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HISTORY 4JJ3 U.S. Foreign Relations

Academic Year: Fall 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: Tuesdays, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Course Objectives:

This research seminar explores the history of U.S. relations with Latin America since the late nineteenth century to the end of the Cold War. No previous knowledge of Latin America is assumed, however, students are expected to develop an understanding of the region. Given the vast historical sources available in the United States, it is no surprise that previous scholarship has tended to overemphasize U.S. power and treat Latin Americans as victims or bystanders. At the same time, there can be no doubt that the United States has strongly shaped the history of Latin America. Our task, then, is to explore the complicated nature of U.S. hegemony in Latin America without ignoring or exaggerating the historical agency of either side. Students will lead weekly discussions of the assigned readings, which have been selected to include major historiographical controversies, primary sources, and some of the most important analytical approaches in the field. Students will also produce a major research essay based on secondary and primary sources. Drafts of the research essay will be critiqued by the class during the last few weeks of the term, then revised for final submission.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

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

All required readings are available on Avenue, including several overviews of U.S.-Latin American relations.

Method of Assessment:

class participation                                           30% weekly

facilitation                                                       10% sign-up on Sep 6

research proposal                                           10% Oct 25

research essay (4000 words)                          40% initial draft due Nov 22, final draft due one week after receiving feedback

oral critique of research essay (10 minutes)   10%   to be assigned by instructor

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

10 points will be deducted from the grade for class participation for every unexcused absence. More than 3 unexcused absences will result in a grade of 0 for the grade for class participation.

0.5 points will be deducted from the grade of the research proposal for every hour it is late.

0.5 points will be deducted from the grade of the research essay for every hour it is late.

Students who have a legitimate excuse for missing class on a day when they are scheduled to facilitate, must consult the instructor to arrange for makeup work.

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 full course outline on Avenue.

Other Course Information:

See full course outline on Avenue