Syllabus Fall 2019: Modern Latin America

{THIS IS A PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS, IT WILL BE UPDATED LATER. PLEASE DON’T ORDER BOOKS YET, I’M STILL DEBATING BETWEEN TWO TEXTBOOKS, WHICH, IN TURN, WILL AFFECT OTHER READINGS.}

HIST 242

Modern Latin America

 

Professor Patrick Iber

Fall 2019 / MWF 9:55AM-10:45PM / 1641 Mosse Humanities

Office Hours: [day and time], Mosse Humanities 5123, and by appointment

 

This course will give a broad overview of Latin American history in the modern period, especially on the period from 1898 to the present. Particular emphasis will be placed on the socioeconomic, cultural, and political structures and processes that shaped and continue to influence life in Latin America. Key issues such as colonialism, nationalism, democracy, and revolution will be examined critically in light of broad comparative themes in Latin American and world history. Among the topics to be explored in detail will be the Mexican and Cuban revolutions, populism and dictatorship, socialism and neoliberalism, and drugs and migration.

 

[course credit info]

 

COURSE TEXTS

 

Alexander Dawson, Latin America Since Independence: A History with Primary Sources, New York: Routledge, 2010, $67 [cheaper used and rental options are available].

[or Teresa Meade, more affordable?]

 

Valeria Luiselli, Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions

 

The primary goals of this course are that students will be able to

  • Describe the contours of Latin American history in the period since independence,
  • Apply and use key concepts relevant to Latin American history, such as imperialism, inequality, populism, socialism, neoliberalism,
  • Read for a dedicated purpose across different genres and forms of writing,
  • Apply historical reasoning to understand the origins of present-day issues,
  • Communicate effectively through presentations, discussion, and written work.

 

 

 

 

GRADING INFORMATION

 

The course is going to use an experimental grading system that is designed to give you a lot of control over the grade you want to earn. It is my belief that college years should be full of intellectual experimentation and I fear that grades now interfere, rather than support, that process.

 

Map quiz:

Map quiz >85%: 2 points

Map quiz >70%: 1 point

 

Section attendance

>90%: 3 points

>70%: 2 points

 

Top Hat

>90%: 5 points

>80%: 4 points

>70%: 3 points

 

Midterm

>90%: 3 points

>80%: 2 points

>70%: 1 point

 

Final

>90%: 5 points

>80%: 4 points

>70%: 3 points

 

Weekly reading journal: 2 points, one for each half of the semester

 

Final project:

Full research option: 5 points

Basic research option: 3 points

 

There are 25 available points. Nothing is required. You decide what you want to do.

 

Letter grades will be assigned as follows:

24-25   A

22-23   AB

20-21   B

18-19   BC

16-17   C

 

 

 

 

 

 

COURSE PLAN

 

 

Week 1: Introduction

 

Wednesday, September 4: Introduction to the course

 

No reading

 

Friday, September 6: The Colonial Past

 

Luis Reygadas, The Construction of Latin American Inequality, in Paul Gootenberg, Indelible Inequalities

 

 

Week 2: The nineteenth century

 

Monday, September 9: Independence

Dawson, Chapter 1

 

Wednesday, September 11:

Dawson, Chapter 2

 

Friday, September 13:

Dawson, Chapter 3

 

 

 

 

Week 3: Mexico and its Revolution

 

Monday, September 16: Mexican Revolution I: Porfiriato

Dawson Chapter 4

 

Wednesday, September 18: Mexican Revolution II

Dawson Chapter 5

 

Friday, September 20: Mexican Revolution III

Watch: “The Storm that Swept Mexico,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVWcgOcvgV0&t=5609s

 

 

Week 4: Imperialism and Neocolonialism

Monday, September 23: The Spanish-American War

Louis Pérez, War of 1898, [selections]

Wednesday, September 25: The Banana Republics

 

Watch: The Gringo in Mañanaland

 

Friday, September 27: The Occupations of Nicaragua

 

Michel Gobat, Confronting the American Dream[one chapter]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 5: Great Depression and World War II

 

Monday, September 30: The Great Depression in Latin America

 

Angela Vergara, “Chilean Workers and the Great Depression, 1930-1938,” pp. 51-80 in Paulo Drinot and Alan Knight (eds.), The Great Depression in Latin America.

 

Wednesday, October 2: Lázaro Cárdenas in Mexico

 

Alan Knight, “Cardenismo: Juggernaut or Jalopy?”Journal of Latin American Studies26, no. 1 (February 1994): 73-107.

 

Friday, October 4: World War II

 

Leslie Bethell, “Brazil,” pp. 33-65 in Bethell and Roxborough (eds.) Latin American between the Second World War and the Cold War(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

 

 

 

Week 6: Populism and the Latin American Spring

 

Monday, October 7: What is Populism?

 

Kyle Longley, “Peaceful Costa Rica, the First Battleground: The United States and the Costa Rican Revolution of 1948,” The Americas50, no. 2 (October 1993): 149-175.

 

Wednesday, October 9: What is Populism?

 

Dawson, Chapter 7

 

Friday, October 11: Arbenz in Guatemala

 

Rabe, Killing Zone, “Guatemala—The Mother of Interventions,” 36-58

 

Week 7: The Cuban Revolution

 

Monday, October 14: The Origins of the Cuban Revolution

 

Dawson, Chapter 8

 

Wednesday, October 16: The Course of the Cuban Revolution

 

Lillian Guerra, “Counterrevolution and the Origins of Political Culture in the Cuban Revolution, 1959-2009”

 

Friday, October 18: Midterm

 

First half reading journals due.

 

 

Week 8: Socialism(s)

 

Monday, October 21: Guerrilla Struggle

 

Dawson, Chapter 9

 

Wednesday, October 23: Che Guevara

 

Paulo Drinot, on Che in Peru in Che’s Travels

 

Alma Guillermoprieto, “The Harsh Angel,” from Looking for History, 73-86

 

Jon Lee Anderson on Che, https://www.thenation.com/article/che-guevara-lessons-from-a-revolutionary-life/

 

 

Friday, October 25: Allende’s Chile

 

Peter Winn and Cristobal Kay, “Agrarian Reform and Rural Revolution in Allende’s Chile,” Journal of Latin American Studies6, no. 1 (May 1974): 135-159.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 9: Dictatorship and Democracy

 

Monday, October 28: Pinochet’s Chile

 

Watch: “The Chicago Boys,” http://www.gamba.cl/2018/05/chicago-boys-vean-aca-el-documental-que-tvn-emitio-a-la-hora-de-la-corneta/

 

Wednesday, October 30: Transitions to Democracy

 

Dawson, Chapter 10

 

Friday, November 1: Continuities with Dictatorship

 

Watch: Patricio Guzmán, “Chile: Obstinate Memory,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNH-9aAF_Fg&t=1s

 

 

Week 10: The Second Cold War: Central America

 

Monday, November 4: El Salvador

 

Rabe, Killing Zone, “Cold War Horrors—Central America,” pp. 144-174

 

Wednesday, November 6: Nicaragua

 

[Reading needed…on liberation theology in Nicaragua and Sandinismo – maybe Roger Lancaster or Berrigan]

 

Friday, November 8: Guatemala

 

Rigoberta Menchú, 1992 Nobel prize lecture, https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1992/tum/lecture/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 11: From Neoliberalism to the Pink Tide

 

Monday, November 11: The Pink Tide

 

Dawson, Chapter 11

 

Wednesday, November 13: Social democrats

 

[Reading needed on Lula etc.]

 

Friday, November 15: Twenty-first century socialism

 

Watch: The Hugo Chávez Show, https://www.pbs.org/video/frontline-the-hugo-chavez-show/

 

 

 

 

Week 12: Drugs and Social Violence

 

Monday, November 18: Colombia

 

Guillermoprieto, Looking for History, “Our New War in Colombia,” 19-39

 

Lina Britto, “A Trafficker’s Paradise: The ‘War on Drugs’ and the New Cold War in Colombia,” Contemporánea1, no. 1 (2010), http://www.geipar.udelar.edu.uy/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/10_Dossier08.pdf

 

Wednesday, November 20: Mexico

 

Froylan Enciso?

 

Ioan Grillo, “The Narco Killer’s Tale,” http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2097594-1,00.html

 

Friday, November 22: The United States

 

Sam Quiñones, Dreamland, [selections]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 13: The Recent Past

 

Monday, November 25: Work on final research projects

Wednesday, November 27: Work on final research projects

 

This week, I would like you to watch a film about relatively contemporary Latin American reality, made by a filmmaker from Latin America. My recommendations are Amores Perros(Mexico), Roma (Mexico), City of God(Brazil), Fresa y Chocolate (Cuba), Machuca(Chile), The Official Story (Argentina), The Secret in Their Eyes(Argentina), but if there’s another you’re interested in feel free. If you want the point for second half journaling, write your weekly response to the film.

 

 

 

Week 14: Current issues

 

Monday, December 2: Immigration

 

Valeria Luiselli, Tell Me How it Ends

Recommended: “ https://www.thedailybeast.com/her-family-survived-the-el-mozote-massacre-now-shes-fleeing-el-salvadors-gangs?ref=scroll

 

Wednesday, December 4: Venezuela in Crisis

 

Watch: “The Breadmaker,” https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/ng-interactive/2019/feb/15/the-breadmaker-frontline-venezuela-bakery-wars-video-la-minka

 

More readings TBA

 

Friday, December 6: The Return of the Right

 

Watch: “Marielle and Monica,” https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2018/dec/28/marielle-and-monica-the-lgbt-activists-resisting-bolsonaros-brazil

 

Paulo Pachá, https://psmag.com/ideas/why-the-brazilian-far-right-is-obsessed-with-the-crusades

 

More readings TBA

 

 

 

 

 

Week 15: Conclusions

 

Monday, December 9: Review session

Wednesday, December 11: Last day of class

 

Final research projects due.

 

 

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