Latin American History

History Majors: If this is one of your four areas of study, complete one course from the selection below. See Undergraduate Degree Requirements for more details.

Latin American Cultural History is a course designed to introduce some of Latin America's most prevalent themes that express everyday life, common customs, major festivals, and national expressions of pleasure and mourning. In this sense, cultural history captures the life of the people in general, not just the rich and powerful, but the ordinary in both the city and country.
The impact of commercial expansion, urbanization, industrialization, and ideological change on race and class relations in Latin America from the 16th to early 20th century.
A broadly comparative introduction to slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean. Exploration of slavery, the use of slave labor, and the daily lives of slaves and slave owners in different settings and different cultures.
Evolution of the borderlands since the mid-nineteenth century, with emphasis on bi-national interaction and interdependence.
From discovery through the War for Independence.
Struggle for political, economic, and social stability; international relations, cultural patterns.
In this course we will examine the history of health - and health care - as well as the political dimensions of scientific research and medicine. Based on the understanding that health and health care are subject to political competitions on the nation state level and are mediated by changing global paradigms, we will use readings and class discussions to draw conclusions about citizenship rights in the Americas. We will start with a number of broad questions to make specific links: When did the responsibilities for citizens' health shift from being rooted in notions of charity to a sense of citizens' entitlement to state services? When, and under what circumstances, can people put pressure on their political leaders and make states accept increased responsibility for citizens' health? How can we best understand the links between global paradigm shifts and nation-state policy changes that protect public health as citizens' entitlement and a human right? And what are the historical reproductions of inequality that we find as we trace health policies in specific regions or nations?
In this course the history of Chilean nation-building from the early colonial roots to the 21st Century will be analyzed. Focus is on political, social, and cultural histories of the country, giving attention to the unique characteristics of Chilean national developments. At the same time, connecting its historical idiosyncrasies to larger regional characteristics and to the trajectory that shaped Latin American developments from colonial encounters, to independence, to contemporary challenges.
This course examines the intersection of law and natural resources in the Spanish Borderlands of North America. We will study how the Spanish empire (and later an independent Mexico) defined natural resources as property rights and allocated such resources to Spanish settlers and Native peoples who lived in the dry expanse of the far northern frontier of New Spain (present day Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and California). Assigned readings and class discussion will emphasize the myriad ways in which the Spanish civil law of property distributed land, water, grazing rights, and minerals, including the economic activities associated with these natural resources: farming, ranching, and mining. Conceptually speaking, the course also includes the transition to U.S. sovereignty and the introduction of American common law in places such as Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and California. A clash of legal systems followed, as American common law often approached natural resources and property rights differently than Hispanic civil law. In order to better understand this clash, students will compare and contrast the fundamentals of the common and civil law systems, as well as the two international treaties that obliged the United States to apply the law of the prior sovereign to its recently acquired territory (the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 and the Gadsden Purchase of 1854).
The impact of conquest and Spanish rule on the native peoples of Mexico, Central American, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. Topics include: conquest and ecology; land and labor; religion and culture; adaptation and resistance.
Survey of Argentine history and culture from the colonial era to the present.
A survey of the history of Central America from the Spanish conquest to the present, focusing of regional economies, ethnic and class conflict, and the politics of state formation.
Revolution, social change and reaction in Latin America from 1930 to the present.
This course explores selected themes in Latin American history through gender as a category of historical analysis. Students will examine histories of men, women, gender and sexuality in different countries and regions of the Americas.
A colloquium or small lecture class intended for majors and upperclassmen; topics vary by instructor.