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HIST 385

Latin American Revolutions

This discussion course examines the revolutionary movements which swept Latin America after World War Two. These include: Guatamal in 1940-1954, Bolivia 1952, Cuba 1959, Chile 1970, Nicaragua 1979 and Chiapas 1994. Our analysis will cover a range of social, political, economic, and cultural frameworks for understanding these revolutions, why they happened, did they succeed, or why they failed. Analysis will focus on theories of revolution, why they happen, what their process is, and the thorny issue of how to evaluate their success or failure. We will learn about peasant and urban working class movements, as well as issues of consciousness as it pertains to the formation of counter-hegemonic movements. Guerilla warfare, the 'foco' strategy, and organizing tactics will be examined. We will develop an understanding of the role of US foreign policy in each revolution. the course will have a gender component by exploring how the role of women changed over time in the revolutionary movements. We develop an understanding of how and why the pre-1994 Chiapas revolutions were 'modern' responses to social, political, economic and cultural problems and how the Zapatista rebellion can be understood as the first postmodern revolution. Students will learn about why the autonomous movement is a more powerful tool of revolution than the 'traditional' revolutionary movements of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The course will hae approximately 7 monographs. Reading will be at the pace of a book every two weeks (150 pages a week+/-). Students will write multiple thesis drive essays responding to the reading. There will also be a term paper.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course