Modern Latin America

History 8B

Spring 2016
Day & Time: 
MWF 200-300

This introductory course to Latin American history, after presenting some of the region's geographical and colonial background, will narrate, with broad brush, Latin American history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Because of the enormous range of nations, of histories, of geographies, we will not be able to "cover" all of Latin America's history.  Indeed, coverage is impossible.  Nonetheless, by the time we complete the course, the engaged student will have been introduced to some of the central themes of this dramatic and turbulent period and how these themes play themselves out in a variety of regions from Mexico to Chile, from the Andes to Brazil, from Central America to the Caribbean to the dissolving borders of the 21st-century.  Some of the central themes of the modern period which we will address in this course are colonial legacies and the multiple meanings of independence, ethnicity and class in the new nations and mutating nationalisms, the dynamism of the North Atlantic economy and the deformations of Latin America's arrested economic development, differing Latin American strategies to address long-term structural inequalities in the twentieth century, the cycles of revolutionary movements and repressive military governments, and the powerful forces of neoliberal globalization and Latin American resistance. Grades will be based quizzes, a midterm, and a final that will include a term paper and an in-class exam.

Course Books

Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala 1952-1954 2nd Edition by Nick Cullather Stanford University Press. ISBN: 978-0804754682 Required
Caetana Says No: Women's Stories from a Brazilian Slave Society by Sandra Lauderdale Graham Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0521893534 Required
Born in Blood & Fire: A Concise History of Latin America (Third Edition) 3rd Edition by John Charles Chasteen W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN: 978-0393911541 Optional