Examines the Americas as a geographical and historical region. Applies a variety of approaches to specific topics and events, with particular attention to the interplay of politics and culture. Stresses interaction of local, regional, and global dynamics such as colonialism, migration, and slavery. Stresses diverse interpretive approaches within American Studies.
This course will analyze politics, gender, and economy in the Americas via in depth discussions of Cuba, Chile, and El Salvador. The histories, politics, and economies of all three countries are intimately connected to US policies, another theme that will run through the entire course. This class seeks to address a host of complicated and interrelated questions including: What causes revolution and political upheaval? What roles have women played in these movements? How is the economy related to politics and gender and vice versa? How do people politically organize under repressive States? And how has neoliberalism affected the daily lives of Latin Americans? This class is a core-requirement for the American Studies concentration in Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences.
Student learning goals
Students should be strong and capable writers by the end of the quarter.
Students should be able to make connections between historical and contemporary events.
Students should have extensive knowledge of late twentieth century histories of El Salvador, Chile, and Cuba.
Students should be very familiar with the patterns of US involvement in the politics and economies of the region.
Students should understand the place of gender in politics.
Students should see the interconnection between politics and economy.
General method of instruction
The course will be a mix of lecture and class discussion. We will use a variety of different types of text including: films, social science, history, and testimonies. Tentative list of books: 1) Guevara, Che. 1997. Guerrilla Warfare (3rd edition). NY: Scholarly Resources. 2) Shayne, Julie. 2004. The Revolution Question: Feminisms in El Salvador, Chile, and Cuba. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 3)Online course reader
None but you can contact me for the syllabus if you are interested.
Class assignments and grading
This is a writing intensive course. You will have weekly write-ups and one final research paper. The research paper has several required sub-assignments including: 1) annotated bibliography; 2) sentence based outline, and 3) rough draft.
Grades will be based on sound analysis, clear writing, informed class participation, and attention to detail.