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Geography has decreed that the futures of Mexico and the United States will be tightly bound. Yet Mexico enters this future with a very different past, a distinctive political system, important cultural differences, and mixed feelings about its neighbor to the north. This course has four parts differing in content and format. The first is historical and mostly lecture. It considers several themes, including the slow emergence of a stable national state and the interplay between politics and economic change. In the second section, following a modified tutorial format, we consider politics and cultural policies around Mexican national identity in the twentieth century, looking at films, journalism, popular music, and cultural criticism. Topics include the politics of race; rapid urbanization, especially in the valley of Mexico; and the cultural impact of the turn toward the north, after 1990, in economic policy. Then, after a few discussion classes on migration, organized crime, political corruption, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other issues facing the current government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, we turn to a seminar-style discussion of student research projects.
Format: lecture/conference; lectures will be recorded for viewing before class sessions; four weeks of modified tutorials in pairs or small groups online; discussion classes to include in-person and online, in distinct sections if appropriate; online seminar
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
map quiz; one three-page and three two-page essays; two one-page commentaries; and a seven- to eight-page research proposal, an early version to be presented to the class in online seminar
some knowledge of Mexican history
Political Science majors and seniors
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
One unit of the course directly engages the tension between racial and cultural diversity, on one side, and national identity in 20th century Mexico. Another critically analyzes the reception in Mexican national discourse of the experiences of discrimination suffered by migrants in the USA.
GBST Latin American Studies Electives
LATS Countries of Origin + Transnationalism Elect
POEC Comparative POEC/Public Policy Courses
PSCI Comparative Politics Courses
PSCI Research Courses