The University of Arizona (instructor of record)

Colonial Mexico: 1519-1821 (Spring 2017)

Alliances, rivalries, and tension are some of the main themes that students explore in this course. Students learn the Spanish systems of labor imposed on indigenous people (encomienda, repartimiento, and hacienda) and evaluate their influence on Mexican society along  with African slavery. I carefully select primary sources that encourage students to explore questions Spaniards asked themselves in the colonial period. Such as, do indigenous people have souls? Who can be enslaved? Should women be allowed to study and learn in or out of universities? Sources written by women, indigenous people, and people of African descent, offer a different view of Mexico’s colonial past, suggesting that Spanish power did not exist only on Spanish terms.  Ultimately students draw their on conclusions about the absolutist nature of colonial power, and its broader impacts on Mexican society. New Spain’s struggles among and between secular and lay Spaniards, Castas and Españoles, and criollos and peninsulares offers a case study on political disputes that can be broadly applied to other periods, including our own.

Colonial Latin America: 1492-1821 (Fall 2016)

This course introduces students to the indigenous, African, and European cultures that shaped Latin America. Students are asked to grapple with issues of ethnicity, gender, and class as they explore Spanish and Portuguese colonial mechanisms. The Holy Office of the Inquisition, slavery, and forced indigenous labor (the mita, repartimiento, and the encomienda) provide different institutional lenses for students to view Latin America’s past. Students are required to evaluate primary sources to zoom in an out of key concepts in Latin American history. For example, primary sources provide a first-hand account of sixteenth-century debates regarding the quality of indigenous people as “natural slaves” and the rationalization of “just wars.” Inquisition records provide a window into the everyday lives of “lower-class” women and men and how they navigated through colonial society. Often creating there own local political and religious economies. Students emerge from this course armed with a toolbox to confront historical themes, and a sound knowledge of colonialism, resistance, and the movements for independence in Latin America.

The Making of American Cultures: 1600-1877 (Summer 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017)

Students explore and investigate early US history in this course. From the arrival of Europeans, to the disembarkment of the first enslaved Africans, to the diffusion of American ideals through the North American continent. I ask students to evaluate how women, indigenous peoples, people of African descent, Euro-Americans, and members of different socioeconomic groups experienced  key events in American history. Were all citizens afforded the same rights as citizens of the British Crown and the United States? Who was a citizen? Through secondary and primary sources students explore the haunting history of how “black” became synonymous with “slave,” and vice-versa. Students are asked to reconcile American “Republican culture,” “Political culture,” and “evangelical culture” with “Slave culture,” and “Republican motherhood.” Students explore the impacts of manifest destiny on the expansion of slavery, and the forced removal of indigenous peoples from their territories. Furthermore, students study the causes of the Civil War and the effectiveness of reconstruction.