Course Description

  • Description:

    Fulfills Upper-Level Elective for LCS Major and Minor
    Fulfills Upper-Level Elective for History Major and Minor

    Outside of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean is the region with the largest population of people of African ancestry. This course is a historical introduction to the study of the experiences of people of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean. The course will be guided by the following questions: What and where is “Afro-Latin America”? What is the history and legacy of slavery in the Spanish, French, and Portuguese-speaking Americas? What are the shared struggles of Africans and their descendants across
    geographical space and time?

    The first half of the course begins in the era of chattel slavery while the second half focuses on the period after the abolition of slavery to the present in Latin America and the Caribbean. There will be an especially strong emphasis on the issues of race, gender, politics, and power. Through primary and secondary source readings, we will explore major historical topics including: slavery and the Middle Passage, the Haitian Revolution, struggles for citizenship in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, scientific racism, political violence, rebellion and revolution, transnational and diasporic networks, and the rise of black social movements in the twentieth century into the present.

  • Learning Goals:

    Upon completion of the course, students will:

    • Develop a critical, comparative understanding of the historical experiences and lives of people of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean from the Middle Passage to the present
    • Recognize the importance of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and other markers of social difference in affecting the diverse lives of people of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean
    • Critically analyze primary sources and secondary sources on Afro-Latin American life, culture, and politics
  • Required Reading:

    Christopher Schmidt-Nowara, Slavery, Freedom, and Abolition in Latin America and the Atlantic World
    (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2011)
    [ISBN Paperback: 978-0-8263-3904-1, ISBN E-Book: 978-0-8263-3905-8]

    Devyn Spence Benson, Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2016)
    [ISBN Paperback: 978-1-4696-2672-7, ISBN E-Book: 978-1-4696-2673-4]

    Edwidge Danticat, The Farming of Bones (New York: Soho Press, 2013) [ISBN Paperback: 978-1616953492]

    Additional readings and materials are available in Canvas.

    Consult Rutgers Barnes & Noble for current books for the course.

  • Evaluation:

    Class participation (attendance, participation) 15%
    Two Short Essays 30% (15% each)
    Midterm Exam 25%
    Final Exam 30%

  • Credits: 3
  • SAS Core Certified: HST
  • 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).