HST201-Spring 2011 Description

This course intends to introduce the students in the use and analysis of films for the study and research of history. It also presents the history of the Latin America in the Twentieth Century from a dialectical perspective; one the one side we are going to analyze a particular set of historical moments and on the other how these moments as represented and remembered.
This class is most importantly an introduction to the field and methods of history. We will discuss particular definitions, methods and approaches to history. Particularly we will center our analysis on the study of film as a source and representation of history. Using the Twentieth Century in Latin America as a focus of our analysis we will develop the pitfalls and opportunities of using cinema to address the historical context out of which each film emerged and to which each film speaks. Secondarily, we will also learn how to read films critically as visual texts. Hence, the readings for the course will combine historical narrative and documents alongside theoretical texts that examine the question of film as a site of critical discourse.
This course is divided in two major sections. In the first section (01/11/11 to 02/03/11) we will engage in theoretical and methodological approaches to historical research. I have designed this section as a set of short lectures accompanied with plenty of class discussion. Coming prepared to class by doing the reading is a must. In the second section (02/22/11 to 05/03/11) we will analyze seven moments in the history of Latin America through the analysis of seven films. All these films will be shown in class and there will be required and recommended readings as well as oral presentation from selected students. This section of the course relies heavily in student discussion and participation.