Latin America

103E.002 Spring 2009 Religion and Society in Latin America

Religion has been a defining factor in Latin American history, from the micro-level of individual daily experience to the macro-level processes of conquest, colonialism, and nation-formation. This seminar approaches this rich and complex topic by focusing on three issues: religion, culture contact, and conquest; popular religiosity; and religionâ€_Äôs impact on social and political processes. Historians continue to wrestle with these themes in the study of religion and we will consider some of these big questions. What did religious conversion amount to?

8B Summer 2008 Latin America in the Independent Era

This introductory course will treat, in broad brush terms, Latin American history since the end of the colonial period. Because of the enormous geographical and cultural range of Latin America we will not be able to ";cover"; all of its history. Nonetheless, by the time we complete the course, the student will have been introduced to some of the central themes of this dramatic and turbulent period and how they play themselves out in a wide range of regions from Mexico to Chile, from the Andes to Brazil, from the Caribbean to the dissolving borders of the twenty-first century.

280E.001 Spring 2008 Modern Mexico: Recent Work in Historiographical Perspective

The common reading in this course consists of recently-published books or articles that are either very good, representing current approaches to the period from independence to the 1970s, or newly-published books the professor would like to read (in the hopes that they, too, are good books). For most class sessions, there will be supplementary reading on reserve that will represent some of the ";historiographical background"; to the week's common reading.

280E.002 Spring 2008 Religion and Church in Mexican History

Long neglected by scholars, the history of religion in Mexico since the sixteenth century has become a popular and contentious field of study. This readings seminar for Ph.D. students will explore recent approaches by scholars writing in English and Spanish. While the emphasis in this course is more on issues of local religion, visual culture, and spiritual geography than institutions and theology, the aim is to recognize and consider synoptic approaches, to ask not only ";What is religion for?"; but ";How is religion experienced?"; (Eric Wolf)

280E.002 Fall 2008 Brazilian Historiography

A survey of major themes in Brazilian history from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, this seminar examines historiographic debates and issues with special attention to revisionist works. Selected themes include early settlement, colonial society, African slavery, religion, intellectual thought, coffee economy, transition to a republic, twentieth-century race relations, and popular culture. Written work consists of three short essays plus oral participation.

280E.001 Fall 2008 Race and Nation in Modern Latin America

This course is a graduate introduction to race and nation in modern Latin America. We will cover topics from the Conquest to the present (although primarily post-independence), from colonial African slavery to contemporary indigenous activism, and from mass immigration to radical anti-colonial insurrection. Our primary focus is on peoples of African and Indian descent â€_Ä"the majority of Latin Americansâ€_Ä" and this will lead us to examine closely questions of racial mixture, cultural exchange, and national identity.

103E.002 Fall 2008 "Conquest" and its Problems in Latin America

This seminar examines issues of conquest in Latin America. In what ways has conquest been prosecuted and experienced in colonial contexts? How is it remembered and forgotten, portrayed in writing and in art, and used as justification for rule? How is communication and understanding made possible? What do categories such as ";conqueror"; and ";conquered,"; ";resistance"; and ";survival,"; ";conversion"; and ";acculturation,"; and ";victor"; and ";vanquished"; reveal and obscure for historians of Latin America?

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