Mexico since Independence

Marc Becker's picture

Dr. Elena Jackson Albarrán (513) 529-0843

Course Description

Office hours: W 10-12, Th 3-4, and by appt.

Upham 234

Mexico since Independence

HST/LAS 360T Miami University of Ohio

Mexico began its struggle for independence from Spain in 1810, ushering in an era characterized by competing visions of national identity and expressions of political culture. The readings, lectures, and supplementary materials of this course illustrate diverse and changing ways that Mexicans envisionedand portrayedthemselves as members of a national community, as well as external factors that shaped Mexico’s political and economic experiences over the two centuries following independence. Explorationsofart,folkballads,heroculture,educationreform,culinarytraditions, film culture, indigenous movements, and protest culture will all form part of the discussion of Mexico’s political and cultural history in its evolution as a nation.

Course Objectives

At the end of the semester, students enrolled in this course ought to be able to:
Identify the Mexican states and Federal District on a map.
Identify a unique geographical, cultural, or historical feature of each state and the federal

Write a historical identification (ID) in two concise sentences.
Identify and critique composition, historical references, authorship, and intended audience in

visual sources.
Define and provide examples of nineteenth-century Liberalism and Conservatism (as distinct

from modern-day political contexts).
Divide the history of Mexico since independence into significant historical periods, and

define the major changesideological, political, economic, or culturalthat mark each

Analyze a primary source: situate it in historical context, identify the voice of the author,

identify the intended audience, and evaluate its broader historical significance.
Engage with a partner class in Mexico City at the Universidad Panamericana across a variety

of digital media platforms to define, challenge, and break down mutually-held stereotypes and perceptions of each other that have been historically constructed through media, politics, and popular culture.

Required Readings

Students are required to purchase the following books which will be assigned in their entirety over the course of the semester:

  •   Jürgen Buchenau. Mexican Mosaic: A Brief History of Mexico. Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 2008. (Note: this is the primary text and portions will be assigned each week. This is the first book you need to get, and should have a physical copy of it on hand in class).

  •   José Tomás de Cuellár. The Magic Lantern: Having a Ball and Christmas Eve. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. (Note: Used copies of this book are available on Amazon for as little as a few pennies! Order it the first week of classes and it should arrive in plenty of time).

  •   Mark Wasserman. The Mexican Revolution: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012.

  •   Alyshia Gálvez. Eating NAFTA: Trade, Food Policies, and the Destruction of Mexico. Oakland: University of California Press, 2018.

  •   Supplemental readings are available on Canvas.

    Participation. Students will grade their own participation on a scale of 0-10 once every two weeks. The instructor reserves the right to modify the grade, either up or down, and will inform the student on a biweekly basis of these modifications. The scores will be averaged to calculate the final participation grade. A portion of the participation grade will be assessed based on our correspondence exchange with Mexican college students at the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City. Miami students in small groups will be assigned a topic to discuss with their Mexican peers, and the exchanges will be available to the class (and will hopefully inform ongoing class discussions of historical and current events).

    Blue Books. Students will keep a blue book (provided by the professor on the first day of class) of responsive reflection on class material that the professor will collect sporadically over the course of the semester. The blue book should be brought to class every day. While entries will not be graded, they will be taken into consideration in assessing the participation portion of the grade, and exceptionally thoughtful or creative entries will be rewarded. Students should be prepared for the contents of their blue book journal entries to be shared with the class at the professor’s discretion.

    Master Map Quiz (or 32 Reasons to Go to Mexico for Spring Break). This is an unconventional map quiz, as it pairs knowledge of geography with cultural and historical anecdotes that distinguish each state. The overall goal is for students not simply to memorize the names of Mexico’s different states, but also to learn an interesting detail about that region. Students will receive a study sheet of the facts about each state, along with a blank map. For the quiz, students will need to write the name of the state in the blank of its corresponding facts (spelled correctly), and will also need to place that state correctly on a blank map. Tuesday, September 24.

