Introduction to Latin American History

Syllabus Spring 2016
History 215: Introduction to Latin American History

Spring 2016 * TTh 8:00am - 9:15am * COPH 230
Instructor: Dr. Roger Davis; Office: COPH 103-B
Email: : Phone: 308-865-8771
Office Hours: MTWThF: 11:30am – 12:30pm and by appointment

Description: A general introduction to the history of Latin America from the Amerindian past to the present. The approach is both chronological and thematic and designed to introduce the student to the fundamental political, social, economic, and cultural elements that have coalesced to distinguish these societies in this important part of the Non-Western World.

Course Objectives: Historical thinking is dedicated to determining what has happened, and, why events and changes take place within the context of time. One objective of this course is to challenge students to become adept at recognizing and discussing specific cause and effect linkages and explaining how and why events and behaviors change over any certain chronological era. Another objective of the course is to introduce students to the fundamental events, personalities, and issues of Latin American history. Consequently, by the end of this course, the average passing student should be able to convincingly demonstrate a clear understanding of the principal events, themes, and historical figures in Latin American history and how these have interacted over time. Students should be able to communicate that understanding clearly in written and oral fashion. To that end, students are expected to do the reading in advance and be prepared for questions and discussion in class. Finally, students are expected to be alert, to take the lectures and reading seriously and to apply themselves toward an understanding of the historical "data" through analytical/critical thought.

Required Reading:

Martin and Wasserman: Latin American and Its Peoples.
Buffington, Caimari: Keen's Latin American Civilization 8th Edition
Adams, J. Latin American Heroes
Rough Guides: First Time Latin America (FTLA)

Attendance: Students are expected to attend every class session. Attendance will figure into the determination of the final grade. Poor attendance will make it difficult to do well on exams, participate in class discussion, and demonstrate that you are taking the course seriously. Three or more unexcused absences constitute poor attendance. At the end of the semester students with poor attendance will have ten points deducted from their total score. By University policy, a failing grade will be reported if a student stops attending class and does not officially drop or get approval for an incomplete.

 Academic Dishonesty Policy: The integrity of the University degree depends on the integrity of the work done for that degree by each student. Consequently the University expects each student to maintain a high standard of honesty in his/her scholastic work. "Academic dishonesty" includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a test or other class work, plagiarism (the appropriation of another's work and the unacknowledged incorporation of it in one's own work) and collusion (the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing required work.) Cheating is defined as the actual or attempted practice of fraudulent or deceptive acts for the purpose of improving ones grade or obtaining course credit; such acts also include assisting another student to do so. Cheating is not limited to examination situations only, but it includes any and all action by students that are intended to gain an unearned academic advantage by fraudulent or deceptive means. Should a student be accused of academic dishonesty, the department concerned may initiate disciplinary proceedings which could result in expulsion. (Undergraduate Catalog)

Students with Disabilities or Students Who are Pregnant
It is the policy of the University of Nebraska at Kearney to provide flexible, individualized, and reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities or students who are pregnant.  To receive accommodation services for a disability, students must be registered with UNK Disabilities Services. Contact David Brandt, in the Academic Success Office, 163 Memorial Student Affairs Building, 308-865-8214 or by email to register.  For students needing accommodation due to pregnancy, you need to contact Student Health. (The following link provides information for students and faculty regarding pregnancy rights. Students with disabilities or students who are pregnant need to provide the proper documentation from Disability Services or Student Health to their faculty members in order to receive academic accommodations. Anyone who feels they were not afforded these rights, should contact the campus Title IX/ADA Officer at 308-865-8655.Attached is the link to the above statement for your convenience.

Grades will be determined primarily by the following assignments: The Homepage Posting, worth 10 points, two midterm exams and a final exam each worth 100 points, four Short Assignments each worth 20 points, a Topic Report and a Thesis/Bibliography Report, each worth 10 points, and a Formal Research Paper, worth 210 points. The exams are objective and essay in format. Exam dates are noted below. We will have more than four Short Assignments but only the best four will be counted toward the final grade.

The total possible point accumulation of 620 points for the semester will be evaluated upon a straight scale where 90% = A, 80% = B, 70% =C, 60% = D, and 50% = F. There will be no "extra credit" assignments. Make-up exams are discouraged and not automatic. You must have compelling reasons to request a make-up exam and such special consideration is fully at the discretion of the instructor. Also, remember that poor attendance can cost you points.

The Writing Assignment: Formal Research Paper in Chicago Style:
Each student will be assigned a Latin American country to research. Each student will need to read about and study your country in order to find a topic to research and write about. The topic can be a person, or event, a historical element that is a hallmark of your country. The topic must be located between the years 1800 and 2000. Each student will create an original formal research report on the topic they have chosen.
To prepare to do the paper, each student must turn in a Topic Report, offering three (3) different potential topics for their paper.
Each student will also turn in a preliminary Thesis/Bibliography report, indicating a preliminary thesis and what resources they have found.
Each student will then research and write a formal paper which will have:
1. a title page
2. five to seven pages (5-7pages) of text
3. an Endnotes page(s)
4. a Bibliography page(s).

