Contact Professor Garrigus:

  1. Email: please use the BlackBoard email when possible; otherwise write with “4366” in the subject line.
  2. Office: University Hall 201b; [Note that this is on the 2nd floor]
  3. Office Hours: Wednesday, and Thursday 2 to 4; you can also make an appointment via email to talk on the phone, in person, or via Skype
  4. Office Phone: 817-272-2869
  5. BlackBoard:
  6. Website:


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 4 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. [] 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 5-question multiple-choice quiz on these materials during each of these four weeks. “Unpacking the Sources” will also provide you with 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 on 5pm Friday, September 12
  • Country Project #2 is due on 5pm Friday, October 3
  • Country Project #3 is due on 5pm Friday, November 7

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, December 8

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

Academic Integrity:

All students enrolled in this course are expected to adhere to the UT Arlington Honor Code, which must be included in every substantial writing assignment in this class, including all 4 Country Projects and the Show-And-Tell.

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.

Instructors 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 the 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.


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.

Americans With Disabilities Act:

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, or view the information at

Title IX:

The University of Texas at Arlington is committed to upholding U.S. Federal Law “Title IX” such that no member of the UT Arlington community shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity. For more information, visit

Student Support Services:

The University of Texas at Arlington supports a variety of student
success programs to help you connect with the University and achieve
academic success. These programs include learning assistance,
developmental education, advising and mentoring, admission and
transition, and federally funded programs. For individualized referrals to resources for any reason, students may contact the Maverick Resource hot-line at 817-272-6107 or visit for more information.

Electronic Communication Policy:

The University of Texas at Arlington has adopted the University “MavMail” address as the sole official means of communication with students. MavMail is used to remind students of important deadlines, advertise events and activities, and permit the University to conduct official transactions exclusively by electronic means. For example, important information concerning registration, financial aid, payment of bills, and graduation are now sent to students through the MavMail system. All students are assigned a MavMail account. Students are responsible for checking their MavMail regularly. Information about activating and using MavMail is available at There is no additional charge to students for using this account and it remains active even after they graduate from UT Arlington.

Grade Grievance Policy:

Students should meet in person with the instructor to discuss any concerns about their grade.


Week 0: 2014-08-21 Thu 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 1: 2014-08-25 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 2: 2014-09-01 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 3: 2014-09-08 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 4: 2014-09-15 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 5: 2014-09-22 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 6: 2014-09-29 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 7: 2014-10-06 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”

Week 8: 2014-10-13 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 9: 2014-10-20 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 10: 2014-10-27 Mon Reforming Two Empires

  • Approx. 23 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • Furtado, Ch6 (162-192); Furtado, Ch7 & Ch8 (193-238)
  • Make 2 discussion postings

Week 11: 2014-11-03 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. 20 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 12: 2014-11-10 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 13: 2014-11-17 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 14: 2014-11-24 Mon Bolivar and San Martin; Independence Overview

  • Approx. 20 minutes of on-line lectures plus quiz
  • 2 discussion postings
  • Chasteen, 159-181; 182-192

Week 15: 2014-12-01 Mon Final project

  • Final project due on Blackboard by 11:59pm 2014-12-08 Mon

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