    Mexico Map Quiz


    32 Reasons to Spend your Next Spring Break in Mexico

    Fill in the blanks for each fact with the name of the state, and then place the number on the corresponding state on a blank map.

1. Cancún, one of the premiere resort destinations in the world, is located in _________________. 2

  1. Archduke Maximilian of Austria, Emperor of Mexico, met his demise before a firing squad on the Hill of the Bells in _________________.

  2. The natural rock formation called El Arco de los Cabos unites the Pacific with the Sea of Cortes in the state of .


generates more than half of the country’s hydroelectric power, and produces the majority of the coffee grown, yet more than 75% of the state’s population lives

below the poverty line.

  1. The Tarahumara (also known as the Rarámuri) people of , famed for their long-distance running abilities, can run barefoot for days without tiring.

  2. The ancient island city of Tenochtitlán, modern-day , now rests on a spongy drained lakebed, which is causing it to sink at an average of 4 inches per year.

  3. Most famously the birthplace of Pancho Villa, is home to an even more dangerous population: hundreds of varieties of scorpions, which also lend their name to the state soccer team, Los Alacranes.

  4. The walls and balusters along the coast of once fortified the region against pirate attacks from the likes of Francis Drake in the 17th century.

  5. Famous Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada, known for his woodcuts of skeletons enjoying everyday activities of the living, was born in .

  6. Two of Mexico’s most recognizable icons, tequila and mariachi music, originated in _________________.

  7. Tijuana, located in the border state of , is the busiest land border crossing in the world, with over 300,000 crossings per day.

  8. The naturally mummified bodies of over more than 100 men, women, and children, who succumbed to cholera in the 19th century, reside in a museum in .

  9. Nachos, named for Chef Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, were reportedly invented in the town of Piedras Negras, , in 1943.

  10. In _________________ fried grasshoppers known as chapulines are a popular street food often salted with chili powder and served alongside a cold beer.

  11. The construction in 2016 of an elevated cable car system, called the Mexicable, introduced an innovative solution to the difficulties of connecting remote regions in the state of _________________.

  12. The 1970s-era megastar in the Mexican wrestling sport of lucha libre, El Santo, hailed from _________________.


  1. Every October, monarch butterflies in the Eastern U.S. migrate 2,500 miles to _________________ where they hibernate in native fir trees for the winter.

  2. Cuernavaca, _________________, heralded as the Land of the Eternal Spring, has for centuries been a weekend retreat for dignitaries, foreigners, and residents of Mexico City.

  3. Terra cotta figurines from _________________’s red clay soil are some of the earliest extant pre-Columbian artifacts that offer clues into ancient daily life and rituals.

  4. The western state of is home to one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico, known as the Volcán de Fuego, which has erupted more than 40 times since the 16th century.

  5. _________________ is home to the largest Volkswagen factory outside of Germany, and was the site where the last classic VW Beetle was manufactured in 2003.

  6. The largest silver mine in colonial Mexico was located in the state of _________________, where today, partygoers can ride a train over 1,000 feet down into the mine to dance and drink at the El Edén nightclub.

  7. The luxurious and highly-Americanized suburban enclave, San Pedro Garza García, located in _________________, is the wealthiest city in México and home to the Torre Koi, the tallest skyscraper in the country.

  8. The Dr. Seussian architecture of Las Pozas in Xilitla, _________________ features winding stone staircases that lead to nothing, and arches that extend over natural swimming holes and waterfalls.

  9. A shrine to Jesús Malverde, the unofficial patron saint of narcotraficantes, can be found in _________________.

  10. The desert in _________________ is the only place in the world where the saguaro cactus, which can reach up to 70 feet tall and grow up to 25 arms, can be found in the wild.

  11. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known colloquially as AMLO, is also nicknamed “el peje,” after the long-snouted lizardfish (pejelagarto) native to his southern home state of _________________.

  12. The train running the length of Mexico, from Chiapas to _________________ once symbolized the grandeur of the country’s nineteenth-century railroad infrastructure, but in recent years has earned the moniker “La Bestia” (The Beast), its cartops serving as porters of Central American migrants on their grueling journeys north.

