HIST 242
Latin America From Conquest to Independence Fall 2019
Division II

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This course will examine the processes commonly referred to as the creation of “Latin America” and will do so from numerous perspectives. Starting with the construction of indigenous societies, from small and decentralized groupings to huge imperial polities-, before 1492, to the invasion of Europeans from that date forward, we will take up the question of the Iberian “conquest,” looking at the often violent encounters that made up that event and analyzing its success, limits, and results. We will then study the imposition of Iberian rule from the point of view of would-be colonizers and the peoples they treated as objects of colonization, stressing the multiple and conflicting character of European, indigenous, and African perspectives. Thus looking at the Americas from both the outside-in and inside-out, we will focus on the unequal relations of power that came to define cultural, political, and economic life in the colonies, always with an eye on the gendered and racialized nature of those relations. We will also not only compare very different regions of the Iberian Americas but also see how the grand shifts of history intervened in–and perhaps consisted of–the most normal elements of daily life in northern Mexico, the central Andes, coastal Brazil, and other parts of colonial Latin America. Visual as well as more traditional written primary materials, along with secondary texts and films, will serve as the basis for our discussions throughout the semester.
The Class: Type: lecture/discussion
Limit: 40
Expected: 25
Class#: 1219
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation, two short papers (4-5 pages), and a take-home final exam
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: GBST Latin American Studies Electives
HIST Group D Electives - Latin America + Caribbean
HIST Group P Electives - Premodern

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