Modern Latin America

History 8B

Spring 2012
101 LSA
Day & Time: 
MWF 2-3

This class will consider the history of Latin America as a world region from Independence (1810-1821) to the present. Throughout this period, the ethnically diverse peoples of this vast region emerged from three centuries of colonial rule to shape modern nations that continue to have a deeply ambivalent relationship to their colonial pasts. As a fusion of Amerindian, African and Hispanic cultures and traditions, the modern nations of Latin America are both familiar yet deeply enigmatic to people steeped in the political and cultural traditions of the United States. Throughout the term we will explore works by politicians, intellectuals, novelists, artists, travelers, journalists, activists and rebels - the people who forged these diverse modern nations on the ruins of the Spanish and Portuguese empires in the Americas.


Stephanie Ballenger received her Ph.D. in Latin American History from UC Berkeley. Her research interests encompass the intersection of medicine and religion in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, cross-cultural and transnational approaches to health and the politics of health, history and cultures of medicine and the body, and the relationship between the modernization of medical knowledge and the formation of modern national and cultural identities.