  13. The hillside colonial mining city of Taxco in is known for producing the highest quality silver jewelry and handicrafts in the country, and attracts shoppers and merchants worldwide to its annual National Silver Fair.


  1. People from _________________ are famously maligned for their ancestors having sided with Cortés and the Spanish during the conquest of México.

  2. The ruins of the ancient Classic Maya city of Chichén Itzá are in _________________, and have been named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

  3. A resident of _________________’s capital city Xalapa is known as a Jalapeño or Jalapeña.

Homework and Quizzes. Periodically, short homework assignments (worksheets, short reflections, Canvas discussions) will assess your completion and comprehension of assigned readings. There will also occasionally be quizzes on the readings, which will be announced in advance.

Universidad Panamericana Exchange 1 (Canvas Discussion, due August 29).
The students of the Raíces de México (Mexican Roots) class at Mexico City's Universidad Panamericana were given a prompt,

to stimulate a semester-long discussion with us. Their questions are posted to Canvas. The discussion board here is not intended to

provide responses to these questions (we will have a chance to do that in another post), but rather to reflect on what the overall tone and content of these questions can tell us about how the UP students see you (collectively--as US residents, or perhaps as Miami University students). Reflect here on what these questions inspire you to think about individual versus collective identity--perhaps you agree with the premise of these questions as they describe US society as a whole, but feel that they do not accurately reflect your personal position on things. Or perhaps you don't... here, let your reflections be candid and let your responses to others be respectful and honest.

Please submit one post and one comment on another post before class tomorrow.

Universidad Panamericana Exchange 2 (Canvas Discussion, due December 6).
What were the lessons learned from your semester-long exchange with the UP students? How did the interactions enhance (or detract from) the course content, or your understanding of Mexico? What recommendations would you have for future iterations of this exchange? What other solutions might you provide for surmounting the language barrier?

Corn Assignment 1. (Canvas Discussion, due November 19).
Read through Chapter 2 in the Eating NAFTA book. By Tuesday, submit your responses here. You have two small tasks to complete this weekend, without going out of your way to look for them or research them:

1) Comment on one instance of corn as it appears in your sphere of popular culture (art, advertising materials, visual culture, politics, retail).
2) Comment on one instance of corn as it appears in your
foodways (the globalized networks of production and consumption that bring food to your plate, or into your realm of eating options). Think about corn broadly (corn on the cob, canned corn, frozen corn, cornmeal, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, etc.). What form did

"What would you like to know from your US

counterparts about the following subjects?"


corn take? Where do you think the original corn that sourced this item was grown? Did doing the reading change your perception of the food item? Did you eat it, or not?

Corn Assignment 2 (Canvas Discussion, due November 21).
Drawing from Chapters 3-4 of the
Eating NAFTA book, identify one specific policy point in Mexican history (from the Porfiriato to the present) that you think has made the biggest impact, and why. This can include land reform, public health policy, subsidies of a certain commodity, bilateral treaty, etc. Make sure to define the time period.

Learn to Draw Like a (1920s) Mexican (First-Grader). The readings assigned for October 15 detail the renaissance in postrevolutionary Mexican education, including a revamped art program designed to teach children nationalism through a standardized drawing curriculum. After the reading and class lecture, you should be prepared to apply the formula taught to Mexican elementary students and reproduce a Mexican nationalist piece of art that would pass muster with SEP*

officials of the time. Artwork should be done on a standard 8.5” x 11” piece of paper, but any medium can be applied. The visual component of the assignment should be accompanied by a two- page written reflection on the choice of content, composition, medium, or other historical factors that contributed to the final product. Counterparts enrolled in a Mexican History class at Saint Xavier University in Chicago are doing the same assignmenttheir professor, Dr. Amanda López will judge Miami University students’ drawings and I will judge theirsto determine which one is the “most Mexican,” according to the standards established by Adolfo Best Maugard’s Método de dibujo textbook used in 1920s Mexican classrooms. All drawings will be graded. First prize will earn five billetes. Due Tuesday, October 22.

