HIST 342
Creating Nations and Nationalism in Latin America Fall 2009
Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
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Class Details

As it emerged from Spanish and Portuguese colonial rule between the 1790s and 1890s, Latin America spawned some of the earliest self-conscious nationalisms in the world. With particular emphasis on the interplay of race and ethnicity, regional economic and political spaces, and gender identities, this course will examine the construction and continuing life of the modern nations and nationalisms of the region. The aim here is double. First, we will seek to understand the historical processes that created nationalisms and nation-states in distinct cases, including Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Nicaragua, Peru, and Chile. At the same time, we will use those individual country studies to revise or better understand major theories about nations and nationalism-theories that almost always take as their starting point the study of past and present European states. By carrying out these dual tasks, the course will fulfill the requirements of the Exploring Diversity Initiative: we will carry out a comparative history of Latin American nations’ internal and international relations of power and will try to construct new conceptualizations of that history. Our use of comparisons between countries’ modern histories, in other words, will build toward better understandings of how different groups have “fit” or not in nation-building projects and how such processes “fit” or not in existing theoretical literatures.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 25
Expected: 15-20
Class#: 1082
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation, a take-home midterm exam, and two essays
Prerequisites: none
Distributions: Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Attributes: HIST Group D Electives - Latin America + Caribbean
HIST Group G Electives - Global History
INST Latin American Studies Electives
LATS Countries of Origin + Transnationalism Elect

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