Papers must be entirely based upon use of books, journal articles, and printed materials. The web may be used only for assistance to understand material and locate material that is printed. No web sites that are stand alone and are not reflections of printed sources may be used as cited sources. An example of this is Wickipedia. This source does not exist as a printed source and may not be used as a cited source. A web edition of the Hispanic American Historical Review, or the Americas journal, which are printed sources, may be used.
At a minimum the paper must show that you have read and are using no fewer than three (3) books and three (3) journal articles.
Remember a minimum is for an adequate job. If you want to do beyond adequate, you might want to plan to do a bit more. For more details on how to do this assignment, review Course Documents on Blackboard

Due Dates:

Topic Report: Thursday, February 4
 Each student is required to research an assigned Latin American country. After some investigation into the country, each student is required to identify three (3) potential topics. These topics will be presented to the instructor in the Topic Report. This will be a two or three page report, typed, double-spaced, proof-read, which will offer three (3) potential topics in three time frames. One topic should be in the 1800-1900 era, a second topic should be in the 1900-1950 era, and the third should be in the 1950-2000 era. For each potential topic suggest a paper title and some questions about that topic.

Thesis/Bibliography Report: Thursday, February 25
The T/B report will be a two to three page report which will present the tentative thesis, or point, that you will present and defend in your paper, and a preliminary bibliography of materials found to date. The bibliography must be in correct Chicago style. It will indicate the books and articles you have found on your topic. 

Revision Window Papers:
 Completed research papers may be handed in over March 29 through April 7, 2016. Papers handed in over this time are in the “revision window” and will qualify for one revision. Papers that qualify for revision should be returned within 72 hours after the original has been handed back to the student. The revision and original must then be turned in together.

No Revision Papers:
Papers handed in after April 7 and not later than 4:00pm on Tuesday, April 12 are on time but these do not qualify for revision opportunity. NOTE: No papers will be accepted after 4:00pm on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. 

Information on Latin America:
In addition to the general and historical information on Latin America that you will have in your assigned reading, there are many other sources available to you to become familiar with Latin American culture and history. In the UNK library you can find encyclopedias, magazines, journals, and books. The Americas magazine and the collected articles in ISLA-the Information Services on Latin America (a collection of newspapers articles from a dozen newspapers) are good starting points. Some encyclopedia reference aids that are in the UNK library are:

Tenenbaum: Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture
Collier: Cambridge Encyclopedia of Latin America
Martin: Encyclopedia of Latin American History
Kapiszewski:  Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics

 While websites are not allowed as cited resources, the web can still be a resource. The web has plenty of information about Latin America and its history and can point you in the direction of an article or book. The information may help you understand a topic. However, you must be careful about web sites. First, some of them are incorrect and full of errors. Second, and this is very important, you should never copy and paste material from a website into a paper! This is plagiarism, or stealing intellectual material, and is a crime. Plagiarism will result in an automatic failing grade for the class and possible expulsion from the University.

 REMEMBER: If you need help with any assignment, with the readings, or any help understanding what you are expected to be doing, do not hesitate to ask the instructor. Also do not hesitate to help each other out. You are all colleagues in this shared experience, so don't hesitate to lend each other a hand.

Class Assignments: The following is a general and tentative guideline to the dates, topics, and readings. Some changes will be required over the semester. These will be announced in class. It is the student's responsibility to note these changes as they occur. Ask a colleague now to share notes! Study groups are encouraged.

January 12
An overview of course and semester and intro to geography.

The Amerindian World
Jan. 14 – Feb. 4
Presentation and discussion of geography, demographic migration and the Classic Amerindian cultures.
Reading: Assigned web sites, MW chapters 1 and 2; Keen assignments, FTLA 1,2,3,4

Iberia, Encounter and Conquest
Feb. 9 - 18
Iberian background, Columbus and "Discovery", the Conquest of Aztecs and Inca and the start of colonial Latin America.
Reading: MW chapters 2 and 3; Adams: Dona Marina, Keen assignments, FTLA 5,6

First Exam: Tuesday, February 16

Hapsburg Colonial World
Feb. 23 – March 8
Hapsburg colonial order and colonial world
Reading: MW chapters 4, 5, 6 and Keen assignments, FTLA 7, 8

 Reform and Independence
March 10 – March 17
Bourbon Reforms and Independence movements
Reading: MW chapters 7 and 8; Adams: Bolivar, San Martin, Pedro I, II; Keen assignments
FTLA 9, 10

 Second Exam: Tuesday, March 15

The Nineteenth Century to 1880
March 29 – April 5
New nations and struggles of civil wars
Reading: MW chapters 9 and 10; Adams: Juarez, Keen assignments, FTLA 11

Modernization and the 20th Century
April 7 – April 12
New order, stabilization and revolution; new groups into new century.
Reading MW chapter 11, Keen assignments, FTLA 12

 Reform and Progress, 1920 – 1960
April 14 – April 19
Reading: MW chapters 12, 13, Adams and Keen assignments, FTLA 13, 14

Revolution, Reform and Latin America at the End of History
April 21 – 28
Reading: MW chapters 14, 15; Adams and Keen assignments, FTLA 15

Final Exam
Tuesday, May 3, from 8:00am to 10:00am