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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Charles W Bergquist
HIST 449
Seattle Campus

Issues in Comparative Labor History

Role of labor in the modern world. Emphasis on the centrality of workers' struggles in the evolution of national societies on the conceptual, research, and expository strategies of contemporary students of the labor movement and on differences and relationships between labor in developed and underdeveloped countries.

Class description

This year the course's subtitle is "Latin American challenges to the Neo-Liberal Order." We will evaluate several current Latin American governments projecting such challenges, among them those of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Luiz Inancio Lula de Silva in Brazil, and Evo Morales in Bolivia. Five visiting speakers will address these subjects and we will also read several books and view several films dealing with the history of these countries.

Student learning goals

Students will learn what is meant by "neo-liberalism" and how this period fits into the trajectory of modern world, Latin American, and U.S. history.

Students will acquire the tools to guage the differences in these Latin American regimes, learn how radical the different governments surveyed are in fact, and learn to evaluation how serious a threat they pose to U.S. influence and foreign policy in Latin America and beyond.

Students will learn to what degree organized labor supports or opposes these regimes and how much support they receive from the working poor who are no rganized into traditional unions.

Students will receive close attention to their writing and should learn to write more effectively.

Students will practice expressing themselves effectively orally as well.

General method of instruction


Recommended preparation

Advanced undergraduates, graduate.

Class assignments and grading

Students write five short (two-page, double spaced) reports on each of the five talks by visiting speakers for the course and two five-page essays on issues raised in the course as a whole.

Attendance and quality of oral participation, 10%, reports on visiting lectures, 50%, the two essays on issues in the course, 40%.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Charles W Bergquist
Date: 01/13/2007