Dr. Aldo Lauria-Santiago
Purpose and Scope
Determination of Grade and Requirements
Books for this course
This course will examine the history of Latin America as seen from the perspective of workers and peasants, drawing mostly from the experiences of people in Mexico and Central America. While the history of the nation-state continues to have a central place in the study of this region, during the last two decades historians and other social scientists have begun to pay special attention to the formation and experience of the "popular"sectors. This course will introduce students to many of the principal themes in the study of workers and peasants. These themes are as varied as reality itself and range from economic issues that affect the social structure of a country to the participation of peasants in revolts and revolutions.
We will examine aspects of the region's economic history, paying special attention to the organization of land and labor and how these themes relate to the structural creation of social classes. We will also explore more open-ended aspects of the varied forms of peasant and worker political mobilizations and participation and how they have affected the formation of the Nation-State in these countries. The course will further consider how peasants and workers have had different experiences based on ethnic, gender, regional, or national differences. We will also examine some case-studies of popular culture. All of these discussions will be carefully framed in the context of the popular-elite relations, and the history of the nation-state and supra-national forces.
OF GRADE AND REQUIREMENTS:
Half your grade will be determined by your class participation, weekly written work and attendance. Students will prepare weekly 2-3 page discussions papers on the readings and participate in presentations of the assigned materials. Sometimes these short assignments will be a summary or discussion of the readings. Other times I will ask you to answer specific questions. The other half will be determined by a take home exam based on our class readings. This essay will be described on a separate sheet later in the semester. There will be no outside reading or research required for this course, only careful, consistent engagement with the assigned materials. Weekly assignments are due on the Thursday of the week the materials are to be discussed and/or presented.
FOR THIS COURSE:
The following books have been ordered by the bookstore. Other readings will be available in a reading packet which will be made available to you for individual copying..
COURSE ORGANIZATION AND SCHEDULE:
- Friedrich Katz, ed. Riot, Rebellion and Revolution: Rural Social Conflict in Mexico. Princeton University Press.
- Aviva Chomsky and Aldo Lauria-Santiago, eds. Identity and Struggle at the Margins of the Nation-State: The Laboring Peoples of Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean. Duke University Press.
- Kevin J. Middlebrook. The Paradox of Revolution: Labor, the State, and Authoritarianism in Mexico.
- Daniel James and John French, eds. The Gendered Worlds of Latin American Women Workers. Duke University Press.
- Peter Winn. Weavers of Revolution: The Yarur Workers and Chile's Road to Socialism. Oxford Univ Press.
- Leigh Binford. The El Mozote Massacre: Anthropology and Human Rights. University of Arizona Press.
Week 1: [Jan 19,21] Introduction: Theory, Class and the Historiography of Working People in Latin America
Gould in Chomsky and Lauria-Santiago Farnsworth-Alvear in French Chomsky, Aviva, “Afro-Jamaican Traditions and Labor Organizing on United Fruit Company Plantations in Costa Rica, 1910." Journal of Social History, 28,4 (Summer 1995): 837-855