Eighteenth-century casta painting entitled “de español y mestiza castiza_español”

Important information

  1. Instructor: John Garrigus https://johngarrigus.com/
  2. Email: please use the BlackBoard email when possible; otherwise write garrigus@uta.edu with “4366” in the subject line.
  3. Office: University Hall 343
  4. Office Hours: Monday 2 to 4; Thursday, 2:30 to 3:30. You can also make an appointment via email to talk on the phone, in person, or via Skype
  5. UTA’s BlackBoard site: http://elearn.uta.edu/
  6.  Quick link to the Class schedule, below


Focusing on the years from 1300 to 1825, this course charts the emergence of creole cultures in Mexico, Central America and South America in the years before political independence from Europe. We will focus on the cultural, social, and economic history of Latin America and, necessarily, on the indigenous, Iberian, and West African societies that shaped it. As we will do this we will use and discuss the intellectual tools and approaches historians use to understand the past. Our readings reflect the ongoing “revisionism” that is an essential aspect of historical thinking.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will be be able to accurately describe interpretations of specific aspects of the history of colonial Latin America as expressed in class readings and lectures. (assessed in on-line quizzes and country projects)
  2. Students will demonstrate critical thinking in the interpretation of images, video, and texts about the history of Latin America (assessed in weekly discussion board postings)
  3. Students will be able to research and write original essays connecting class lectures and readings with events in the colonial history of a specific Latin American country (assessed in country projects)


What I expect of you

  • I expect you to be in contact with me via the Blackboard email system about any questions or issues that you are having. The discussion boards are also a good place to raise general questions or concerns and I may put my answers there as well.
  • I expect you to keep up with the weekly pace of the class. Each week, starting on Monday, will have its own separate web page, with links to the lectures, quizzes, and discussion boards.
  • I expect you withdraw from the class if you find that you can’t keep up with the course for any reason. I don’t have the power to do this. The sooner you drop, the better for your finances and transcript.
  • I expect you to be able to find a solution for any technical problem that comes up during the semester. This sounds harsh, but we all need to recognize that there is very little I can do to help you with a computer crash or a prolonged lack of Internet service. If you run into problems on your end that can’t be fixed over a period of, say, two weeks, I recommend that you drop the class. My goal in saying this is to get you to cut your losses and withdraw before your GPA suffers.
  • If you are one of the Show-N-Tell leaders for a given week, I expect you to post your materials or link to that week’s discussion board by 8am Monday of that week.
  • I expect you to look carefully at the posted criteria [I call them “grading grids”] for the different projects before you undertake them; you will find these under “Assignment Descriptions.”
  • I take plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty quite seriously, maybe more than other history instructors you have had.
  • I expect you to study the plagiarism definitions and consequences in the “Class Policies” section of the syllabus and to ask me if you have general or specific questions, at any time in the semester.

What you can expect of me

  1. I will answer your email within 24 hours if you send it through the BlackBoard mail system.
  2. I’ll give you ten days–Monday through Wednesday–to complete the discussion work and take the weekly quiz on the lectures. For example, the assignments for a unit that starts on Monday, September 1 will be open until 11:59pm Wednesday, September 10. However, once the deadline is past, you’ll be locked out.
  3. I will let you take the weekly quizzes twice, counting the highest score. Individually these quizzes are not worth a lot, but they are designed to prepare you for the exams and to reinforce the material in the lecture.
  4. I will give you extensions of a few days for our essay exams and final project IF you are keeping up with the quizzes and discussion.
  5. I will give you detailed feedback on your essay exams based on the grading grids. On subsequent exams you can expect me to grade you on whether you used my feedback to improve your work.
  6. I will be glad to meet you in person! You are welcome to drop by during my on-campus office hours but I may have another appointment. Making your own appointment with me is the best thing ! If you would like to meet in person but can’t come to office hours, send me a message and I’ll try to find a mutually convenient time we can get together on campus.

