REL 292
Religion and Politics in the Caribbean and the Diaspora: Puerto Rico and Cuba Spring 2022
Division II
Cross-listed LATS 253
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

This course explores the role of religion in Caribbean history and politics, with a focus on Puerto Rico and Cuba. These Caribbean islands have lived out contested colonized histories and experiences, as well as diasporic realities on the US mainland. The US government and military have played a significant role in both since the turn of the last century, forcibly shaping their economies and politics. Religion, particularly the Protestant missionary enterprise since the US invasions in 1898, has also shaped histories and politics on the islands and throughout their diasporas. We will explore the role and impact of Protestant religion in these historically indigenous, African descendent, and Roman Catholic religious spaces, as well as how these religious engagements and theologies impacted migration and the creation of diasporic communities in the US. We will analyze the role of religion in imperialist endeavors, as well as in solidarity movements. Puerto Rican and Cuban historical luminaries, such as Pedro Albizu Campos and Jose Marti, who struggled against Spanish colonialism in Puerto Rico and Cuba respectively, had not only political but religious visions for better prospects for their homelands. By understanding the intertwining of religion and politics in Puerto Rico, Cuba and their diasporic communities, we will have the tools to consider the implications for other Caribbean nations, such as the Dominican Republic, as well as other Latin American countries that have experienced US interventions and the creation of diasporic communities.
The Class: Format: lecture; This course will follow a discussion format, in which students are expected to come to class prepared to address the assigned readings, to have completed short assignments in preparation for discussions, to make presentations to the class, and/or to lead discussions.
Limit: 25
Expected: 15
Class#: 3947
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Evaluation in this course will be based on class participation, short 1 to 2-page writing assignments every other week based on readings and assigned videos/films; a five-page midterm essay on an aspect of Puerto Rican or Cuban political/religious reality discussed in class, and final 7-page research essay on a theme in the course agreed upon by student and professor.
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: LATS concentrators and Religion majors, and those with expressed interest in these fields
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
REL 292 Division II LATS 253 Division II
Attributes: LATS Core Electives

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