The Center for Caribbean Studies is interested in highlighting scholarship and teaching related to building critical understandings of the Greater Caribbean Region throughout a range of departments at Trinity.

Recent and current Center co-directors have taught courses in Anthropology, History, and Music.

Note: Please contact [email protected] if you would like to recommend the addition of other courses.


ANTH-319-01 Understandings of Puerto Rico

Instructor(s): Guzman, Amanda

Distribution Requirement: Meets Social Sciences and Global Requirements

Course Description: An island uniquely characterized by a liminal political status and a dominant stateside diaspora, the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has been the subject of renewed national attention in the wake of the devastating 2017 Hurricane María and the 2019 “Verano Boricua” which saw the ousting of the governor, Ricardo Rosselló. This course interrogates Puerto Rican culture on its own terms – shifting from traditional definitions of identity formation to contemporary critiques centering historically marginalized communities amidst ongoing climate and economic precarity. Students will work hands-on analyzing diverse (im)material cultural productions, originating from the island and stateside diasporas. Students will engage with Puerto Rican cultural workers as they develop new, critical understandings of the island’s cultural legacy and its future.

ANTH-241-01- Women in the Caribbean

Instructor(s): DiVietro, Susan

Distribution Requirement: Meets Social Sciences Requirement

Course Description: This course explores the diverse lives of women of the Caribbean. We will begin with feminist theories of women and power and trace how those understandings have emerged and changed over time. We will use ethnographies to examine women’s lives in both historical and contemporary Caribbean settings and explore major theoretical approaches in feminist and Caribbean anthropology. We will analyze how women’s experiences have been shaped by multiple forces, including slavery and emancipation, fertility and constructs of motherhood, gender and violence, race and identity, tourism and sex work, illness and poverty, globalization, and labor.

FYSM-145-01- Puerto Rico and the Caribbean

Instructor(s): Delano, Pablo

Distribution Requirement: Meets First Year Seminar Requirement

Course Description: This course provides a grounding in the complexities and nuances that make up Caribbean society, with a special focus on Puerto Rico and its unique status as an unincorporated territory of the United States. We will look at Puerto Rico and the Caribbean region through the lens of history, cultural production, and scientific advancement. We will challenge established stereotypes about the Caribbean and gain understandings of the present-day Caribbean and its diaspora. We will consider what commonalities link the greater Caribbean region. The course will include guest speakers as well as hands-on workshops. It will be taught in collaboration with the Center for Caribbean Studies.

HIST-236-01 Understanding Latin America & the Caribbean

Instructor(s): Euraque, Dario

Distribution Requirement: Meets Humanities and Global Requirements

Course Description: This interdisciplinary course explores major historical themes and contemporary cultural and political topics related to Latin American and Caribbean societies and cultures. The goal is to give students a panoramic view of Latin America and the Caribbean and to introduce them to various issues that are explored more deeply in upper-division courses. We will address questions of demography and geography, basic historical periods and processes, particular anthropological and cultural debates, fundamental political and gender issues, sociological approaches to daily life, aesthetic and literary movements, and the regions’ positions within the historical and contemporary world economy.

HISP-280-01- Hispanic Hartford

Instructor(s): Aponte-Aviles, Aidali

Distribution Requirement: Meets Humanities and Global Requirements

Course Description: This course seeks to place Trinity students in active and informed dialogue with the Hartford region’s large and diverse set of Spanish-speaking communities. The course will help student recognize and analyze the distinct national histories (e.g. Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Chilean, Honduran, Cuban, Colombian, and Mexican) which have contributed to the Hispanic diaspora in the city and the entire northeastern region of the United States. Students will undertake field projects designed to look at the effects of transnational migration on urban culture, institution-building, and identity formation.

MUSC-111-01- Samba Ensemble

 Instructor(s): Galm, Eric

Distribution Requirement: Meets Art and Global Requirements

Course Description: Emphasis is on the study and performance of the Brazilian samba drumming tradition. Related musical styles and musical genres are also included. Previous performance experience is not required, and students may take this course for more than one semester. Membership by permission of the instructor. Also listed under International Studies – Latin American and Caribbean.

