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

Fall 2006


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41515 W
2:00 PM-5:00 PM

Course Description

This research seminar course examines some of the scholarship on people of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean (what we today call the African Diaspora) from the era of the Atlantic Slave Trade to the present. Although most of our readings will come from Latin Americanists and Caribbeanists, we will also read the work of Africanists, African-Americanists, and scholars working in Latino Studies, whose works have enriched to the rapidly evolving field of African Diaspora Studies. While most of the work we will read in this course has been written by historians, we will also engage the works of anthropologists and sociologists who have also been key contributors to the scholarship. Thus, the course has a three-fold objective: 1) To deepen our understanding of the scholarly literature and debates on the histories of Africans and their descendants in the region. 2) To continually probe the ongoing tension between local specificity and broader "Diasporic" historical processes that is embedded in much of this scholarship. 3) To expose students to the historian's craft by analyzing primary documents and making coherent arguments based on an interrogation of historical evidence The format is that of a seminar, in which shared readings will be discussed during the first six weeks of class. Afterwards, students will conduct archival research on their own and produce a 15-20 page research paper that might serve as a stepping stone to a dissertation topic. A reading knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese is highly desirable, but not required. Students are expected to have taken a survey of Latin American and Caribbean history. A working knowledge of African and African-American historiography is also desirable, but not absolutely necessary.

Grading Policy

Active Class Participation 20% Author Report 20% Research Paper 60%


Preliminary Reading List (Subject to Change): George Reid Andrews, Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) James H. Sweet, Recreating Africa: Culture, Kinship, and Religion in the African-Portuguese World, 1441-1770 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003) Laurent DuBois, A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004) Rebecca J. Scott, Degrees of Freedom: Louisiana and Cuba after Slavery (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005) Appelbaum, Nancy, Race and Nation in Modern Latin America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003) Lara Putnam, The Company they Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870-1960 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002) Coursepack readings


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