Course code:



MA - Intermediate/Advanced

Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

This colloquium-style course will provide an intensive examination of the modern political history of Latin America - with a particular emphasis on the specific mechanisms of power used by state actors, local communities, and individuals.

The course seeks to provide students with appropriate theoretical tools as well as concrete historical cases from which to examine power dynamics in contemporary Mexico, Central America, and the Andes. The course also highlights a concrete set of cases through which students can examine the history of political upheaval, revolution, and contestation that has defined the region since independence.

The chronological scope of the class will be from the early nineteenth century up to the late twentieth century. Students will be asked to take theoretical works about state formation, nationalism, and power and examine how such questions could be turned into research projects.

Students will write a series of analytical essays on the course readings to problematize each author’s treatment of power and the state. A final project on one author’s theoretical and empirical contribution to the field will serve as a capstone. The course will focus on discussion of the texts, and students will be evaluated on their discussion skills, reading notes, and written work.

This course is intended for students with prior coursework on Latin American history (e.g. From Native Empires to Nation States, Articulated Identities, and Seminar in Guatemalan History and Culture), and courses in social theory would also be helpful.




Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.