History 216 Modern Latin America
Dr. Katie Holt
Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 11:00 to 11:50
This course provides a thematic approach to the history of Latin America since the wars of independence. Themes include the consolidation of political rule after independence; the negotiation of abolition and the persistence of racial inequalities; Latin America’s integration into the world economy; populism and mass political mobilization; authoritarianism and human rights; changing patterns of social and gender relations; and international migration and the re-construction of national identity. The majority of the readings will be drawn from primary sources. We’ll emphasize how historians practice historical empathy through the analysis of multiple, often contradictory viewpoints to build an understanding of the past.
This course is roughly chronological. However, because it covers a long amount of time and a region encompassing many nations, it is selective in its choice of themes and case studies. Most of our readings will concentrate on Mexico, El Salvador, Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic. Student presentations will help ensure a broader geographic focus. The lectures and readings combine discussions of large processes with discussion of particular cases; through this juxtaposition and through a series of readings and discussions, you will develop an understanding of the relationship between the broad historical processes that affected all of Latin America and the particular circumstances that affected the way those processes played out in individual Latin American nations, or in smaller communities within those nations.
Student Learning Goals:
By the end of the semester, you should be able to meet the following departmental learning goals:
- Historical Knowledge: Identify the principal events, people, and institutions that shaped modern Latin American history, and explain their significance. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the chronology and periodization of Latin American history. Read critically and evaluate divergent interpretations of Latin American history.
- Historical Thinking: Develop and carry out an independent research project. Demonstrate a global awareness of the peoples and cultures of Latin America, and how ethnic identity, race, gender, and class intersect to shape a diversity of historical experiences. Practice historical empathy by understanding the past in its own terms.
- Critical Reasoning: Demonstrate your mastery of the central skills of historical research, including the ability to formulate a historical argument using primary and secondary sources as evidence.
- Clear Communication: Organize, present, and communicate your own reactions to readings in class discussions, blog posts, research presentations, and formal papers.
Wooster Degree Requirement Designations: HSS; Global Engagement (G); Diversity, Power, & Privilege (D)