College of Arts and Sciences 
Department of History, Geography, and Political Science

Dr. Theron Corse

Course Description 

COURSE SYLLABUS HIST 4510, Colonial Latin American History I
  and HIST 6510, Seminar in Latin American History I

Semester/Year: Spring 2017 Office Location: Crouch Hall, 406A
Semester Hours of Credit: 3 Office Phone: 963-7457
Instructor: Dr. Theron Corse Alternate Phone: 963-5471
Class Meeting Location: Crouch (GRD) 318 E-Mail: tcorse@tnstate.edu
Day and Time:  MW 12:45-2:10

MIDTERM EXAM - DUE MAR 10 Submit in eLearn in tre Dropbox. Be sure to get the new readings fron Dr. Corse
Office Hours: MWF: 9:30-11;  TR: 9:30-11:00, 1-2:00


1. Research Question Paper  2. Book Review 3. Historiography Project (Graduate Students) 4. Mexican History Website


HIST 4510/6510 is an overview of Latin American history and culture from the Pre-Columbian civilizations to 1800, the eve of the wars of independence against the Spanish and Portuguese empires.

Purpose and rationale: This course will focus primarily on social and cultural issues, emphasizing gender, family, religion, race and class. There will be only a limited discussion of political history.  This course seeks to give students a general understanding of the foundational elements of Latin American society that will enable them to better understand modern Latin American cultures, countries, and individuals. It will also provide a foundation to prepare students for HIST 4520/6520.

Instructional Methodology: This class will combine lecture and discussion. Students will be expected to have done assigned readings and other assignments in order to participate in discussion.

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GOALS AND OBJECTIVES Content Objectives - Students completing HIST 4510/6510 should be familiar with:
  1. the broad outlines of Pre-Columbian history and culture, in particular the Mayan, Incan, and Aztec civilizations
  2. a background on Spanish and Portuguese history as it is relevant to Latin American society
  3. the broad outlines of colonial political history, including conquest and establishment and reformation of imperial government
  4. a basic knowledge of colonial economic and social structures
  5. a basic knowledge of colonial cultural elements, particularly in the areas of religion, race, family and gender
  6. the distinguishing characteristics between the major cultural areas and ethnic groups of colonial society

Competency Objectives - Students completing HIST 4510/6510 should be able to:

  1. distinguish between primary and secondary sources;
  2. evaluate claims about the past critically;
  3. gather and assess historical evidence;
  4. incorporate information gathered from research into well-written and grammatically correct essays;
  5. quote, paraphrase, summarize, and cite sources properly;
  6. comprehend tables, graphs, and charts;
  7. utilize information and communication technology

Special note for HIST 6510 students - Graduate students will be expected to demonstrate competency in historiography by preparing an historiographical paper.  

Audience/Prerequisites: This class is intended for all interested students, particularly History majors. There are no prerequisites, though Freshman English and any 1000 or 2000 level history course is recommended.

  • Eakin, Marshall. The History of Latin America: Collision of Cultures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) Amazon
  • Socolow, Susan M. The Women of Colonial Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2000) Amazon
  • Other readings will be made available on line, on reserve, or as handouts. Please see the course calendar.
EVALUATION Grades will be based on the assignments listed below. Assignments will be weighted as follows:  
Grade Distribution

Two Exams

2x25% each=50%



Map Quizzes


Book Review


Research Question Paper




The two exams (which includes the final) will be take home essay exams.  You will get the questions one week before the due date. Participation will be based on attendance and participation in discussion. Your class discussion will be evaluated primarily on the extent to which you participate. In order to participate in discussion, you will have to do the required readings before class. If you do not understand a reading, come prepared to class with questions about what you do not understand. Consult the calendar for a general idea of when readings will be discussed. I will instruct you on specific dates for upcoming readings at the end of each class. There are guidelines for the book review and the research question paper on this website. I will provide you with study guides for the map quizzes, either as links here or as handouts.

Graduate students will not do the research question paper or the book review but will do an historiography paper instead. I will discuss grade distribution (how much each assignment and test is worth) with the graduate students.

Evaluation criteria: Students will receive handouts explaining grading criteria. An example of criteria for the grading of an historical essay can be found here.

