Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Graduate Program, History Department

Graduate Colloquium: Modern Latin America
History 510:631
Fall 2019

Aldo A. Lauria Santiago
Office hours: Monday 3-5PM or by appt.
Lucy Stone Hall B200, Livingston

This course will provide an advanced review of the historical literature and cultures of historical work on Latin America since independence (1820s-1990s). Because of the staggering growth of research production in Latin American history, the coverage has to be selective and because of the cultures of production we are engaged we cover mostly work produced in the context of the US academic sphere. The course is intended to open what will likely remain ongoing dialogues between you and the historiography in order to sharpen your selection and evaluation skills.

The colloquium will introduce students to advanced themes and problems with these goals in mind:

It is important to understand as the premise for this course that the literature on "Latin America" has grown so dense that no one can claim absolute mastery any more except through thematic, chronological and regional approaches and specializations. This reality lies in tension with our professional (and to some extent imperial) need to understand the larger region as a whole—a distinct historiographical impossibility. This implies a few obvious conclusions for our profession:

Requirements and Evaluation:
Every week we will have assigned readings, usually two monographs.

You may choose one of two final projects for the course:

The evaluation of your work will be based on the following:

None of these books assigned below have been ordered. Make sure you order them through or find them in a library. I have asked the library to place our copies of these books on reserve. Electronic versions of shorter required readings will be made available on Sakai.

There are two sorts of graduate courses that cover Latin America since independence (postcolonial for some, still-colonial for others...). The first is an article-based course that follows carefully the burning debates around specific themes as they developed (in the context of the history of Latin American historical studies). These themes come and go and are settled with a truce or a consensus and (usually) then forgotten. This sort of reading list is more polemical, might seem more relevant and is often framed by nation-specific or theme-specific questions. Some of the juiciest controversies (and fights!) can be tracked through this approach but the work is tedious, repetitive and time consuming. See my 19th century colloquium on my web site for a sample of this sort of course.

The second course is monograph based. Monographs represent more mature work that either opens, ignores or settles debates and controversies. Monographs are much harder to develop and present. Monographs are more ambitious and also harder to produce. They also show, inevitably, strengths and weaknesses of both the architecture of the writing and the research that underlies it. They are a formidable genre. There is also an important tension in the selection of monographs. We could do classics that have inordinately influenced various fields and debates, but this would be misleading. We could also do more of the typical first book monographs. This would be far more useful to you in your stage of work. The course will try to strike a balance between these two poles...and we'll have to discuss the significant distance between them.

You need both sort of approaches in your training, but it is very important that you be aware of the differences. In order to situate your own research, you need to understand past approaches, building blocks, debates and controversies related to your research questions. But to construct a coherent monograph (read dissertation) you need to….study monographs.

Required readings are in bold. These are the ones that will be on reserve. The other books are recommended and I will explain why in each session.

Week 1: [9/4] Introduction: Chronologies, historiographies, preparing to become a professional historian

On the importance of turns, spins and trends and how to avoid them.
Be prepared to explain your training, recent work, challenges and goals.

Week 2: [9/11] War, Nation-State Formation, Liberalism

Ariel De la Fuente. Children of Facundo: Caudillo and gaucho insurgency during the Argentine state-formation process (La Rioja, 1853-1870). Duke UP. 2000.

Charles Hale, The Transformation of Liberalism in Late-Nineteenth-Century Mexico. 1989.

Anne Eller. We Dream Together: Dominican Independence, Haiti, and the Fight for Caribbean Freedom.

Brooke Larson. Trials of Nation Making: Liberalism, Race, and Ethnicity in the Andes. Cambridge UP. 2004.

David Rock. State Building and Political Movements in Argentina, 1860-1916. Stanford UP. 2002.

Fernando Lopez-Alvez. State Formation and Democracy in Latin America, 1810-1900. Duke UP, 2000.

Ada Ferrer. Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898. U of North Carolina P. 1999.

Reuben Zahler. Ambitious Rebels: Remaking Honor, Law, and Liberalism in Venezuela, 1780-1850. University of Arizona Press. 2013.

William F Sater. Andean Tragedy: Fighting the War of the Pacific, 1879-1884. U. of Nebraska P. 2009.

Peter V. N. Henderson. Gabriel Garcia Moreno and Conservative State Formation in the Andes. U. of Texas P. 2008.


Research memo #1


Week 3: [9/18] Peasants and Nation, Peasants and Village

Peter Guardino. Peasants, Politics, and the Formation of Mexico's National State: Guerrero, 1800-1857. 1996. [Chaps. 3-5.]

