Courses

Courses Fall 2017 - Spring 2018

AFRAMER 220: Seminar: New Themes in the Study of the African Diaspora: Editorial Internship with Transition

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2017
Professor Alejandro de la Fuente. Students in this seminar will work with the editor of Transition to design, edit, and produce the journal. Housed at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research (hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu/transition), Transition is the longest running Pan African cultural magazine in history. Founded in Uganda in 1961, the journal quickly became Africa's leading intellectual forum. It was later edited by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka in Ghana before arriving at Harvard in 1991 with publishers Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Kwame Anthony Appiah. Some of the best scholars and minds of the Diaspora have contributed to this journal, including Martin Luther King Jr., Chinua Achebe, James Baldwin, Julius Nyerere and many others. Students in this class will familiarize themselves with the history of Transition; chart new directions for the journal; identify topics of Pan African significance and potential contributors on those topics; and serve as critical readers of materials submitted for publication to the journal. Students will be listed in the issues of the journal they help produce as "student associate editors".

HIST 1032: A History of Brazil, from Independence to the Present

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2017
Professor Sidney Chalhoub. This course will analyze major themes in the social and political history of Brazil from Independence (1822) to the present. Themes to be addressed are the following: Independence, colonial legacies and national identity; state formation and the question of citizenship rights; the African slave trade; land and labor policies in a slave society; slave emancipation and the crisis of the monarchy; the establishment of the republican regime; gender and the crisis of patriarchy; urban renewal and popular protest; social movements in rural areas; the labor movement; populism; the myth of racial democracy and its crisis; dictatorship and democracy.

HIST 1931: Slavery, Disease and Race: A View from Brazil

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2018
Professor Sidney Chalhoub. Slavery and emancipation were major issues in nineteenth-century Brazilian history. In the 1870’s and 1880’s, with the drama of emancipation unfolding, yellow fever meant death to European immigrants and a major obstacle to achieving a social configuration that valued the whitening ideal and excluded people of African descent from social and economic opportunities. Although the primary focus of this course is Brazil, students may opt to write a final paper that compares an aspect of the social history of slavery and/or race and/or disease in Brazil and another nation or region. Class materials will include a range of primary sources.

HIST 97K: "What is Social History?"

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2018
Professor Sidney Chalhoub. For a long time, the writing of history focused mainly on kings, politicians, landlords, slave owners, capitalists –that is, on those with the means to write letters, autobiographies, official documents. In the past decades, historians have increasingly studied the lives of people not apparently entitled to have their histories told: peasants, slaves, women, industrial workers. Social History is the study of the experiences of those who lived most or all of their lives submitted to the power and the oppression of others. What did these people do with what was done to them? What sources are there to investigate this question and how should historians analyze them?

Courses Fall 2016 - Spring 2017

AFRAMER 199X and HIST 1937: Social Revolutions in Latin America

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

Professor Alejandro de la Fuente. Cross-listed with African & African American Studies. This course seeks to explain why social revolutions have taken place in Latin America and analyzes their impact on the region. The objective is for students to gain a critical understanding of the origins, development, and impact of revolutionary movements in Latin America during the twentieth century. We will try to identify: (1) the historical factors that led to revolutions in the region (the so-called revolutionary situations); (2) the strategies followed by different movements and how successful they were; (3) the programs and policies instituted by the different revolutionary governments; (4) the social and political forces opposed to those policies, including international forces; and (5) the ability of these revolutionary movements to hold on to power for extended periods of time. The course examines several case studies, which may include Mexico, Cuba, Chile, Nicaragua, the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, and the so-called "Bolivarian revolution" of Venezuela. Our goal is to identify similarities and differences among these cases.

HIST 1032: A History of Brazil, from Independence to the Present

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

Professor Sidney Chalhoub. This course will analyze major themes in the social and political history of Brazil from Independence (1822) to the present. Themes to be addressed are the following: Independence, colonial legacies and national identity; state formation and the question of citizenship rights; the African slave trade; land and labor policies in a slave society; slave emancipation and the crisis of the monarchy; the establishment of the republican regime; gender and the crisis of patriarchy; urban renewal and popular protest; social movements in rural areas; the labor movement; populism; the myth of racial democracy and its crisis; dictatorship and democracy.

HIST 1511: Latin America and the United States

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

Professor Kirsten Weld. Surveys the complex, mutually constitutive, and often thorny relationship - characterized by suspicion and antagonism, but also by fascination and desire - between the United States and the diverse republics south of the Rio Grande. Examines public policy, US expansionism and empire, popular culture and consumption, competing economic development models, migration, tourism, the Cold War, sovereignty, dissent, and contrasting visions of democratic citizenship.

HIST 1520: Colonial Latin America

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

Professor Tamar Herzog. This course is an introductory survey of colonial Latin American history, spanning the sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. Organized chronologically and thematically, it will examine developments in Spanish and Portuguese America by reading both secondary and primary sources (available in English translation).

HIST 1913: Dirty Wars, Peace Processes, and the Politics of History in Latin America

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

Professor Kirsten Weld. Latin America's "dirty wars" generated intense struggles over historical memory. Course focuses on Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, and Guatemala, and comparatively examines how societies reckon with bloody recent pasts that are anything but settled. Looks at both these countries' dictatorships and their fraught peace processes (including truth commissions, transitional justice, artistic representations, human rights activism, international law, foreign involvement, backlash) in order to probe the stakes and politics of historical interpretation.

HIST 1932: Fictions of Adultery: from Flaubert to Machado de Assis

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

Professor Sidney Chalhoub. This course seeks to analyze the ways in which Machado de Assis, the most important Brazilian novelist of all times, appropriated the European tradition of the novel of adultery. In doing so, he sought to discuss literary models (realism), scientific ideologies (social Darwinism), gender (he expected the misogyny of readers to fill the lacunae of the narration), and class conflict (characters in dependent relations, women in particular, deploy an array of strategies to deal with the potential violence of patriarchal figures). Readings: selected pieces on theoretical approaches to fiction from the perspective of social history and novels by Flaubert and Machado de Assis.

HIST 2485: European Legal History Workshop

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

Professor Tamar Herzog. Offered jointly with the Harvard Law School, this workshop will examine some of the most innovative research in European Legal history, conducted by both historians and legal scholars. Classes will alternate between in-group discussions of certain fields, questions or methodologies, and presentations by leading scholars.

This course is open to undergraduates with the instructors’ permission. Students will choose between writing several short response papers or a substantial final paper. Law students who will choose to write a substantial paper will receive three credits upon successful completion of the course; law students who will choose to write short response papers will receive two credits. Whether they write short response papers or a final paper, FAS students who enroll in the workshop will receive four credits upon successful completion of the course. Offered jointly with the Law School as LAW 2876.

HIST 2525A: Administrating Differences in Latin America: Historical Approaches

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2016

Professors Tamar Herzog and Alejandro de la Fuente. The Latin American History Seminar and Workshop is a yearlong research seminar and workshop that meets every other week to study a central question in Latin American history (in the fall) and provide opportunities for scholars to share their own work and learn about the scholarship of others in a workshop form (in  the spring). In 2016-2017 we will discuss how differences were defined, negotiated, represented, and challenged in colonial Latin American, creating both inclusion and exclusion. Among differences considered would be distinctions between local and metropolitan; citizens and foreigners; narratives of origin and ancestry based on racial, ethnic, or religious criteria; and gender distinctions.  Students must complete both terms of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit.