Modern Mexico: Continuities and Change Spring 2011 John Lear



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History 380: Modern Mexico: Continuities and Change


Spring 2011
John Lear

Wyatt 136, : 879-2792; E-mail: lear@ups.edu


Office Hours: Monday, 10:30-11:30, Wednesday 10:30-11:30, Thursday 2-3, or by appointment
This course begins with the developments leading to the Revolution of 1910 as a focus for a broader discussion and understanding of modern Mexican history in the last 150 years. The Revolution was one of the great social upheavals of the twentieth century, and from its conflicts--and in the name of social justice and national autonomy--emerged one of the most stable regimes in Latin America. The symbols of the Revolution have pervaded all aspects of modern Mexican existence, from the discourse of the government of the hegemonic PRI ("Revolutionary Institutional Party") to the recurrent opposition of peasant, worker and middle-class opposition movements.
How and to what degree was the Mexican Revolution a watershed in Mexican history? This course addresses this underlying question, beginning with the 30-year "modernizing" regime of Porfirio Díaz, its dissolution in 1910, and the decade of military turmoil that followed. We then examine the consolidation of the post-revolutionary regime by 1940, the rise and demise of the "Mexican Miracle" from 1940 to 1968, and recent economic reforms and political challenges that emerged during the “debt and democracy” crises of the 1980s and 1990s, culminating in the first defeat of the PRI in presidential elections in 2000.
Within this narrative periodization, we will focus on the following themes: the historiography of the Mexican Revolution itself (from populist to revisionist interpretations, to recent syntheses); rural revolt and agrarian reform; the nature of the Mexican state and its relationship with different social classes and with the United States; the gendered nature of revolutionary reform and resistance; and the recurrence of political, cultural and social dissent in the decades since the “institutionalization” of the revolution in both urban and rural settings. In the final weeks of the course, we consider recent Mexican attempts at economic liberalization and integration with the United States, the opening up of the political system, and the social conflicts such attempts at reform entail, such as the agrarian and indigenous "Zapatista" rebellion in the southern state of Chiapas in the 1990s. The course thus ends where it began, with a cycle of modernization and revolt, suggesting the constant dialogue between past and present.
Readings: The historical literature on modern Mexico is rich and one of the most extensive in the field of Latin American history. Our focus is on secondary readings in English, but whenever possible, additional primary sources (translations of original texts, testimonial accounts, media images, and US documents) will be used in class to complement the readings. In additional to monographs and oral histories of rural and urban revolt, we will also read an example of the new cultural history on Mexican rock and roll. Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests and the many types of history not covered in this course in their presentations and final paper.

The following required books are available in the bookstore.




  • Michael J. Gonzales, The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940.

  • Samuel Brunk, ¡Emiliano Zapata! Revolution and Betrayal in Mexico

  • Eric Zolov, Refried Elvis: The rise of the Mexican counterculture

  • Tanalís Padilla, Rural Resistance in the Land of Zapata

  • Elena Poniatowska, Massacre in Mexico

All assigned readings not listed above are available on Moodle.


Participation: The heart of this course will be reading and discussion rather than lectures. You should come to every class, be prepared with questions and thoughts about the readings, and participate fully in the discussions. Most class sessions will begin with each student talking for one or two minutes about that day's readings, though we will use other formats, such as individual and group presentations on readings and groups taking charge of readings on particular days. But regardless of the format, you should come to every class having done the reading and prepared to discuss. Interaction among students and with the instructor is vital to the over-all success of the course as well as to a good grade. Class participation is 15 percent of the final course grade. Active and prepared participation can bring a B grade up to an A, while sporadic attendance or lackluster participation can drop it to a C. Students who miss more than two classes will lose 1 % of the course grade for each additional absence.
EXAMS: There is a midterm but no final.
Daily Writing: You will regularly write a printed, one-paragraph summary of the readings for each class day, except when papers are due or alternative exercises are assigned. I suggest that you write this summary for every class, but I will only ask half of the class to turn it in during any given class, as scheduled below (Group A, Bolton through Hafner; Group B, Hampton through Van Patten). Each summary should include a minimum of four sentences answering the following questions:
What is this reading about (include author and title)?

