HIST. 368: A History of Afro-Latin America

Instructor: Robert Schwaller

Day & Time:
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Category Fulfillment: II

Painting of three Afro-Indigenous men, Don Pedro, Don Francisco and Don Domingo Arrobe. The men sport facial piecings, wear robes and 16th robes, hold spears and hats.

History of Afro-Latin America 

This course examines the history of Africans in Latin America from 1492 through the early 1800s. We will examine how Africans and their descendants constructed and maintained communities in Spanish and Portuguese America. Of particular importance are the diverse ways that Afro-descended persons created social spaces for themselves. While Afro-Latin American experiences were shaped by the trans-Atlantic slave trade and racism of colonial society, Africans and their descendants found ways to transcend slavery and discrimination and forge unique cultures in the Americas.

HIST 368 will emphasize in-class discussions. Periodic lectures will help introduce new concepts and content. Most discussions will focus on understanding and unpacking course readings. A goal of this course is to better understand the methods and approaches used by historians to study people of color. The readings help students understand the experiences of Africans in Latin America while also illustrating the strategies that historians have used to access those, often hidden, histories.  Students will complete short writing assignments (100-200 words) about once per week. The course also asks students to identify a contemporary issue facing Afro-descended residents of Latin America. The final assignment asks students to write a 7-10 page paper identifying how historical forces shaped the issue they identified.


HIST 368 course satisfies Goal 3 H of the KU Core.