Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Syllabus Archive

The following syllabi come from a variety of different terms. They illustrate the evolution of this course over time, and are intended to provide alternate views into the instruction of this course.

Spring 2010, Jeffrey Ravel (PDF)

Spring 2008, Jeffrey Ravel (PDF)

Spring 2006, Jeffrey Ravel (PDF)

Spring 2005, Jeffrey Ravel (PDF)


This class is a selective survey of Latin American history from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Issues studied include Latin America in the global economy, relations between Latin America and the US, dictatorships and democracies in the twentieth century, African and Indigenous cultures, feminism and gender, cultural politics, revolution in Mexico, Cuba, and Central America, and Latin American identity.


Class attendance is mandatory. I will take attendance each week; students who miss more than one class session will fail the subject. Students must come prepared to discuss each week's assignments. Students will complete ten homework assignments, due as indicated on the syllabus. Class presentations, in groups of two and three students, will be due in class on Lecture 9. Instructions for the homework assignments and class presentations will be distributed later in the term. There will also be a map quiz and a comprehensive final exam. Assignments will be weighted as follows:

Nine Homework Assignments 10 Points Each (90 Points Total)
Map Quiz 10 Points
Class Presentation 30 Points
Final Exam 70 Points
Total 200 Points

Statement on Cheating and Plagiarism

The web now hosts many sites which offer college-level papers of varying quality on a variety of topics. I am well acquainted with these sites, and with others that offer detection services to professors. Buying a paper and submitting it as your own work is cheating. Copying sections from someone else’s print or online work into your own without an acknowledgement is plagiarism. MIT has strict policies against both activities that I will enforce. For the appropriate MIT definitions and policies, visit the following websites. If you are uncertain about what constitutes cheating or plagiarism, please contact me before submitting the work in question.