Introduction to Latin American Studies

Thousands of people protesting in Mexico City.

Post-electoral protests in Mexico City, July 2006. (Image courtesy of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).)


MIT Course Number

17.55J / 21A.130J / 21G.084J / (formerly 21A.430J)

As Taught In

Fall 2006



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Course Description

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Course Description

Interdisciplinary introduction to contemporary Latin America, drawing on films, literature, popular press accounts, and scholarly research. Topics include economic development, ethnic and racial identity, religion, revolution, democracy, transitional justice, and the rule of law. Examples draw on a range of countries in the region, especially Mexico, Chile, and Brazil. Includes a heavy oral participation component, with regular breakout groups, formal class presentations on pressing social issues (such as criminal justice and land tenure), and a structured class debate.

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Chappell Lawson. 17.55J Introduction to Latin American Studies. Fall 2006. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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