Afro-Latin America (HIST 287/LATAM 260)

Image courtesy of Discos Fuentes

Image courtesy of Discos Fuentes

Instructor: Professor Gudmundson

Latin America was home to both the longest lasting slave regimes in the Atlantic world and the earliest experiments in universal male suffrage and race-blind citizenship, to both white supremacist and pro-mixed race ideologies of national identity and culture.

In this course students explore the paradoxes of race and African descent in different American contexts focusing not just on national ideologies or institutional practices, but via cultural expressions, from music and film to religion to autobiographical literature, and social movements from anthropological or political perspectives. Student research projects, in the area of musical expression, for example, have focused on Colombian vallenato (see the image of Alejo Durán above) and cumbia, Dominican bachata and merengue, and Cuban son.

The only prerequisite for this course is an interest in the topic. First-year students are welcome.