Learning Objectives

This project has been designed to help students reach a number of pedagogical goals, some particular to Latin American history, some pertaining generally to historical analysis, and some reflecting the wider intellectual objectives of the liberal arts.  Roughly in that order, these include:

  • To comprehend the geographic and chronological breadth of Colonial Latin America and the various forms and patterns of imperial domination, particularly within the Spanish and Portuguese empires
  • To understand the great social diversity of the region, how this diversity changed over time, and how it has been experienced from a variety of perspectives
  • To apprehend the mutability of race and its many social manifestations; how forms of political and economic domination reproduce social distinctions; and how these in turn are experienced, contested, and transformed by the actions of imperial subjects
  • To grasp historical contingency and the plurality of historical experiences; to escape from linear and teleological narratives of historical development; and to apprehend the ambiguity and tentativeness inherent in social and historical analyses
  • To understand how historians use primary sources to develop arguments about the past; to use primary sources to evaluate narratives about the past; to develop skills for applying historical understanding to present-day issues and concerns
  • To develop the skills for bringing together disparate sources/data points into a self-directed argument; to define the parameters and thesis of an argument; and to develop and refine one’s argument
  • To experience and envisage a collaborative, scaffolded research project
  • To develop critical reading skills for assessing a variety of genres
  • To develop expository writing skills and learn academic norms regarding documentation and attribution