Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES SPECIAL SUBJECT I
Code LATI516
Coordinator Dr AG Redden
Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2013-14 M Level Second Semester 30

Aims

To give an indepth understanding of the Latin American region from the perspective of a choice of 2 particular disciplines in Latin American Studies: Politics, Social-anthropology, History, Literature, Film. Student's must choose two different components per Special Subject module.

Precise topics will vary depending on staff availability.

Component Title: Roots of Liberation: Theology, Conflict and Martyrdom in Latin America 1500-2000

This special subject will use a variety of sources from 16th to the 21st century Latin America to explore the historical development of the Theology of Liberation into a Theology of Martyrdom and, conversely, how martyrdom was and is perceived to bring about liberation; of the soul, of the body, of witnesses. Key themes within this course include processes of evangelisation and the thinking behind these processes as we try to get to grips with the motivations and beliefs of missionaries and converts. This will take us on to a consideration of the relationship between religion and violence in Latin America, contested theories of a universal humanity and advocacy for indigenous American and African peoples and we will consider why some indigenous people were prepared to die for Christianity while others were prepared to kill those who were Christian. We will also look at why some Jesuits in Paraguay suffered martyrdom while others even argued that priests should take up arms to defend their flock. After this we shall bring these themes forward to contemporary times and will analyse theologies of martyrdom and Liberation Theology in the context of revolutionary theory and practice. We shall consider the institutional church’s reaction to this very Latin American theology and by examining the writings, sermons and works of prominent clergymen such as Gustavo Gutiérrez, Oscar Romero, Camilo Torres and Jon Sobrino we shall consider the difficult line that people had to draw between doing and not doing, and fighting for justice and preserving oneself or one’s loved ones from harm. Should a priest take up arms for example? Can atheistic Marxism be compatible with Theism? Should the Church even get involved in political matters? Can members of the Church avoid getting involved or should they stand up for what is right—but then, how does one take a moral stand in the face of violent repression? From these questions we shall finally consider the legacy of Latin American martyrs and the future of martyrdom, and Liberation Theology in the Latin American context.

Component Title: Haiti and the Idea of Emancipation in the Americas

This special subject considers the idea of emancipation as it took shape and was transformed across the Americas over the course of the nineteenth century. It takes as its primary focus the birth and development of Haiti as an independent nation after 1804, an d the “strikingly modern aspirations” (M. Munro) of the newly-formed state within the global context of the international politics of anti-slavery. We will look at Haiti’s unique position as a new, post-slavery American state in relation to the continuation of plantation slavery in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. We will also look at Haiti as a post-colonial state in the context of the nineteenth-century Latin American independence movements. Finally, we will consider Haiti as a symbol of Blackness in the Americas, and the idea of the absolute rejection of slavery and racism represented by the new nation. How did the marginalization of Haiti play out in the nineteenth century? What did revolution, emancipation and enfranchisement mean in the context of a continent whose economic development was still being driven by slave labour? What is the significance of Haitian leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines’s declaration in the first national constitution th at “all Haitians shall henceforth be known under the generic appellation of ‘Blacks’”? How did African Americans react to the occupation of Haiti by the United States in 1915? This special subject will enable students to consider broader questions of race, politics and emancipation in the Americas through the example of Haiti. The first half of the six week sessions will look at primary source documents relating to Haiti’s international situation in the nineteenth century, including constitutional texts and political writings. The second part will look at the symbolic impact of Haiti across the Americas in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Component Title: Literature and Conflict in Central America: The Case of El Salvador

