MSc International Relations of the Americas
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AMERG034: The Making of Modern Latin America: History, Politics, and Society

Course convenor: Dr Paulo Drinot


This course introduces students to key themes and debates in the history of Latin America since Independence until c. 1980. Some of the themes and debates to be considered include (may vary from year to year): the causes and consequences of Independence; the economic and political instability of the post-Independence period and the nature of caudillo rule; the persistence of slavery and the causes and consequences of slave emancipation; the rise of Latin American export economies; British informal imperialism; US economic and cultural expansion and influence; class, gender, and race and the making of ‘national’ identities; the rise of ‘populism’ and the social and economic consequences of ‘mass politics’; social revolutions; and authoritarianism and military rule.

Weekly topics:

1. Introduction

2. Independence

3. Postcolonial Predicaments

4. Slavery and Emancipation

5. Liberalism and the Indian Question

6. Neocolonial Orders

7. Race and Nation

8. Enter the Masses

9. Revolution

10. Times of Fear

Background and indicative reading

Appelbaum, Nancy P., Anne S. Macpherson, and Karin A. Rosemblatt (eds.), Race & Nation in Modern Latin America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

Brading, D.A. The First America: The Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriots, and the Liberal State, 1492-1867. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1991.

De la Fuente, Ariel. Children of Facundo: Caudillo and Gaucho Insurgency during the Argentine State-Formation Process (La Rioja, 1853-1870). Durham: Duke University Press, 2000.

Derby, Lauren. The Dictator's Seduction: Politics and the Popular Imagination in the Era of Trujillo. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009.

Drinot, Paulo. The Allure of Labor: Workers, Race, and the Making of the Peruvian State.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2011.

French, John D, The Brazilian Workers' ABC: Class Conflict and Alliances in Modern Sao Paulo, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992.

Gobat, Michael, Confronting the American Dream: Nicaragua under U.S. Imperial Rule. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.

Gotkowitz, Laura. Histories of Race and Racism: The Andes and Mesoamerica from Colonial Times to the Present.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2011.

Grandin, Greg, and G. M. Joseph. A Century of Revolution: Insurgent and Counterinsurgent Violence During Latin America's Long Cold War. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010.

Grindle, Merilee and Pilar Domingo (eds.), Proclaiming Revolution. Bolivia in Comparative Perspective, London: ILAS and DRCLAS, 2003.

Guardino, Peter F. Peasants, Politics, and the Formation of Mexico’s National State, 1800-1857. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992.

Guerra, Lillian. Visions of Power in Cuba: Revolution, Redemption, and Resistance, 1959-1971. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012.

James, Daniel, Resistance and Integration: Peronism and the Argentine Working Class, 1946-1976, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Joseph, G. M., and Daniela Spenser. In from the Cold: Latin America's New Encounter with the Cold War, Durham: Duke University Press, 2008.

Joseph, G. M., Catherine LeGrand, and Ricardo Donato Salvatore. Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of U.S.-Latin American Relations. Durham: Duke University Press, 1998.

Knight, Alan, The Mexican Revolution (2 vols.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Larson, Brooke, Trials of Nation Making. Liberalism, Race, and Ethnicity in the Andes, 1810-1910. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Mallon, Florencia, Peasant and Nation: The Making of Postcolonial Mexico and Peru. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

Mayer, Enrique, Ugly Stories of the Peruvian Land Reform. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009.

Miller, Rory, Britain and Latin America in the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries. London: Longman, 1993.

O’Brien, Thomas F., The Revolutionary Mission: American Enterprise in Latin America, 1900-1945. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996.

Poole, Deborah. Vision, Race, and Modernity : A Visual Economy of the Andean Image World. Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997.

Salvatore, Ricardo, Wandering Paysanos: State Order and Subaltern Experience in Buenos Aires during the Rosas Era. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003.

Scott, Rebecca J. Slave Emancipation in Cuba: The Transition to Free Labor, 1860-1899. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1985.

Turits, Richard Lee, Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in Dominican History. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003.

Walker, Charles, Smoldering Ashes: Cuzco and the Creation of Republican Peru, 1780-1840. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999.

Winn, Peter (ed.), Victims of the Chilean Miracle. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.