Home > Teaching > The Making of Modern Latin America

The Making of Modern Latin America

The Making of Modern Latin America offers a survey of Latin American history from conquest to the 1970s. This course addresses six moments in this history through a combination of broad secondary readings, specific primary sources and individual stories. Questions that we will address include the significance of multiple historical perspectives, interpretation of sources, and the relationship between individuals and their larger social context. 


Required Texts

Chasteen, John Charles. Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America. (New York: W.W. Norton, 2005). ISBN: 0393927695 (BBF)

de Cuéllar, José Tomás. The Magic Lantern: A Novel and Novella. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000). ISBN: 0195115031

de Erauso, Catalina, Michele Stepto and Gabri Stepto, Lieutenant Nun: Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1997). ISBN:  0807070734

Lauderdale Graham, Sandra. Caetana Says No: Women’s Stories from a Brazilian Slave Society. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). ISBN: 0521893534

Partnoy, Alicia. The Little School: Tales of Disappearance and Survival. (Berkeley: Cleis Press, 1998). ISBN: 1573440299


Course Expectations

Reading 
Reading for this survey ranges from short pieces (3-5 pages) to long pieces (more than 70 pages) of reading for each class. This range means that you will need to plan your work accordingly; you are expected to do all of the reading. 

Participation and Facilitation (20%)
You must attend all meetings and participate actively in the discussion of all of the texts. You cannot get an A in this class if you are not prepared and eager to participate in the discussions. Part of the participation for this course is “facilitating” discussion of the longer texts on a week of your choice. This does not mean preparing a presentation; this means coming to class extra-prepared to respond to questions and to pose questions back to the class. 

Responses (10%)
At the end of each unit, you are expected bring to class a 1 page (approximately 250 word) response to the unit. This response should connect the three texts and be more analytical than reflective. 

Midterm (10% take-home, 20% in-class)
The midterm will consist of two parts; the take-home portion of the midterm will be a 3-4 page essay analyzing a piece of travel writing as a historical source. The in-class portion of the midterm will address the texts from the first half of the course. 

Final (20% take-home, 20% in-class)
As with the midterm, the final will have take-home and in-class components. The take-home final will be a 5-6 page essay responding to prompts handed out in class. The in-class portion will address the texts from the second half of the course.

Plagiarism is totally unacceptable and will be reported immediately to the Honor Committee.


Schedule 

Week 1 
Thursday 

  • An Introduction to the Course


Unit 1: Conquest Narratives

Week 2
Tuesday

  • “Encounter” in BBF pgs. 29-62

Thursday 

  • “The Spaniards’ Entry into Tenochtitlán” in TMR pgs 97-104 (on Blackboard)
  • MAP QUIZ


Week 3
Tuesday 

  • Selections from Victors and Vanquished (on Blackboard)

Thursday

  • Selections from Victors and Vanquished (on Blackboard)
  • RESPONSE DUE 


Unit 2: Colonial Life

Week 4
Tuesday 

  • “Colonial Crucible” in BBF pgs 63-92

Thursday 

  • “In Defense of the Indians” in TPR pgs 107-110 (on Blackboard) 


Week 5 
Tuesday 

  • Foreword, Introduction, Chapters 1-6 in Lieutenant Nun pgs xii-xliv, 3-25

Thursday 

  • Chapters 7-26 in Lieutenant Nun pgs 26-80
  • RESPONSE DUE


Unit 3: Slavery

Week 6 
Tuesday 

  • “Post Colonial Blues” in BFF pgs 119-148

Thursday 

  • “The War against Palmares” in TBR pgs 125-130 (on Blackboard) 


Week 7 
Tuesday 

  • Prologue, “The First Story” in Caetana Says No pgs xix-xxii, 1-82

Thursday 

  • “The Second Story” in Caetana Says No pgs 83-165
  • RESPONSE DUE


Week 8

Tuesday

  • “Progress” in BFF pgs 149-178

Thursday

  • IN-CLASS MIDTERM
  • TAKE-HOME MIDTERM DUE


Spring Break 

Unit 4: The Mexican Revolution 

Week 9
Tuesday 

  • “Nationalism” in BBF pgs 213-44

Thursday 

  • “Plan of Ayala” in TMR pgs 339-343


Week 10 
Tuesday 

  • Introduction, Prologue, Chapters 1-4 in The Magic Lantern pgs xi- xxxiii, 3-44

Thursday

  • Chapters 5-9 in The Magic Lantern pgs 45-118
  • RESPONSE DUE


Unit 5: The Cuban Revolution

Week 11 
Tuesday

  • “Revolution” in BBF pgs 245-274

Thursday

  • “Castro Announces the Revolution” in TCR pgs 341-345 (on Blackboard)


Week 12 
Tuesday 

  • Various Poems (see Blackboard) 
  • FINAL PAPER PROPOSAL DUE

Thursday

  • Various Poems (see Blackboard) 
  • RESPONSE DUE


Unit 6: Dictatorship and Democracy 

Week 13 
Tuesday

  • “Reaction” in BBF pgs 275-306

Thursday 

  • “Never Again” in TAR pgs 440-448 (on Blackboard)
  • PAPER OUTLINE DUE


Week 14 
Tuesday 

  • The Little School pgs 7-77
  • FIRST PAGE DUE

Thursday 

  • The Little School pgs 78-133
  • RESPONSE DUE 


Week 15
Tuesday 

  • Presentations


Thursday

  • Presentations


Week 16

  • FINAL DRAFT DUE