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  • History 381
    Gender in Latin American History
    Fall 2001
    T/Th 11:30-12:45
    SB 107A

    Professor Avi Chomsky
    Sullivan Building 109B

    This course examines the social construction of gender in Latin American history. We study concepts that have structured Latin American beliefs about gender including of honor and shame, and machismo and marianismo, and examine issues of gender relations and sexuality. We ask how beliefs about gender and gender roles relate to social structures including race, class and political structures, how beliefs about gender and gender roles have changed over time, and how beliefs about gender and gender roles differ (or are the same) in the United States and Latin America.

    Gertrude Yeager, ed., Confronting Change, Challenging Tradition: Women in Latin American History.
               Wilmington, Del., Scholarly Resources, 1994.
    Alfredo Mirandé, Hombres y Machos: Masculinity and Latino Culture.
               Boulder: Westview Press, 1997.
    Ian Lumsden, Machos, Maricones and Gays: Cuba and Homosexuality
              (Temple University Press, 1996) [ISBN 1-56639-371-X]
    Norma Iglesias Prieto, Beautiful Flowers of the Maquiladora: Life Histories of Working Women in Tijuana.
               University of Texas Press, 1997.
    A film, novel or autobiography of your choice.

    Course requirements:
    --Attendance and participation (10%). Come to class prepared to discuss the day’s readings.
    --Six short papers (10% each). 2-3 pages each, due on dates scheduled in syllabus.
    --Final paper (15%) 4-5 pages. Topic due Oct. 25; paper due Nov. 29. Choose a film, novel, or autobiography from Latin America and analyze it from the perspective of gender. You will have a chance to revise this paper, if you choose to.
    --Final exam (15%). Questions will be distributed in class prior to the exam. No surprises.


    Sept 6 NO CLASS. I’m at the Latin American Studies Association meeting.

    The Construction of Machismo/Marianismo

    Sept 11 Introduction: What is gender?

    Sept 13 Honor, shame and power: Evelyn Stevens, “Marianismo: The Other Face of Machismo in Latin America” in Yeager, ed., pp. 2-17
    Silvio: La Familia...
    Short paper due: Does Stevens make sense? What are the strengths and weaknesses of her argument?

    Sept 18 Race, class and gender: Mirandé, chap. 1

    Sept 20 Conquest, domination and gender: Mirandé, chap. 2

    Sept 24 MONDAY. Joel Suárez of the Martin Luther King Center in Havana will speak during Community Time. More info to follow.

    Sept 25 Defining Machismo: Mirandé, chap. 3
    Short paper due: Do Mirandé and Stevens agree or disagree? Why? How convincing is Mirandé’s argument about the nature of, and historical construction of, machismo? Why?

    Sept 27 Gender and the family in history: Silvia Arrom, “Changes in Mexican Family Law in the Nineteenth Century,” in Yeager, ed., pp. 87-99

    Oct 2 Gender and the family today: Mirandé, chap. 5

    Oct 4 Machismo and sexuality: Lumsden, chap. 2

    Class, Development and Gender

    Oct 9 Rural life: Isaac F. Holton, “Daily Life in Nineteenth Century Colombia,” in Yeager, ed., pp. 81-86; Josephine Hoeppner Woods, “The ‘Chola,’” in Yeager, ed., pp. 152-156.

    Oct 11 Urbanization: Donna Guy, “Women, Peonage, and Industrialization: Argentina, 1810-1914,” in Yeager, ed., pp. 103-126

    Oct 16 Modernization, cultural continuity and change: Donald Castro, “Women in the World of the Tango,” in Yeager, ed., pp. 66-76; Sandra McGee Deutsch, “The Catholic Church, Work, and Womanhood in Argentina, 1890-1930,” in Yeager, ed., pp. 127-151.
    Short paper due: Use Guy, Castro, and Deutsch to discuss change and continuity in attitudes towards gender, and women’s roles, in early twentieth-century Argentina.

    Oct 18
    Women, Work and Poverty: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, “A Typology of Poor Women”, in Yeager, pp. 189-96.

    Oct 23 Factory work: Women and the New International Division of Labor: Iglesias Prieto, Introduction

    Oct 25 Film: “The Global Assembly Line” or “Zoned for Slavery”
    Source/topic for final paper due.

    Oct 30 Discussion: Defining “development.”
    Short paper due: Is modernization good for women? How useful is “women” as a category, and/or “gender” as a category of analysis? Explain, using class sources.

    Social Movements, Revolutions and Gender

    Nov 1 Origins of women’s movements in Latin America: Josefina Zoraida Vásquez, “Women’s Liberation in Latin America: Towards a History of the Present,” in Yeager, pp. 18-25.

    Nov 3 SATURDAY. The 32nd Annual Meeting of the New England Council of Latin American Studies will be held at Salem State College. If you are planning on continuing in Latin American Studies, or attending graduate school, I strongly urge you to attend this meeting!

    Nov 6 Gender and politics: Francesca Miller, “The Suffrage Movement in Latin America,” in Yeager, ed., pp. 157-76.

    Nov 8 Dictatorship, gender and repression: Carolyn Lehmann, “Bread and Roses: Women Who Live in Poverty,” in Yeager, ed., pp. 226-233.

    Nov 13 Gender and revolution in Cuba: Lumsden, chap. 1; Republic of Cuba, “Law No. 1263,” in Yeager, ed., pp. 182-188.

    Nov 15 Homosexuality and the Cuban Revolution: Lumsden, chaps. 3-5.

    Nov 20 Shifting attitudes? Lumsden, chaps. 5-7.

    Nov 22 NO CLASS. Thanksgiving break.

    Nov 27 Film: Strawberry and Chocolate
    Short paper due: How are ideas about homosexuality related to ideas about gender? How did different social and cultural forces interact in Cuba to shape attitudes towards homosexuality? Can attitudes change, or be changed? How?

    Nov 29 Finish Strawberry and Chocolate, discussion: Lumsden, chap. 8.
    Final paper due.

    Testimony, gender and the violence of everyday life

    Dec 4 Testimony as a genre and as a source: Iglesias Prieto, chaps. 1-4.

    Dec 6 The personal and the political: Iglesias Prieto, chaps. 5-7.
    Short paper due: How does “culture” shape people’s attitudes and actions in terms of gender? How do social structures? Use the testimonies in Iglesias Prieto sources.

    Dec 11 Summary/discussion. Mirandé, chap. 6.
    Revised final paper due.

    FINAL EXAM: Thursday, Dec. 16, 8:30-10:30

    Salem State College is committed to providing equal access to the educational experience for all students in compliance with Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act and to providing all reasonable academic accommodations, aids and adjustments. Any student who has a documented disability requiring an accommodation, aid or adjustment should speak with the instructor immediately. Students with Disabilities who have not previously done so should provide documentation to and schedule an appointment with the Office for Students with Disabilities and obtain appropriate services.
    Style Guide for History Papers
    Avi Chomsky

    Note: These are only the most basic guidelines. For more detailed information on writing history papers, see Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.

    1. Title. Your paper needs a title, and the title should be substantive and meaningful, giving the reader a sense of what your paper will be about.

    2. Number your pages.

    3. Introduction. Your introductory paragraph should introduce the argument of your paper. Making general statements about your topic is not an adequate introduction.

    4. Argument. Your paper needs an argument or thesis: a main point that you will illustrate, develop, and back up in the body of your paper.

    5. Evidence.

    6. Source citation. BE VERY CAREFUL TO UNDERSTAND WHAT PLAGIARISM IS, AND TO AVOID IT. Any time you paraphrase ideas or take information from a source, you must ATTRIBUTE it to the source in the text (e.g., “According to Turabian,...”) and CITE it with a page number. Any time you use actual words or phrases from a source, you must use quotation marks (as well as citing and attributing). For informal papers based on class sources, I do not require formal citation style—but acknowledgement of sources is ALWAYS required.

    7. Conclusion. Your conclusion should draw conclusions about the issues you have raised in the paper. It should grow directly out of what you have shown in your paper. Don’t bring in new issues, or make general moral statements, in your conclusion.

    Special instructions for “Gender in LA History” short papers:

    The questions I ask are very broad, and there are no “correct” answers. My goal is to get you to think about how specific examples or issues raised in the readings can help us think about large, theoretical questions in studying gender in Latin American history. Your paper should consist of your own thoughtful reflections on specific points in the readings (or films).

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