HIS 363K • 20TH-CEN RURAL LATIN AMERICA
This course focuses on some of the main topics that have affected rural Latin American society in the later nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, with a view to understanding the causes of some of the tensions and unresolved conflicts affecting Latin America today. Using selective national case studies, the course will discuss the social and agrarian relationships linking landlords and campesinos; the role of the state and the impact of official ideologies embracing (or constraining) indigenous people (indigenismo); religion and the Catholic Church; the history of rural institutions, such as the hacienda; and the success or failure of the main land reforms enacted in countries as far apart as Guatemala and Chile. Our focus throughout will be on understanding the different ways in which Latin American peasants have been protagonists in, not merely passive witnesses to, the histories of the countries in which they live. During the course, we will examine a recent selection of secondary readings, articles, and films. By the end of the course you will have read five scholarly books covering countries as diverse as Ecuador, Bolivia, Guatemala, and Chile. The course will not follow a strict lecture format. Instead we will explore themes in context through the prescribed texts. Students will participate actively in class through responses to readings or presentations.