Required Materials:

  1. Charles C. Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (Vintage Books, 2006) ISBN: 9781400032051
  2. Matthew Restall, Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest (Oxford University Press, 2004) ISBN: 9780195176117
  3. Junia Ferreira Furtado, Chica da Silva: A Brazilian Slave of the Eighteenth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
  4. John Charles Chasteen, Americanos: Latin America’s Struggle for Independence (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).
  5. Computer equipment: I highly recommend that you have broadband access and a traditional computer/laptop as opposed to a cell phone or IPad. The course lectures are delivered in various streaming video formats that change from week to week and it is possible that portable devices won’t support these formats. The Blackboard on-line quizzes are NOT guaranteed to work on these portable devices either.

Major Assignments:

Syllabus quiz

We’ll start this course with a multiple-choice quiz over the course syllabus documents and policies. Like all our quizzes, you can take it twice and keep the highest score.

Readings, Lectures, and Quizzes

On a weekly basis, you’ll read one of our four books and watch on-line lectures in screencast format. Some of the lectures will review important or difficult elements of the reading, and others will go deeper into historical topics. The lectures are NOT substitutes for reading the books, but are designed to help you get more out of them. You’ll have about 30 minutes of screencast lectures to watch every week, with a weekly multiple-choice quiz of about 7 questions on the content. You’ll be able to take each quiz twice within a 9-day window. Your highest score will count.

Quizzes on “Unpacking the Evidence”:

For four weeks during the semester, you will be assigned to read the materials and do the exercises on a website called World History: Unpacking the Evidence. [http://chnm.gmu.edu/worldhistorysources/whmunpacking.html] One week, for example, we will do a unit on using images (paintings, photographs) as primary sources, for example. Another week the unit will be about using official documents. There will be a five-question multiple-choice quiz on these materials during each of these four weeks. “Unpacking the Sources” will also provide you the know-how to complete your Show-N-Tell assignment. And for each of those four weeks the Unpacking the Evidence site will be the basis of our weekly discussion.

Show-N-Tell (SNT):

In week one you will pick one of the four types of primary sources [images, maps, official documents, and personal accounts] we will cover in “Unpacking the Evidence.” Then you will sign up to do an SNT, analyzing an example of that type of primary source, using the skills we will study in “Unpacking the Evidence”. The course schedule shows when each of the different primary sources has its SNT week on the discussion board. You will then choose your specific primary source from a list I will provide. For example, if you choose to do your SNT on an image, you would select an image from among those I supply on Blackboard. Then on the Monday that begins Week 3, all the image people will post their image [or text, for others] on the discussion board, along with a critical analysis of that material. I will supply you will a detailed template for this analysis. During week 3, all the other students in the class will review and critique the image analyses posted for these SNTs. Part of your SNT grade is for playing an active role in the class discussion of your post during that week.

Weekly discussions:

During each of the 9 weeks when you aren’t doing an SNT, you’ll be making two discussion posts about the “Unpacking” website, or the SNTs posted that week. I’ll assign you a discussion grade of 1 to 10 for each of those 9 weeks.

Country Projects:

  • You’ll choose one Latin American country in week one and will write three five-page papers about that country. These “Country Projects” will ask you to explain and illustrate how themes from the assigned books can be seen in the history and culture of your country.
  • Country Project #1 is due [2017-02-10 Fri] 5pm
  • Country Project #2 is due [2017-03-03 Fri] 5pm
  • Country Project #3 is due [2017-04-14 Fri] 5pm

Final Country Project:

  • At the end of the semester you’ll use a template I provide to combine your three country project assignments, plus a fourth segment written about independence, into a single larger paper about the country you picked.
  • Final Country Project is due 11:59pm, Monday, early May

Grading Policy:

At the end of the semester, students who have accumulated 900 or more points will receive a “A”; 800 to 899 is a “B”; 700 to 799 is a “C”; and 600 to 699 is “D”. Less than 600 points is a failing grade.

