The University of Massachusetts Amherst

"Modern Latin America": History 121 (Gen Ed DGHS) Fall 2022

Students will live together in Moore Hall in the Southwest residential area. 

Read what Fall 2022 instructor Yuri Gama has to say about the course:

This course will examine in detail the origins of Modern Latin America. We will analyze countries of South America, Central America, the Caribbean and even North America such as Mexico; a region in which Spanish, Portuguese, French and indigenous languages are majorly spoken. 

We will examine the creation of nation states, citizenship and identity, modernization and urbanization from the perspectives of economics, sociology, and political science to name a few. 

We will examine the region's wars for independence; revolutions and upheavals; trade and industrialization; politics and culture; immigration and race; and foreign policy. In addition, we will discuss recent developments in Latin America- from current events to culture. The course will also address the contentious role the United States has played in the region.

Students will reflect and discuss with questions such as: 

  • How can we define “Latin America”? 
  • How do historians portray Modern Latin America? 
  • How does Latin America relate to the rest of the World? 

Besides engaging with foundational interdisciplinary works on Latin America, students will learn and discuss questions related to the discipline of history such as: 

  • What does an historian do? 
  • What is historical thinking and research? 
  • What are primary and secondary sources?

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