HIST 1960 Latin America & the Modern World (also LATA 1960) (HA-AS) (HGS)
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 11:20-12:10 plus optional discussion (online)
Professor Raymond Craib
Do you wonder what the historical context is for migrations out of Central America? Or why many Brazilians are so fearful of the recent election of Jair Bolsonaro? Curious as to what the ‘pink tide’ is? Or why Silicon Valley investors are hanging out in Honduras and Panama? Who the Zapatistas are and why they call themselves by that name? When the very term ‘Latin America’ came into being? Why Chileans were the vanguard of the California Gold Rush? How Mexican cowboys ended up in Hawaii? If so, this course is for you. It surveys the social, political, cultural and economic history of Latin America from roughly 1800 to the present. The primary aim is to help you develop a mental map of the history of Latin America—of prominent themes issues; of historical eras and trajectories. Given the vastness of Latin America, and its somewhat arbitrary composition as an object of study, the approach of the course is thematic and chronological rather than regional. We will pay attention to a number of more specific and interconnected themes: the development of, and relationship between, capitalist economies and processes of state formation; the complex roles Britain and the U.S. have played in the region, but always with an appreciation for how Latin Americans have shaped their own histories and those of the U.S. and Britain; the ways in which non-elites—slaves, workers, peasants, among others—have shaped history; the politics of the production of history; and Latin America’s ‘situatedness’ in a broader world. Weekly readings complement and expand on issues raised in lecture.