Modern Mexico: Recent Work in Historiographical Perspective

History 280E.001

Spring 2008
Day & Time: 
Mon 2-4

The common reading in this course consists of recently-published books or articles that are either very good, representing current approaches to the period from independence to the 1970s, or newly-published books the professor would like to read (in the hopes that they, too, are good books). For most class sessions, there will be supplementary reading on reserve that will represent some of the ";historiographical background"; to the week's common reading. For example, when we read David Brading on the legacies of Bourbon progressivism and creole patriotism in the post-independence period, I will ask you to sample the work of the nineteenth-century conservative, Lucas Alaman, in some ways a direct progenitor of Brading's take on the Spanish legacy. ";Historiography"; will also be taken to mean books published in the 1960s or 1970s, such as Nora Hamiltonâ€_Äôs interpretation of the Cardenas period, quite different in approach from that of the newer works on Cardenismo. You will not be asked to read this material closely, just get a feel for it, because although students will be expected to rotate leading discussions, the professor will pontificate for 20 minutes or so at the beginning of each class on the readings on reserve and on the general historiographical context into which the weekâ€_Äôs readings fit. The course is thus ideally suited to preparing an orals field in modern Mexico.

Students will write two 7-10 page papers on a historiographical question of their choosing. Ordinarily they will also lead the discussion the week that their chosen question comes up.

Serious auditors (meaning, commitment to attend class regularly and participate in discussion) welcome.


Also listed as 285E.001