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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Spring 2006


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39620 W
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
GAR 111

Course Description

This course explores the breakdown of democratic governments in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s and the emergence of bureaucratic authoritarian regimes committed to economic restructuring, political demobilization, and the abrogation of civil liberties. It examines the use of torture, disappearances, and other counterinsurgency methods by US trained military officials, as well as various forms of resistance, including guerrilla warfare. Finally, it looks at the transition to democratic rule, efforts to reconstruct civil society, forge political reconciliation, and attain justice. The course focuses on the histories of the nations of the Southern Cone (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay) and seeks to address a number of questions. Why did some of the most "developed" nations in Latin America witness such repressive governments? How did authoritarian regimes legitimize their rule? How can we make sense of the atrocities committed? In what ways did citizens resist or acquiesce in the policies of military governments? What role did the United States play in offering economic, political, and military assistance to military dictatorships? Which factors spurred the military to relinquish power and what has been the nature of the transition to democratic rule? How can social peace and justice be best achieved in societies that experienced such trauma? How is this period of Latin American history remembered (or forgotten)?

Grading Policy

All students are required to write 3 papers for this course. The first paper (3-5pp.) will place the life of one of the victims or perpetrators of the Argentine Dirty War within larger historical context. Aside from the biographical information provided in the report, students will need to consult secondary literature to explore larger questions of political opposition and militancy, as well as military ideology and objectives. (20%) The second paper (5-7pp.) will analyze a particular aspect of socioeconomic policy under military rule and the collaboration and/or opposition of discrete social actors. (20%) The final paper (10-12 pp.), due Thursday, December 16 by 4pm, may be on any topic of a student's choosing, with approval from the instructor. At least five secondary sources must be consulted and students ideally should incorporate primary source documents into their final paper as well. (40%) Students are required to attend and participate in all discussion sections. (20%)


Peter Winn, Weavers of Revolution Cathy Schneider, Shantytown Protest in Pinochet's Chile Martha Huggins, Political Policing Ariel Dorfman, Death and the Maiden Marguerite Bouvard, Revolutionizing Motherhood Juan Corradi, Patricia W. Fagen, and Manuel Garret; Fear at the Edge Martin E. Andersen, Dossier Secreto Course Packet


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