HIS 346K • Latin America Before 1810
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
This course surveys the history of colonial Spanish America from first encounters to independence. An underlying focus will be to explore the dynamics of scholarly analysis, tracing how and why historians and social scientists have revisited and provided alternative (revisionist) interpretations of key themes. These include: the arrival of humans in the Americas, alternations in the pre and post contact indigenous (Maya, Aztec, Inca) and Iberian worlds, processes of conquest and early colonization, ecological and demographic trends, the consolidation of imperial power (governmental, economic, religious and social institutions), changing dynamics of gender, race and class; the Bourbon Reforms; and precipitating variables for independence.
Students must pass a map quiz. The three (non-comprehensive tests) and two papers will count equally toward the final grade.
Required: Alfred Crosby, THE COLUMBIAN EXCHANGE. (Greenwood) Bernal Diaz del Castillo, THE CONQUEST OF NEW SPAIN (Viking) Richard Boyer, COLONIAL LIVES: DOCUMENTS IN LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY 1550-1850 (Oxford). Ann Twinam, PUBLIC LIVES, PRIVATE SECRETS (Stanford) Assigned readings from syllabus/Blackboard. Optional: Jonathan C Brown, LATIN AMERICA: A SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE COLONIAL PERIOD (Harcourt)