Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Beyond Dictatorship: Human Rights in Latin America (HIST10422)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the history, theory, and practice of human rights in Latin America. Too often the concept of human rights throughout the region exclusively invokes the image of maniacal military dictators abusing their own citizens, torturing and disappearing innocent people at will. While this caricature indeed captures some truth, in this class we well delve further into the broader meanings and case studies of how human rights have reshaped the histories, politics, and cultures of Latin America since the middle of the 20th century.
Course description The course is divided into three sections intended to draw out the origins and evolution of human rights in Latin America. First, we will study the period of military dictatorships in the Southern Cone from the 1960s through the 1980s. By way of case studies, we will focus mainly in this first section on Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. In the second section, we will look at Guatemala and Colombia, examining human rights issues under authoritarian governments and also after the return to civilian rule. Finally, we explore the meanings of human rights in our contemporary landscape, asking what, if anything, the term still means in a neoliberal, transnationally linked 21st century.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.

Before enrolling students on this course, PTs are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
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.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Dunn, C. 2014. "Desbunde and its discontents: Counterculture and Authoritarian Modernization in Brazil, 1968-1974," The Americas, 70:3.

Feitlowitz, M. 2011. A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture. New York: Oxford University Press.

Grandin, G. 2005. "The Instruction of Great Catastrophe: Truth Commissions, National History, and State Formation in Argentina, Chile, and Guatemala," American Historical Review 110:1.

Mallon, F.E. 2005. Courage Tastes of Blood: The Mapuche Community of Nicolás Ailío and the Chilean State, 1906-2001. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Mechú, R. 2009. I, Rigoberta Menchú. An Indian Woman in Guatemala. New York: Verso.

Stern, S.J. 2006. Remembering Pinochet's Chile: On the Eve of London 1998. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Weschler, L. 1990. A Miracle, a Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers. New York: Pantheon Books.

Wright, L. 2007. State Terrorism in Latin America: Chile, Argentina, and International Human Rights, Rowman and Littlefield.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Jacob Blanc
Tel: (0131 6)51 1925
Course secretaryMiss Claire Brown
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information