Much of Central America was ruled by highly repressive dictatorial governments from the early twentieth century, and in many cases ravished by civil wars during the latter half of the sam e century. In El Salvador Arturo Araujo’s newly elected, democratic government was overthrown by General Maximilliano Hernández Martínez at the end of 1931, an act that was soon followed by the massacre of an estimated 30-40,000 peasants, mostly Pipil Indians, in the western part of the country in 1932. While Martínez was ousted in 1944 and promises made that democracy would be restored, the military were soon back and, through a combination of rigged elections and coups, ruled the country over the next decades. Armed resistance to military dictatorship began to be organised in the 1960s, and guerrilla organisations in the 1970s. Finally, civil war broke out in 1980 and lasted for twelve years, although the conflict was far from resolved then and in fact continues to blight national life. In particular from the mid-1950s, Salvadoran writers have responded to the situation in their countries both in their literature and through active participation in politics. This special subject will provide students with a brief overview of Salvadoran history from the 1930s to the present day and then focus on how poets and novelists have portrayed it and the dire socio-political situation generally in their literature both during and after the years of open conflict. The main focus will be on two novels by Manlio Argueta, published during the Civil War, and two by Horacio Castellanos Moya, published since the end of the war in 1992. The module will consist of seminars and students will be expected to contribute to them both with presentations and participation in discussion.

Component Title: Anthropological Perspectives on Indigenous Peoples and the State in Latin America


Learning Outcomes

History: Component title: Roots of Liberation: Theology, Conflict and Martyrdom in Latin America 1500-2000 => will provide students with an in-depth overview linking colonial theologies of the c.16th and c.17th with revolutionary liberation movements of the c.20th

History: Component title: Haiti and the Idea of Emancipation in the Americas: will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the Haitian struggle for emancipation in the context of the Independence of Latin America. Students will also have explored the intellectual and cultural impact this struggle has had on subsequent Latin American society.

Literature: Component title: Literature and Conflict in Central America: The Case of El Salvador: students will have explored key issues in modern Latin American literature relating to Conflict through the study of a number of principal Salvadoran works (the books chosen are normally availa ble in an English translation for those students who don't feel confident about reading imaginative literature in Spanish).

Politics: Component title: The International Relations of Latin America. Students will obtain an in-depth understanding of the political relations between contemporary Latin American states.

Social-Anthropology: component title: Anthropological Perspectives on Indigenous Peoples and the State in Latin America => will introduce students to anthropology, the study of human diversity and anthropological theoretical frameworks, by focusing on Latin America's indigenous populations. Students will gain an understanding of the historical and contemporary dimensions of indigenous-state relations and how these may affect the ways indigenous people live and organise, their cosmovision and perceptions of the environment, and how they perceive themselves and are perceived by others.


Syllabus

N.B. 

Specific 6 week topics subject to staff availability. These will be indicated in the syllabus below.

Overview 

Component title: Roots of Liberation: Theology, Conflict and Martyrdom in Latin America 1500-2000

This Special Subject will use a variety of sources from 16th to the 21st century Latin America to explore the historical development of the Theology of Liberation into a Theology of Martyrdom and, conversely, how martyrdom was and is perceived to bring about liberation; of the soul, of the body, of witnesses.  Key themes within this course include processes of evangelisation and the thinking behind these processes as we try to get to grips with the motivations and beliefs of missionaries and converts. This will take us on to a consideration of the relationship between religion and violence in Latin America, contested theories of a universal humanity and advocacy for indigenous American and African peoples and we will consider why some indigenous people were prepared to die for Christianity while others were prepared to kill those wh o were Christian. We will also look at why some Jesuits in Paraguay suffered martyrdom while others even argued that priests should take up arms to defend their flock. After this we shall bring these themes forward to contemporary times and will analyse theologies of martyrdom and Liberation Theology in the context of revolutionary theory and practice. We shall consider the institutional church’s reaction to this very Latin American theology and by examining the writings, sermons and works of prominent clergymen such as Gustavo Gutiérrez, Oscar Romero, Camilo Torres and Jon Sobrino we shall consider the difficult line that people had to draw between doing and not doing, and fighting for justice and preserving oneself or one’s loved ones from harm. Should a priest take up arms for example? Can atheistic Marxism be compatible with Theism? Should the Church even get involved in political matters? Can members of the Church avoid getting involved or should they stand up for what is right—but then, how does one take a moral stand in the face of violent repression? From these questions we shall finally consider the legacy of Latin American martyrs and the future of martyrdom, and Liberation Theology in the Latin American context.

Component Title: Haiti and the Idea of Emancipation in the Americas

This course considers the idea of emancipation as it took shape and was transformed across the Americas over the course of the nineteenth century. It takes as its primary focus the birth and development of Haiti as an independent nation after 1804, and the “strikingly modern aspirations” (M. Munro) of the newly-formed state within the global context of the international politics of anti-slavery. We will look at Haiti’s unique position as a new, post-slavery American state in relation to the continuation of plantation slavery in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. We will also look at Haiti a s a post-colonial state in the context of the nineteenth-century Latin American independence movements. Finally, we will consider Haiti as a symbol of Blackness in the Americas, and the idea of the absolute rejection of slavery and racism represented by the new nation. How did the marginalization of Haiti play out in the nineteenth century? What did revolution, emancipation and enfranchisement mean in the context of a continent whose economic development was still being driven by slave labour? What is the significance of Haitian leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines’s declaration in the first national constitution that “all Haitians shall henceforth be known under the generic appellation of ‘Blacks’”? How did African Americans react to the occupation of Haiti by the United States in 1915? This course will enable students to consider broader questions of race, politics and emancipation in the Americas through the example of Haiti. The first half of the course will look at primary source documents relating to Haiti’s international situation in the nineteenth century, including constitutional texts and political writings. The second part will look at the symbolic impact of Haiti across the Americas in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Component Title: Literature and Conflict in Central America: The Case of El Salvador [NB - NOT AVAILABLE 2012-13]

Much of Central America was ruled by highly repressive dictatorial governments from the early twentieth century, and in many cases ravished by civil wars during the latter half of the same century. In El Salvador Arturo Araujo’s newly elected, democratic government was overthrown by General Maximilliano Hernández Martínez at the end of 1931, an act that was soon followed by the massacre of an estimated 30-40,000 peasants, mostly Pipil Indians, in the western part of the country in 1932. While Martínez was ousted in 1944 and prom ises made that democracy would be restored, the military were soon back and, through a combination of rigged elections and coups, ruled the country over the next decades. Armed resistance to military dictatorship began to be organised in the 1960s, and guerrilla organisations in the 1970s. Finally, civil war broke out in 1980 and lasted for twelve years, although the conflict was far from resolved then and in fact continues to blight national life. In particular from the mid-1950s, Salvadoran writers have responded to the situation in their countries both in their literature and through active participation in politics. This special subject will provide students with a brief overview of Salvadoran history from the 1930s to the present day and then focus on how poets and novelists have portrayed it and the dire socio-political situation generally in their literature both during and after the years of open conflict. The main focus will be on two novels by Manlio Argueta, published during the Civil War, and two by Horacio Castellanos Moya, published since the end of the war in 1992. The module will consist of seminars and students will be expected to contribute to them both with presentations and participation in discussion.

Social Anthropology: Anthropological Perspectives on Indigenous Peoples and the State in Latin America

This set of sessions aims to introduce students to anthropology, the study of human diversity and anthropological theoretical frameworks, by focusing on Latin America's indigenous populations. Overarching themes of the course are historical and contemporary dimensions of indigenous-state relations and how these may affect the ways indigenous people live and organise, their cosmovision and perceptions of the environment, and how they perceive themselves and are perceived by others. We will also consider the effect of capitalism on indigenous people, as well as the place they occupy within contemporary states and governments.

Politics: The International Relations of Latin America

This special subject examines the international relations of Latin America, focusing not only on political dynamics within the region, but also on relations with the US and other parts of the world. We will go beyond traditional approaches to international relations that emphasise the role of governments and political leaders, analysing the role of non-state actors and transnational social relations.

