PSCI 349
Cuba and the United States Spring 2024
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity

Class Details

We examine the long and deeply felt history of dependence and conflict between Cuba and its colossal neighbor to the north. The course begins with the political economy of the colony, then covers the Cuba- US relationship from José Martí and 1898 through the Cold War to the present, emphasizing the revolutionary period. Tutorial topics include: sovereignty and the Platt Amendment; culture and politics; race and national identity; policies on gender and sexual identity; the institutions of “popular power”; the post-Soviet “Special Period”; the evolution of the Cuban exile community in the US; and the fraught agenda of reform and generational transition. Materials include journalism, official publications, biographies, travel accounts, polemics, policy statements of the US government, and a wide range of academic works.
The Class: Format: tutorial; a lecture in the first week; then ten weeks of tutorial; then a discussion class in the final week
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3700
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: five 5- to 6-page papers, five 1- to 2-page responses, and one 1-page essay for the final class
Prerequisites: any course on Latin America or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Political Science majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
WS Notes: Assignments are graded and returned weekly. After each student has written one long paper and one response, the professor meets with them individually to discuss the composition and presentation of each genre. For the final class, students write a one-page paper in E' (E-prime), English without the verb "to be."
DPE Notes: Among other topics, the course describes an independence war fought by insurgents dedicated to color-blind citizenship (even as the "civilized world" embraced scientific racism); neo-colonialism under the Platt Amendment and after; race and the Revolution; gender and the changing treatment of sexual identity under the Revolution; and the categorical power differences that arise when only one political party is permitted to organize.
Attributes: AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora
AMST Space and Place Electives
GBST Latin American Studies Electives
LATS Countries of Origin + Transnationalism Elect
PSCI Comparative Politics Courses

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