Fall 2010 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
The purpose of this course is to analyze U.S. relations with Central America, the Caribbean, and South America during the twentieth century and early twenty-first century. By discovering the patterns of the past, we can perhaps understand why the United States has been constantly involved in the internal affairs of such nations as Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico and Venezuela.
The course will examine both the character of U.S. foreign policies and the political and socio-economic structures of Latin American nations. Topics of special interest on U.S. policies will include: U.S. attitudes toward dictatorships and democracies; uses of military and economic aid; the CIA and covert interventions; the role of multinational corporations and international banks; the issue of human rights; legal and illegal migration; the narcotics trade; and the growing influence of Latinos in U.S. society.
In exploring the nature of Latin American societies, we will focus on such topics as: the Hispanic heritage; patterns of economic dependency; the role of the Catholic Church; the appeal of communism and the rise of revolutionary nationalists like the Sandinistas, Fidel Castro, Salvador Allende, and Hugo Chávez; and the rise and fall of dictators like Rafael Trujillo, Anastasio Somoza, and Augusto Pinochet.
In addition to discussing and debating the key issues in seminar, we will also be viewing documentary films.
Robert H. Holden and Eric Zolov, Latin America and the United States: A Documentary History.
Lars Schoultz, That Infernal Little Cuban Republic.
Hans P. Schmidt, The U.S. Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934.
Alan McPherson, Intimate Ties: Bitter Struggles: The United States and Latin America since 1945.
Richard Immerman, The CIA in Guatemala
Stephen G. Rabe, The U.S. Intervention in British Guiana.
Thomas Wright, State Terrorism in Latin America.
Mark Danner, The Massacre at El Mozote: A Parable of the Cold War.
Ramón Ruíz, On the Rim of Mexico: Encounters of the Rich and Poor.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Faithful attendance at seminar sessions; vigorous and informed participation in seminar discussions; submission of a series (8-12) of short (1,000-1,250 words) papers based on assigned readings.