Cities in Latin America: From Colony to Megalopolis

History 103E.002

Fall 2012
Day & Time: 
M 10-12P
Sarah Selvidge is a PhD student in history and is currently working on a dissertation about housing policy and architectural modernism in Mexico City. 


This course examines the relationship between cities, intellectuals and political power in Latin America. From the colonial period to the twentieth century, cities in Latin America have been both a metaphor for the future of the nation and its people as well as a means of creating, perpetuating, studying and challenging political power. We will explore these processes along with the trajectory of urban growth and modernization, keeping in mind the role of cities in terms of the larger history of each country and the region as a whole. As such, familiarity with Latin American history is recommended but not required. Readings will span a great geographic and temporal range, but will focus on major cities, including Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Bogotá and Buenos Aires. While our emphasis will be on historical analysis, we will also consider the work of anthropologists, sociologists and other urban scholars. Methodology and theory will be important components of discussions. Requirements include three written assignments, the first based on secondary readings, the second on primary sources, and the third will be a proposal for a 101 or other research paper on a topic of your choosing related to urban issues in Latin America.