Aldo Lauria-Santiago. Commercial Agriculture and the Politics of Peasant Communities in El Salvador, 1823-1914. 1999. [Chaps 3, 4, 7, 8]

Florencia Mallon. Peasant and Nation: The Making of Postcolonial Mexico and Peru. 1995. [Chaps. 4-7]

Joanna Swanger. Rebel Lands of Cuba: The Campesino Struggles of Oriente and Escambray, 1934-1974. [Chaps. 2-3]

John Tutino. The Mexican Heartland: How Communities Shaped Capitalism, a Nation, and World History, 1500-2000.

Peter Guardino. The Time of Liberty: Popular Political Culture in Oaxaca, 1750-1850. Duke UP. 2005.

Emilio Kouri. A Pueblo Divided: Business, Property, and Community in Papantla, Mexico. Stanford UP, 2004.

Michael T. Ducey. A Nation of Villages: Riot and Rebellion in the Mexican Huasteca, 1750-1850. U of Arizona P. 2004.

Catherine Legrand. Frontier Expansion and Peasant Protest in Colombia, 1850-1936. U. New Mexico P.. 1986.


Research memo #2


Week 4: [9/25] Regions, Federalism

Jane Rausch. Territorial Rule in Colombia and the Transformation of the llanos orientales. 2013.

Karl B. Koth. Waking the Dictator: Veracruz, the Struggle for Federalism and the Mexican Revolution, 1870-1927. 2002.

Hilda Sabato. The Many and the Few: Political Participation in Republican Buenos Aires. Stanford University Press. 2001.

Margaret Chowning. Wealth and Power in Provincial Mexico: Michoacan from the Late Colony to the Revolution. Stanford UP. 1999.

Jason McGraw. The Work of Recognition: Caribbean Colombia and the Post-emancipation Struggle for Citizenship.

Sarah C. Chambers. From subjects to Citizens: Honor, Gender, and Politics in Arequipa, Peru, 1780-1854. Pennsylvania State UP. 1999.

James E. Sanders. Contentious Republicans: Popular Politics, Race, and Class in Nineteenth-century Colombia. Duke UP. 2004.

Nancy Appelbaum. Muddied Waters: Race, Region, and Local History in Colombia, 1846-1948. Duke UP. 2003.

Claudia Leal. Landscapes of Freedom: Building a Post-emancipation Society in the Rainforests of Western Colombia. U of Arizona P.

Week 5: [10/2] Imperialisms

Greg Grandin. The Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War. U. of Chicago Press, 2004.

Alan McPherson. The Invaded. 2014.

Michel Gobat. Confronting the American Dream: Nicaragua Under U.S. Imperial Rule. Duke University Press. 2005.

Eric Paul Roorda. The Dictator Next Door: The Good Neighbor Policy and the Trujillo Regime in the Dominican Republic, 1930-1945.

Michel Gobat. Empire by Invitation: William Walker and Manifest Destiny in Central America.

Peter Guardino. The Dead March: A History of the Mexican-American War.

Paul J. Dosal. Doing Business with the Dictators: A Political History of United Fruit in Guatemala, 1899-1944.

Stephen Rabe. Eisenhower and Latin America: The Foreign Policy of Anticommunism.

Week 6: [10/9] Economies

Jeremy Adelman. Republic of Capital: Buenos Aires and the legal transformation of the Atlantic World. Stanford UP, 1999.

Mark Wasserman. Capitalists, Caciques, and Revolution: the Native Elite and Foreign Enterprise in Chihuahua, Mexico, 1854-1911. University of North Carolina Press. 1984.

Paul Gootenberg, Between Silver and Guano: Commercial Policy and the State in Post independence Peru. Princeton UP. 1989.

Dye. Cuban Sugar in the Age of Mass Production: Technology and the Economics of the Sugar Central, 1899-1929. 1998.

John Mason Hart: The Silver of the Sierra Madre: John Robinson, Boss Shepherd, and the People of the Canyons.

Week 7: [10/16] Revolutions I

Friedrich Katz. The Secret War in Mexico: Europe, the United States and the Mexican Revolution. 1981. Chaps. 7-9. Chaps.1-3 recommended.

Jeffrey L. Gould and Aldo A. Lauria-Santiago. To Rise in Darkness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador, 1920-1932. 2008. Chaps 3-6.

