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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Charles W Bergquist
HSTAA 185
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Latin American History: From Columbus to Castro

Survey of political, economic, and social history of Latin America from the Iberian conquest to the present. Lectures, discussions, and films focus on developing understanding of Latin America's current problems through study of their historical roots. Designed for the beginning student and the nonspecialist.

Class description

This course provides a basic introduction to Latin American history, covering the five centuries following European contact to the dawn of the 21st century. It emphasizes Latin America's role in global history. Themes include the impact of colonialism and imperialism, and the struggle for economic development and political democracy. The final part of the course surveys the history of U.S.-Latin American relations from the end of the 19th century to the present day.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture/discussion

Recommended preparation

There are no prerequisites. The course is designed for generalists and prepares undergraduates for more advanced work in the field of Latin American history.

Class assignments and grading

Students read a general textbook, a book on the evolution of Latin American material culture, and a collection of interpretive essays, and view and discuss several major films. The daily format for the course is usually a lecture by the instructor followed by a general discussion. Grades, as shown below, are determined on the bais of short essays on themes raised in two of the films, and a midterm and final exam covering the material in the readings and lectures.

Two short essays on themes covered in films, readings, and lectures, each worth 20% for a total of 40%; one midterm examination, 30%; one final examination, 30%.


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: 04/18/2005