Table of Contents
Major Problems of Colombian History, 1400-2007: Conference Course
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
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-
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,
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:
13. May 2 Armed Politics, Civil War, Revolution, and U.S.-Funded Counter-Revolution, 1990-2007: Plan Colombia, 1-23; Taussig, 3-205
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.
Instructor: John Womack, Jr., Robinson Hall 220, Tuesdays, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., or by appointment at 495-5247, or firstname.lastname@example.org.