“Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.”
This course meets the Intercultural Perspectives requirement of the Liberal Studies Program. As such, it will provide you with a greater knowledge and appreciation of cultural diversity through the study of encounters of Indigenous, European, and African worlds in Mexico. Hopefully this course will make you more aware of how culture has been used for political and social ends, including confronting racial discrimination, economic exploitation, and social injustice.
Cockcroft, James D. Mexico's Revolution Then and Now. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010. ISBN: 9781583672242
Joseph, G. M. and Timothy J. Henderson. The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics. The Latin America readers. Durham: Duke University Press, 2002. ISBN: 0822330423
Russell, Philip L. The History of Mexico: From pre-conquest to present. New York: Routledge, 2010. ISBN: 9780415872379
Assignments and grades
Cockcroft essay: Analyze the themes in Cockcroft. This paper should be typed, double-spaced, and about 3 pages long, and include citations a bibliography, and page numbers (100 pts).
Weekly response papers: Beginning with week 3, prepare a one-page written response to each week’s readings. Briefly state the authors’ main arguments and the evidence that they use. Examine the use of sources, methodology, and theory. Provide your own assessment or critique of the readings (20 pts ea.).
Hispanic Heritage Month: Attend one of the events from Hispanic Heritage Month, write up a brief evaluation of the event, and report back on it to class (50 pts).
Research paper: Each student is required to write a research paper on a topic related to Andean history. The paper must be 10 to 15 pages long, be typed, double spaced, and include page numbers, citations and a bibliography. The format should follow Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations. You must use a minimum of six scholarly sources (books and journal articles) and one primary source. This project will be developed in a series of stages. Keep each of these assignments in a portfolio or folder, and hand in the entire portfolio with each subsequent assignment. Meeting all of these deadlines is a requirement to receive credit for the research paper.
Sept 11: Research paper proposal, including a paragraph describing your project, the research questions you seek to address with the project, a hypothesis of what you expect to find (the thesis statement of your research paper), and a preliminary bibliography of sources that you plan to use (50 pts).
Sept 25: Analyze one of the major secondary sources you will use in the writing of your research paper. This paper should be typed, double-spaced, and about 3 pages long, and include citations a bibliography, and page numbers (100 pts).
Oct 2: Select a primary sources related to your research topic from the microfilm collection (http://library.truman.edu/microforms/subject_list.htm#Latin%20American%20History). Try to find something that relates as closely as possible to your research topic. Have me approve the source, and then write a paper (typed, double-spaced, about 3 pages, citations, bibliography, page numbers) analyzing the document and its historical significance for your research topic. Attach a copy of the document to the essay (100 pts).
Beginning Oct 30: Oral presentations. In your presentation, tell us what questions you addressed in your research project, what you expected to find (your thesis), a summary of your actual findings, and your conclusions. Naturally those who present earlier will have more tentative conclusions than those who present at the end of the semester. Please feel free to include visuals and other materials in your presentation.
Nov 13: Peer review of research papers. Bring a draft of your research paper to exchange with another student. Read and comment on the other student’s paper and return by the next class period.
Dec 6: Final research papers due. When handing in your final draft, please be sure to include copies of all of the previous assignments including the peer-reviewed draft.
Participation: The participation grade is not based on attendance (although this is expected and required), but on an active engagement with classroom discussions.
Final exam: The final exam is cumulative (100 pts).
Week 2 (Aug 28-30) The search for lo mexicano
Week 3 (Sept 4-6) Ancient civilizations
Week 4 (Sept 11-13) Conquest
Week 5 (Sept 18-20) Colony
Week 6 (Sept 25-27) Independence
Weeks 7-9 (Oct 2-18) Nineteenth century
Weeks 10-11 (Oct 23 – Nov 1) Mexican Revolution
Week 12 (Nov 6-8) Rise of the Perfect Dictatorship
Week 13 (Nov 13-15) Fall of the Perfect Dictatorship
Week 14 (Nov 27-29) The Border and Beyond
Week 15 (Dec 4-6) New Millennium
Final Exam: Monday, December 10, 9:30-11:20 p.m.