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JAN 187: Mexico: Tradition and Modernity
Acapulco, Mexico; Cuernavaca, Mexico; Mexico City, Mexico; Puebla, Mexico; Taxco, Mexico; Teotihuacan de Arista, Mexico; Tepoztlan, Mexico (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Jan Term
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: SMC-CA applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
Course Title:Mexico: Tradition and ModernityCourse ID:JAN 187Instructors:Alvaro RamirezContact Email:aramirez@stmarys-ca.eduLocation:

Cuernavaca, Mexico

Course Description:

In this course students will analyze the ways in which traditional folk cultures coexist with modernity in Mexico as they travel to visit famous archeological sites such as Teotihuacan, the colonial cities of Puebla and Taxco as well as the postmodern metropolis of Mexico City, where they will visit the Museums of Anthropology, National History, and Frida Khalo. The base city is Cuernavaca where students will attend classes at Universidad Internacional Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. During the first two hours of each day, Prof. Ramírez will lead seminar-type discussions in English. We will discuss the works of authors who have defined various notions of Mexican identity in the late twentieth century that have influenced profoundly how Mexicans see themselves in terms of culture and nationality, especially in relation to Americans and Europeans. Topics covered include race, class, and identity in the colonial and postcolonial era; modern Mexican identity in the post-NAFTA era, the impact of migration and modernity on indigenous societies as well as the effects of the recent war on drugs on Mexico. From 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. all students will attend language courses according to their level. Once a week students volunteer at a nearby school, where they will work with indigenous children. With the exception of two afternoon trips, excursions will take place on weekends. All students will be housed in pairs with Mexican families who provide room and board. Four meetings scheduled prior to leaving on the trip are considered part of the course.

Division:Upper DivisionPrerequisites:

Students who enroll in this course must be in good academic standing at the time of enrollment. Not open to freshmen.

Informational Meetings:

Attendance at one of the following meetings is mandatory for enrollment (contact instructor if you have conflicts):

Wednesday 9/7, 5:00-6:00pm, Dante 114

Thursday 9/8, 5:30-6:30pm, Dante 114

Wednesday 9/14, 5:00-6:00pm, Dante 114

Reading List:

Jorge Castañeda, “Mañana Forever: Mexico and the Mexicans”

Nestor García Canclini, “Citizens and Consumers: Globalization and Multicultural Conflicts”

Guillermo Bonfil Batalla, “Mexico Profundo: Reclaiming a Civilization”

David Fitzgerald, “A Nation of Emigrants”  

Basis for Final Grade:

Active Class Participation        10%

Quizzes                                       5%

Daily Journal                            20%

Midterm Exam                         20%

Final Exam                               20%

Ten Page Term Paper               25%

TOTAL                                  100 %


Course Fee Per Student:$2,295Description of What the Course Fee Covers:

Airfare, tuition fees, room and board with Mexican family, excursions (transportation, hotel room, and museum tickets)

Dates Traveling:

January 6 - February 3

Class Schedule:MTuThF, 12:00 - 2:35 PM

This program is currently not accepting applications.