Theories & Practices of Progress for Africa and Latin America in the 19th & 20th Centuries

History 103U(R.002

Fall 2005
Instructor (text): 
122 Latimer
Day & Time: 
W 2-4
This course is also listed as 103E.003 and 103H.002

This course will explore historical themes eventually leading towards the emergence of the development discourse in the twentieth century. Rather than a history of development as such, we will investigate the connections between colonialism, post-colonialism, gender, and notions of "progress" in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that set the stage for the post-WWII development debate. Topics of discussion will include the civilizing mission, sex and colonialism, scientific racism and notions of progress, questions of modernity, labor in colonial and post-colonial economies, education, industry, technology, nationalism, nutrition, and welfare. How did relationships formed out of the colonial experience in Africa and Latin America shape the emerging discourse of development? What drove nineteenth- and early twentieth-century interests in poverty, race, nutrition, health, medicine, sex, child welfare, sanitation, food production and reproduction? Students in European, African, and Latin American history will find this course of interest.

Course requirements:
Two short papers in connection with reading presentations and a longer paper at the end of the term are required. There are many options for the final paper, which may be based on primary or secondary sources. Students may write on course-related themes in European, Latin American or African historical contexts. History majors may also opt to write a prospectus for their 101 in lieu of a research paper. Grades will be based on attendance and participation, presentations & short papers, and the final paper.

Please contact the instructor, Corrie Decker, at if you have any questions about this course.