DECM 128 Urban Cultures: Buenos Aires: Syllabus

This course is an introduction to Latin American urban cultures, specifically, to Buenos Aires. The course will provide an experiential learning opportunity different from a normal term course in that students will not only speak and write about a place, but be in it for 8 days (plus 2 days for travel).

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Once in Buenos Aires, students will be introduced to the city’s cultural life through a series of itineraries related to its historical, political, literary, artistic, and musical scenes.

Students will visit the historic buildings, plazas, and cafés, as well as sites related to the country’s history, such as Eva Perón’s tomb. They will visit sites relevant to the writer Jorge Luis Borges and Pope Francis, a native of the city, among others. They will also attend a milonga (tango dance) if possible, and learn about the tango music and dance in situ. Students will travel to the city’s suburbs and to the Parana river Delta, sites reflected in Argentine literature and arts.

The course will emphasize cultural exchange, engagement with the city, and personal transformation.

Reading list

Reading of 2 essays from Foster, David William. Buenos Aires: perspectives on the city and cultural production. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1998.

Gardner, James. Buenos Aires. The Biography of a City. New York: St Martin’s Press, 2015.
Farris Thompson, Robert. Tango: the art history of love. New York: Pantheon Books, 2005.

Preparation 10%
Travel and participation 80%
Paper 10%

The course will have at least THREE orientation sessions in the Fall Term to discuss logistics, readings and assignments, and to answer any questions students have about the course or Buenos Aires in general.
** Students are required to attend al the meetings.
Students who do not attend al the meetings will be removed from the trip and will lose their non-refundable deposit and any non-recoverable expenses**

Travel and participation
Students are expected to behave in a safe and mature way while abroad, keeping in mind the group’s needs. They should be prepared to be accommodating to the conditions in the country. The instructor will be aided by a travel agency while the group is abroad, but students will be responsible for behaving in a safely while traveling.

• The paper will be a 1000 words (minimum) personal reflection on the trip, taking into account the information you gathered from your readings, as well as your personal experiences while in the city.
• Consider also the ways in which the D-Term helped you better understand a global city, as well as what insights you gathered about your own culture.
• Finally, reflect on the ways in which you can relate what you learned in the course to Lawrence’s mission statement, including “your knowledge and understanding about (and your respect for) the perspectives of others” and the ways in which the course helped prepare you “for lives of achievement, responsible and meaningful citizenship, lifelong learning, and personal fulfillment.”

Due date: 10 days after returning.

Students should have a passport valid for 6 months after your return to the United States.

Travel forms
If the students’ travel forms are not submitted by the deadlines, they will be removed from the trip and will lose their non-refundable deposit and any non-recoverable expenses

Travel dates
• Students will depart on December 2, arriving to Buenos Aires airport, called Ezeiza (EZE) on December 3.
• They will be picked up at the airport by a travel agent.
• They will return to the US departing on December 10. They will be taken to the airport. They will arrive in the US on December 11.

After the course is finished they may, of course, elect to stay longer and travel independently.

PROGRAM FEE $3,500.00

The program fee (in addition to Lawrence tuition, which will be billed separately in October) covers:
• Transportation from and to the airport in Buenos Aires
• Stay in a 3 start hotel with double or triple occupancy,
• Tours in English with private transportation and guides,
• Travel insurance through Lawrence University for 1 month,
• Meals: breakfast at the hotel plus 2 meals a day* (estimated at around U$S 25.00 a meal per person)
• Entrances to museums and a tango show

*student is responsible for their last meal at the airport the day of departure and for their meals while traveling internationally
**The program fee does not include airfare, for which students are responsible.
Nor does it include Lawrence tuition, which will be billed separately. **


August 1 – non-refundable $500.00 deposit. Send check to:
ATTN: Student Accounts Lawrence University711 E. Boldt Way Appleton, WI 54911

September 15– Half of the program fee reminder: $1,500
October 23 – Half of the program fee reminder: $1,500

SEE Payment Options here

D-Term tuition
The tuition will be billed to the student’s account at Lawrence.

• Students should bring pocket money for snacks, souvenirs, and incidental expenses.
• A sensible amount would be approximately $350.