Alan Knight. The Mexican Revolution, Volume 1 & 2. 1986. Vol. 1: Chaps 2-4, Vol. 2: Chaps 1-2.

Week 8: [10/23] Labor

Jeffrey L. Gould. Solidarity Under Siege: The Salvadoran Labor Movement, 1970-1990. 2019.

Peter Winn. Weavers of Revolution: The Yarur Workers and Chile's Road to Socialism. Oxford U Press. 1978.

Joseph U. Lent. Redeeming the Revolution: The State and Organized Labor in Post-Tlatelolco.

Fefrey Bortz. Revolution within the Revolution: Cotton Textile Workers and the Mexican Labor Regime, 1910-1923.

Robert F. Alegre. Railroad Radicals in Cold War Mexico: Gender, Class, and Memory.

Brennan. The Labor Wars in Córdoba, 1955-1976: Ideology, Work, and Labor Politics in an Argentine Industrial City. 1994.

Daniel James. Resistance and Integration: Peronism and the Argentine Working Class, 1946-1976. 1988.

Thomas Klubock. Contested Communities: Class, gender, and politics in Chile's El Teniente Copper mine, 1904-1951. 1998.

William C. Van Norman. Shade-Grown Slavery: The Lives of Slaves on Coffee Plantations in Cuba.

Susie S. Porter. Working Women in Mexico City: Public Discourses and Material Conditions, 1879-1931.

Week 9: [10/30] Race and Ethnicity

Florencia Mallon. Courage Tastes of Blood: The Mapuche Community of Nicolas Ailío and the Chilean State, 1906-2001. 

Ben Vinson and Matthew Restall, eds. Black Mexico: Race and Society from Colonial to Modern Times. 2009. Pick one chapter from the "national" period.

Lowell Gudmundson and Justin Wolfe, ed. Blacks and Blackness in Central America: Between Race and Place. 2010. Part Two.

Laura Gotkowitz. A Revolution for Our Rights: Indigenous Struggles for Land and Justice in Bolivia, 1880-1952.

Jerry Garcia. Looking Like the Enemy: Japanese Mexicans, the Mexican State, and US Hegemony, 1897-1945.

Jeffrey L. Gould. To Die in This Way: Nicaraguan Indians and the Myth of the Mestizaje 1880-1965.

Alejandro de la Fuente. A Nation for All: Race, Inequality & Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba.

Marisol De la Cadena. Indigenous Mestizos: The Politics of Race & Culture in Cuzco Peru 1919-1990.

Evelyn Hu-DeHart. Yaqui Resistance and Survival: The Struggle for Land and Autonomy, 1821-1910

Jason Oliver Chang. Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940.

Week 10: [11/6] Migration and Diaspora

Note: We meet at VD for this event. We then meet in VD seminar room at 4:30. Kathy Lopez is visiting.

Evelyne Hu-Dehart. "Spain's Pacific Empire and the Chinese Diaspora" 3PM, VD 301

Kathleen M. Lopez. Chinese Cubans: A Transnational History.

M. Bletz. Immigration and Acculturation in Brazil and Argentina: 1890-1929. 2010.

Lara Putnam. The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870-1960.

Lara Putnam. Radical Moves: Caribbean Migrants and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age.

Nicola Foote. Immigration and National Identities in Latin America.

Camila Pastor. The Mexican Mahjar: Transnational Maronites, Jews, and Arabs under the French Mandate.

Theresa Alfaro-Velcamp. So Far from Allah, So Close to Mexico: Middle Eastern Immigrants in Modern Mexico.

StevenHyland Jr. More Argentine Than You: Arabic-Speaking Immigrants in Argentina.

Sam Baily. Immigrants in the Lands of Promise: Italians in Buenos Aires and New York City, 1870-1914.

Mir Yarfitz. Impure Migration: Jews and Sex Work in Golden Age Argentina.

Week 11: [11/13] Authoritarianism, Repression and the Military

Note: We meet at VD for this event. We then meet in VD seminar room at 5:30 Sharp.

Alan McPherson, Temple University-- "Ghosts of Sheridan Circle: How a Washington Assassination Brought Pinochet’s Terror State to Justice” --- Wednesday November 13, 4:30PM, 301 Van Dyck Hall

Steve J. Stern. Battling for Hearts and Minds: Memory Struggles in Pinochet’s Chile, 1973-1988.

Carlos Aguirre and Paulo Drinot. The Peculiar Revolution: Rethinking the Peruvian Experiment Under Military Rule.

