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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The History of Latin America since Independence (HIST10357)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaHistory Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course aims to introduce students to the main patterns of Latin American political, economic and social history since independence, to develop this understanding through a focus on three significant country examples and to enable students to develop their knowledge of the region through their own guided research. Set initially against the background of three centuries of Iberian colonialism, the course focuses initially on the independence process before moving to examine general patterns of instability, the processes of ¿modernisation¿, the growing and unequal relationship with the United States, and the drift towards political radicalism from the 1920s. It then turns to the depression and populism, the impact of the Cuban Revolution, the Southern Cone dictatorships of the 1970s, and the transition to democracy in the 1980s. After focusing on general comparative themes, the course looks in greater depth at three countries: Argentina, Mexico and Cuba. It covers Brazil mainly as a comparative example rather than as a focus in itself. A research-based approach to teaching and learning will be taken throughout, both by drawing directly on the course leader¿s own research where appropriate and by requiring students to take a critical approach to the identification and analysis of a diverse range of primary and secondary materials.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **

Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students who complete the course successfully will have demonstrated by way of written coursework, exam and participation in class discussion:
- knowledge and understanding of the key patterns, events, concepts and themes that shaped the Latin American postcolonial experience
- an ability to distinguish critically between the particular and the general
- an ability to develop the tools for broader comparative analysis
- an ability to research for appropriate materials and weigh up the merits of pieces of historical evidence
- an ability to develop and sustain coherent intellectual argument
Assessment Information
Coursework 30%: one 3,000 word essay on either general themes in Latin American postcolonial history or a specific country-based question
Exam 65%: One two-hour paper, comprising one essay on general themes and patterns in postcolonial Latin American history and one essay on a particular country
Class participation component 5%: based on student's particular presentation plus general participation in class discussion
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Week One: Introduction: What is Latin America? The colonial background.

Week Two: 1820s-1890s ¿ Independence movements, post-Independence patterns: fragmentation, caudillismo, ¿modernisation¿ and nationalism.

Week Three: The economic opening, c1850-1950s: the evolution of dependence, specialisation, export-led growth; growing crisis and stagnation; land reform.

Week Four: Society: immigration, urbanisation, cultural developments, religion, race, gender

Week Five: The United States and/in Latin America

Week Six: Politics from c1910: militarisation, radicalisation, nationalism, populism

Week Seven: Military rule and democratic opening

Week Eight: Argentina

Week Nine: Mexico

Week Ten: Cuba

Week Eleven: Conclusions/ Revision
Transferable skills - enhanced abilities in research, critical thinking, weighing up of arguments and evidence
- production of innovative research pieces that adhere to bibliographical convention
- skills in presenting information and arguments to fellow students / lecturer in class
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsLatin America
Course organiserDr Camillia Cowling
Tel: (0131 6)50 3472
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50
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