Syllabus 

History (social/cultural/intellectual): Roots of Liberation: Theology, Conflict and Martyrdom in Latin America 1500-2000

Part I: Evangelisation, Martyrdom, Salvation

1.    Introduction: Missions, Evangelisation and Las Casas’ Defence of the Indians

2.    Spiritual Conquest: Mexican and Peruvian Martyrs

3.    Jesuit Martyrs: Paraguay

Part II: Liberation Theology

4.    A Theology of Liberation

5.    Christianity and Violence: Books v Guns: Medcalf v Torres

6.    El Salvador, Romero and a Theology of Martyrdom: the Future of Liberation

History (cultural/intellectual): Haiti and the Idea of Emancipation in the Ameri cas

Part I:

1.       Latin American independences, national constitutions and the question of slavery in the nineteenth century

2.       ‘The Liberator’: The political writings of Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Simón Bolívar

3.       Haiti around the Americas: the political reverberations of the revolution

Part II:

4.       Haiti, symbolic representation, slavery and race in the Americas

5.       From Frederick Douglass to the NAACP: Reading African American responses to Haiti

6.       Legacies of slavery and emancipation: Latin America and Caribbean perspectives.

Literature and Conflict in Cen tral America: The Case of El Salvador

1.    Introduction to Salvadoran history from ca. 1930.

2.    Introduction to Salvadoran literature.

3.    Manlio Argueta’s Un día en la vida.

4.    Manlio Argueta’s Cuzcatlán, donde bate la mar del sur.

5.    Horacio Castellanos Moya’s La diáspora.

6.    Horacio Castellanos Moya’s El arma en el hombre.

Social-Anthropology: Anthropological Perspectives on Indigenous Peoples and the State in Latin America

1. Conquistadors and Ethnographers

2. Culture and Capitalism

3. Indians and the State in the Andes and Amazon

4 . Ethnic Political Projects and Indigenous Movements

5. Anthropology, Citizenship and the Challenge of Ethnic Diversity

6. Postmulticulturalism and Indigenous Modernity?

Politics: The International Relations of Latin America

1.     The Relevance of International Relations Theory for Latin America

2.     The Historical Evolution of Latin American International Relations

3.     US-Latin American Relations: Security, Migration and Economic Interests

4.     Regionalism in Latin America

5.     Transnational Activism: From International Solidarity to Social Movements

6.     Beyond Latin America: Brazil as an Emerging Global Power?


Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be taught using intensive, student-led seminars focussing on specific readings related to the particular components and weekly sessions. Private study is also of paramount importance and students, under guidance from each component tutor, will also research a specific topic of their own choice for a total of two assessed essays.


Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   24

        24
Timetable (if known)   TBC
 
         
Private Study 276
TOTAL HOURS 300

Assessment

EXAM Duration Timing
(Semester)
% of
final
mark
Resit/resubmission
opportunity
Penalty for late
submission
Notes
             
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
(Semester)
% of
final
mark
Resit/resubmission
opportunity
Penalty for late
submission
Notes
Assignment 01  3500 words  Semester 2  50  Standard University Policy applies - see HLC handbook  Standard University Policy applies - see HLC handbook  Deadline-Friday: Week 7  
Assignment 02  3500 words  Semester 2  50  Standard University Policy applies - see HLC handbook  Standard University Policy applies - see HLC handbook  Deadline-Friday: Week 13  

Recommended Texts

These texts will be available in the library or online and will not need to be purchased. Others (transcriptions and translations) will be available online - see handbook for details. Here they appear in order of seminar topic.

History: Roots of Liberation

Casas, Bartolomé de las, In defense of the Indians, trans and ed by Stafford Poole (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, c1992).

Steck, Francis ed and trans, Motolinia’s History of the Indians of New Mexico (Washington: S.N., 1951).

