license cc-by-nc-sa Unless otherwise noted, this OER ANTH 3520/ PRLS 3210 Latin America was created and curated by Professor Joseph A. Torres-González for Brooklyn College Fall 2022 and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Course General Info

ANTH 3520/PRLS 3210 Latin America 1, 2
Fall 2022 – August 25, 2022 – December 21, 2022
Online Hybrid: TH 5:05-6:20PM (Synchronous meetings) + Asynchronous hours

  • Instructor: Prof. Joseph A. Torres-González, MA, CGS (He/Him/His/El)
  • Drop-In (office) Hours: TU/TH 4:30-5:00 PM (Via Zoom appointments)  
  • Email: – I will respond to emails in 24-48 hours.
  • Why request Drop-in (office) hours? Click here

A note on this course:

Welcome! This class is generously supported and part of an exciting initiative at CUNY called “Transformative Learning in the Humanities (TLH).” TLH focuses on equitable, creative, student-centered teaching. That means that this class is built with you—students—at the center. You are now a “Mellon TLH Student Scholar,” simply for showing up to this special class. This title is something you can put on your CV/resume either now, or down the road, to show future employers that you participated in this exciting program by taking this class. Thank you for being you and for being here!!

Catalog Description

“Pre- and post-Conquest peoples and cultures of Central and South America, and the Caribbean; impact of European colonization; Asian & African influence; post-independence political and economic development; contemporary racial and identity politics; religion and social movements; urbanization and international migration.” (Lehman College Course Catalog, 2022)

Course Description

In this course, we will focus on a survey of topics that will help us hone the discussion on cultural production, manifestations, and contestations. The course will provide an interdisciplinary perspective grounded in Anthropology, but also including materials from other fields in the social sciences, such as History, and Cultural Studies. The course will also introduce students to the four-field approach in Anthropology (Cultural Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Archaeology, and Linguistics). The geographical region that will be covered in this class will be South America. This will provide students with a context to discuss topics that include culture, race, and ethnicity, connecting it to the main arguments around cultural difference, identity, political economy, political economy, health, food, environment, language, politics, gender, sports, and religion.

Common General Education Learning Outcomes addressed by this course

América Invertida. Work of the Uruguayan painter Joaquín Torres García.
Credit: América Invertida, Joaquín Torres García Source Link, on 1/26/2010 (Photo: Joaquín Torres-García).
  1. The students will engage with various anthropological topics, using the Four-Field Anthropology tradition, and will assess information from a variety of sources by:
    • Identifying and critiquing theories and concepts in the study South America;
    • giving appropriate and constructive feedback to student colleagues in class discussions;
    • creating connections between multiple ideas/authors/themes,
    • completing forums, and short reflexive response papers,
    • and by collaborating with student team members responsibly and ethically.
  2. The students will identify and discuss race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, belief, social class, history, material culture by explaining the relationships between these themes, and their connections to South America.

Some of my principles as a professor 3

  1. No human being is illegal. We can disagree on most things, but not the basic humanity of all people.
  2. I will never ask you to work harder than I do. No question is a dumb question.
  3. I will show up and I ask you to (that means: preparation, attention, dedication, and diligence).
  4. I want ALL my students to succeed. Let me know how I can help you on your journey.
  5. We write to learn, and we learn to write (no matter how comfortable or uncomfortable/experienced or inexperienced we are with writing already).
  6. Bring your whole self: all people are welcome in my class, and you can be assured that I will advocate for you and with you no matter your immigration status, pronouns, disability, family responsibilities, work commitments, etc. I expect those in the room to do the same. Always be open to speaking and having a collegial conversation.
  7. Teaching is something that I love, and my commitment is with all of you.


  1. Revised August 15, 2022.
  2. Syllabus structure inspired by an original design by Dr. Mila Burns, Assistant Professor, Department of Latin American & Latino Studies, Lehman College.
  3. Inspired y Dr. Alyshia Gálvez, Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, Lehman College, CUNY