WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2022-2023       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
From Chocolate to Coca: Commodities and the Making of Latin America

HIST 257
Spring 2023
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: LAST 218
Course Cluster and Certificates: Sustainability and Environmental Justice

Bananas, silver, and coffee connect Latin America to consumers across the globe. From the discovery of massive silver deposits in Potosí in the 16th century to the growth of the illegal drug industry in the 20th century, these commodities have shaped how people work and eat, not only in Latin America but worldwide. Everyday goods like sugar or rubber have also given rise to political revolutions, environmental destruction, scientific discovery, and new literary and artistic movements across the region. How do commodities shape the societies that produce or consume them? What commodities are shaping today's global economy? Is it possible to extract these goods in a sustainable way?

This course combines approaches from anthropology, history of science, and environmental history to study key commodities in the history of Latin America from the colonial period until the present day. It will examine the ways in which various material goods linked local actors to broad networks of production and consumption of an increasingly interconnected global economy. The course will pay particular attention to how these relationships irretrievably changed local communities and to the ways in which historical actors contested, adapted to, or transformed production and consumption regimes.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CBST-MN)(HIST-MN)(HIST)(LAST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on JUL-14-2024
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459