The impact of race thinking on Latin America
Background (or, setting the mood):
Our study of colonial and postcolonial Latin America thus far has sought to expose the intimate relationship between power and knowledge. Our materials have shown that it is not enough to understand power—in the sense of domination, conquest, and exploitation—as simply the blind brute force one person or group holds over another, since it always seems to be backed by, expressive of, and justified through particular ways of understanding the world (what Trouillot calls an ontology). In turn, processes of domination tend to feed off the quest for knowledge, for understanding those people and places under their control, the results of which tend to reinforce and tighten the ways domination is expressed. We have paid specific attention to “race thinking” as a particular system of knowledge about human difference that, in all its changing forms, has been instrumental to the structure of life in Latin America, from conquest, through the colonial period, and into the postcolonial era. Race thinking in many ways exemplifies Trouillot’s (84) astute claim that “built into any system of domination is the tendency to proclaim its own normalcy”.
With this in mind, your task is to write an essay that examines the impact of race thinking on Latin America through one of the following angles:
– What it meant to be classified as “Indian” or “Black” in colonial and/ or postcolonial L.A.
– Purity and/or mixture
– Resistance and revolution
– Religion and/ or science
– Some other topic of your choice (must be approved by me via email by Feb 17)
*Make sure to demonstrate how “power” (i.e. the real world impacts upon real people) and knowledge (i.e. ideas) intersect around your topic of choice.
Essays are to be 4 pages in length, double-spaced, and turned in in hard copy before the end of class on February 24. This is worth 25% of your final grade. See the syllabus for late penalties.
Proper in-text referencing is required—for instance (Adorno 1982: 120) but no bibliography or title page is necessary. You are welcome to refer to material brought up in lectures in the following format: (Krupa, lecture Feb. 10, 2015).
Proper essay format is a must—that is, propose an argument or thesis or line of reasoning or governing question and use the essay and our sources to develop it. The “Background” section above gives you lots of ideas to draw on which you can weave your topic into to easily construct an argument or pose a guiding question.
Grammar and writing will be considered in your mark, so make sure to review your essay before submitting it, please.
Strong essays will both demonstrate a good grasp of the readings and show critical analysis of the topics. You must effectively use readings from at least two of the Weeks.
Papers suspected of plagiarism of any sort will be immediately passed off to Academic Affairs for investigation and sanction.
Number of pages 4
1-page summary false
Line spacing Double
Due date 2015-02-22 18:00
Type of Assignment Essay
Academic Level Junior (College 3rd year)
Paper format MLA
Number of references 3