Assignment Points
Syllabus quiz 50
4 quizzes on “Unpacking” 20
14 quizzes @ 7 pts 98
9 discussions @ 10 pts 90
1 Show-N-Tell presentation 92
Country Project 1 100
Country Project 2 140
Country Project 3 160
Final Country Project 250
TOTAL 1000

Important Policies:


At The University of Texas at Arlington, taking attendance is not required. Rather, each faculty member is free to develop his or her own methods of evaluating students’ academic performance, which includes establishing course-specific policies on attendance. As the instructor of this on-line course, I use the weekly quizzes and discussion assignments to gauge your active involvement in the class but I do not have a separate attendance grade.

Drop Policy:

Students may drop or swap (adding and dropping a class concurrently) classes through self-service in MyMav from the beginning of the registration period through the late registration period. After the late registration period, students must see their academic advisor to drop a class or withdraw. Undeclared students must see an advisor in the University Advising Center. Drops can continue through a point two-thirds of the way through the term or session. It is the student’s responsibility to officially withdraw if they do not plan to attend after registering. Students will not be automatically dropped for non-attendance. Repayment of certain types of financial aid administered through the University may be required as the result of dropping classes or withdrawing. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information. (http://wweb.uta.edu/aao/fao/)

Disability Accomodations:

UT Arlington is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of all federal equal opportunity legislation, including The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. All instructors at UT Arlington are required by law to provide “reasonable accommodations” to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of disability. Students are responsible for providing the instructor with official notification in the form of a letter certified by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). Only those students who have officially documented a need for an accommodation will have their request honored. Students experiencing a range of conditions (Physical, Learning, Chronic Health, Mental Health, and Sensory) that may cause diminished academic performance or other barriers to learning may seek services and/or accommodations by contacting The Office for Students with Disabilities, (OSD) or calling 817-272-3364. Information regarding diagnostic criteria and policies for obtaining disability-based academic accommodations can be found at http://www.uta.edu/disability. Counseling and Psychological Services, (CAPS) are also available to all students to help increase their understanding of personal issues, address mental and behavioral health problems and make positive changes in their lives. http://www.uta.edu/caps/ or call 817-272-3671.

Non-Discrimination Policy:

The University of Texas at Arlington does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, genetic information, and/or veteran status in its educational programs or activities it operates. For more information, visit http://uta.edu/eos.

Title IX:

The University of Texas at Arlington (“University”) is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free from discrimination based on sex in accordance with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits sex discrimination in employment; and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act). Sexual misconduct is a form of sex discrimination and will not be tolerated. For information regarding Title IX, visit www.uta.edu/titleIX or contact Ms. Jean Hood, Vice President and Title IX Coordinator at (817) 272-7091 or jmhood@uta.edu.

Academic Integrity:

Students enrolled in all UT Arlington courses are expected to adhere to the UT Arlington Honor Code:

I pledge, on my honor, to uphold UT Arlington’s tradition of academic integrity, a tradition that values hard work and honest effort in the pursuit of academic excellence.

I promise that I will submit only work that I personally create or contribute to group collaborations, and I will appropriately reference any work from other sources. I will follow the highest standards of integrity and uphold the spirit of the Honor Code.

UT Arlington faculty members may employ the Honor Code as they see fit in their courses, including (but not limited to) having students acknowledge the honor code as part of an examination or requiring students to incorporate the honor code into any work submitted. Per UT System Regents’ Rule 50101, §2.2, suspected violations of university’s standards for academic integrity (including the Honor Code) will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. Violators will be disciplined in accordance with University policy, which may result in the student’s suspension or expulsion from the University. Additional information is available at https://www.uta.edu/conduct/.

Electronic Communication:

UT Arlington has adopted MavMail as its official means to communicate with students about important deadlines and events, as well as to transact university-related business regarding financial aid, tuition, grades, graduation, etc. All students are assigned a MavMail account and are responsible for checking the inbox regularly. There is no additional charge to students for using this account, which remains active even after graduation. Information about activating and using MavMail is available at http://www.uta.edu/oit/cs/email/mavmail.php.

