School of Arts and Sciences-Rutgers University

Department of History/Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies/

Revolutions in Twentieth Century Latin America
Hist 365/LatCar 312

Dr. A. Lauria Santiago
B200 Lucy Stone Hall-LIV

This course examines the history of revolutions in twentieth century history of Latin American and the Caribbean history.  We will examine seven revolutionary moments in five countries.  There is no way we can cover all of the revolutionary governments, conjunctures, movements or “moments” in Latin America, there are simply too many.  The cases examined here are more similar than dissimilar as they took place within the closer orbit of US Empire. 

In order to study these narratives you will have to become familiar with certain analytical and descriptive concepts and learn how to use them with precision.  You will also have to become familiar with the geography and chronology of the countries we are covering.

This is an advanced course and you will need to read and process about 100 pages of reading per week. The readings and supplementary assignments (documents, etc.) will change somewhat as we advance through the semester.  Attendance to all class sessions and consistent and effective participation in class discussions are required. Students frequently drop a whole grade in their final grades because of lack of participation and poor attendance. The readings and lectures will be the basis for your work. You need to do all the readings and bring notes and questions to each discussion session.   Usually, I will lecture every Monday and we'll have a more student directed and open discussion of the readings on Wed.

You will have to hand in a 1 page discussion or outline of the readings nearly every Wed.. 

You will have four short discussion papers based on the class readings, two small research projects, and one comprehensive fact-based exam.

I will reply to emails within 24 hours. You are expected to check your email regularly and learn how to use the SAKAI system.

You are strongly encouraged to discuss your papers with me in office hours (before and after handing them in).

Plagiarism is a serious breach of university policies. Make sure you know what it is. Papers copied from work done by others or cut and pasted from other sources will lead to an F and result in disciplinary action. Students often string notes taken from the readings word-by-word into their papers. This is also plagiarism.

  1. Attendance and class participation: 20%
  2. Four Readings-based analysis assignments: 15% each
  3. Fact-based final exam: 20%
Final grades will be calculated according to the Department's current grade policy:
A (93-100) / B+ (89-92)/ B (81-88) / C+ (77-80) / C (70-76) / D (65-69) / F (64 and Below)
This is a history course. Dates, places, names, concepts, individuals will matter to us greatly. Pay attention to these details as we go along.  They will form the basis for the final exam.
Week one (Jan 20): Requirements and Goals; Geography and Demographics
Week Two (Jan 25, 27):  Mexico 1910-1940 Week Three (Feb 1, 3): Mexico 1910-1940 Week Four (Feb 8, 10): Mexico 1910-1940 Week Five (Feb 15, 17): El Salvador 1932 Week Six (Feb 22, 24): Cuba 1933 Week Seven (Feb 29, Mar 2): Guatemala 1945 Week Eight (Mar 7, 9): Cuba 1959 Spring Break! (Mar 12-20)
Week Nine (Mar 21, 23): Cuba 1959
Week Ten (Mar 28, 30): Cuba 1959 Week Eleven (Apr. 4, 6): Cuba 1959 Week Twelve (Apr 11, 13): Nicaragua 1979-190 Week Thirteen: (Apr 18, 20): Nicaragua 1979-1990 Week Thirteen: (Apr 25, 27): El Salvador 1979-1992 Week Fourteen (May 2): El Salvador 1979-1992