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HIS345 Latin American Studies

Lead Faculty: Dr. Daniel R. Thorburn

Course Description

Introduction to Latin American history and culture focusing on diversity of Latin American societies and their multicultural heritage. Topics include colonialism and indigenous societies, growth of plantation and mining economies, enslavement of Africans, struggle for independence, distribution of political power, recurrence of popular rebellion, and artistic and cultural life.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate in class discussions and in writing their ability to identify the major nations of Latin America, their geographic terrain, ecology, ethnic groups, major imports and exports, class structure, and type of government.
  • Demonstrate in class discussions and in writing their understanding of the region's important indigenous cultures and their contributions to Latin American culture.
  • Demonstrate in class discussions and in writing their understanding of the Spanish and Portuguese conquest in shaping Latin America, especially the importation of Ibero-European institutions, and land holding patterns, religious institutions, political practices and beliefs, and class and gender roles.
  • Demonstrate in class discussions and in writing their understanding of mercantilism, economic liberalism, economic nationalism, and dialectical materialism in the development of various Latin American countries.
  • Demonstrate in class discussions and in writing their understanding of the major similarities and differences between European economic models (e.g. positivism) and indigenously created models of economic development, political life, artistic expression, and social ideals.
  • Demonstrate in class discussions and in writing their ability to analyze the reasons for popular upheavals in 20th and 21st-century Latin America with reference to land ownership, distribution of political power, U.S. involvement in Latin American governments and militaries, and ideas of self-determination and nationalism.