Exemplary work from Adolfo Best Maugard’s students in the 1920s is reproduced here:

* Secretaría de Educación Pública, or Ministry of Education. 6

Last year’s winning submission from Miami University student Audrey Davis:

Primary Document Analyses I. 2-page paper.
The first primary document analysis will ask you to find ONE newspaper article about the U.S.- Mexican War from the recommended historical newspaper databases subscribed to by our library


(linked on Canvas). Write an analysis that takes into consideration the historical moment in which the document was created, the intended audience, and the ways that the document contributes to a major theme of the course to date (i.e.: the construction of Mexican national identity, U.S-Mexico relations, myth and reality, Liberalism, or the development of political culture). IMPORTANT: Be sure to set the date range of 1846-1848 (or you can expand to the Texas independence episode, but there are not many papers covering that period, or alternatively you can expand to the Gadsden purchase of 1854).

Include in your analysis the following components:

  • Identify the time period of the document. How does this correspond with broader political,

    social, or ideological trends in Mexico at this time?

  • Who is the author? If you do not know the specific author, from what social class or political

    persuasion does he or she hail?

  • What are some of the clues in the text that reveal their perspective? Point here to specifics in

    the author’s language and tone.

  • Place this document in historical context. Is this a good example of a particular movement

    or set of ideas? Or does this represent an alternative perspective to that voiced in the

    textbook, or by the predominant voices of its time?

  • Make at least two references to two different assigned readings in order to contextualize this

    document. These may be primary or secondary sources, but the relationship to this document must be made clear. Citations should be parenthetical and in-text, according to this format (Buchenau 123), or this format, where there is no author identified (Anonymous, Décimas Dedicated to Santa Anna’s Leg,” 214).

  • INCLUDE A PRINTOUT OF THE ARTICLE with your hard copy submission.

    Our partner class at the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City will be doing the same assignment (taken from Spanish-language newspapers), and we will use it as a basis for exchanging perspectives, both historical and contemporary. Be prepared to engage in conversation through our online WebEx chat about different ways that the war was reflected in the press in the respective countries. Due Thursday, September 19.

    Primary Document Analyses II. 2-page paper.
    For the second assignment, identify TWO sources from the Wasserman textbook that represent differing perspectives on the same issue (experiences in revolutionary fighting, gender relations, ideologies of revolution, etc.). In your analysis, clearly identify the documents being compared (author, date, type of document), the issue at hand, and drawing from specific contextual and textual evidence, justify the difference in opinion expressed in the two documents based on the political, economic, or social positions of the respective authors. You may choose to discuss each document in turn, and conclude with your evaluation of their common themes, or you may choose to write an essay that draws parallel examples from both documents throughout the body of your text. Include in your analysis the following components:

    Identify the time period of each document. What point of the Mexican Revolution does this reflect? How does this correspond with broader political, social, or ideological trends that prevailed at the time?

    Who is the author? From what social class or political persuasion does he or she hail? Whose interests might be best reflected by this text?


  • What are some of the clues in the text that reveal their perspective? What vision do they have about the future of Mexico, or observations about the current conditions in Mexico, that inform their perspective? Point here to specifics in the author’s language and tone.

  • Place this document in historical context. Is this a good example of a particular movement or set of ideas? Or does this represent an alternative perspective to that voiced in the textbook, or by the predominant voices of its time? Here, read the documents against the official history (textbook, secondary sources), to show how they confirm or depart from the standard historiographical narrative of the Mexican Revolution.

  • How do you explain the coexistence of these two perspectives in the same historical moment?

    Due Thursday, October 10.

    Reflective Book Review. 3 page paper.
    Review the book
    Eating NAFTA. This assignment asks you to follow a conventional book review template, with an added feature at the end of a personal reflection on how (or if) this book has influenced your relationship to the food that you eat.