Assignments 1. Research Question Paper 2. Book Review 3. Historiography Project (Graduate Students)
Grades and their numerical equivalents are as follows:
Grading Scale
90 or above A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
59 or below F


Office Hours: Students who seek help with instructors during office hours get better grades. Do not wait until you have major problems! Students should speak to me any time they find themselves confused about material, directions, or grades. I am always ready to help any student who needs help with any of the material or any assignment. That's my job.

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Week Date (Wed) Topics and Assignments



Jan 16, 18 Eakin, 1-3
Socolow, 1-2


Jan 23, 25 Eakin, 1-3
Socolow, 1-2


Jan 30, Feb 1


Map quiz 1 Feb 1

Eakin, 4-6
Socolow, 2-3
Chipman, "Isabel Moctezuma"


Feb 6, 8


Eakin, 4-6
Socolow, 3


Feb 13, 15


Map quiz 2 Feb 15

Eakin, 7
Socolow, 8-9


Feb 20, 22

Midterm exam announced Feb 22


Eakin, 7
Socolow, 8-9


Feb 27-Mar 1 Eakin, 9
Socolow, 7
8 Mar 7, 9

Midterm exam due Mar 9, 4:00 pm

Spring Break Mar 12-19

Eakin, 8
9 Mar 20, 22

Book review due Mar 22

Eakin, 8
10 Mar 27, 29 Eakin, 8
11 Apr 3, 5


Eakin, 10
Socolow, 4-6
12 Apr 10, 12


Eakin, 10
Socolow, 4-6
13 Apr 17, 19

Research Question paper due Apr 19

Eakin, 11-13
Socolow, 10-11
14 Apr 24, 26

Final exam announced Apr 26

Eakin, 11-13
Socolow, 10-11
Finals Apr 29-May 5 Final exam due May 5  
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REQUIREMENTS Assignments Assignments: Assignments for this class will include reading, writing, and special projects. Readings maybe assigned not only from the text, but also from photocopied materials, library books, and Internet sources. Students are responsible for all work assigned in this class, whether or not they are present. Assignments must be completed on time. Late work will be penalized unless you have a good excuse, and no assignments will be accepted more than one week late. All students are expected to participate regularly in class discussions.  

Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance and Punctuality: Attendance and punctuality are expected of all students. Students are responsible for all material, tests and assignments, regardless of attendance or punctuality. The professor is under no obligation to give make-ups or accept late work caused by unexcused absence or tardiness. The professor reserves the right to deduct from the student's participation grade for more than three unexcused absences and to deduct up to a letter grade from the final grade for excessive unexcused absences (10% of class hours). The professor reserves the right to fail students who miss more that 20% of class hours. Thos students who know that they will have a consistent problem due to scheduling conflicts should discuss this with the professor at the beginning of the semester.

Special Note on Academic Honesty

Students should be aware that a university is a community of scholars committed to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge and truth. Without freedom to investigate all materials, scrupulous honesty in reporting findings, and proper acknowledgment of credit, such a community can not survive. Students are expected to adhere to the highest traditions of scholarship. Infractions of these traditions, such as plagiarism  and other forms of cheating, are not tolerated. Misrepresenting someone else's words or ideas as one's own constitutes plagiarism. In cases where plagiarism occurs, the instructor has the right to penalize the student(s) as he or she thinks appropriate. As a general guideline, I given students a zero on the assignment for the first offence and an "F" in the course for a second offence, but I reserve the right to give a student an "F" in the course for any offence. When in doubt as to whether use of any material or idea would constitute plagiarism, ask the instructor. 

Class Participation

Class Participation: Preparation: since students are expected to participate in class discussion, it is important to complete all the assigned readings before coming to class. Students are expected to understand the material, or to have identified what they do not yet understand in order to ask questions in class. All students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned material.

Students are expected to observe normal courtesy in class. They are expected to pay attention to the instructor, to take detailed notes, to refrain from personal conversation, and to avoid any other behavior that disturbs others. A student who does not observe these courtesies maybe asked to leave the room. 
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Back to Contents Last Updated: Jan 28, 2013


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