Sarah Osten. The Mexican Revolution's wake: The making of a Political System, 1920-1929.

Mary Roldan. Blood and Fire: La Violencia in Antioquia, Colombia, 1946-1953.

J Patrice McSherry. Predatory States: Operation Condor and cover war in Latin America.

Frank Argote-Freyre. Fulgencio Batista: From Revolutionary to Strongman.

Richard Turits Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in Dominican History. Stanford U, 2003.

Alan Rouquie. The Military and the State in Latin America.

Week 12: [11/20 Revolutions II

Michelle Chase. Revolution within the Revolution: Women and Gender Politics in Cuba, 1952-1962.

Julia Sweig. Inside the Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro and the Urban Underground.

Elizabeth Henson. Agrarian Revolt in the Sierra of Chihuahua, 1959–1965.

Tanalis Padilla. Rural Resistance in the Land of Zapata: The Jaramillista Movement and the Myth of the Pax-Priísta, 1940-1962.

Marian E. Schlotterbeck. Beyond the Vanguard: Everyday Revolutionaries in Allende's Chile.

Jaymie Heilman. Before the Shining Path: Politics in Rural Ayacucho, 1895-1980.

Week 13: [11/27] Democracies, States and Development

Ralph Sprenkels. After Insurgency: Revolution and Electoral Politics in El Salvador. U. of Notre Dame P. 2018.

Fernando Coronil. The Magical State: Nature, Money and Modernity in Venezuela. U of Chicago P. 1997.

Daniela Spenser. In From the Cold: Latin America's New Encounter with the Cold War. Duke UP. 2008.

Inigo Garcia-Bryce. Haya de la Torre and the Pursuit of Power in Twentieth-Century Peru and Latin America. U. North Carolina P. 2018.

Week 14: [12/4] Gender and Nation

Victoria Gonzalez-Rivera. Before the Revolution. Women's Rights and Right-Wing Politics in Nicaragua, 1821-1979. Penn State UP. 2011.

Katherine Elaine Bliss. Compromised Positions: Prostitution, Public Health, and Gender Politics in Revolutionary Mexico City. Penn State UP. 2001.

Ann Farnsworth-Alvear. Dulcinea in the Factory: Myths, Morals, Men and Women in Colombia's Industrial Experiment. Duke UP. 2000.

Elizabeth Hutchinson. Labors Appropriate to Their Sex: Gender, Labor, and Politics in Urban Chile, 1900-1930. Duke UP. 2001.

Week 15: [12/11] Transnational, Borders, Movements, Religion, Maps, Crime, Cities, Culture, Memories, Places, Environmental, Globalization...(pick one)

Pablo Piccato. City of Suspects: Crime in Mexico City, 1900-1931. Duke UP. 2001.

Terry Rugeley. Of Wonders and Wise Men: Religion and Popular Cultures in Southeast Mexico, 1800-1870. University of Texas Press. 2001.

Nancy P. Appelbaum. Mapping the Country of Regions: The Chorographic Commission of Nineteenth-Century Colombia.

Raymond B Craib. Cartographic Mexico: A History of State Fixations and Fugitive Landscapes.

Mathew Vitz. A City on a Lake: Urban Political Ecology and the Growth of Mexico City.

Valeria Manzano. The Age of Youth in Argentina: Culture, Politics, & Sexuality from Peron to Videla. University of North Carolina Press. 2014.

Jaime Pensado. Rebel Mexico: Student Unrest and Authoritarian Political Culture During the Long Sixties.

Mrial Iglesias Utset. A Cultural History of Cuba During the US Occupation, 1898-1902.

Carlos Aguirre. The Criminals of Lima and their Worlds: The Prison Experience, 1850-1935.

Tiffany A. Sippial. Prostitution, Modernity, and the Making of the Cuban Republic, 1840-1920.

Nara B. Milanich. Children of Fate: Childhood, Class, and the State in Chile, 1850-1930.

Louis A. Perez Jr. Intimations of Modernity: Civil Culture in Nineteenth-Century Cuba.

Aldo Marchesi. Latin America's Radical Left: Rebellion and Cold War in the Global 1960s.

Lila Caimari. While the City Sleeps: A History of Pistoleros, Policemen, and the Crime Beat in Buenos Aires before Peron.

Christina Jimenez. Making An Urban Public: Popular Claims to the City in Mexico, 1879-1932.

Robert E. May. Slavery, Race, and Conquest in the Tropics: Lincoln, Douglas, and The Future of Latin America.