Core Seminar – Impacts of Globalization and Community Responses in Patagonia
In this multi-disciplinary seminar, students will develop an understanding of globalization as a set of economic, social and cultural processes. The special dimensions within Latin America, and Argentina in particular, will be considered. Utilizing local case studies, the course will examine patterns of social, economic and cultural transformation resulting from the processes of globalization. Socio-economic exlusion and challenges of cultural identities will be central to the course, and students will engage in a hands-on service learning project in the community.
The course will examine a set of historical factors and neo-liberal economic policies in Argentina that led up to, and resulted in a national financial crisis, and movement of social protest so large that the national government and economy collapsed in 2001. Students will investigate the social and economic impacts of the crisis, specifically in Bariloche and the region of Patagonia, and subsequent community-driven efforts towards new configurations of economic and cultural sustainability, and socio-political inclusion. The course will also examine the extraction of natural resources and acquisition of land from multi-national companies in Patagonia contending with environmental conservation, and land rights of First Nations (pueblos originarios), including the Mapuche.
With guest lectures from Mapuche community leaders, we will discuss preservation of cultural identities, and traditions through efforts such as the worker-led cooperative: el Mercado de la Estepa (the Steppe Market). The cooperative is owned, operated and directed by its nearly 300 artisan members whom mostly live in rural communities, raising sheep and now sell their fine, woven wool products to support their livelihoods. They also initiated legislation in support of worker cooperatives, passing into law in 2010.
Another case study of the Seminar is la Asociacion de Recicladores de Bariloche (Bariloche Recylers’ Association), which began after the economic crisis of 2001, when many unemployed families moved to the local dump in search of food and recyclable materials to cash-in. Over time, the city allocated housing and assisted the workers to form a recognized association that now employs 70 individuals responsible for Bariloche’s recycling program.
The seminar was co-designed and will be team-taught by FASTA faculty of Social Economics, Economics, Political Science, and Environmental Law, with Academic Coordinator Luisa Bieri Rios. It will include guest lectures with local experts, community leaders, and site visits.
Integral to the Seminar, students engage directly with local communities in a service learning project as a practical, hands-on component of the course. Click here for a description of the service learning project and a list of possible placements.
Students are expected to enter the program at an intermediate level (or higher) of Spanish language. Usually, this corresponds to 2 years of college-level Spanish, or the equivalent. Native Spanish speakers are encouraged to apply.
Spanish Language Intensive (3 semester credits)
At the beginning of the program, students’ Spanish language skills will be assessed, and will be placed according to their appropriate level in a three-week intensive language course. Advanced and native Spanish speakers’ course will focus on Argentine Literature and/or Film.
Spanish Language Tutorial (3 semester credits)
This semester-long tutorial emphasizes providing academic writing, and reading support for the Core Seminar and Semester coursework, as well as theme-specific spoken language skills and vocabulary as students engage in their service learning project and prepare for oral exams.
Students choose two additional elective courses from FASTA University’s regular semester course offerings that complement the Core Seminar curriculum and Service Learning projects. All courses are conducted in Spanish and will be taken alongside Argentine university students.
Please note that most of these courses are designed to be year-long courses from March through December, and students on the program will participate in the first semester of the course only (March-June is the fall semester in Argentina). Each course is 3 semester credits.
Possible course electives include:
Argentine History (200 level)
Through this course, students will acquire knowledge and skills necessary to interpret the national past in search of an Argentine cultural identity. The course examines Argentina’s principle historical events of the 19th and 20th centuries—political, economic and social—to understand and distinguish the ideologies and programmatic platforms of Argentine social movements and political parties from their historical emergence to today. After a brief examination of South America’s colonial history and conquests of indigenous peoples, the course explores Argentine independence, early political thinkers, and the emergence of Unitarian and Federalist parties. Within the 20th century, the course focuses on the social and political influence of Juan Domingo Peron, Argentine militarism and revolutionary movements, the ‘Proceso de Reorganizacion Nacional’ military dictatorship, and the return of democracy with Presidents Alfonsín and Menem.
Environmental Law and Natural Resources (300 level)
In this course, students will develop knowledge and skills for critical analysis of the legal framework and policies towards natural resources and the environment, both in general and within Argentina and the province of Rio Negro. Students will investigate key actors and new proposals towards solutions of contemporary environmental conflicts. The course begins with a basic introduction to the natural resources and environmental damage in Argentina, including examining public and private responsibility in the implementation of various environmental policies. The course explores the dominion, jurisdiction, use, exploitation and preservation of the air, water, flora, fauna, and soil, as well as basic notions of agrarian law. In addition, it will examine mining laws and codes, as well as diverse energy sources and their usage: hydrocarbons, hydroelectric, nuclear, and alternative energies such as wind, solar, and ‘mareomotriz’ (oceanic). Particular attention will be given to the region of Patagonia.
Alternative Resolution of Conflicts (400 level)
This course aims to give students a foundation and basic understanding of conflict resolution and its role within the Argentine justice system. In 1996, Argentina introduced legislation to require mediation and conciliation within civil, commercial, and labor disputes as a step prior to litigation. The course will analyze diverse mechanisms of conflict resolution and their objectives, including methods of negotiation, mediation, and conciliation, among others, and distinguish their particular characteristics and uses. The historical context and contemporary developments will be discussed within areas of judicial, community-based, labor, business, and family disputes. Students will also examine the role of the mediator, as well as resources and tools used by mediators in specific case studies. This class is participatory in design to include site visits, interviews, and direct observations of mediation in practice within public institutions, and non-governmental organizations in Bariloche.
International Law (300 level)
Through this course, students will gain an introduction to the conceptual framework of public international law, and develop skills for critical analysis of its principle actors, their roles and responsibilities, and relationship to Argentina. The course examines international treaties, law of sea, international criminal law, war, neutrality, security and international humanitarian law, and human rights. Questions of territory, borders, national sovereignty, independence, and state intervention will also be explored specifically within the Argentine national context, including the Malvinas/Falklands territorial dispute. Similarly, the course examines Argentina’s relationship to and antecedents with the Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and G.A.T.T., among others.
Sociology (200 level)
This course aims to introduce students to the discipline of sociology from diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives. From basic inquiries into what the unifying elements of a society are, and the relationship of the individual to society, the course explores the processes of social action, function, power, structure, and culture. In addition, the course examines the symbolic practices and human activity that generate social reality, including mechanisms of social regulation, processes of socialization, social classification and hierarchy, as well as differentiation and social inequalities. Departing from classic thinkers Comte, Durkheim, Weber and Marx, the course also includes contemporary theorists, with particular attention to Argentine social research and theory.
Philosophy of Law (300 level)
Through this course, students will develop a basic knowledge of the philosophical frameworks of law and ethics in relationship to humankind, governance, and state powers. The course explores philosophical approaches to substance, essence, nature, and value systems of human dignity, freedom, spirituality, justice, responsibility, and moral conduct, among others. In addition, the course examines the legal personhood of the individual, their powers, rights and functions in relationship to the electoral process and democratic state, national constitution, worth of services and salaries, etc. The course includes texts of Aristotle, Plato, Saint Thomas of Aquinas, Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, among others.
Additional courses are available in the following subject areas:
- Audiovisual Storytelling
- Political Economy
- Political Journalism
- Humanities Seminar: Selected Topics
Contact AEA if you are looking for a specific course or area of study, or to request course syllabi. Course offerings may vary slightly year to year.