This course explores the development of racial categories throughout Latin America and the implications of these social constructs for group identities, community building, and social activism. We will begin with a theoretical overview of the scholarship on race and ethnicity in Latin America and on the process of racialization. We will explore the limitations of using a Western lens to understand "race" and racism in Latin America and the Caribbean. Students will learn to expand how they conceptualize these terms in order to better understand Latin America's distinct racial landscape. Students will engage the empirical scholarship of indigenous populations as well as on Latin Americas of African descent. Students will learn about the complexities of mestizaje, the erasure of blackness and rising inter-ethnic conflict.