Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization


Four recent semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish, as assessed by SIT.

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Through the interdisciplinary coursework in the Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization program, students learn about the history and cultural identity of Peru's native Andean, Amazonian, and campesina communities while examining these groups' community development, preservation, and advocacy efforts in the context of shifting global forces. Students participate in a variety of research and cultural activities throughout the semester and learn from researchers, academics, professionals, practitioners, and community experts. During the final month of the semester, students leverage their field study experience and research skills to conduct an Independent Study Project (ISP).

The following syllabi are from a recent or upcoming semester of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of unique learning opportunities, actual course content varies from semester to semester. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

History of Indigenous Cultures in Peru - syllabus (PDF)
(LACB 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
The course begins with an examination of the history of Andean and Amazonian indigenous peoples in Peru. Students consider the prosperity and peacefulness of the precolonial period, the violence of the colonial era, and the birth and construction of the Peruvian republic, asking how indigenous populations were and were not included in the nationalist project. Students also learn about the cosmovisions of both Andean and Amazonian cultures, traditional conceptualizations of gender, land use, and other topics. With these foundations, students then shift toward contemporary issues, in particular focusing on urbanization processes as they have affected indigenous peoples. All coursework is conducted in Spanish.

Indigenous Peoples in Motion: Changes, Resistance, and Globalization- syllabi (PDF)
(LACB 3005 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
In this seminar, students explore contemporary transformations of indigenous groups through multiple lenses. In particular, they analyze ethnic identity within the urban environment, examining indigenous migration and “cholification,” racism, and discrimination. They consider the ethnic component of political violence in Peru and study how indigenous peoples have mobilized resistance and organized to defend their cultures, territories, and local environments. Students study topics such as bilingual education movements, national law, and international rights for indigenous peoples, among other topics. All coursework is conducted in Spanish.

Intensive Language Study: Quechua - syllabus (PDF)
(QUEC 1000 / 1 credit / 15 class hours)
This introductory course emphasizes building oral and comprehension skills through classroom and field instruction. Formal instruction is enhanced by language practice during rural homestays and excursions.

Intensive Language Study: Spanish for the Social Sciences I - syllabus (PDF)
(SPAN 2000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: Spanish for the Social Sciences II - syllabus (PDF)
(SPAN 2500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: Spanish for the Social Sciences III - syllabus (PDF)
(SPAN 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: Spanish for the Social Sciences IV - syllabus (PDF)
(SPAN 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
In this course, students hone their speaking, reading, and writing skills through classroom and field instruction. They practice reading social science literature as they learn the theoretical terms and local expressions needed to discuss sociocultural issues, to conduct field research, and to interact in settings related to the program themes. Students are placed in small classes based on an in-country evaluation that tests both written and oral proficiency.

Research Methods and Ethics - syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
In this research methods course designed to prepare students for the Independent Study Project, students learn how to organize and conduct a research project. Through lectures, readings, and field activities, students study and practice a range of basic social science methods. They examine the ethical issues surrounding field research related to the program themes and are guided through the World Learning/SIT Human Subjects Review process, which forms a core component of the course. By the end of the course, students will have chosen a research topic, selected appropriate methods, and written a solid proposal for an Independent Study Project related to the program themes. All coursework is conducted in Spanish.

Independent Study Project - syllabus (PDF)
(ISPR 3000 / 4 credits / 120 class hours)
Conducted in Cuzco or other approved and appropriate locations in Peru, the Independent Study Project offers students the opportunity to conduct field research on a topic of their choice within the program’s thematic parameters. The project integrates learning from the various components of the program and culminates in a final presentation and formal research paper. Sample topic areas: the role of oral histories, legends, and myths in ethno-cultural preservation; knowledge transmission; changing agricultural practices; ecotourism as a community development model; grassroots empowerment; interaction between urban and rural communities; generational dynamics in cultural pride and heritage; cross-cultural education; conflicts between conservation and extractive industries.

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

Costs Dates

Credits: 17

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Cuzco

Language Study: Quechua,  Spanish

Prerequisites: 4 semesters Spanish

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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