Nicaragua: Youth Culture, Literacy, and Media


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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The program’s first thematic seminar, Rewriting Nicaragua: Literacies, Rights, and Social Change, provides students with an overview of the historical and contemporary Nicaraguan context, emphasizing revolution and literacy campaigns, and working up to Nicaragua’s current struggles and challenges. The second thematic seminar, Re-imagining Nicaragua: Youth Culture, Media, and Expression, focuses on youth culture, taking care to consider questions of access (to education and digital media) and issues of difference (ethnic, sexual, class, religious, etc.).

In the program’s advanced Spanish seminar focused on reading and writing, Experiments in Writing, students examine politically charged poetry and literature of Nicaragua. The course is offered at three different language levels.

The Research Methods and Ethics seminar provides students with qualitative skills and introduces them to arts-based research techniques; it covers a range of digital media (visual and audio). In the final Independent Study Project, students explore a specific issue related to youth culture and expression.

The following syllabi are for an upcoming semester. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Rewriting Nicaragua: Literacies, Rights, and Social Change — syllabus (PDF)
(LACB 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
This interdisciplinary seminar provides an overview of Nicaraguan realities before and since the Nicaraguan Revolution. Students analyze the literacy campaigns of the revolution as a point of origin for the expansion of awareness of basic rights (human rights, access to education and healthcare, sexual and religious freedoms, etc.,), and as a backdrop to current demands for both information and expression. How did these earlier movements set the stage for the next generation’s own call for social change and expanded freedoms? Through lectures, readings, site visits, and excursions, as well as a brief comparative study with Cuba, students gain knowledge and critical perspectives on post-revolutionary Nicaragua, which provide them with a framework in which to study contemporary youth culture and expression. All coursework is conducted in Spanish. 

Re-imagining Nicaragua: Youth Culture, Media, and Expression — syllabus (PDF)
(LACB 3005 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
In this second seminar, students explore Nicaragua’s youth culture. They question who the term "youth" refers to and how understandings of adolescence and early adulthood have evolved. Is there a parallel to the Millennial generation in Nicaragua? Can we really speak of a global youth culture in less than equitable situations? How, in what spaces and genres, and to whom are today’s young people in Nicaragua, and to a lesser degree in Cuba, expressing themselves? What are the themes they want to discuss? How do gender, class, and ethnicity intersect with these desires? How does higher education enter (or not enter) into these efforts? How will this generation leave a mark and be heard? Students read works from a range of disciplines and sources (governmental, popular, academic) and interact with youth in different contexts, as well as participate in lectures and discussions about these issues. All coursework is conducted in Spanish.

Experiments in Writing  — syllabus (PDF)
(SPAN 2500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Experiments in Writing — syllabus (PDF)
(SPAN 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Experiments in Writing — syllabus (PDF)
(SPAN 4500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
In this decidedly nontraditional Spanish course, students refine and expand their expressive capacity in Spanish through a wide range of reading and writing activities. Students study Nicaraguan literature, participate in writing workshops — often with community members — and learn to write in different styles, genres, and registers (e.g., rural/urban, slang, and academic). They turn these conversations and drafts into polished pieces of both individual and collaborative writing. Students are placed in small classes based on an in-country evaluation that tests both written and oral proficiency.

Research Methods and Ethics: Youth, Arts-Based Inquiry, Digital Media — 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 qualitative, digital, and arts-based methods appropriate for researching the program’s themes. They examine the ethical issues surrounding field research related to working with youth and with more public digital media forms, and they 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 youth culture and varying types of expression.

Independent Study Project — syllabus (PDF)
(ISPR 3000 / 4 credits / 120 class hours)
Conducted in Managua or other approved locations appropriate to the project, 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: youth and radio; tweets and texts in Nicaragua; art and protest over two generations; sexual literacy and expression in Managua; poetry, politics, and gender; higher education and identity among indigenous students.

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Managua

Language Study: Spanish

Prerequisites: 4 semesters of 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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