essential to critical thinking.
  2. Students should be able to interpret complex theoretical and creative texts.
  3. Students should be able to construct a coherent argument, support the argument with evidence, and defending the argument.
  4. Students should be able to understand, appreciate, and objectively critique multiple perspectives including one’s own.