Course Description

Course Name

Cultural Anthropology of Latin America

Session: VSVF2121

Hours & Credits


Prerequisites & Language Level


  • Prior to enrolling in courses at this language level, students must have completed or tested out of a minimum of four semesters (or six quarters) at the college level.


The aim of this Course is to explore the current model of inter-ethnic relations in Latin America
as a fundamental aspect of its present-day social reality. The syllabus will be centred on the co-existence
of two well-defined strategies: a) the domination of the indigenous population by national elites and b)
the resistance practised by ethnic groups. The content of class sessions will be based on the explanation
of basic theoretical concepts.

1. Diversity within Unity in Latin America.
1.1. Territory: Ecological Factors and Economic Usage.
1.2. General Historical Processes: the Pre-Hispanic Era, Conquest and Settlement, National
1.3. Specific Historical Processes.
1.4. The Multi-Ethnic Composition of Latin America’s Population.
2. Theoretical Instruments for the Analysis of Ethnic-National Issues in Latin America.
2.1. Ethnic Groups, Ethnic Minorities, Race, Social Class and Gender.
2.2. Ethnicity, Indexes and Symbols of Ethnicity.
2.3. Inter-ethnic Relations: Violence, Stigmatization, and Domination. Latin America’s Asymmetric
2.4. The Creation of National States in Latin America and Indigenous Issues.
2.5. Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide.
3. The Latin American Dialectic: National State and Ethnic Groups.
3.1. The Strategy of Indigenity in the face of the Indian Question. Issues Raised, Objectives, and
3.2. Indigenous Resistance: Demographic, Cultural, Legal, Religious, and Political Factors.
3.3. National and Continental Frameworks in the Organization of Ethnic Groups.
3.4. Rebellion, Insurgence, and Guerrilla Groups.
3.5. The Struggle against Indigenous Poverty: Economic and Ethnic Development.
4. Ethnic-National Issues in Latin America: Case Studies.
4.1. Mexico.
4.2. The Andine Region.
4.3. Amazonia.
4.4. Central America.

*Course content subject to change