Ileana M. Rodriguez Silva
Examines special topics in American history.
To common observers, especially tourists, the Caribbean region (the islands and the continental areas alongside the Caribbean Sea) appears as a site full of contrasts: people who burst out in laughs while also crying tears of blood; beautiful landscapes and rich natural resources but weak economies and impoverished populations; pain and sorrow but enlivening cultural production. This course introduces students to the material and symbolic historical formation of this region, from the organization of indigenous societies in pre-colonial times to the current moment of neoliberal economics. In the process, students will explore in depth the colonial politics that have shaped the region throughout the last five centuries and the resilience and creative strategies with which people has navigated such treacherous waters. Our main task is to uncover the fabric that intricately weaves together what otherwise appears to be contrasting qualities in order to see the region and its peoples as multidimensional wholes.
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