Campus Carry:

Effective August 1, 2016, the Campus Carry law (Senate Bill 11) allows those licensed individuals to carry a concealed handgun in buildings on public university campuses, except in locations the University establishes as prohibited. Under the new law, openly carrying handguns is not allowed on college campuses. For more information, visit http://www.uta.edu/news/info/campus-carry/

Student Feedback Survey:

At the end of each term, students enrolled in classes categorized as lecture, seminar, or laboratory shall be directed to complete a Student Feedback Survey (SFS). Instructions on how to access the SFS for this course will be sent directly to each student through MavMail approximately 10 days before the end of the term. Each student’s feedback enters the SFS database anonymously and is aggregated with that of other students enrolled in the course. Students’ anonymity will be protected to the extent that the law allows. UT Arlington’s effort to solicit, gather, tabulate, and publish student feedback is required by state law and aggregate results are posted online. Data from SFS is also used for faculty and program evaluations. For more information, visit http://www.uta.edu/sfs.

Final Review Week:

For semester-long courses, a period of five class days prior to the first day of final examinations in the long sessions shall be designated as Final Review Week. The purpose of this week is to allow students sufficient time to prepare for final examinations. During this week, there shall be no scheduled activities such as required field trips or performances; and no instructor shall assign any themes, research problems or exercises of similar scope that have a completion date during or following this week unless specified in the class syllabus. During Final Review Week, an instructor shall not give any examinations constituting 10% or more of the final grade, except makeup tests and laboratory examinations. In addition, no instructor shall give any portion of the final examination during Final Review Week. During this week, classes are held as scheduled. In addition, instructors are not required to limit content to topics that have been previously covered; they may introduce new concepts as appropriate.

Student Support Services:

UT Arlington provides a variety of resources and programs designed to help students develop academic skills, deal with personal situations, and better understand concepts and information related to their courses. Resources include tutoring, major-based learning centers, developmental education, advising and mentoring, personal counseling, and federally funded programs. For individualized referrals, students may visit the reception desk at University College (Ransom Hall), call the Maverick Resource Hotline at 817-272-6107, send a message to resources@uta.edu, or view the information at http://www.uta.edu/universitycollege/resources/index.php.

The IDEAS Center (2nd Floor of Central Library)

offers free tutoring to all students with a focus on transfer students, sophomores, veterans and others undergoing a transition to UT Arlington. To schedule an appointment with a peer tutor or mentor email IDEAS@uta.edu or call (817) 272-6593.

The English Writing Center (411LIBR):

The Writing Center Offers free tutoring in 20-, 40-, or 60-minute face-to-face and online sessions to all UTA students on any phase of their UTA coursework. Our hours are 9 am to 8 pm Mon.-Thurs., 9 am-3 pm Fri. and Noon-6 pm Sat. and Sun. Register and make appointments online at http://uta.mywconline.com/. Classroom Visits, workshops, and specialized services for graduate students are also available. Please see www.uta.edu/owl for detailed information on all our programs and services.

The Library’s 2nd floor Academic Plaza

offers students a central hub of support services, including IDEAS Center, University Advising Services, Transfer UTA and various college/school advising hours. Services are available during the library’s hours of operation. http://library.uta.edu/academic-plaza

The History Librarian is Rafia Mirza

You can contact her at rafia@uta.edu or 817-272-7428


Week 1: [2017-01-16 Mon] The World in the 1400s and “The Encounter”

  • Take syllabus quiz
  • Sign up for Show-N-Tell
  • Approx. 27 minutes of on-line lectures, plus quiz
  • Email Dr. G. about your country project choice
  • Read Mann, ix-xii, Chasteen, Preface; Mann, Ch1 (3-30)
  • Make 2 discussion postings about the reading and your country choice

Week 2: [2017-01-23 Mon] The Achievements of Early Americans

  • Approx. 25 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Go to Using Images As Primary Sources; read “Getting Started,” “Questions to Ask,” “Sample Analysis”
  • Complete “You Be the Historian” exercise; take “Unpacking” quiz;
  • Make 2 discussion posts on “Using Images”
  • Read Mann, Ch2 (33-67), Ch3 (68-106) and Ch4 (107-150)

Week 3: [2017-01-30 Mon] Early Americans and the Environment

  • Image Show-N-Tell postings due Monday 8am
  • Approx. 33 Minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Read Mann, Ch 6 (194-227), Ch7 (228-270)and Ch9 (315-349)
  • Make 2 discussion postings about the SNTs on images

