HIST 492
Revolutionary Thought in Latin America Spring 2020
Division II

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For much of Latin America’s postcolonial history, political and business elites in the United States have viewed the region as a source of revolutionary threats. Too often histories of actual revolutionary movements and the ideas they promulgated have followed either the self-serving narratives that the revolutionaries have laid out or the similarly limited stories composed by their opponents. This tutorial, by contrast, will delve into the complex, contingent, and at times counterintuitive history of revolutionary thought in modern Latin America. Our readings and discussions will carry us from the nineteenth century to the rise of the “New Left” in the last few years. Throughout the course our principle goal will be to examine the internal logic of the most influential programs of revolutionary thought as well as their relationship to circumstances external to them, both in their home regions and globally. At the same time, we will consider the human or moral promise and price of revolutionary options: did the proposed or alleged aims of revolutionary ideals justify the costs they would impose?
The Class: Type: tutorial; students will meet with the instructor in pairs for an hour each week
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3316
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: each student will write and present a 5- to 7- page essay on the readings or offer an oral critique of the work of their partner each week; evaluation will be based on written work and analysis of their partner's work
Prerequisites: none; open to all
Enrollment Preferences: History majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: HIST Group D Electives - Latin America + Caribbean
LATS Countries of Origin + Transnationalism Elect

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