COW Latin America: Digital Timeline Project
This project is designed to let you research one Latin American country in greater depth, placing key events in its national history within the wider context of Modern Latin America. In addition, you’ll develop your skills of historical research, the evaluation of primary sources, and the digital communication of your analysis to a broader public. For this assignment, you will pick ten primary sources – one for each of the ten major periods of modern Latin American history identified by John Charles Chasteen – that you think represent your country’s history. Student Learning Outcomes (based on the AHA Tuning Project): Students will:
- demonstrate their skills of historical research and understand the complex nature of the historical by curating a diverse range of high-quality primary sources
- write effective source introductions that describe and analyze the past to make a sophisticated interpretive argument.
- show a nuanced understanding of both their chosen country’s history and its link to regional and/or global events
- use digital public history techniques to craft an engaging, sophisticated piece of storytelling
I’ve included links to source readers here, as well as those found in your Wood and Alexander Problems in Modern Latin American History reader, and we can talk about how to find more as you work on your projects. For each source, you’ll create an entry on our COW Latin America site. Each primary source should be associated with a significant national date or historical event, and accompanied by 2-3 paragraphs (around 250-400 words) analyzing the primary source and explaining its significance for your larger historical interpretation.
Here is an example of an entry analyzing Luis Vaz de Camões’ epic poem The Lusiads as a window into the Portuguese colonial mindset during the age of Encounter. Taken together, your short timeline entries will create your unique interpretation of the history of your assigned country and present an argument about how it fits within the larger context of Modern Latin American history.
Note: if more than one person works on the same country, I expect you to work together to make sure your entries don’t duplicate each other.
Workshops & Digital History Trainings
- Country Signups here on Moodle.
- Workshop on Digital Public History & Finding Sources: Friday, January 24
- First draft of one timeline entry (and ideas for two more): upload to Moodle before class on Wednesday, January 29
- Peer review of two peers’ drafts by Friday, January 31 (on Moodle)
- Workshop on Diviner with Educational Technologist Megan Smeznik: Monday, February 3: Intro to Diviner Archive MLA SP2020
Set I: “Encounter” to “Independence” NOTE: You can post the entries in any order you like, but will need to cover all 10 periods over the course of the semester.
- Post 3 Entries before class on Wednesday, February 12.
Set II: “Postcolonial Blues” to “Progress”
- Post 2 Entries before class on Wednesday, March 4.
Set III: “Neocolonialism” to “Revolution”
- Post 3 Entries before class on Friday, April 10.
Set IV: “Reaction” to “Neoliberalism & Beyond”
- Post 2 Entries by noon on Friday, April 24.
Some questions to consider in writing your primary source entries:
- What is this?
- Who wrote/made this?
- What is the author/creator’s background? How/why is this relevant to our understanding?
- Why did they write/make this?
- When was it produced? Under what circumstances?
- How does the object reflect the mindset of its creator?
- Who is the audience? How does the source reflect its intended audience?
- What persuasive techniques are employed?
- How was it received by contemporaries? By modern historians?
- How does this fit in with other sources? How do you account for any disagreements?
- What can this one source tell us about its era, or about larger historical questions?
- What image best represents your source? How does this image relate to your historical argument?
Digital History projects will be graded according to several criteria including: content (adherence to the assignment, mastery of course materials and quality of thought), form (including aesthetics/appearance) and mastery of the technology. Your project must be well organized, concise, and clearly written. Make sure you provide full citation information for all quotes and images. I encourage all of you to take advantage of the Writing Center’s excellent feedback at any stage in the writing process. Make sure that you take the time when the tools are first introduced to ensure that you are comfortable with the technology required for these projects. If you have a technological problem, you need to alert me and identify your plans to resolve the issue at least two days before the due date. Last-minute technological excuses for not submitting work will not be accepted. Timeline Rubric Modern LA SP20
Of your ten timeline sources, you must include:
- at least one audio primary source (speeches, music, etc.)
- at least one biography (an entry about a person)
- at least one entry focusing on economics
- at least one entry focusing on race or immigration
- at least one entry focusing on women or gender
- Encounter (1492-1600) – or you can pick a pre-contact source about your region
- Colonial Crucible (1600-1810)
- Independence (1810-1825)
- Postcolonial Blues (1825-1850)
- Progress (1850-1880)
- Neocolonialism (1870-1930)
- Nationalism (1910-1945)
- Revolution (1945-1960)
- Reaction (1960-1990)
- Neoliberalism & Beyond (1990-2020)
- The Argentina Reader
- The Bolivia Reader
- The Brazil Reader
- The Chile Reader
- The Colombia Reader
- The Costa Rica Reader
- The Cuba Reader
- The Dominican Republic Reader
- The Ecuador Reader
- The Guatemala Reader
- Haiti: Haiti & the Atlantic World
- The Mexico Reader
- The Paraguay Reader
- Panama: Panama Library of Congress Source Guide
- The Peru Reader
Image Sources (licensed for educational use with attribution)
Primary Source Websites:
Biblioteca Digital del Patrimonio Iberoamericano (can search in English)