What is the author’s argument? How does she support this argument?

(Optional: How does this reading compare to others we have done?)
It should also include two numbered questions or observations/reactions to the reading for discussion. If there is more than one reading, focus on the most substantial reading. If they seem roughly equal, focus on one and make some contrast to at least one other of that day’s reading. I will grade these paragraphs on a scale of twenty and drop your lowest score. I may occasionally vary this format with specific questions or short written assignments based on the readings that will count instead of the summaries. These regular writings will constitute 15% of your course grade.
Essays: You will write two formal (around 6 and 8 pages respectively) papers and a final paper (around 10 pages). Further guidelines to writing assignments will be handed out and/or discussed in class. I will drop the grade on late papers five percentage points for each working day the papers are late, except in the case of medical or family emergencies that are communicated to me before the paper is due. I will not accept late papers after five class days.
If you are not accustomed to writing History papers, I encourage you to make an appointment at the Center for Writing and Learning in Howarth to go over one or several of your papers. The Harvard Writing Center also has a useful website for advice on writing papers: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~wricntr/index.cgi?section=tools
FINAL ESSAY: Students should begin thinking about and doing research on this paper soon after the midterm. For the final paper students will develop a topic of their own choice. It can be a review essay of specific books, a "thought" essay grounded in specific readings, or a very preliminary research paper. The goal is to give students the chance to pursue more deeply a theme from the course that they found interesting, or else define a topic not included but related to the issues of the course. Students who choose the first two options must read at least one additional book beyond what has been assigned and should choose a topic by the tenth week and clear it with me. On the last days of class students will make graded presentations based on their draft papers.
Grading:

Participation: 15%

Daily Summaries 15%

Final Presentation: 5%

Mid-term: 15%

First essay: 10%

Second essay: 15%

Final essay: 25%


Total 100%
Our Virtual Classroom: We will make occasional use of the Moodle website to communicate outside of class, post readings, paper guidelines and announcements, and to turn in digital copies of papers. You should visit Moodle and print out the documents assigned for Tuesday, Jan. 25, so that if there is any problem, we can figure it out well before you need to do the reading. Course Schedule

Part I. Roots and Revisions of the 1910 Revolution

Week 1 . Intro

1/18, Tuesday. Introduction.
1/20, Thursday. Read and discuss:


  • Gonzales. The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940. Introduction and Ch. One, pp. 1-59. See chronology, p. 180.


Turn in a one-page, printed introduction--anything you would like your professor to know about you. There is a book award for the liveliest, most informative introduction.
*Map Worksheet (fill in the Mexican states, national capital and 3 Sierra Madre mountain ranges. The first two items you can find in Gonzales, p. 4)
PREP: Be ready to generalize about the economic and political programs and general nature of the Porfirian regime, and the related social developments.
GROUP A paragraph due.
Week 2 . Porfirian "Liberalism"/Madero and Political Revolt

Assign them (in pairs) questions on nature of porfiriato: economics, social, political

See Casasola, Historia Grafica de la Revolucion. On reserve.

Video?

Started off w/ map. I talked about geography, demography, RRs.

Then each talked about photos. worked well. Then first half of PBS video: Mexico

1/25. Tuesday. Read and discuss.



  • Gonzales. The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940. Chs. Two and Three, pp. 60-111.

  • Document: Mexican Liberal Party Program, 1906

  • Document: Creelman’s interview with Porfirio Díaz:

  • Document: Madero's Manifesto and the Plan de San Luis Potosí

GROUP B paragraph due.




  1. GROUP A: Do one of the following:

  1. Find, bring to class, and be ready to discuss a photograph, image or newspaper article from the period of the porfiriato or the revolution. Hints: Look in the stacks, or look for internet collections such as that of the National Archives.