Week 4: [2017-02-06 Mon] Looking More Closely at the Conquest; CP1 due

  • CP1 due at 5pm Friday
  • Approx. 27 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Restall, xiii-xix & Ch1 (1-27); Restall, Ch2 (24-43)
  • Make 2 discussion postings

Week 5: [2017-02-13 Mon] African & Indian Conquistadors

  • Go to Using Maps as Primary Sources; read “Getting Started,” “Questions to Ask,” “Sample Analysis”
  • Complete “You Be the Historian” exercise; take “Unpacking” quiz;
  • Approx. 20 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Make 2 discussion postings about “Using Maps”
  • Restall Ch3 (44-63); Restall Ch4 (64-76) & Ch5 (77-99)

Week 6: [2017-02-20 Mon] Stories about Destruction of Civilizations

  • Maps SNT postings due Monday 8am
  • Approx. 18 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Restall, Ch6 (100-130); Restall Ch7 (131-145) & Epilogue (147-157)

Week 7: [2017-02-27 Mon] People of mixed ancestry; CP2 due

  • CP2 due Friday at 5pm
  • Approx. 23 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Make 2 discussion postings about the SNTs on maps
  • Furtado, preface (xvii-xxv); Introduction (1-19); Furtado, Ch1 (20-39)

Week 8: [2017-03-06 Mon] Colonial economies

  • Go to Using Official Documents as Primary Sources; read “Getting Started,” “Questions to Ask,” “Sample Analysis”
  • Complete “You Be the Historian” exercise; take “Unpacking” quiz;
  • Approx. 20 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Make 2 discussion postings about “Using Official Documents”

Spring Break [2017-03-13 Mon]

Week 9: [2017-03-20 Mon] Brazil and Africa

  • Approx. 30 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Furtado, Ch2 (40-68), Furtado, Ch3 (69-103)
  • Make 2 discussion postings

Week 10: [2017-03-27 Mon] Urban spaces

  • Official documents SNTs due Monday 8am
  • Approx. 33 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Make 2 discussion postings about the SNTs on official documents
  • Furtado, Ch4 (104-129); Furtado, Ch5 (130-161)

Week 11: [2017-04-03 Mon] Reforming Two Empires

  • Approx. 26 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Furtado, Ch6 (162-192); Furtado, Ch7 & Ch8 (193-238)
  • Make 2 discussion postings

Week 12: [2017-04-10 Mon] The American, French and Haitian Revolutions; CP3 due

  • CP3 due Friday at 5pm
  • Go to Using Personal Accounts as Primary Sources; read “Getting Started,” “Questions to Ask,” “Sample Analysis”
  • Complete “You Be the Historian” exercise; take “Unpacking” quiz;
  • Approx. 25 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Make 2 discussion postings about “Using Personal Accounts”
  • Approx. 9 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Read Furtado, Ch9 (239-258), Furtado, Ch11 (284-304)

Week 13: [2017-04-17 Mon] Spain’s Crisis

  • Personal accounts SNTs due Monday 8am
  • Approx. 26 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Make 2 discussion postings about the SNTs on personal accounts
  • Read Chasteen, 6-34; Chasteen, 35-65

Week 14: [2017-04-24 Mon] Revolutions in Mexico and Argentina

  • Approx. 30 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Read Chasteen, 66-105; 105-158
  • Make 2 discussion posts

Week 15: [2017-05-01 Mon] Bolivar and San Martin; Independence Overview

  • Approx. 11 minutes of on-line lecture and quiz
  • 2 discussion postings
  • Chasteen, 159-181; 182-192

Week 16: [2017-05-01 Mon] Final project

  • Final project due on Blackboard by 11:59pm [2017-05-10 Wed]

All procedures and policies in this course are subject to change in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Emergency Phone Numbers:

In case of an on-campus emergency, call the UT Arlington Police Department at 817-272-3003 (non-campus phone), 2-3003 (campus phone). You may also dial 911. The non-emergency number is 817-272-3381.