HISP-306-01 Literature, Film, Music Hispanic Caribbean

 Instructor(s): Melendez, Priscilla

Distribution Requirement: Meets Humanities and Global Requirements

Course Description: Through the study of film, literary works, and music of the Hispanic Caribbean (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico) the course explores major political concepts rooted in the struggles against slavery, racism and colonialism that have given the Caribbean its sense of identity. The course (conducted in Spanish) analyzes this region’s artistic production from the early part of the twentieth century to the present helping students understand the cultural, social, and political challenges, setbacks, and triumphs of the Hispanic Caribbean connecting its complex realities with the experience of populations of Caribbean origin in Hartford, CT.

HIST-238-01- Caribbean History

 Instructor(s): Euraque, Dario

 Distribution Requirement: Meets Humanities and Global Requirements

 Course Description: The location of the first encounter, conquest, and colonization of Native American peoples by Europeans, the Caribbean became a center of bitter rivalries between European imperial powers, and later in the 20th century a new, premiere location of the United States’ own imperial thrust. The Caribbean’s strategic location in relation to Atlantic Ocean trade routes and its tropical climate and fertile soils were key factors in shaping these imperial rivalries and the colonial and postcolonial societies that emerged in the region. This course will introduce students to these and other aspects of Caribbean history, from the pre-European era, through the epics of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) and the Cuban Revolution of 1959, to the present.

HIST-256-01- Human Rights in Latin America & the Caribbean

Instructor(s): Euraque, Dario

 Distribution Requirement: Meets Humanities and Global Requirements

Course Description: In the 1970s and 1980s, thousands of people were “disappeared,” tortured and murdered in Latin America and the Caribbean, mostly by military regimes and by para-military death-squads. The period is often characterized as perhaps the lowest point in the modern abuse of “Human Rights” in the region. This course explores how these central notions and human rights have evolved in theory and in practice in the history of the Americas.

HISP-263-01- Latin American Culture I

Instructor(s): Melendez, Priscilla

Distribution Requirement: Meets Humanities and Global Requirements

Course Description: This course examines the history, societies, and cultures of the various regions that today are known as Latin America. The course moves from the major pre-Columbian civilizations, through the first encounter between Europe and these peoples, the subsequent conquest and colonization, and the first manifestations of the desire for independence. The course will concentrate specifically on how the peoples of these various regions and periods explored their social and political concerns through art, literature, and music.

INTS-376-01- Latin American Politics

 Instructor(s): Fernandez Milmanda, Belen

Distribution Requirement: Meets Social Sciences Requirement

Course Description: The course examines the processes of political, economic and social change that took place in Latin America in the XX and XIX Century. Topics include: the rise of populism and import-substituting industrialization, revolutions and revolutionary movements, the causes and consequences of military rule, the politics of economic reform, democratic transitions, the commodity boom, and the left turn. For each topic we will review classic political science theories and critically evaluate their applicability to Latin American countries. We will also discuss the lessons that can be drawn from Latin American cases for the study of these topics in the rest of the world.

URST-359-01- Latinx Urban Activism

 Instructor(s): Cotto, Jr., Robert

 Distribution Requirement: Meets Humanities Requirement

Course Description: We will examine the emergence and evolution of urban political activism by Latinas and Latinos in the United States from the early 1900s to the present. We will begin with the impact of U.S imperial expansion and colonialism (1848-present), and then track the emergence of Pan-Latinx identities and political coalitions between Latinx, African Americans, and other ethnic groups. Topics include urban political manifestations of the following: civil rights movements, labor, and student movements, struggles for gender and sexual liberation, immigration policies, citizenship, voting rights, electoral representation, cultural citizenship, urban renewal, gentrification, and “the right to the city.” This course explores various cities that had interaction of political activism with urban policy and planning to consider equitable alternatives in the past and present.

POLS-347-01- The Politics of Race in Latin America

 Instructor(s): Salgado, Gabriel

Distribution Requirement: Meets Social Sciences and Global Requirements

Course Description: This course focuses on the major concepts which have shaped dominant understandings of race in Latin America throughout the 20th century: mestizaje, the interpretation of Latin American racial identity as one of mixture; indigenismo, the emphasis on indigeneity as constitutive of racial identity in Latin America; and racial democracy, the argument that higher rates of miscegenation in Latin America (particularly Brazil) reflected a history of harmonious race relations. In addition to these three concepts, we will survey current issues related to race in the region such as the production of new sets of rights for Indigenous peoples and movements for the recognition of Afro-Latin American peoples.