HIST 248 Latinos in Americas

Fall 2020
IRES major
IRES minor
Latin American Studies minor

This course will introduce students to the historical experiences of Latino/a groups, while helping them increase their Spanish comprehension abilities, comfort with, and understanding of the language. It spends the most time discussing the historical experiences of the numerically largest group, Mexicans, while comparing and contrasting them to the experiences of immigrants and Americans of Caribbean and Central American origin. We begin with brief discussions of the initial colonization of the Americas, and then spend most of the quarter discussing the period 1800 to the present. We will investigate the major themes in Latina/o history. These include: colonialism, race and racialization, migration, identity, labor, politics, and culture. Students will analyze Latina/o migration history through the lens of not only U.S. history but also the histories of Latin American nations, thus gaining familiarity with the practice of transnational analysis. Finally, the course will consider the histories of Mexicans alongside those of Central Americans and Caribbean migrants, particularly Puerto Ricans and Cubans. The focus on these four groups will enable the course to discuss diverse aspects of the Latina/o historical experience: Legal inclusion/exclusion (Mexicans), U.S. citizenship and colonialism (Puerto Ricans), and political exile (Cubans and Central Americans). This course employs an innovative bilingual pedagogy that will allow students to build their proficiency in Spanish while studying the content outlined above. It is most appropriate for students who have at least basic familiarity with Spanish: two years of high school study or one year of university study, or who grew up in a bilingual household. Fluency in Spanish is neither expected nor required.

Course syllabus: