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  • Harvard University

    History 1745

    Major Problems of Colombian History, 1400-2007: Conference Course

    Spring 2007

    John Womack, Jr.

    This is a conference course primarily for juniors and seniors on the history of Latin America’s most diversely divided country, from the first native establishments to the present extraordinary conflicts. The major problems for analysis are regionalism, power, respect, and violence. Topics include historical geography, empire, class struggle, culture, race, technologies, markets, political control and collapse, imperialism, religion, God (or gods), the Devil (or devils), guns, drugs, cash, and revolution.
    Prerequisite (for undergraduates): At least one course of instruction on Latin America by a member of the Faculty of the Department of History.
    Requirements: regular attendance, leading at least one discussion, informed participation in discussion, a map exam, an identification exam, and a paper, based at least partly on primary sources, the text at least 20 pages long, not including appendices or bibliography. (A reading knowledge of Spanish is not a requirement, although it would allow a broader field of choices for the paper.)

    Required Map (copies available from instructor, or http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/colombia.html):
    U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Map 802670A1, Colombia, 2001
    Required Reading (all on reserve in Lamont; * = in print, on order at the Coop; or try abebooks.com):
    Louis Allaire, “Archaeology of the Caribbean Region,” in Frank Salomon and Stuart B. Schwartz, eds.,
    The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas, III, Part 1, pp. 668-727
    José Ignacio Avellaneda, The Conquerors of the New Kingdom of Granada
    *Charles Bergquist, Coffee and Conflict in Colombia, 1886-1910
    Herbert Braun, The Assassination of Gaitán: Public Life and Urban Violence in Colombia
    *Steven Dudley, Walking Ghosts: Murder and Guerrilla Politics in Colombia
    Albert O. Hirschman, Journeys Toward Progress
    Michael F. Jiménez, “‘Traveling Far in Grandfather’s Car’: The Life Cycle of Central Colombian Coffee
    Estates: The Case of Viotá, Cundinamarca (1900-1930),” Hispanic American Historical Review, LXIX, 2 (May 1989), pp. 185-219
    Idem, “Gender, Class, and the Roots of Peasant Resistance in Central Colombia, 1900-1930,”
                    in Forrest L. Colburn, ed., Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance, pp. 121-150
    *Idem, “‘From Plantation to Cup’: Coffee and Capitalism in the United States, 1830-1930,” in
                    William Roseberry, Lowell Gudmundson, and Mario Samper Kutschbach, eds., Coffee, Society,
    and Power in Latin America, pp. 38-64
    *Idem, “At the Banquet of Civilization: The Limits of Planter Hegemony in Early-Twentieth-
                    Century Colombia,” ibid., pp. 262-293
    Allan J. Kuethe, Military Reform and Society in New Granada, 1773-1808
    *James W. Park, Rafael Núñez and the Politics of Colombian Regionalism, 1863-1886
    *Mary Roldán, Blood and Fire: Violence in Antioquia, Colombia, 1946-1953
    *Frank Safford and Marco Palacios, Colombia: Fragmented Land, Divided Society
    *Michael Taussig, Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of a Limpieza in Colombia
    Juan and Judith Villamarín, “Chiefdoms: The Prevalence and Persistence of ‘Señoríos naturales,’ 1400 to
                    European Conquest,” in Frank Salomon and Stuart B. Schwartz, eds., The Cambridge History of
    the Native Peoples of the Americas, III, Part 1, pp. 577-656
    United States Institute of Peace, Peace Agreements Digital Collection: Colombia, “Plan Colombia: Plan for
    Peace, Prosperity, and the Strengthening of the State,” 1999 <www.usip.org/library/pa/colombia/adddoc/plan_colombia_101999.html>
    Robert C. West, Colonial Placer Mining in Colombia

    Classes:
    1. January 31                       Introduction

    2. February 7                        Geography and Native Societies, 1400-1526: Safford and Palacios, 1-26; Allaire, 668-727;             Villamarín, 577-656

    3. February 14                      Five Conquests, Three Spanish Establishments, 1402-1609: Safford and Palacios, 27-53; Avellaneda, 3-173

    4. February 21                      Gold, Three Threats, Four Entrenchments, and Smuggling 1609-1713: West, 1-
                                                    159

    5. February 28                      Trade, Reform, and Imperial Collapse, 1713-1808: Safford and Palacios, 54-79; Kuethe, 1-189

    6. March 7                            Map Exam
    Multiple Independence and a New State, 1808-1845: Safford and Palacios, 80-187

    7. March 14                          Identification Exam
    Business, Migrations, and Liberalism, 1845-1875: Safford and Palacios, 188-238; Park, 37-152

    8. March 21                          Coffee and Imperialism, 1875-1903: Safford and Palacios, 239-265; Bergquist,
                                                    50-246

    9. April 4                                Agribusiness and Manufacturing, 1903-1945: Safford and Palacios, 266-296; Jiménez, all four articles; Hirschman, 94-116

    10. April 11                           Cold War and Crisis, 1945-1950: Safford and Palacios, 297-370; Braun, 39-199

    11. April 18                           Development and Violence, 1945-1960: Roldán, 43-279

    12. April 25                           Violence, Revolution, Reform, State Terrorism, and Drugs, 1945-1990:
    Dudley, 1-235

    13. May 2                             Armed Politics, Civil War, Revolution, and U.S.-Funded Counter-Revolution, 1990-2007: Plan Colombia, 1-23; Taussig, 3-205

    Grading:
    Participation counts for one-third of the final grade, the quizzes for one-sixth each (i.e., both for one-third), and the paper, due on May 18, 2007, for one-third.
    There is no curve; there may be a tube or barrel or a pyramid, on its base or summit, depending on the distribution of the quality of work.
    E means failing, numerically 0-60.
    D means unsatisfactory: D-, 61-64; D, 65-67; D+, 68-70.
    C means satisfactory: C-, 71-74; C, 75-77; C+, 78-80.
    B means good: B-, 81-84; B, 85-87; B+, 88-90.
    A means excellent: A-, 91-94; A, 95-100.

    Office Hours:
    Instructor: John Womack, Jr., Robinson Hall 220, Tuesdays, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., or by appointment at 495-5247, or jwomack@fas.harvard.edu.

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