  • First paragraph: briefly summarize the book’s subject. Identify the who, what, when, where of the book. At the end of this paragraph, identify in one clear sentence the author’s main argument. What is significant about this time period/person or group/piece of policy/historical event, and how does it change the way that we understand modern Mexican history? As clearly as you can, paraphrase the author's principal argument--what new claim is she able to make with the evidence that she has presented here?

  • Second paragraph: briefly summarize the book’s chapter organization. How is the evidence organized? Is there a chronological or thematic organization? Does it look at a span of decades or more? Does it focus on the experiences of an individual or group of people? How do the different chapters contribute to the development of the history/story?

  • Third paragraph: identify the structures (institutions, ideological forces, governments, or other structural forces) and the agents (the people, or primary social groups, that emerge as the actors in the author’s story) that form the central narrative of the text.

  • Fourth paragraph: identify the sources that the author uses. To do this, you may need to look at the footnotes or endnotes. Is the story built upon interviews? Government documents? Legal or trial documents? Newspaper reports? Memoirs? Oral histories? Letters? Does the author analyze visual or popular culture, such as signs, posters, pamphlets, photographs? How do these materials contribute to the construction of the author’s narrative?

  • One page: personal reflection. How do the arguments and evidence here have an impact on the way that you think about food, consumption, labor, family traditions, the relationship between local and global? Here, feel free to make references to other readings assigned in class. Will it change the way you eat or shop? Also, provide specific examples from the monograph to illustrate your analysis.

  • Include complete citation. Due Tuesday, December 3.

    Final Project: Cartoon/Meme Analysis. 6-7 page paper, plus bibliography, plus image.
    One of the great things about Mexican culture is its capacity for self-critique with a good dose of humor. The rising popularity of the meme
    a familiar or widely-recognized image overlain with


new meaning through the addition of text and/or modified visual elementsis a good metaphor for the way that historical narratives are revised and given new meaning. Meme-based humor relies on a foundation of basic prior knowledge, and then contorts the meaning. Having a baseline understanding of Mexican national history, heroes, icons, and narratives will serve as a tool to help you to “get the joke,” and make deeper meaning of an image that at first glance is just intended to be funny. For example, the following meme (Translation: “The perfect wallet doesn’t exi...”) builds on the popular trend of making a statement that seems impossible, and then showing an image that breaks with the assumption.

Here, we have the unlikely elote, or corn cob, serving as a wallet. This is only funny if we understand the

cultural and economic significance of corn in Mexican history. On one hand, it presumes that corn is something so commonplace in society that nobody would consider it out of place to see a Mexican walking around with an ear of corn, so it would not call the attention of potential robbers. Furthermore, it might suggest that people who do associate themselves with eating corn are considered to be poor, and not likely targets of theft. But another level of analysis that you could add, based on our knowledge of corn economics (and a layer likely not intended by the author of the meme), is that this photo serves as a metaphor for internal financial power of corn as a major engine of neoliberal trade economies. This could serve as a starting point for a more historically-oriented discussion of race, class, and identity surrounding consumption that traces through modern Mexican history.


Find a meme or political cartoon that derives from Mexican history (not an image presented in lecture) that addresses a current political event (in Mexico or around the globe). The image should be the starting point for a discussion of the changing meaning of symbols, icons, images, or official narratives over time in modern Mexican history. In your written analysis, first identify the original


source of the image (to the extent known, include the circumstances of the creation of the original artwork or photograph), the subject of the present-day issue (where relevant), and a documented discussion of the historical reference being made in the image. Then consider the following questions in your analysis:

  • □  What historical factors contributed to making this image/text iconic and therefore readily recognizable?

  • □  How does the meaning of the historical event change in its modern form? What “official” or “popular” narratives of history are embedded in the image?

  • □  How does it echo the types of propaganda, state-produced narratives, or popular counter- narratives produced at other moments in Mexican history?

  • □  How does knowledge of the past enrich your understanding of modern-day visual representations?

