International Studies Latin America


JU International Studies Latin America Fall 2015

Course Description

What is Latin America? This class is designed to help students answer question like this by surveying the history, politics, and culture of that cultural region that we traditionally call Latin America.

(Taught in English)

Course Objectives​

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • List basic geographical facts and their effects on the population of Latin America
  • Explain the basic nature of written and oral communication in the region
  • Give a correct account of the general history of the region and its influence on modern events
  • List the names and accomplishments of dominant political leaders, the viewpoints of varied parties, and the issues involved in socio-political decision making
  • Explain the philosophical/religious perspectives inherited from the past and the frameworks they provide for contemporary human activity
  • Recognize typical works of art, architecture, and music; and explain the links between these works and the ruling ideas of Latin American society
  • Read and view seminal texts by contemporary authors and film makers and explain their historical background
  • Find and analyze news from Latin America found on the World Wide Web.

Use of Email

  • An active JU logon, password, and email address is necessary.
  • If you use another email address as your primary account, it is your responsibility to have email sent to your JU address forwarded to your other address.
  • Contact the IT Help Desk at 256-7200 or if you don't know how to do this.
  • Any emails that I send to the class as a whole will be sent via Blackboard to your JU email address.

Course Syllabus

Grading Standards

Your final grade in this course will be based on the following. Your midterm grade will be based on the course assignments done up to the date of the Midterm Examination.

  • Participation: question & class contributions, 15%

  • Forum: BlackBoard, 20%

    Every week every student will post a short but elaborated writing about the topic we will be discussing that week. It is expected that every student will post at least four times a week (one is going to be her/his main writing/view on the topic and the other three may be responses to other student's postings)

    In this place, students will check and add data and information about the topics discussed in Discussion board/Forum. Please, include as many sources as possible (nonpartisan think tanks and university researches preferred; although sometime you can read Wikipedia, never use it as a fact source; Wikipedia doesn't trust itself)

  • News: BlackBoard, 10%

    Every week every student will select at least two news about any current Latin America issue. Please, paste the link on "News" section and add a two-line summary about the issue/article.

  • Presentations: 10%

    Every student will present (around 10 min long) a topic during the semester or submit one 5-7min video on the topic discussed that week.​

    Please, sign up for a day during the first week of classes or e-mail me to with your preferred date (you don't need to pick a topic in advance).

  • Mid-term Exam: 20%

    You will have to complete an in class exam based on the selected chapters from Fuentes's book. Of course, as Saint Thomas Aquinas,​ I also fear the man of a single book, and I recommend to study other sou​rces as well. However, just in order to make the exam guideline simple and clear, yo​u will be required to study just that book in order to complete your exam.​

  • Final paper (or video project): 15%

  • Final Exam: 10%​


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Jacksonville, FL 32211

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