This course assesses the continuities and changes in the lives of Latin American women from the peopling of the continent to the present. We will examine concepts that have structured Latin American beliefs about gender including of honor and shame, and machismo and marianismo, and examine issues of gender relations, sexuality, and political involvement. How do beliefs about gender and gender roles relate to social structures including race, class and political structures, and how have these beliefs changed over time? By the end of the course students should have a clearer understanding of how gender influences historical changes and continuity in Latin America.
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 women in Latin America. Hopefully this course will make you more aware of how culture has been used for political and social ends, including confronting sexism, racial discrimination, economic exploitation, and social injustice.
Our goal in this class is to challenge existing assumptions, engage alternative viewpoints, and encourage critical thinking. Through the study of history, we seek to empower ourselves to be better citizens, and to provide ourselves with the skills necessary to play a positive and educated role in society. We need to be active constituents rather than mere recipients of our education. To accomplish those tasks, we should strive to create an open and supportive learning environment. Regular attendance and active participation are also necessary. Please drop me a note if you are unable to attend, or if you have any concerns or suggestions for improving the class.
There is one required book for this class, and we will add additional readings for each week's topic. Read the assignments before class so that you are prepared to carry on an intelligent discussion of the material in class.
Wade, Peter. Race and Sex in Latin America. London: Pluto Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780745329499
Assignments and grades
Course grades will be based on the following assignments. You can check your grade progress on the class Blackboard web page (there is a total of 1000 possible points in the class). Assignments are due at the beginning of class, and I do not accept “drop and run” papers. Grades on late assignments will be penalized 10 percent for each day that they are late. Successful completion of all assignments is required to receive credit for this class.
Response papers: 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. The essays are due each Thursday for that week's readings, and must be typed, double spaced, and include citations.
Presentation and historiographic paper: Groups of two will present on one of each week's topics and write a ten-page historiographic paper on that topic. First, select one secondary reading and one primary source document for the entire class to read. The secondary reading must be a scholarly source, either a journal article or book chapter, that contains notes and a bibliography and should be about twenty pages long. The primary source should be an artifact (a letter, document, poem, image, etc.) from the period under discussion, and typically will be one-page in length. Have me approve the sources in time to distribute them to the class on the Thursday before we will discuss the topic.
On the Thursday of each week, the small group will begin with a ten-minute presentation on the material to the class followed by a discussion of the readings. Prepare a list of discussion questions for the class to guide the discussion.
Also on Thursday, submit a ten-page historiographic paper drawing on four to six sources related to the topic for that week, comparing the approaches, use of sources, and arguments in each source. The essays must be typed, double spaced, and include citations and page numbers. A bibliography of suggested sources is on the blackboard webpage, but you will want to expand on this list. Please let me know of additional items that you think should be on this list, even if you do not include them in your essay.
The library has a guide for locating sources for this assignment at http://library.truman.edu/subsplus/subjects/display.php?subject=LatinAmericanStudies. Primary source documents can also be found in our microfilm collection; see http://library.truman.edu/microforms/subject_list.asp#Latin%20American%20History.
Final exam: The final exam will be a collaborative project that creates a visual representation (perhaps a poster, video, slideshow, or webpage) of one central theme that reflects the material what we have covered in this class.
Participation: The participation grade is not based on attendance (although this is expected and required), but on an active engagement with classroom discussions.
Week 1 (Jan 11/13) Intro & Theory
Part I: Colonial period
Week 2 (Jan 18/20) Mama Ocllo (Indigenous America)
Week 3 (Jan 25/27) Malintzin (Conquests)
Week 4 (Feb 1/3) Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Religion)
Week 5 (Feb 8/10) Xiça da Silva (Slavery)
Week 6 (Feb 15/17) Micaela Bastidas (Resistance)
Week 7 (Feb 22) Manuela Sáenz (Independence)
Part II: National period
Week 8 (March 1/3) Adelita (Mexican Revolution)
Week 9 (March 15/17) Dolores Cacuango (peasant women)
Week 10 (March 22/24) Frida (Culture)
Week 11 (March 29/31) Evita (Populism)
Week 12 (April 5/7) Hebe de Bonafini (Revolutionary Motherhood)
Week 13 (April 14) María Elena Moyano (Revolutionary violence)
Part III: Contemporary period
Week 14 (April 19/21) Benedita da Silva (Race)
Week 15 (April 26/28) Comandanta Ramona (Zapatistas)
Final Exam: Thursday, May 5, 11:30-11:20