LAH 3931 Section 03A4: Crime and Criminality in Latin America (Spring 2018)
Netflix’s hit series Narcos depicts a lush world of intrigue, lies, sex, and—of course—drugs. Its worldwide success owes to an audience already captivated by Latin American crime. In fact, images of Central American maras covered in ornate tattoos and the high-profile arrests of “crime bosses” have all but defined how some American publics have envisioned “bad immigrants” since the late 1990s. Meanwhile, deportations, violence within prisons, and overwhelming impunity generate ongoing human rights crises in the region. How do these seemingly distinct observations connect?
This class examines the complex histories of crime, criminality, and incarceration in Latin America through a variety of texts and approaches, including fiction, history, political theory, memoir, and case study. We will read texts from cities, the countryside, plantations, bedrooms, convents, and gambling houses; texts invoking race, gender, sex, and class; texts about travel, translation, slavery, labor, and the rise of modern prison systems in the Americas.
Click here to download the syllabus for LAH 3931 Section 03A4: Crime and Criminality in Latin America (Spring 2018)