LA305 Hist & Culture of Lat America

for F1A 2007

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Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


LA 305 Hist & Culture of Lat America


F1A 2007 BE


Bunkowski, Lisa M.


Assistant Professor of History


B.A. Spanish, cum laude
M.A. History
Ph.D. History, with secondary specialization in Latin American History

Office Location

Austin Campus

Office Hours

Tuesday & Thursday 4:00 - 5:00 PM

Daytime Phone


Other Phone

512-233-5857 (FAX)


Class Days


Class Time

5:10 - 7:50 PM

Credit Hours



A History of Latin America (7th edition), Benjamin Keen & Keith Haynes. NY: Houghton Mifflin (2004).
ISBN: 0618318518

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:

Latin American Studies Association (LASA), Databases & Reference Sources, University of Pittsburgh.

Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC), University of Texas at Austin:
Latin American History Internet Resources, Marc Becker, Truman State University.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
The historical portion of this course is designed to familiarize the student with both the pre-history and history of Latin America from the Paleolithic period to the present. It will be a combined anthropological and historical approach that will enable the student to better understand the Latin American of today through an awareness of the historical process that has largely shaped its present. The cultural portion will combine and ethnological and sociological approach in an effort to increase student awareness of the present state of Latin American culture. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

Course material is presented utilizing a variety of methods including assigned readings, lecture, discussion, and films. Students are evaluated based on competency standards and demonstrated improvement in written assignments, discussion, and exams.

Class Assessment:
Class assessment will be through discussion, two written assignments, two quizzes, a research project, a map quiz, and a final exam. There is no extra credit. Concentration on the course work required should eliminate the need for extra credit.



 Local Connections Assignment (in Week 2)
 50 points
 Quiz 1 (in Week 3)
 40 points
 Quiz 2 (in Week 4)
 40 points
 Current Connections Assignment (in Week 5)
 50 points
 Research Project (in Week 6)
 100 points
 Map Quiz (in Week 7)
 40 points 
 Final Exam (in Week 8)
 100 points
 Participation in Weekly Discussion
 80 points
 Total Points for Term
 500 points

  • Local Connections Assignment: For this assignment, you are to find and write a critical review of a local connection to Latin American History and Culture. For example, this can be a historical museum exhibit, or an authentic cultural activity –such music, art, dance, film or food festivals. Your review should be completed on the critical review form (with grading criteria) posted online in our course eCompanion site.
  • Current Connections Assignment: For this assignment, you are to analyze 5 current newspaper or magazine articles that address a Latin American topic. These can be from the local newspaper or any of the numerous periodicals you can access through the Park University Library's online databases. The form for this assignment (along with the grading criteria) is posted online in our course eCompanion site.


  • Quiz 1 will cover the material in Part I of our text book;
  • Quiz 2 will cover the material in Part II.
    Each quiz will consist of multiple-choice, matching, and fill-in-the-blank type questions. The quizzes are worth 40 points each. They are closed-note, closed-book. Study guides for each will be available on the course eCompanion site.
  • Map Quiz: The map quiz will require identification of 20 Latin American countries and their capitals.

Final Exam: The final exam will be comprehensive and will be worth 100 points. It will be a two-hour, closed-note, closed-book exam. It will include multiple-choice, matching, and short answer essay questions. This exam will cover material from Weeks 1-8. A study guide for the exam will available on the course eCompanion site.

Research Project:
The core assessment instrument for SA305 is a research paper and oral presentation based on this research.  Students will investigate a historical topic that reflects issues, policies, debates or events pertinent to at least three Latin American countries. Presentations should include a multi-media component. Written reports, examining a comparison and/or contrast of your topic must be a minimum of 8 pages and include examination of the historical context. Oral presentations of 15 minutes will be spoken, not read, and may include information not included in the report. Presentations should allow time for questions. The assessment of this project includes student meetings with the professor at designated times during the semester.  
Grading Criteria for the Research Project:
Statement of Thesis (5 points): Introduction paragraph with clear statement(s) of thesis/purpose and outline of major points
Your Evaluation (50 points): Comparison and/or contrast of a historical topic that reflects issues, policies, debates or events pertinent to at least three Latin American countries
Oral Presentation (25 points): Multimedia component supports each of the three main sections of the paper. Responds effectively to questions from instructor and peers
Conclusion (5 points): Conclusion paragraph that reiterates key points and summarizes your overall conclusions about the topic
Writing Mechanics (5 points): Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling; Paper Format (length, proper documentation & style); Works Cited or Reference page    
Conferences with Instructor (10 points): Initial topic selection, and in-progress conference
Total Possible: 100 points


We will begin and end each session with a 'One Minute Paper' exercise based on the assigned readings in the text book and our class discussion. The format will be explained in class. Your participation will be worth up to 5 points each session. Points will only be deducted for failure to participate in a substantive manner (you will need to demonstrate that you read the assigned materials and were engaged in the class discussion).

Late Submission of Course Materials:

All work is due on the due date. If you will miss work and need to submit late (due to an emergency), make arrangements with the instructor ahead of time. Late work will penalized 10 percent per day late unless prior arrangements have been made.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

The fundamental objective of this course is to learn. That means we must all work together and learn from each other. In order to accomplish this, we must treat each other with respect. Everyone will have the opportunity and freedom to express their ideas. Be sure to review the Park Student Code of Conduct.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Part I. The Colonial Heritage of Latin America
Week 1
(8/22 & 8/24)
Introduction: The Geographical Background of Latin American History
Chapter 1. Ancient America
Chapter 2. The Hispanic Background
Chapter 3. The Conquest of America
Week 2
(8/28 & 8/30)
Chapter 4. The Economic Foundations of Colonial Life
Chapter 5. State, Church, and Society
Chapter 6. Colonial Brazil
'Current Connections' Assignment Due
Week 3 (9/4 & 9/6)
Chapter 7. The Bourbon Reforms and Spanish America
Chapter 8. The Independence of Latin America
Quiz 1
Part II. Latin America in the Nineteenth Century
Week 4
(9/11 & 9/13)
Chapter 9. Dictators and Revolutions
Chapter 10. The Triumph of Neocolonialism
Chapter 11. Society and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
Quiz 2
Part III. Latin America Since 1900
Week 5
(9/18 & 9/20)
Chapter 12. The Mexican Revolution--and After
Chapter 13. Argentina: The Failure of Democracy
Chapter 14. The Chilean Way
'Local Connections' Assignment Due
Week 6
(9/25 & 9/27)
Chapter 15. Republican Brazil
Chapter 16. Storm over the Andes: The Struggle for Land and Development
Chapter 17. The Cuban Revolution
Research Projects Due
Week 7
(10/2 & 10/4)
Chapter 18. Revolution and Counterrevolution in Central America: Twilight of the Tyrants?
Chapter 19. Lands of Bolvar: Venezuela and Colombia in the Twentieth Century
Chapter 20. The Two Americas: United States-Latin American Relations
Map Quiz
Week 8
(10/9 & 10/11)
Chapter 21. Latin American Society in Transition
Final Exam


Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:7/22/2007 1:33:17 PM