    Written analysis must include:

  • □  References to at least four in-class assigned readings (includes assigned books, Canvas readings,

    and primary documents)

  • □  References to at least three external academic sources not assigned in class to defend your

    position (historical monographs, chapters in anthologies, or peer-reviewed academic articles)

  • □  Recommended: reference to at least one entry from the ebook: Iconic Mexico: An Encyclopedia from

    Acapulco to Zócalo (find on Miami University Libraries websitenote that only one person can have it digitally “checked out” at a time, so please check it back in when you are done—I also have hard copies in my office).


    6-7 pages (typed, double-spaced, include page numbers), plus bibliography, plus image.
    Use parenthetical in-text citations (last name, pg. number) with full citation in bibliography
    An electronic copy must be submitted through Canvas by
    Tuesday, December 10 at 5:00 p.m.

    Grade Distribution

    Participation and Attendance 20% Map Quiz 5% Homework and Worksheets 10% Reflective Book Review 15% Primary Document Analyses (2) 20% Learn to Draw like a Mexican 10% Final Paper 20%


    Course Policies
    Billetes (Class Money). Billetes (paper bills) in the form of replicas of Mexican currency will be distributed at the whim of the professor, and can be redeemed for extra credit points on assignments of the student’s choosing. Billetes will also be lavishly distributed at the campus-wide cultural and intellectual events related to the course that will be announced over the course of the semester. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of her or his pesos earned over the course of the semester. They can be redeemed by stapling them to any assignment.


Special Needs

This course requires substantial reading and writing, as well. Students who have disabilities, either permanent or temporary, that might affect their ability to participate in class or outside work, should contact the professor at the beginning of the semester and submit any necessary paperwork. Instructional methods, classroom materials, and-or testing formats may be altered to provide more equitable options for participation.

Class Conduct and Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be respectful of each other and the professor. This means listening to and responding appropriately to a variety of opinions. This does not mean that students must agree with each other or with the professor; on the contrary, students are encouraged to engage in lively debate and to vocalize differences of opinion.

Personal computers are discouraged as note-taking devices (of course, those with documentation from the Rinella Center are welcome to use their computers to take notes). Multiple studies have shown, and the professor’s decades of personal experience have confirmed, that taking notes on a computer decreases student retention of lecture and discussion content.

Regarding classroom culture, the following activities constitute a lack of respect and are considered inappropriate for the classroom environment: texting, messaging, checking Facebook or other social networking pages, answering a phone call, engaging in conversation unrelated to classroom discussion, talking while someone else is making a point, sleeping in class, reading external material, arriving late to class, leaving early from class. Any of these activities will jeopardize the student’s participation grade. The following activities constitute a lack of respect and are considered inappropriate for the classroom environment: texting, messaging, checking social media sites, answering a phone call, engaging in conversation unrelated to classroom discussion, talking while someone else is making a point, sleeping in class, reading external material, arriving late to class, leaving early from class. Any of these activities will jeopardize the student’s participation grade.

Academic misconduct, as defined by the Miami University Student Handbook, covers a wide variety of activities, including copying or allowing others to copy one’s exams or assignments, turning in an assignment that the student has not written, and submitting the same material for more than one class. A common form of academic dishonesty is plagiarism, which is presenting the work, words or ideas of another person as though they were one’s own, without giving the originator credit. It is plagiarism to copy or to paraphrase material from another source without proper citation. The professor will not tolerate any form of academic dishonesty, and will not accept any written assignment that is not a wholly original product created by the student. Instances of academic misconduct will be dealt with in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Miami Student Handbook, Part 1, Chapter 5: ( integrity.html). Please note that sanctions and procedures have been updated as of August 2019. It is a student’s responsibility to read this policy. Please note that lack of knowledge or understanding of the appropriate academic conduct is not an excuse for committing academic dishonesty. Students who are found responsible for committing academic dishonesty will receive a sanction that ranges

Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer, “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand over Laptop Note Taking,” Psychological Science v. 25, n. 6 (April 2014): 1159-1168; Robinson Meyer, “To Remember a Lecture Better, Take Notes by Hand,” The Atlantic (May 1, 2014).


from a zero on the assignment to an F in the course, which could contain the AD transcript notation.

