Latin America

143 Summer 2012 Brazil

Magic, sex, and cannibalism are all featured in the mix as Portuguese, African and Indian peoples create a new civilization along the long coastline of South America. Brazil! This course will cover diverse topics such as the Brazilian beginnings as Brazilian Indians get their first taste of Christianity, the rise of the Brazilian Empire, Brazilian slave systems, Vargas, Brazilian cinema and music, the military dictatorship, and modern Brazilian culture. The emphasis of the course is on social and cultural history of Brazil, 1500 to the present.

146 Spring 2012 Latin American Women

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?

8B Spring 2012 Modern Latin America

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.

103E.002 Spring 2012 Contested Terrain: Conflict Along the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

The region referred to as the U.S.-Mexico borderlands has been the subject of wide-ranging popular and scholarly treatment, especially focusing on politics, cultural contact, economic exchange, and violence. Our readings will cover examples of how the geo-political boundary and socio-cultural space encompassed by the region have produced persistent debate about identity formation, the fluidity of the border, and the inability of governments to restrict the movement of peoples and goods.

101.013 Spring 2012 Research Topics in Modern Latin American and Caribbean History

This course is a research seminar in which each student will write a original thesis on some aspect of modern Latin American or Caribbean history. (For our purposes, modern will be treated expansively, as encompassing the long nineteenth century [1759-1930] and most of the twentieth.) Because the topics are open and there is a broad range of possibilities, the first part of the course will be dedicated to finding and analyzing a primary source or body of primary source materials out of which a research question will emerge.

285E.001 Spring 2011 Research Seminar in Latin American History

This is a research seminar: over the course of a semester, each of you will be working on an article-length piece of original research in Latin American history, based on a significant collection of primary sources.

103E.002 Spring 2011 Political Violence in Latin America, 1780-2010

The history of Latin America is marked by dramatic periods of intense political violence. Scholars have long argued over proximate causes for this violence, from the general - is it is endemic to postcolonial societies, or the result of U.S.-dependent economies? - to the specific - how important was Catholicism to the Colombian bloodshed of the 1940s-1950s? In this course we will focus on major moments of political violence in Latin America's past.

103E.002 Fall 2011 Native Americans and Europeans: The Century After Contact

This course compares the aftermath of conquest in different regions of the Americas. We will begin with the Great Lakes region under the French and the British and then focus on central Mexico, the region occupied by Nahua peoples and politically dominated at the time of the Spanish conquest by the so-called Aztecs. Emphasis will be on the socio-cultural and political changes brought about by the conquest (e.g., changes in religious beliefs and practices, the manner of self-governance, family life and gender relationships).


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