The History of Race in Latin America
Dr. Kathryn Burns spring 02
honors seminar starts with the proposition that race has a history, and that
the historical experience of the peoples of Latin America is crucial to understanding
the ways we use "race" today. Our goal during the first part of
the course will be to examine how and why ideologies of difference involving
purity and blood (and "purity of blood," pureza de sangre) took
hold and changed, from the Caribbean cultural collisions of 1492 to the nineteenth-century
breakup of Iberian colonialism. What kinds of categories and power relations
took shape around such notions, and what effects did they have in peoples
lives? What did it mean to be "mestiza," "criollo," etc.?
Well go on to examine the late nineteenth-century rise of científicos
(scientists: read "Positivists") and intertwining ideologies of
race and nation, paying special attention to Guatemala and Brazil. As we go
well keep track of other criteria of differenceby gender, class
or social "estate," ethnicityalso used to draw distinctions
and create hierarchy.
to purchase at UNC Bookstore:
History 46H coursepack
John Chasteen, Born in Blood and Fire
João Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil
Greg Grandin, The Blood of Guatemala
Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, The Spectacle of the Races
Ernesto Guevara, Motorcycle Diaries
requirements and evaluation:
Doing the reading well is key: expect to spend 3 or more hours per week reading & preparing for class. We only meet as a group 14 times, and cover a lot of ground each time, so I expect you to come fully prepared unless theres a serious emergency. (If you must miss a class, please be in touch with me as early as possible. Unexcused absence will affect your course grade.) All readings and written work must be completed on time; late assignments will only be accepted under unusual circumstances.
week two students will act as co-discussants. This means briefly introducing
the readings to the group, highlighting key issues, drawing connections to
things weve discussed previously, and raising questions to open our
discussion. When its your turn to serve as a discussant, please make
every effort to meet with me the day before class.
write short analyses (SAs) of our readings throughout the semester, each about
600-800 words, due by email to me & the discussants by 10:00 a.m. the
day before class. This will clarify your thoughts for discussion, and enable
me to advise you on writing as you work up the final paper project. The final
paper provides the opportunity to focus on a topic that especially interests
you. (Possible topics, research methods and expectations, etc., will be discussed
after the first weeks of class and posted to our website.) Each student will
work up & present a 15-20 page paper in various stages, submitting a proposal,
a first draft, then a final draft.
Note: that therell also be an in-class map quiz early in the semester.
Your overall course grade will be based on attendance, class participation,
and written work as follows:
|map quiz||6 points|
|4 points each (44 total)|
Introductions; getting our bearings
Week Two (January 17):
Mirrors of the heart
Readings: Chasteen, Chapter 1; Winant, "Racial Formation and Hegemony," and Hanchard, "Racism, Eroticism, and the Paradoxes of a U.S. Black Researcher in Brazil"
Read Winant carefully and consider the approach to "race" he's suggesting.
Then think about Michael Hanchards points about his fieldwork in Brazil.
Next, try thinking these two pieces together: consider Hanchard's points in
light of what Winant is saying about hegemony.
Screen film in class: "Mirrors of the Heart"
Week Three (January 24):
purity & danger (16th
Chasteen, Chapter 2; Columbus and Las Casas (both in coursepack)
SA 2: Using the two primary sources youve read, reconstruct what Caribbean islanders might have thought when observing native Europeans for the first time.
Week Four (January 31):
and hegemony (17th c.)
at beginning of class.
Chasteen, Chapter 3; Dean and Burns (both in coursepack)
SA 3: How did so-called "Indians" see themselves, in 17th-c. Cuzco? Think about why Inca nobles of Cuzco cooperated with Spaniards in a colonial regime that did so much damage to Andean communities were they coerced into being the regimes agents? Did they consent? If so, why?what was in it for them?
Week Five (February 7):
mixtures and cautionary tales
Kuznesof, Schiebinger, and Cahill (all in coursepack)
SA 4: Study the website images of castas paintings, and compare the two sequences of canvasses, drawing on the readings for this week. Whats going on inside each? Whats different from one to another? Well look at these in class
Week Six (February 14):
Chasteen, Chapter 4; Grandin, Blood of Guatemala, Chapters 1-4
SA 5: From the viewpoint of Quetzaltenango, did independence mark a watershed? What kind?
Week Seven (February 21):
Chasteen, Chapter 5; Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil
SA 6: From the viewpoint of Bahia, what caused "postcolonial blues" and how did people respond?
Week Eight (February 28):
dayreading & research
SA 7: paper proposal with preliminary bibliography due.
Week Nine (March 7):
Chasteen, Chapters 6-7; Grandin, Blood of Guatemala, finish
Think about hegemony...
Schedule a meeting with KJB this week to discuss your proposal.
Week Eleven (March 21):
Schwarcz, Spectacle of the Races, Introduction and Chapters 1-2 (everyone
read), then at least two of the following chapters about Brazilian institutions.
SA 9: With Schwarcz, and recalling Winant, think about structural racism through the making of institutions
Week Twelve (March 28):
nationalism & racial democracy
Chasteen, Chapter 8; additional short readings t.b.a.
film: "Bananas Is My Business"
SA 10: Taking Carmen Miranda seriously, think about what "race" is good for here. How does someone like CM contribute to nationmaking?
Week Thirteen (April 4):
Readings: Chasteen, Chapter 9; Guevara, Motorcycle Diaries
SA 11: How does Guevaras trip across South America change him? How does he see & understand himself and others differently? How does "race" thinking appear here?
Chasteen, Chapters 10-11
First paper draft due in class
Week Fifteen (April
Final papers due