This course provides a broad vision of the history of twentieth century Latin America, focusing both on the common elements, as well as the diverse experiences and historical processes that have left a mark in the region. Emphasis will be put on cultural aspects of social and political processes that were significant during the twentieth century, addressing them from the analytical perspectives of race, class, and gender.
The rise of new political actors in the turn of the century, the collapse of the oligarchic system, the emergence of populism, authoritarianism and human rights, and the construction of a historical memory after the dictatorships, will be amongst the general topics of the course. 



1.Understand the general characteristics of the main political, social, and cultural processes that affected Latin America during the twentieth century. 

2.Know and distinguish the common elements, as well as the regional particularities that exist in Latin American historical processes. 

3.Analyze the history of Latin America in the twentieth century through concepts and questions from the Humanities and Social Sciences.

4.Value the Latin American cultural diversity and link its expressions with respect towards human rights

5.Evaluate the role that the historical memory plays in the construction of national and regional identities


1.Analyze the impact of the emergence of new social actors in the beginning of the twentieth century, as well as the political ideas that came with them. 

2.Understand the direct or indirect impact that the United States has had over local politics and culture

3.Value the process of widening political participation during the twentieth century, linking it with the processes of democratization and the authoritarian cycles that have shaped the continent

4.Interpret social demands and comprehend them within the different political contexts in which they have manifested


1.Unit 1
1.1.Introduction. Latin America, the stage and its protagonists. 
1.2.Colonial and nineteenth century legacies. 
1.3.Latin American cultural identity.  

2.Unit 2
2.1.The collapse of the liberal system. 
2.2.The international stage. 
2.3.The impact of modernity and the challenges of the new century. 
2.4.New social actors. Migration and export economy. 
2.5.Race and gender in the beginning of the twentieth century.

3.Unit 3
3.1.Revolutions, rebellions and civil wars. 
3.2.Peasant rebellions and urban revolts. 
3.3.The Mexican Revolution. 
3.4.The caudillista legacy. 

4.Unit 4
4.1.Towards a new development model. 
4.2.Populism and nationalism. 
4.3.Political and social changes towards a mid-century. 
4.5.The role of the middle class.

5.Unit 5
5.1.Political and cultural influence of the US. 
5.2.The Caribbean, Central America, and the single-commodity export economy.
5.3.Informal Imperialism and the image of Latin America. 

6.Unit 6
6.1.Latin America and the new world order. 
6.2.Latin America in the post-war era. 
6.3.Regional landscape during the Cold War. 
6.4.Cuban Revolution. 
6.5.Socialism and dependence. 
6.6.Democracy, dictatorships and human rights. 

7.Unit 7
7.1.Memory and identities at the end of the century. 
7.2.The need for memory and the trauma of dictatorships. 
7.3.Democratic authoritarianism and the resistance to neoliberalism. 
7.4.Coexisting with violence and socio-political exclusion towards the end of the twentieth century.



-Analysis of images, movies, and documentaries

-Bibliographical discussions


-Test: 20%

-Essay: 25%

-Workshop: 15% 

-Final Exam: 40%



Jo-Marie Burt, “‘Quien habla es terrorista’: The Political Use of Fear in Fujimori’s Peru”, Latin American Research Review, Vol. 41, No. 3 (2006), pp.32-62.

Leslie Bethell, “Populism in Brazil”, Brazil: Essays on History and Politics. School of Advanced Studiy, University of London, Institute of Latin American Studies, 2018, pp.175-194.

Gabriela Cano, “Unconcealable Realities of Desire: Amelio Robles’s (Transgender) Masculinity in the Mexican Revolution”, in Gabriela Cano, Mary Kay Voughan y Jocelyn Olcott (edit.), Sex in Revolution: Gender, Politics, and Power in Modern Mexico (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), pp. 35-56.

Mark Carey, In the shadow of melting glaciers climate change and Andean society (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Alan Dye and Richard Sicotte, “The U.S. Sugar Program and the Cuban Revolution”, The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 64, No.3 (Sep., 2004), pp. 673-704.

Tanya Harmer, “Fractious Allies: Chile, the United States, and the Cold War, 1973–76”, Diplomatic History, Volume 37, No. 1, 1 January 2013, pp. 109–143.

Matthew B. Karush, “Politicizing Populism”, in Culture of class: radio and cinema in the making of a divided Argentina, 1920-1946 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2012), pp.177-214.

Alan Knight, “Democratic and Revolutionary Traditions in Latin America”, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Apr., 2001), pp. 147-186.

Catherine C. LeGrand, “Living in Macondo: Economy and Culture in a United Fruit Company Banana Enclave in Colombia”, in Gilbert Joseph (ed.), Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of U.S.-Latin American Relations (Durham: Duke University Press, 2012).

Enrico Moretti, “Social Networks and Migrations: Italy 1876-1913”, The International Migration Review, Vol. 33, No.3 (Autumn, 1999), pp.640-657.

Jeffrey Needell, “La revolta contra vacina of 1904: The Revolt against ‘Modernization’ in Belle Epoque Rio de Janeiro”, in Silvia Marina Arrom (ed.), Riots in the cities: popular politics and the urban poor in Latin America, 1765-1910 (Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1996).

Steven Palmer, “Central American Encounters with Rockefeller Public Health, 1914-1921”, in Gilbert Joseph (ed.), Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of U.S.-Latin American Relations (Durham: Duke University Press, 2012).

Fernando Purcell, “Connecting Realities: Peace Corps Volunteers in South America and the Global War on Poverty during the 1960s”, Historia Crítica, No.53, May-August 2014, pp.129-154.

Julio Ramos, “Nuestra América: Arte del buen Gobierno”, in Divergent Modernities: Culture and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Latin America (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001) pp.251-267.

Anne Rubenstein, “The War on ‘Las Pelonas’. Modern Women and Their Enemies, Mexico City, 1924”, in Gabriela Cano, Mary Kay Voughan y Jocelyn Olcott (edit.), Sex in Revolution: Gender, Politics, and Power in Modern Mexico (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), pp. 57-80.


Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude 

Leslie Bethell, The Cambridge History of Latin America, Vol IX and X.

José Marti, Our America (many editions)

Fernando Cardoso and Enzo Faletto, Dependency and development in Latin America.

Electronic Resources

Biblioteca Digital del Caribe,

Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporânea do Brasil (CPDOC),

Colecciones Digitales de la Biblioteca Nacional Argentina,

Hemeroteca Nacional Digital de México,

Imágenes de la Resistencia,

Memoria Chilena,

Revistas Académicas Digitales sobre Historia de América Latina,