History 215 Colonial Latin America Fall 2019

Prof. Katie Holt

Mondays & Wednesdays, 2:00-3:20

Kauke 039

Course Description

This course examines the history of Latin America from the time of European arrival to the wars of independence. Themes include the encounter between New World, African, and Iberian societies; the transformation of indigenous social, religious, economic, and political frameworks; the creation and maintenance of institutions of colonial rule; the evolution of the Atlantic world economy; and the creation of new Latin American cultures and identities. While short lectures provide the necessary context for these historical processes, students will make extensive use of primary sources to build their own interpretations of colonial Latin America.
As a class we will analyze and problematize many of the concepts historians employ to explain the construction of new identities in Colonial Latin America, including hybridity, conversion, syncretism, and diaspora. We will also explore the tools and analytical frameworks that social historians employ in making sense of the past.

Student Learning Goals:

At the end of the semester, you should be able to:

  • Historical Knowledge: Identify the principal events, people, and institutions that shaped colonial Latin American history, and explain their significance.  Read critically and evaluate divergent interpretations of Latin American history.
  • Historical Thinking: Frame a historical argument using primary sources as evidence.  Demonstrate familiarity with the peoples and cultures of Latin America and how ethnic identity, race, gender, and class intersect to shape a diversity of individual experiences.
  • Critical Reasoning: Demonstrate your mastery of the central skills of historical research, including the ability to formulate a historical argument using primary and secondary sources as evidence.  Use digital technologies to create a framework to analyze historical problems.
  • Clear Communication: Organize, present, and communicate your own reactions to readings in class discussions, formal papers, and multi-media compositions.

Wooster Degree Requirement Designations: HSS; Global Engagement (G); Diversity, Power, & Privilege (D)