Students who are found responsible for committing two acts of dishonesty (academic or Code of Student Conduct section 102 (Dishonesty)) automatically will be suspended from Miami University.

Learning Outcomes

In accordance with the guidelines established by the History Department for 300-level learning outcomes, this course is structured to allow students to achieve the following:

  1. Analyze multiple forms of primary evidence and begin to draw inferences from them that speak to a particular historical problem or question.

  2. Further refine the examination of other societies in a global context and to look at one's own society in the context of other societies.

  3. Produce an historical argument. Identify and analyze historiographical debates and demonstrate the capacity to deal with differences in interpretation.

  4. Begin to construct historical essays. Students will recognize the historicity of ideas and categories such as nation-making, geographical categories, social categories; and the multiple special and temporal contexts of history.


Course Schedule

Readings are to be completed by the date listed, and should be read in the order listed. Come to class with the text, notes, and prepared to discuss readings assigned for each class. Changes to the schedule of readings and assignments are subject to the discretion of the professor.

Tuesday, August 27 Mexican Themes Overview

Thursday, August 29 Crumbling Empire, Nascent Nation Mexico News Assignment due

1. Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic, pp. 1-35 Tuesday, September 3 Independence


Thursday, September 5 Forging the Republic: Different Meanings of Citizenship Readings:

  1. Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic, pp. 37-44.

  2. Morelos, “Sentiments of the Nation,” The Mexico Reader, pp. 189-191 [Canvas]

  3. Iturbide, “Plan of Iguala,” The Mexico Reader, pp. 192-195 [Canvas]

Tuesday, September 10 Upheaval and Institutions: Early 19th Century

1. Buchenau,
Mexican Mosaic, pp. 44-53.

Thursday, September 12 The U.S.-Mexico War Readings:

1. Chávez, “Introduction: Race, Manifest Destiny, and the U.S. War with Mexico,” The U.S. War with Mexico, pp. 1-33 [Canvas]

Tuesday, September 17 Liberalism and Conservatism Readings:

1. Begin reading Cuellár, Magic Lantern: Having a Ball

Thursday, September 19 Benito and Max, Agnes and Carlota: French Intervention Primary Document Analysis I due

  1. Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic, pp. 53-59

  2. Empress Carlotta, “A Letter from Mexico,” The Mexico Reader, pp. 265-269 [Canvas]

Tuesday, September 24 Benito and Porfirio: ¿No Reelección?
Map Quiz (or 32 Reasons to Spend Your Next Spring Break in Mexico)
in class Readings:

  1. Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic, pp. 60-69.

  2. Juárez, “The Triumph of the Republic, 1867,” The Mexico Reader, pp. 270-272 [Canvas]


Thursday, September 26 Porfiriato Readings:

  1. Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic, pp. 69-73.

  2. Jackie Sumner, “The Indigenous Governor of Tlaxcala and Acceptable Indigenousness

    in the Porfirian Regime,” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, v. 35, n. 1 (Winter 2019): 61-

    87. [Canvas]

  3. Continue reading Cuellár, Magic Lantern: Having a Ball

Tuesday, October 1 Modernity and Porfirian Consumer Culture: Discussion of Magic Lantern Magic Lantern IDs due

1. Cuellár, Magic Lantern: Having a Ball [complete]

Thursday, October 3 Harbingers of Revolution Readings:

  1. Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic, pp. 73-77 (recommended).

  2. Wasserman, “Introduction,” and “The Causes of the Revolution,” The Mexican Revolution:

    A Brief History with Documents, pp. 1-49 (required).

Tuesday, October 8 Bullets and Ballots: The Mexican Revolution Readings:

  1. Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic, pp. 78-89 (recommended)

  2. Wasserman, “At War,” and “International Ramifications,” The Mexican Revolution: A Brief

History with Documents, pp. 50-100; 133-147 (required).

Thursday, October 10 Revolutionary Institutions and Ideologies
Primary Document Analysis II due (compare and contrast two primary documents from the Wasserman collection).

  1. Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic, pp. 89-99.

