Program Coordinator: Jessie Smith

604.323.5788
jessiesmith@langara.ca


Cassandra Bill Instructor

Phone:
Office: B010g
Email: cbill@langara.ca

I am an anthropologist/archaeologist and specialize in the study of ancient Maya civilization and culture.  I did my Master’s degree in Mesoamerican archaeology at Trent University in southern Ontario and received a PhD. in anthropology from Tulane University in New Orleans.  I have been doing research in Central America for over 25 years, and have lived and worked in Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. 

I teach in the Anthropology department at Capilano University, and in the Fall and Summer semesters I teach the first quarter of Latin American Studies 1100 (Introduction to Latin American Studies) at Langara.  My section of the course covers about the first 10,000 years of the culture history of Latin America – from the first settlement of the region through the rise of various indigenous civilizations in South America and Mesoamerica to the arrival of the Spanish in the early 1500’s and the impact of the Spanish conquest and colonial institutions on indigenous lifeways in Latin America.

I love to read and travel and hope to someday perfect the art of Latin American cuisine at home (although I suspect there is something about just being there that makes it all taste better).

 

Ginette Dube Instructor

Phone: 604.323.5788
Office: A359b
Email: gdube@langara.ca

I am interested in Latin American politics, in particular issues of peace and conflict, human rights, radical social and political movements, food security and the environment. 

My undergraduate degree is in Political Science and International Development at the University of Toronto.  I did my graduate studies at Simon Fraser University, where I studied new democratic movements and in particular political music and theatre emerging from Latin American military regimes (My research took me to study carnival music and theatre in Uruguay.)

In years past, I’ve worked in Bolivia with the Association of the Families of the Disappeared; in Uruguay with Canada World Youth; in Nicaragua with Canadian Coalition for Aid to Nicaragua, and in Guatemala with Co-Development Canada and the Defensoria Maya collecting testimonies of the victims of the civil war. 

In the Fall and Summer semesters I am the course coordinator for Latin American Studies 1100 (Introduction to Latin America). Each Spring semester I teach Latin American Studies 2203 (Latin American History) and examine the histories of Cuba, Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina. I also teach a quarter section of Latin American Studies 1101 (Latin American Culture) and my section is on popular culture.

At a local level, I put my energies into living sustainably by trying to live on a 100 mile diet, supporting local farmers and farmers markets and at my kids school getting into vegetable gardening and recycling beyond the blue box. 

 

Jessie Smith Coordinator

Phone: 604.323.5788
Office: A359b
Email: jessiesmith@langara.ca

 I have been very fortunate to travel, study, volunteer and work (for Oxfam Canada) in almost every country in Latin American. Latin Americans have taught me so much about how the world works; I feel honoured to have the opportunity to share these lessons with students at Langara.

 For my BA I did a joint major in Latin American Studies and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University. I went on to do an MA at the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University. My thesis was entitled: “We Are Not Profitable”: Neoliberalism and the Peasant Sector in Nicaragua.

As well as Coordinating the Latin American Studies Program, each Fall I teach Latin American Studies 2206 (Latin America in a Globalized World). We examine the free market policies that have been imposed on the region as well as the resistance to this model by social movements, and the alternatives many new governments are implementing.

Each Spring I Coordinate Latin American Studies 1101 (Latin American Culture). My section of the course looks at how Latin Americans use feature films and testimonial literature as powerful tools for social change. Each Summer and Fall I teach one quarter of Latin American Studies 1100. My section is on the modern era, from the debt crisis of the 1980s to the exciting changes taking place in Latin America today.

When I am not working I like to read, travel, volunteer at my daughter’s school, go camping, go to music festivals, and generally enjoy life with my family.