Latin American Women

History 146

Spring 2012
289 Cory
Day & Time: 
TuTh 3:30-5

The goal of this class is to reinterpret Latin American history through the framework of gender. The course will work on two interrelated tracks. First, we will survey the experiences of women and men in Latin America from the pre-conquest period to the present. Some themes that will be addressed are: how did women's social and legal status change as a result of the conquest? What was the role of the African American family in Latin American slave societies? How were patriachal relationships affected by race and class? What did the Catholic church, through the convent or other church institutions, offer women? Did the impact of nineteenth-century liberalism "liberate" women or depreciate their role in society? Have Latin American women played a conservative political role in the twentieth century? Why was the vote for women so late coming? How did revolution and dictatorship affect women differently from men? Second, we will examine the ways that gender pervades political and other discourses, for example, the discursive feminization of the church by nineteenth-century liberals, or the masculinization of the peasant family in agrarian reform ideologies. Readings will be mainly primary sources. I will show four films. There will be two short papers, a midterm, and a final. You will also be required to attend two "cocktail" parties in which you will role-play a character from the readings. Midterm will count 25%, parties 5% each, final 25%, papers 20% each.