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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ileana M. Rodriguez Silva
HSTAA 590
Seattle Campus

Topics in American History

Seminar on selected topics in American history, with special emphasis on preparation for field examinations. Topics vary according to interests of students and instructor.

Class description

This graduate course is an ambitious introduction to the broad field of Latin American History, especially as it has developed since the 1970s. It is organized around some of the questions that have generated most scholarly production in Latin American and US academia. For example, we will examine works related to: Pre-Colombian societies; the processes of conquest of the Americas; the formation of early-modern Atlantic empires; the negotiation of and challenges to colonization endeavors; the fragile hegemony of the Catholic Church; racialized systems of social organization; efforts at decolonization; national formation; neo-colonial relations; revolutionary challenges to Liberalism; and the socio-political and economic dynamics of re-democratization. Seminar participants will explore the wide array of theoretical approaches and methodologies shaping the field at different historical moments and in various localities within Latin America, the Caribbean, and the US. As we read, participants will discuss how Latin American social and cultural historians have borrowed and expanded the growing fields of Subaltern Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Diaspora, Transnational, Borderland, Queer, and Hemispheric Studies. They will also uncover how the study of Latin America has enriched our knowledge about the production of markers of difference (race, gender, sexuality, and class). In doing so, students will be attentive to the politics organizing historical writing in both Latin America and the US. Finally, students will end with a sense of the new areas of inquiry within the field.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

This is a discussion seminar based on class readings.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Oral presentations, weekly responses, two short historiography papers.


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 Ileana M. Rodriguez Silva
Date: 12/06/2010