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HISTORY 2G03 LatinAmericaSince1820

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Stephen Streeter

Email: streete@mcmaster.ca

Office: Chester New Hall 623

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24147


Office Hours: Mondays, 2-3 p.m.

Course Objectives:

This course explores major trends and changes in Latin America from the Wars for Independence to the present. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and writing assignments we will explore the history of Latin American culture, politics, economics, and society. In this course you will gain an appreciation of Latin America’s geographical diversity and rich cultural heritage as well as its formidable economic and political challenges. Because it is not feasible to survey the entire region within one academic term, we will sample selected countries, individuals, and events that illustrate the central themes of the modern period. The first half of the course explores the nineteenth century and will cover the aftermath of independence, the political struggle for power between conservatives and liberals, the rise of neocolonialism, and the cultural and social legacies of the colonial period, including the last years of slavery in Cuba and Brazil. The second half of the course covers topics since the beginning of the twentieth century such as populism, dependency, underdevelopment, guerrilla warfare, revolution, neoliberalism, and globalization.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Chasteen, John Charles. Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America. 4th ed. (New York: W.W. Norton, 2016)

Wood, James A., ed. Problems in Modern Latin American History: Sources and Interpretations. 4th ed. (Rowman and Littlefield: Scholarly Resources, 2013)

Rampolla, Mary Lynn. A Pocket Guide to Writing in History. 8th ed. (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015)

Method of Assessment:


class participation                   20%     self-evaluation over 10 tutorials

map quiz                                 5%       to be given in tutorial #3 (see test maps on Avenue)

midterm exam                        20%     February 14

essay (2500 to 2750 words)    25%     submit to Avenue Assignment folder by 17 March, 11:59 p.m.

final exam                               30%     scheduled by the registrar's office

See full course outline on Avenue for fuller explanation of each grade component.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

The grade for the essay will be lowered by 0.5 points for every hour it is late. Computer malfunctions or claiming that you do not know how to upload your essay to Avenue will not be accepted as legitimate excuses for turning the essay in late.

Failure to take the map quiz will result in a grade of 0 for class participation.

Every unexcused tutorial absence beyond one will lower your grade for class participation by 10 points

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

See course outline on Avenue