LAS 316 Sex and Salvation in Latin America

What do witches in colonial Guatemala, nuns in a Mexican convent, born-again gang members in El Salvador, Catholics seeking in-vitro fertilization in Ecuador, and lesbian practitioners of Candomblé in Brazil have in common? Their experiences tell us something about the complex intersection of sex, gender, and religion in Latin America. This course draws on anthropological methods and scholarship to consider two central questions: (1) How do religious ideologies and institutions shape sexuality and gender in Latin America? (2) How do Latin Americans contest gender norms, patriarchy, and heteronormativity through their religious practices, thus contributing to larger processes of social change? To address these questions, this class focuses on the social scientific study of diverse religious communities in Latin America from the pre-Columbian past to the present.