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HIST7362: Histories of Exclusion: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America, c. 1800-1950

Dr Paulo Drinot

This course examines race and ethnicity, and processes of racialised and ethnic exclusion, in Latin America in historical perspective. It invites us to consider the historical role played by race and ethnicity in hierarchically structuring Latin American societies and reproducing patterns of exclusion from full citizenship in a number of contrasting case studies from the wars of independence until c. 1950. Among some of the topics to be considered are: the role of Afro-descendants and the indigenous in the region’s independence from Spain and Portugal, the persistence of slavery in Brazil and Cuba in a context shaped by ostensibly liberal ideas, the so-called Indian question and its place in liberal thought in the nineteenth century, debates over desirable and non-desirable immigration and on immigration’s impact on the ‘racial stock’, the adoption and adaptation of scientific racism and eugenics by Latin American thinkers as well as the critiques that such approaches to race engendered, the rise and demise of indigenista ideas, policies, and cultural expressions in both Mesoamerica and the Andes, the development of the notion of ‘racial democracy’ in post-slavery Brazil and Cuba and of ‘whiteness’ in the Southern Cone and their role in shaping racialised social policies. More generally, the course considers the ideological and practical construction of ‘racial states’ throughout Latin America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Seminars will be based on student presentations.

Assessment methods

HIST7362A/B: 2 X 2,500 word essays

Page last modified on 03 apr 14 11:15 by Jasmine Gane