Latin America and the World
HISTORY 100E | Spring 2014

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Professor Patrick Iber

Spring 2014 / MWF 11AM-12  / 88 Dwinelle

If anything knits together the diverse region known as Latin America, it is a shared experience of imperialism and neo-imperialism on the world stage. This course will examine the ways in which the nations of Latin America have managed that fate: resisting it, embracing it, and trying to reform it. We will examine cases of clear interventions by foreign empires, from France in nineteenth-century Mexico to the U.S. in Central America and Chile in the late twentieth. But we will also look at more subtle forms of economic and cultural influence, and consider the ways that Latin American nations from Cuba to Costa Rica tried to limit the power of the U.S. and project their own influence. We will end with a discussion of transnational issues in contemporary Latin America, including the drugs trade. Class will feature frequent student-led debates.

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Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:
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Course texts:

Stephen Rabe, The Killing Zone: The United States Wages Cold War in Latin    
     America
. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
 
Gobat, Michel.  Confronting the American Dream: Nicaragua Under U.S. Imperial
     Rule
.  Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2005, $27.
 
Emily S. Rosenberg, Spreading the American Dream: American Economic and
      Cultural Expansion, 1890-1945
, (New York: Hill and Wang, 1982), $21.
 
Nick Cullather, Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in
     Guatemala 1952-1954
, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006, $19.
 
Piero Gleijeses, The Cuban Drumbeat, Chicago: Seagull Books, 2009, $15.
 
Ioan Grillo. El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency, New York: Bloomsbury
     Press, 2012, $18.

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Course activities:

20% reading journals.

As you do the course readings, keep a running log of your reactions. Each week, you should write a couple of paragraphs in response (200-300 words), explaining reactions, responses, and questions raised by the readings. You can skip writing your reaction (but not the reading!) in two weeks out of the semester without penalty. Your journals will be collected twice: once in the middle of the term, and again at the end.

20% Debate brief.

Once during the semester, each student will be responsible for writing an elaborate debate brief, of 5-7 pages, based on that week’s readings. The brief should have three parts: it should lay out the debate position you are defending, explain the most powerful rebuttals to your argument, and finally feature a counter-rebuttal in which you attempt to respond to those arguments. Students who prepare briefs will then lead teams during the in-class debate.

20% Debate participation.

20% Group WikiLeaks projects.

The WikiLeaks document release contained interesting material about Latin America, and it has made possible a partial understanding of the techniques and limitations of U.S. diplomacy in the region in very recent years. You will sign up to analyze one country. With the other people signed up for the same country, you will develop a presentation for the class that excerpts the most important parts of leaked documents and explains the overall picture of U.S.-Latin American relations that emerges from them. Presentations will be given in class during week 13, and during RRR week if necessary.

20% Final

As required in all “100” courses, there is an in-class final. Ours is scheduled for Tuesday May 13, from 7-10PM.

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Policies

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----Please see next page for Schedule information----

Course schedule:

Spring 2014
Week Topic Assignment
1 Introduction Text
2 Foreign Empire and the Creation of Latin America Text
3 The Rise of the United States Text
4 New Strategies for Informal Empire Text
5 Pan-Americanism Text
6 Guatemala Text
7 Managing Empire for Fun and Profit Text
8 The making of Cuba Text
9 Cuba at Home and Abroad Text
10 Chile Text
11 Central America Text
12 Transnational Crime in Latin America Text
13 WikiLeaks Group Projects Text
14 Latin America and the World Text
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Module Topic Assignment
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----Please see next page for Grades information----

Grades

Your grade will be based on the following:

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Total Points-
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You will have the opportunity to earn Extra Credit:

ItemsPoints
Total Extra Credit Points-
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Your grade will be calculated with this scale:

GradePercentagePoints
A 93 - 100 -
A- 90 - 92 -
B+ 87 - 89 -
B 83 - 86 -
B- 80 - 82 -
C+ 77 - 79 -
C 73 - 76 -
C- 70 - 72 -
D+ 67 - 69 -
D 60 - 66 -
F 0 - 59 -