Becoming Latin America, 1492 to 1824

History 8A

Fall 2016
155 Donner Lab
Day & Time: 
TTh 2-330

This class is an introduction to the key trends, people and events that shaped the emergence of Latin America and the Caribbean. Beginning with a brief treatment  of Amerindian societies and cultures prior to 1492 and the earliest encounters  between Europeans and diverse Amerindian peoples, we will consider the mutual  misunderstandings that characterized these early encounters, the subsequent "conquest"  of complex American civilizations, the establishment of colonial rule, and the formation of diverse colonial societies. How were these colonial societies both inclusive and  exclusive, both rigidly hierarchical and surprisingly flexible, at the same time? How did the actions of Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans shape a New World for all and  help Latin America to “become Latin American”? Our most general concern will be to  understand that while the concept of "conquest" suggests political permanence, intent and  social stability, in many ways colonial "spaces" remained highly contested territories; the processes of establishing colonial governance were heavily negotiated and fraught with tension and uncertainty. By focusing on controversies and multiple perspectives, students will develop a more sophisticated understanding of the complexities associated with early modern colonialism: how societies and cultures take shape because and in spite of disparities in power among all the actors involved

Course Books

Born in Blood and Fire by Chasteen W. W. Norton. ISBN: 978-0393911541 Required
The Other Slavery by Andres Resendez Houghton Miflin. ISBN: 978-0547640983 Required
Freedom's Mirror by Ada Ferrer Cambridge. ISBN: 978-1107697782 Required
The Tupac Amaru Rebellion by Charles F. Walker Harvard. ISBN: 978-0674659995 Required
The Vanguard of the Atlantic World by James E. Sanders Duke. ISBN: 978-0822357803 Required