Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 am- 12:20 pm

Dr. Brianna Leavitt-Alcántara

This introductory-level course explores over 500 years of Latin American history from the rise and fall of the Aztec and Incan empires to modern challenges such as drug wars and gang violence.

We will learn how to work with a wide variety of primary sources such as ancient material objects, colonial paintings,  Inquisition records, novels, newspaper articles,  and declassified State Department documents in order to understand the diverse experiences and perspectives of Latin Americans. In particular, we will consider how to get at the stories of people who have built and sustained these societies but typically lacked wealth and power — native peoples,  enslaved Africans, and their descendants,  peasants,  women,  and urban workers. We will critically examine enduring historical and contemporary issues such as economic exploitation and inequality,  racial ideologies,  cultural diversity,  mass migration,  authoritarianism,  repression,  and revolutionary movements.

How can history help us to better understand the contemporary challenges and opportunities facing 21st-century Latin America?

Thinking about these issues historically will allow you to make more informed judgments as an active and thoughtful U.S. and global citizen.

This course is cross-listed with LAS 1020