HIST-551 Latin American Origins and Transformations
Fall for 2017-2018
This class aims to introduce graduate students to diverse approaches to understanding the histories of Latin America’s diverse nations and peoples. We begin examining the origins of the region’s new nations around 1800, with an emphasis on conflicts over slavery and freedom. We will explore Cuba from 1860 to 1960 as its peoples fought to end slavery, become a nation, and faced a turn to revolution. We will engage Brazil’s twentieth-century struggles with race and poverty, development and urbanization. And we will conclude with an exploration of Mexico’s drive for national development, its experiences with urbanization, and the turn to globalization.

Sections and Readings:

1. Capitalism and Nation, Slavery and Freedom
Tutino, “The Americas in the Rise of Industrial Capitalism, 1750-1870.”
Dubois, Avengers of the New World
Grandin, Empire of Necessity

2. Cuban Counterpoints, 1860-1960
Perez, On Becoming Cuban
McGillivray, Blazing Cane

3. Brazilian Contradictions, 1850-2000
Tutino, “The Americas in the 20th-Century World:
Challenges of Urbanization and Globalization”
Otovo, Progressive Mothers
Fischer, A Poverty of Rights
Sheper-Hughes, Death Without Weeping
McCann, Hard Times in the Marvelous City

4. Mexican Challenges, 1850-2000
González, San José de Gracia
Boyer, Political Landscapes
Tutino, “Power, Marginality, and Participation in Mexico City, 1870-2000”
Tenorio, I Speak of the City
Walker, Waking from the Dream

At the end of each section, students will write an essay built on deep engagements with our common readings to offer independent interpretations of the issues raised at their intersection. The goal is synthetic innovation.

Grading: papers 1-2, 15% each; papers 3-4, 25% each; prepared participation 20%.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Course syllabi
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Fall '17: Tutino J (file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
More information
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