Students will gain a grounding in contemporary concepts of revolutionary theory, which will be applied to a variety of case studies throughout Latin America in the the 20th century. After a period of generalized introductory readings and discussion, students will apply these concepts to a self-selected case study. Students will gain experience in primary research; developing a historically-sustainable argument, and the application of source material to support their thesis. Writing and analytical skills and the clear development of an argument based on historical principles will be exercised in a term paper. Students will also have the opportunity to discuss their findings in a brief oral presentation.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Students will actively participate in discussion of theoretical works collectively read during the first few weeks of the term. Students will then be expected to apply theoretical postulates to their own case study, and conversely, to bring issues uncovered in their research into class discussion. Very little time will be devoted to formal lecture. Some films may be shown.
This is an interdisciplinary course, using secondary sources from historians, anthropologists, political scientists and sociologists. Students should have some background in Latin American studies, as well as strong communication skills. Research may be conducted in English, Spanish and/or Portuguese, but all required readings will be in English.
Class assignments and grading
Students will be expected to actively participate in all class sessions, as well as schedule and attend required meetings with the instructor. There will likely be three short written assignments, as well as a (graded) draft and final version of the required research paper (which will be a minimum 15 pages, plus bibliography). Students will make a short oral presentation of their research findings.
Grades will be distributed among seminar participation; written assignments; draft and final version of research paper; and general participation in the course requirements as stated in the syllabus. The distribution will be presented in the syllabus. University-level written and oral communication skills will be expected.