  2. Wasserman, “The Constitution of 1917: Article 27,” “The Constitution of 1917: The

Labor Provisions of Article 123,” and “The Bucareli Agreements,” The Mexican Revolution: A Brief History with Documents, pp. 121-128; 148-151.
3. José Va
sconcelos, ‘The Cosmic Race” (excerpt, 1925). (Note: the brief preface before the excerpted primary document provides important context by historians. The original Vasconcelos piece starts with the subheading “Mestizaje.”). (Canvas)

Tuesday, October 15 Revolutionary Cultural Nationalism Readings:

1. Elena Jackson Albarrán, “Pulgarcito and Popocatépetl: Children’s Art Curriculum and the Creation of a National Aesthetic,” Seen and Heard in Mexico: Children and Revolutionary Cultural Nationalism (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015): pp. 75-128. [Canvas]


Tuesday October 1, 7:00 p.m.

Racial Consciousness 101 Panel Event
Harry T. Wilks Theater (Armstrong Student Center)



Thursday, October 17 Cardenismo and the Redistributive Revolution Readings:

1. Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic, pp. 89-104. Tuesday, October 22 Art and Nationalism

Draw Like a Mexican artwork and essay due

Thursday, October 24 Mexico since WWII: The Mexican Miracle Readings:

1. Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic, pp. 105-116.

Tuesday, October 29 La Dictadura Perfecta: Building the PRI Class does not meet. Instead, watch the film below on Canvas and complete the worksheet. (Tip: complete the worksheet while you are watching the film).
La Ley de Herodes (Mexico, 2007). [Canvas]

Complete Ley de Herodes worksheet. Thursday, October 31

Class does not meet. Complete online discussion on Canvas.

Tuesday, November 5 (VOTE!) Legacies of Uneven Modernization
Vasconcelos discussion with Universidad Panamericana students (review reading assignment for October 10).

1. Begin reading Eating NAFTA.

Thursday, November 7 Dissent, Repression: Tlatelolco in 1968 Readings:

1. Doyle, “The Tlatelolco Massacre: U.S. Documents on Mexico and the Events of 1968,” National Security Archive (read article and documents) [Canvas]

Tuesday, November 12 Olympics, Modernity, and Mexico’s Global Reach Readings:

1. "Mexico World Cup Mascot: Not 'Ole' but 'Oh No'." New York Times, May 12, 1984. no.html?smid=pl-share [Canvas]

Thursday, November 14 Cuauhtémoc as Phoenix? Out of the Earthquake and Escombros Readings:

  1. Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic, pp. 116-129.

  2. Anonymous, “Letters to Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas,” The Mexico Reader, pp. 591-597


Tuesday, November 19 1994: Colosio and the Beginning of the End of the PRI Series clips: 1994 (Mexico, 2019)

Thursday, November 21 1994: The Zapatista Challenge Readings:


  1. “Prologue: Subcomandante Marcos Introduces Himself,” Shadows of Tender Fury, pp. 21- 30. [Canvas]

  2. Bartolomé, “War Diary,” First World, Ha Ha Ha! The Zapatista Challenge, pp. 5-28. [Canvas]

  3. Alice Speri, “‘Subcomandante Marcos No Longer Exists:’ Zapatista Leader Retires His Nom de Guerre,” Vice, May 26, 2014. [Canvas]

Tuesday, November 26 1994: NAFTA and Neoliberalism Film short: “30-30” Revolución 2010 (Mexico, 2010)

Thursday, November 28


Tuesday, December 3

Book discussion
Reflective Book Review due Readings:


NAFTA, Corn, and Migration

1. Eating NAFTA, complete.

Thursday, December 5 AMLO and Mexico’s Historical Memory Reading:

1. García Magos, “López Obrador in Democratic Mexico,” Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Latin American History [Canvas]

Tuesday, December 10 Final Project Mini-Presentation
12:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
We will meet during our exam block to have mini-presentations of the final projects. Turn in hard copy of Final Project in class and submit an electronic copy on Canvas.


Categories: Syllabus
Keywords: syllabus