Gutiérrez, Gustavo, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics and Salvation (London: SCM Press, 1974).

Medcalf, John, Letters from Nicaragua (Nottingham: CIIR, 1988).

Torres Restrepo, Camilo, Revolutionary Priest: The Complete Writings and Messages of Camilo Torres, ed. by John Gerassi (Harmondsworth: Pelica n Books, 1973).

Romero, Oscar, Voice of the Voiceless: Four Pastoral Letters and Other Statements (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1985).

López Vigil, María, Oscar Romero: Memories in Mosaic (Washington D.C., London: EPICA/CAFOD/Darton Longman and Todd, 2000).

Sobrino, Jon, Witnesses to the Kingdom: The Martyrs of El Salvador and the Crucified Peoples (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2003).

Sobrino, Jon, Companions of Jesus: the Murder and Martyrdom of the Salvadorean Jesuits (London: CAFOD, 1990).

History: Haiti and Latin America

Blackburn, Robin, ‘Haiti, Slavery and the Age of the Democratic Revolution’, William and Mary Quarterly 63:4 (2006), pp.643-74 (available via www.jstor.org)

Extracts from Bushnell, David, (ed.), Simon Bolivar: El Libertador, Writings of Simon Bolivar (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

Proclamations of Dessalines, Jean-Jacques, published in English in the Balance and Columbian Repository (June 19, 1804) http://books.google.com.br/books?id=wdIRAAAAYAAJ&dq=dessalines+%22liberty+or+death%22&pg=PA197&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=true

Jenson, Deborah, Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution (Liverpool:  Liverpool University Press, 2011), chapters 2-4.

Section One of (David Brion Davis, ‘Impact of the French and Haitian Revolutions’, Seymour Drescher, ‘The Limits of Example’ and Robin Blackburn, ‘The Force of Example’), The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina , 2001), pp.3-21.

Geggus, David, ‘The Sounds and Echoes of Freedom: The Impact of the Haitian Revolution on Latin America’ in Beyond Slavery: The Multilayered Legacy of Africans in Latin America and the Caribbean, ed. Darién J. Davis (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), pp.19-36.

‘Introduction: Truncations of Modernity’, Sibylle Fischer, Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004).

Douglass, Frederick, ‘Lecture on Haiti’ (January 2, 1893) http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mfd&fileName=25/25020/25020page.db&recNum=0

Weldon Johnson, James, ‘The Truth about Haiti: An NAACP Investigation’ in The Crisis, vol. 20, no. 5 (September 1920), pp.216-23. http://dl.lib.brown.edu/pdfs/1296060747937500.pdf

Schmidt-Nowara, Christopher, Slavery, freedom and abolition in Latin America and the Atlantic world (Albuquerque: University of Mexico Press, 2011).

Literature: Literature and Conflict in Central America

Argueta, Manlio, Un día en la vida.

Argueta, Manlio, Cuzcatlán, donde bate la mar del sur.

Castellanos Moya, Horacio, La diáspora.

Castellanos Moya, Horacio, El arma en el hombre.

Social Anthropology: Anthropological Perspectives on Indigenous Peoples and the State in Latin America

Gow, D. (2008) Countering Development: Indigenous Modernity and the Moral Imagination. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

D M aybury-Lewis (ed.) (2002) The Politics of Ethnicity: Indigenous Peoples in Latin American States. Cambridge: David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University.

Postero, N. (2007) Now We Are Citizens: Indigenous Politics in Postmulticultural Bolivia. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

J Sherzer and G Urban (eds.) (1991) Nation States and Indians in Latin America. Austin: University of Texas.

Politics: The International Relations of Latin America:

G.L. Gardini and P. Lambert (2011) Latin American Foreign Policies: Between Ideology and Pragmatism, New York: Palgrave.

G. Livingstone (2009) America's Backyard: The United States and Latin America from the Monroe Doctrine to the War on Terror, London: Zed.