Through a series of case studies from twentieth-century Latin America, this course seeks to determine how revolutionary movements originated, how they attained power (or in some cases, did not), and what sorts of problems they encountered. Most revolutions have faced hostility from both foreign actors and certain sectors of domestic society. Further obstacles have stemmed from the fact that the revolutionaries themselves have often disagreed on goals, holding different and even conflicting visions of the societies they wish to build. We will explore these and other issues through close analysis of scholarly studies, personal testimonies, government documents, newspapers, pamphlets, artwork, and films. Our approach is interdisciplinary: we will also draw upon theoretical perspectives on revolutions and on insights from fields like sociology, anthropology, gender studies, critical race theory, and literary analysis.
Prerequisite: Open to Seniors and Juniors in History, Middle East and Judaic majors only.