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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Spring 2008

HIS 350L • Afro-Latin America

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

This course examines the historical experiences of people of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean (often called "Afro-Latin America"). The guiding questions of this course are: What is Afro-Latin America? Where is it? How can we write the histories of African descended peoples in the region we call Latin America? Can the histories of Africans and their descendants be contained within the confines of nation? Are there alternative frameworks (transnational and/or Diasporic) that can better enhance our understanding of these histories? While the course will begin in the slavery era, most of our attention will focus on the histories of Afro-Latin Americans after emancipation. Topics we will explore include: the particularities of slavery in the Americas, the Haitian Revolution and its impact on articulations of race and nation in the region, debates on racial democracy, the relationship between gender race, and empire, and recent attempts to write Afro-Latin American histories from transnational and diaspora perspectives. While historians have written most of the work we will read in this course, we will also engage the works of anthropologists and sociologists who have also been key contributors to this scholarship. Thus, the course has a three-fold objective:

1) To deepen our understanding of the diverse histories of Africans and their descendants in the region. 2) To continually probe the ongoing tension between national and transnational processes that is embedded in much of this scholarship. 3) To explore alternative frameworks that might enhance our understanding of the histories of people of African descent in the region.

Grading Policy

Active Class Participation 20% Map Assignment 25% Short Essay 15% Final Paper 40%


Laurent Dubois, Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution Lara Putnam, The Company they Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870-1960 George Michael Hanchard, Orpheus and Power: The Movimento Negro of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1945-1988 Alejandro de la Fuente, A Nation for All: Race, Politics, and Inequality in Twentieth Century Cuba


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