Course Description

  • Instructor: Aldo A. Lauria-Santiago, Ph.D.
  • Description:

    This course will provide students an advanced introduction to the history of Puerto Rico in Caribbean and American contexts. The study of the post-conquest history of Puerto Rico history covers over five centuries. Four hundred years under Spanish rule and over 100 under US rule. Because of this persistent colonial history Puerto Rico is often presented as an exceptional place with a history unlike any other. Puerto Rico presents some unique characteristics because of its hybridity-a self-identified nation that is thoroughly integrated into the United States; a mostly Spanish-speaking country that considers itself part of Latin America and the Caribbean;
    a diasporic nation with millions of island-born people living on the US mainland.

  • Learning Goals:

    Weekly Themes:

    • Week 1: Requirements and Goals; Geography and Demographics
    • Week 2: Conquests, Settlement and Marginalization in Caribbean and Imperial Context, 16th-17th Centuries
    • Week 3: The 18th Century: Cows, Enslaved, Plebeians and Forts:
    • Week 4: Reconquests, Slavery, Peasants, and Commercial Agriculture, 1812-1868
    • Week 5: Spanish Colonial Rule and the Landlord Economy, 1868-1898
    • Week 6: Liberation by Invasion: 1898: The Transition to US Rule in Caribbean Context
    • Week 7: Elite Politics of Negotiation, Adjustment and Accumulation--Colonial Rule 1898-1920s
    • Week 8: Working Class Life and Politics, 1898-1930s
    • Week 9: The Depression and Crisis: Elite Crisis, Labor Revolt and Nationalist Insurgency, 1929-1939
    • Week 10: New Deal, War and Reform Restructure the Colony, 1939-1952
    • Week 11: Economic Transformation and the Public Sector, 1948-1980
    • Week 12: Emigration and Diasporic Culture
    • Week 13: Manufacturing, Construction and Services: Crisis, Recovery and Crisis, 1975-2017
    • Week 14: The Never Ending Debate: Autonomy and Colonial Rule
    • Week 15: Transitions from Crisis, 2018+
  • Evaluation:
    1. Attendance, class participation, and improvement: 20%
    2. Eight semi-weekly writing/analysis assignments: 5% each (40%)
    3. First partial exam: 20%
    4. Second partial exam: 20%
  • Credits: 3
  • Disclaimer: The information in this course description is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (e.g. Canvas).