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Unit information: History of Latin America's Indigenous People in 2020/21

Unit name History of Latin America's Indigenous People
Unit code HISP30068
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Jo Crow
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The course aims to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the histories of indigenous peoples in modern Latin America and the political and cultural issues involved in the production of these histories. We will examine the changing representations of indigenous peoples within national narratives and explore the extent to which different political ideologies have sought to revise the historical record. We will also look at indigenous peoples’ own interpretations of history and explore the relationship between these and more ‘official’ state-generated versions of history.


  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to final year level. The content matter will normally include one or more of the following: literature; social, cultural or political history; linguistics; cultural studies; film, television or other media.
  • To facilitate students’ engagement with a body of literature, including secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, primary sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of their linguistic skills.
  • To develop further skills of synthesis, analysis and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level I.
  • To equip students with the skills to undertake postgraduate study in a relevant field.

Intended learning outcomes

Successful students will:

  1. be knowledgable about a significant cultural, historical or linguistic subject related to the language they are studying;
  2. will have advanced skills in the selection and synthesis of relevant material;
  3. be able to evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in a foreign language, at an advanced level;
  4. be able to respond to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an advanced level of complexity;
  5. be able to transfer these skills to other working environments, including postgraduate study.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation

Assessment Details

1 x 1000 word research proposal (summative, 25%), testing ILO's 1-5

1 x 4000 word essay (summative, 75%), testing ILOs 1-5.

Reading and References

Appelbaum, Nancy et al., Race and Nation in Latin America. London and Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003

Menchú, Rigoberta, I, Rigoberta Menchú. London: Verso Books, 1987

Sieder, Rachel (ed.), Multiculturalism in Latin America: Indigenous Rights, Diversity and Democracy. London: Palgrave, 2002

Yashar, Deborah, Contesting Citizenship in Latin America: The Rise of Indigenous Movements and the Postliberal Challenge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005