Latin American Women

History 146

Fall 2014
219 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
TuTh 2-330P

This course works on two tracks. The first track is that of “women’s history.” Here we will survey the experiences and impact of women in Latin America from the pre-conquest period to the present, using the tools of social and political history. Some themes that will be addressed are: how did indigenous women’s lives change as a result of the conquest? What was the role of African American women in Latin American slave societies? Was the “patriarchal family” the dominant form of social organization or was patriarchy primarily important as an ideology? How did the convent offer women another life option besides marriage? Did the impact of nineteenth-century liberalism “liberate” women or limit their options? How did industrialization affect women and what role did they play as they entered the workforce in large numbers after World War II? How did Latin American feminism differ from the U.S. varieties? Why was the vote for women so late coming? The second track is “gender history.” In other words, we will not just discuss women’s experiences, but also the ways that gender ideologies (like patriarchy, honor-shame, machismo, marianismo) have influenced Latin American history. For example, how was sexuality central to the religious and political authority of Aztec and Inca men? How did gendered representations of indigenous America shape policy and attitudes in the post-conquest period? How did notions of motherhood change over time, and how were they deployed politically? How did ideas about masculinity shape the way agrarian reform programs in the 20th century were administered? How did military and other authoritarian regimes attempt to consolidate power by positioning themselves as “fathers” and positioning opposition forces as “immature children”? Midterm, final, two short papers, participation in two role-playing “cocktail parties.”

Course Books

Women and Gender in Modern Latin America by Pamela S. Murray Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-415-89455-5 Required
A Mother's Cry: A Memoir of Politics, Prison, and Torture under the Braziilian Military Dictatorship by Lina Penna Sattamini Duke. ISBN: 978-0822347361 Required
Evita: In My Own Words by Eva Peron New Press. ISBN: 978-1565843530 Required
The Women's Revolution in Mexico by Stephanie Mitchell and Patience Schell Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN: 978-0742537316 Required
The Magic Lantern by Jose Tomas de Cuellar Oxford. ISBN: 978-0195115031 Required
The Case of the Ugly Suitor by Jeffrey M. Shumway University of Nebraska. ISBN: 978-0803293267 Required
Caetana Says No by Sandra Lauderdale Graham Cambridge. ISBN: 978-0521893534 Required