  2. Find an interesting primary document from the same period, print it out, and be ready to present and discuss it with the rest of the class. Suggested site:

http://historicaltextarchive.com/sections.php?op=listarticles&secid=30
1/27, Thursday. Read and discuss:

Gonzales. The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940. Chs. Four, Five and Six, pp. 112-181



  • Document: Articles 27 and 123 of the 1917 Constitution

GROUP A paragraph due.




  1. GROUP B: Do one of the following:

  1. Find, bring to class, and be ready to discuss a photograph, image or newspaper article from the period of the revolution. Hints: Look in the stacks, or look for internet collections such as that of the National Archives.

  2. Find an interesting primary document from the same period, print it out, and be ready to present and discuss it with the rest of the class. Suggested site:

http://historicaltextarchive.com/sections.php?op=listarticles&secid=30

Week 3 Reading the Revolution: Populists and Revisionists

2/1, Tuesday. HISTORIOGRAPHY OF THE REVOLUTION: Read and discuss:


  • Frank Tannenbaum, Peace by Revolution, (1932), ch 13, pp. 175-183.

  • Ramón Ruiz, "A profile of Rebels," (1980) pp. 125-139.

John Womack, Jr, Intro to “The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1920,” in the

Cambridge History of Latin America, Vol. 5, (1986) pp. 79-82

Alan Knight, The Mexican Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), vol. 2, pp. 517-527


Think about these interpretations of the revolution in terms of historical context and the sequence in which each was written.
GROUP B paragraph due. Compare at least two of the readings.
Strongly recommended for this class and your paper (links also on Blackboard):
David C. Bailey, “Revisionism and the Recent Historiography of the Mexican Revolution,” The Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 58, No. 1. (Feb., 1978), pp. 62-79.

Stable JSTOR URL from a UPS computer: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0018-2168%28197802%2958%3A1%3C62%3ARATRHO%3E2.0.CO%3B2-0


John Foran, “Reinventing the Mexican Revolution: The Competing paradigms of Alan Knight and John Mason Hart.” Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 23, (Autumn, 1996), pp. 115-131. Stable link for JSTOR from a UPS computer: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0094582X%28199623%2923%3A4%3C115%3ARTMRTC%3E2.0.CO%3B2-K
Part II. The Geography of Revolution

2/3, Thursday. Read and discuss:

Samuel Brunk, ¡Emiliano Zapata!. Chapters 1-3, pp. 1-80.


  • Document: Plan of Ayala

GROUP A paragraph due.


Week 4. Viva Zapata!

2/8, Tuesday. Read and discuss:

Samuel Brunk, ¡Emiliano Zapata!. Chapters 4-6, pp. 81-170.
GROUP B paragraph due.
2/10, Thursday. Read and discuss:

Samuel Brunk, ¡Emiliano Zapata!. Chapters 7-9, pp. 171-239.


GROUP A paragraph due.
Week 5. The Sonoran Dynasty and the Cardenista Utopia

2/15, Tuesday. Read and discuss:



  • Gonzales. The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940. Chs. Seven and Eight, pp. 182-220

  • Reading TBA on the “Cristero Rebellion”

Video: Revolution, 1910-1940 (WGBH), second half.
GROUP B paragraph due.
2/17, Thursday. Read and discuss:

  • Gonzales. The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940. Chs. Nine and Conclusion, pp. 221-270.

  • Mary K Vaughan, Cultural Politics in Revolution: Teachers, Peasants, and Schools in Mexico, 1930-1940, excerpt.

GROUP A paragraph due.


*Essay ONE due by Friday at 5:00 to Moodle.
Part III The Institutional Revolution and the Legacy of Revolt
Week 6. The Children of Zapata

2/22, Tuesday. Read and discuss:



  • Tanalís Padilla, Rural Resistance in the Land of Zapata, intro and chs. 1-2.

GROUP B paragraph due.


2/24, Thursday. Read and discuss:

  • Padilla, Rural Resistance, chs. 3-5.

Sign up for article presentations. See list on Moodle
GROUP A paragraph due.

