Latin America

103E.003 Fall 2014 The Question of Progress in Latin American History

Progress has always been a puzzle in Latin America’s history: a challenge for intellectual and political elites, an elusive dream for ordinary Latin Americans, and the cause of new challenges and problems wherever it did take place. For historians, progress used to represent the very sense of universal history, a narrative that sneaked into current visions of “Western modernity” and “globalization.” What has “progress” meant particularly for Latin Americans? What is, for instance, the meaning of “progress” in the Brazilian flag?

103E.002 Fall 2014 Slavery, War, and Revolution in Latin America and the Caribbean

This course will examine a century of warfare, revolution, and rebellion in Latin America and the Caribbean, from the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries.  Within 100 years, two institutions crucial to the settlement of the Americas—imperial rule and African slavery—had been largely destroyed.  How did this come to be?  What was the relationship between the struggles for personal and political emancipation?  How have the forces of anticolonialism, antislavery, and antiracism converged and conflicted in the Latin American and Caribbean past?

146 Fall 2014 Latin American Women

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?

8B Fall 2014 Modern Latin America

This survey of Modern Latin America introduces students to the making of the region that came to be known as "Latin America," to its diverse peoples, and to their experience of modernity during the past two centuries. The course will focus on the region as a whole, and will explain both how modern Latin American nations came to be, and how social relations operated within and across the

100E.001 Spring 2014 Cuba in World History

This course surveys Cuban history, culture, and politics from the fifteenth century to the present.  We will examine both the outsized role the island has played in world history and the dramatic ways world history has refracted through the island’s turbulent past.

280E/285E.001 Spring 2014 The Atlantic World

This seminar offers a selective introduction to recent literature on the history of the Atlantic world, c. 1400-1888.  We will explore the linked histories between and among the various “Atlantic worlds” scholars have identified operating in this vast region, ranging from Europe and West Africa to North and South America and the Caribbean.

140B Spring 2014 Modern Mexico

This course provides a general, critical introduction to the history of Mexico from the end of the colonial period to the present. Students interested in Mexican problems and issues will come away with a deeper understanding of how present-day Mexico came to be. Rather than a chronological summation of events and great leaders, emphasis will be placed upon certain themes and trends with respect to economic, social and cultural development and change.

101.006 Spring 2014 Research Topics in Latin American History

This course is the research seminar for all students working on topics in Latin American history. This course will support students to write a 101 thesis, from the early stages of identifying a research topic and formulating a plan to the writing of the paper itself. Early class sessions will focus on using library resources, such as the Bancroft collections, while later sessions will operate as a workshop for improving thesis drafts.

103E.002 Spring 2014 Artists, Intellectuals, and Social Change in Latin America

Latin American history has featured horrific dictatorships and turbulent revolutions.  In spite of this instability, or perhaps because of it, the region has also consistently produced one first-class export: the work of its artists, writers, and intellectuals.  This course looks at the myth and reality of Latin American intellectuals—often said to be more influential politically than in any other region of the world—over the course of the region’s history.  How have Latin American artists and writers used their cultural production to expose injustice?

103E.003 Spring 2014 Mexican Popular Culture

This course will examine Mexico’s rich cultural history, focusing on the period after Independence but with some attention paid to the colonial antecedents of cultural production. We will begin with a general overview of what cultural history is, as well as a consideration of the concept of “popular culture” as an indicator of societal attitudes.


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