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.

Access Virtual Library Guide

The interdisciplinary coursework in the Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization program focuses on Peru's traditional and contemporary indigenous societies in the context of both Peruvian identity politics and the transnational pressures of globalization.  Students learn about the history and cultural identity of Peru's native Andean, Amazonian, and campesinos 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)
Conducted in Spanish with required readings, the course examines the historical processes of the Andean and Amazonian indigenous populations in Peru. Students study the experiences of Peruvian indigenous populations during the last five centuries and examine, from an indigenous perspective, the prosperity of the precolonial period, the enslavement of the colonial period, and the construction of the Peruvian republic. Course resources include lecturers, shamans, and civic leaders.

Indigenous Peoples in Motion: Changes, Resistance, and Globalization- syllabi (PDF)
(LACB 3005 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
An interdisciplinary course conducted in Spanish with required readings and relevant educational excursions. The course explores the contemporary transformations of indigenous groups through multiple lenses. Mobilization and political organization of indigenous groups surrounding the defense of their cultures, territories, and natural environments is discussed.  Lecturers typically include professors in the fields of anthropology, intercultural education, and environmental studies; indigenous leaders and artists; Amazonian and Andean healers; human rights leaders; and others.

Intensive Language Study: Quechua - syllabus (PDF)
(QUEC 1000 / 1 credit / 15 class hours)
Emphasis on beginning oral and comprehension skills through classroom and field instruction. Formal instruction is augmented 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)
Emphasis on speaking, reading, and writing skills through classroom and field instruction. Based on in-country evaluation, including oral proficiency testing, students are placed in intensive intermediate or advanced classes, with further language practice in Cusco homestays, lectures, and field visits.

Research Methods and Ethics - syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
A course in the concepts of learning across cultures and from field experience. Introduction to the Independent Study Project. Material includes cross-cultural adaptation and skills building; project selection and refinement; appropriate methodologies; field study ethics and the World Learning/SIT Human Subjects Review Policy; developing contacts and finding resources; developing skills in observation and interviewing; gathering, organizing, and communicating data; maintaining a work journal; specific attention to research ethics and intellectual property when working with marginalized peoples; exposure to non-Western research methodologies.

Independent Study Project - syllabus (PDF)
(ISPR 3000 / 4 credits / 120 class hours)
Conducted in Cusco or in another approved location appropriate to the project in Peru. Sample topics include: role of oral histories, legends, and myths in ethnocultural preservation; knowledge transmission; changing agricultural practices; ecotourism as a community development model; grassroots empowerment; urban indigenous communities; generational dynamics in cultural pride and heritage.

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)

Connect With Us

Connect icons

888.272.7881 (toll-free in US)



Mailing Address:
PO Box 676, 1 Kipling Road
Brattleboro, VT 05302 USA

Contact us by email.