Be sure here to compare to Womack essay


Week 7 Rebellion and Insurrection

3/1, Tuesday. Read and discuss:



  • Padilla, Rural Resistance, chs. 6-7, conclusion.

GROUP B paragraph due.


3/3, Thursday.

  • Group article presentations and Review.

Short writing on article due.


Week 8 Review/Midterm

3/8, Tuesday. Group Article presentations and Review.


Short writing on article due.
3/10, Thursday. Midterm

SPRING BREAK, 3/14-18

Week 9. Urban Resistance

3/22, Tuesday. Read and discuss:

Elena Poniatowska, Massacre in Mexico (Columbia: University of Missouri, 1975).pp. 1-101.video, PBS

Video: "From Boom to Bust," first half.
GROUP A paragraph due.
3/24, Thursday. Read and discuss:
Elena Poniatowska, Massacre,pp. 101-208
GROUP B paragraph due.
*consider topics for final essay
xElizabeth Salas? see her essay in Kay Vaughan ed,

Week 10 Refried Elvis

3/29, Tuesday. Read and discuss:


  • Elena Poniatowska, Massacre,pp. 209-end

  • Julia Preston and Samuel Dillon, ch. 3, “1968” in Opening Mexico

GROUP A paragraph due.


3/31, Thursday. Read and discuss:

  • Eric Zolov, Refried Elvis: The rise of the Mexican counterculture, pp. 1-92

Websites on Mexican Rock and Roll:



  • www.losrockindevils.com [has excellent clips of rock'n roll from early 1960s tv series, "Orfeon a Go Go]

  • www.raybrazen.com

GROUP B paragraph due.


Week 11 The Mexican Counterculture

4/5, Tuesday. Read and discuss:



  • Zolov, Refried Elvis, pp. 93-188.

GROUP A paragraph due.


4/7, Thursday.

View “Herod’s Law” (John away at a conference)


Essay Two, Option one due by 5:00 Friday to Moodle.

Week 12. Mexico’s Woodstock

4/12, Tuesday: Read and discuss:


  • Eric Zolov, Refried Elvis: The rise of the Mexican counterculture, pp. 188-233, 249-259.

Video: From Boom to Bust, second half.
GROUP B paragraph due.
4/14, Thursday. Read and discuss:
Individual meetings with John on final projects
prepare one-page summary of plans and sources for final presentation and essay.

Essay Two, Option two due by 5:00 Friday to Moodle.

look at brief Donald Mabry essay in SR, Molding the hearts and minds

give them ch. 6, hellman, mex in crisis, on 68


Week 13 Chiapas and the Neo-Zapatista Revolt
4/19, Tuesday. Read and discuss:

  • Lynn Stephen, ¡Zapata Lives! Histories and Cultural Politics in Southern Mexico (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), pp. 91-146

GROUP A paragraph due.


4/21, Thursday. Read and discuss:

  • Lynn Stephen, ¡Zapata Lives!, pp. 147-218.

  • Julia Preston and Samuel Dillon, Opening Mexico, Excerpts

GROUP B paragraph due.


Week 14 Presentations
4/26, Tuesday. Read and discuss:
*Class presentations on final paper topic, around 15 minutes each
Divide up lives for these days, each presents

4/4/4/28, Thursday. Read and discuss:


*Class presentations on final paper topic, around 15 minutes each
Week 15 Presentations

5/3, Tuesday. Read and Discuss:


*Class presentations on final paper topic, around 15 minutes each
Special Assignment: Prepare a position paper (1-2 pages) on the Chiapas rebellion from one of the following perspectives: the indigenous peasants, the church, the landed elite, the Mexican government, US investors in Mexico.
Debate? debate on chiapas this AM and we all had to be

"in character," so i even wore a white turtleneck and cross; it was very

lively! we had peasants, churchpeople, landed elite, military, zapatistas,

No Final.


FINAL ESSAY due no later than 5pm on May 10 to Moodle. This is an absolute deadline.




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