Spring 2017 - HIST 209W D100

Latin America: the National Period (3)

Class Number: 3950

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    WEB ONLINE, Burnaby



A survey of Latin American history from Independence (1808-24) to the present: post-Independence political collapse and reconsolidation; Latin America in the world trade system and the changing conditions of economic dependency; nationalist reform (Mexico) and socialist revolution (Cuba), liberalism, populism, and the rise of modernizing military. Treatment by topics and broad historical period rather than country by country. Students who have taken IS 209W cannot take HIST 209W for further credit. Writing/Breadth-Hum/Soc Sci.


This course introduces students to a historical, nuanced, and multifaceted view of Latin America. Avoiding self-serving visions of heroic workers and evil oligarchs, or lazy peasants and hard working foreigners, we will ask the people of this remarkable region to tell their own stories, even when those stories contradict our own desires. In the process we will come to understand historical change over many generations, but also endeavor to come to terms with the often patronizing ways in which North Americans of both the Left and the Right produce knowledge about the Latin American past and present.

Please Note: This is a flexible learning course. Professor Dawson will teach tutorials each week, but in place of lectures students will listen to a series of podcasts, watch some videos, and complete a number of assignments on Canvas. Students will be required to be in class only one hour per week. Should you have any questions about the format of this course, please contact Professor Dawson at aldawson@sfu.ca.


  • Final Exam 20%
  • Weekly Commentaries 20%
  • Peer Reviews 10%
  • Two Discussion Papers 40%
  • Participation 10%



Alexander Dawson, Latin American Since Independence: A History with Primary Sources, Second Edition. New York: Routledge, 2014.

Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000. ISBN 10: 0374527075

Rigoberta Menchú (Author), Elisabeth Burgos-Debray (Editor), Ann Wright (Translator), I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala (Second Edition) London: Verso, 2010.  ISBN-10: 1844674185

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html