2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
    Dec 07, 2022  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PSCI 094 - Dictators and Revolutionaries in Latin America

This first-year seminar studies the stereotype of the Latin American military dictator or the leftist revolutionary which has become commonplace in contemporary culture. Whether it is the right-wing autocrat clad in Prussian-style military dress - General Augusto Pinochet of Chile or Alfredo Stroessner of Paraguay, for example, or leftist revolutionaries such as Fidel Castro and Ché Guevarra, bearded and combat ready in military fatigues, these stereotypical images convey to us in shorthand form understandings about Latin American society. They convey or reinforce the image of a militaristic and violent society, politically passionate and ideologically polarized. They convey the image of a society where the use of force trumps the rule of law. As with all stereotypes, there is more than a grain of truth in these characterizations but also much insight or understanding that they foreclose. In particular, such stereotyping begs the question as to why Latin America’s modern political history is rife with examples of political violence and extremism emanating from both ends of the political spectrum. This course seeks to enable students to answer this question. More broadly, it seeks to help students to develop their analytical skills and theoretical understandings of reactionary and revolutionary political movements. While the regional focus will be on Latin America, the skills development will be global in its applicability. Ultimately, the skills that students develop in this course should enhance their ability to think critically about contemporary incidents of political violence and inform their actions as concerned citizens.

Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) Designation: GP

Anticipated Terms Offered: Offered periodically