This course will consider significant sources of social conflict, efforts to achieve social justice and the relevance and impact of human rights norms and oversight mechanisms in Latin America in the 21st Century. Led by Prof. James Cavallaro, the course will involve weekly sessions, each focusing on a particular topic. Readings will provide the basis for short student reflection papers to be prepared in advance of each session. The class will generally involve an initial presentation, followed by seminar-style discussion. Topics will include the human rights crisis facing Mexico, in particular, forced disappearances, summary executions and torture. We will consider, for example, the forced disappearance of 43 students in September 2014 (Ayotzinapa) in at least one session. The current political and human rights crisis facing Venezuela will be considered, likely by an expert guest speaker. So too will the peace process in Colombia and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace. Other sessions will consider social conflict and justice issues across the region. These issues will include the resurgence of populism in the United States and Latin America and its effects on social justice and human rights, the continued relevance of the Organization of American States and its human rights bodies, migration and human rights, the rights of indigenous and traditional peoples and models of development, among others. Elements used in grading: Grades will be based on class participation, and either several short reflection papers (section 01) or a final paper (section 02). After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and submit a Consent Application Form available on the SLS website (Click Courses at the bottom of the homepage and then click Consent of Instructor Forms). See Consent Application Form for instructions and submission deadline.