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Andean History (HIST 390)

Ama Killa, Ama Llulla, Ama Shua
("Don't be lazy, don't lie, don't steal")

Fall 2007, Truman State University
BH 262, TR 3:00-4:20 p.m.
Office: KB 225A

Marc Becker
Office Hours: W 1:30-3:30
Phone: x6036


This course presents a cultural and political history of the Andean Region of South America. Focusing primarily on the area currently covered by the countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, we will examine unique historical developments in this part of the world. The themes we will analyze include the influence of geography on early Andean civilizations, the cultural impact of conquest, land and labor systems, popular resistance movements, revolutions, military governments, neoliberalism, and the politicization of ethnic identities.

This course also meets the Intercultural Perspectives requirement of the Liberal Studies Program. As such, it will provide you with a greater knowledge and appreciation of cultural diversity through the study of encounters of Indigenous, European, and African worlds in the Andean World. Hopefully this course will make you more aware of how culture has been used for political and social ends, including confronting racial discrimination, economic exploitation, and social injustice.


Our goal in this class is to challenge existing assumptions, engage alternative viewpoints, and encourage critical thinking. Through the study of history, we seek to empower ourselves to be better citizens, and to provide ourselves with the skills necessary to play a positive and educated role in society. We need to be active constituents rather than mere recipients of our education. To accomplish those tasks, we should strive to create an open and supportive learning environment. Regular attendance and active participation are also necessary. Please drop me a note if you are unable to attend, or if you have any concerns or suggestions for improving the class.


Following are the required books for this class. Read the assignments before class so that you are prepared to carry on an intelligent discussion of the material in class. Lectures will complement the readings and assume the base level of knowledge which they present, so it is critically important that you keep up with the readings. Do not wait until the last minute to buy these books since about half-way through the semester the bookstore will return unsold copies to the publisher.

Andrien, Kenneth J. Andean Worlds: Indigenous History, Culture, and Consciousness Under Spanish Rule, 1532-1825. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2001.

Guevara, Ernesto Che. The Bolivian Diary. London: Ocean Press, 2006. ISBN: 1920888241

Icaza, Jorge. Huasipungo: The Villagers, a Novel. Contemporary Latin American classics. Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press, 1964. ISBN: 0-8093-0653-0

Kohl, Benjamin H. and Linda C. Farthing. Impasse in Bolivia: Neoliberal hegemony and popular resistance. London: Zed Books, 2006. ISBN: 1842777599

Larson, Brooke. Trials of Nation Making: Liberalism, Race, and Ethnicity in the Andes, 1810-1910. Cambridge, UK, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. ISBN: 0521567300

Vega, Garcilaso de la. Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of Peru. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Co, 2006. ISBN: 0-87220-843-5

Assignments and grades

Course grades will be based on the following assignments. You can check your grade progress on the class Blackboard web page (there is a total of 1000 possible points in the class). More detailed information on the written assignments will be posted to the Blackboard web page. I do not accept "drop and run" papers. Grades on late assignments will be penalized 10 percent for each day that they are late. Successful completion of all assignments is required to receive credit for this class.

Assignment Points
Reaction papers (5 x 70 pts ea) 350 pts
Research paper proposal (Sept 18) 50
Secondary source analysis (Oct 2) 50
Primary source analysis (Oct 16) 50
Research paper (Dec 6) 200
Final exam (Dec 13) 200
Participation 100

Reaction papers: Critique the argument in each of the books that we are reading in this class. The essays should be three to five pages long, typed, double spaced, follow good essay form (have an intro, thesis, conclusion, etc.) and include citations, a bibliography, and page numbers (70 pts).

Research paper: Each student is required to write a research paper on a topic related to Andean history. The paper must be 10 to 15 pages long, be typed, double spaced, and include page numbers, citations and a bibliography. The format should follow Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations. In addition, you must use a minimum of six scholarly sources (books and journal articles) and one primary source. This project will be developed in a series of stages. Keep each of these assignments in a portfolio or folder, and hand in the entire portfolio with each subsequent assignment. You MUST meet every one of these deadlines. Failure to do so will result in no credit for the research paper (40 percent of the course grade). Please do not even think of testing me on this point.

Sept 18: Research paper proposal, including a paragraph describing your project, the research questions you seek to address with the project, a hypothesis of what you expect to find (the thesis statement of your research paper), and a preliminary bibliography of sources that you plan to use (50 pts).

Oct 2: Analyze one of the major secondary sources you will use in the writing of your research paper. This paper should be typed, double-spaced, and about 3-5 pages long, and include citations a bibliography, and page numbers (50 pts).

Oct 16: Select a primary sources related to your research topic from the microfilm collection ( First have me approve the source, and then write a paper (typed, double-spaced, about 3-5 pages, citations, bibliography, page numbers) analyzing the document and its historical significance for your research topic. Attach a copy of the document to the essay (50 pts).

Beginning Nov 6: Oral presentations. In your presentation, tell us what questions you addressed in your research project, what you expected to find (your thesis), a summary of your actual findings, and your conclusions. Naturally those who present earlier will have more tentative conclusions than those who present at the end of the semester. Please feel free to include visuals and other materials in your presentation.

Nov 27: Peer review of research papers. Bring a draft of your research paper to exchange with another student. Read and comment on the other student's paper and return by the next class period.

Dec 6: Final research papers due. When handing in your final draft, please be sure to include copies of all of the previous assignments including the peer-reviewed draft.

Final exam: The final exam is cumulative (200 pts).

Class Schedule

Week 1 (Aug 28/30) Intro & Geography

Week 2 (Sept 4/6) Andean civilizations
Read: Vega, Royal Commentaries of the Incas, Part I

Week 3 (Sept 11/13) Conquests
Read: Vega, Royal Commentaries of the Incas, Part II
Andrien, Andean Worlds, chs. 1-2

Week 4 (Sept 18/20) Colonial societies
Read: Andrien, Andean Worlds, chs. 3-5
Assignment due: Research paper proposal

Week 5 (Sept 25/27) Independence
Read: Andrien, Andean Worlds, chs. 6-8; Larson, Trials of Nation Making, Intro, ch. 1

Week 6 (Oct 2/4) Colombia
Read: Larson, Trials of Nation Making, ch. 2
Assignment due: Secondary source analysis

Week 7 (Oct 9/11) Ecuador
Read: Larson, Trials of Nation Making, ch. 3

Week 8 (Oct 16/18) Peru
Read: Larson, Trials of Nation Making, ch. 4
Assignment due: Primary source analysis

Week 9 (Oct 23/25) Bolivia
Read: Larson, Trials of Nation Making, ch. 5, Conc

Week 10 (Oct 30/Nov 1) Liberalism

Week 11 (Nov 6/8) Indigenismo
Read: Icaza, Jorge. Huasipungo
Assignment due: Begin oral presentations of research papers

Week 12 (Nov 13/15) Revolutions
Read: Guevara, The Bolivian Diary
Assignment due: Peer review of research papers

Week 13 (Nov 20) Military governments

Week 14 (Nov 27/29) Neoliberalism
Read: Start Kohl/Farthing, Impasse in Bolivia
Assignment due: Peer review of research papers

Week 15 (Dec 4/6) Social Movements
Read: Finish Kohl/Farthing, Impasse in Bolivia
Assignment due: Research papers

Final Exam: Thursday, December 13, 11:30-12:20

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