History | History of Cuba and Puerto Rico
F300 | 2848 | Diaz


Above section open to undergraduates only

Late 19th century Puerto Rican poet Lola Rodriguez de Tio once wrote
that “Cuba and Puerto Rico are the two wings of the same bird.”
Both Caribbean islands share a similar culture and have comparable
historical developments, yet, today they live very different
realities: Cuba is the only socialist republic on the hemisphere
while Puerto Rico is about to celebrate 100 years under United
States control.  What explains these differences if their histories
are apparently so similar?  This course will explore these issues
through the study of key historical processes from first
inhabitation through the present, giving particular attention to the
19th and 20th centuries.  Topics to be addressed include: the social
and economic repercussions of slavery; the impact of United States
intervention on the islands; the effects of nationalism and the
labor movements have had on internal and external politics; the
Cuban Revolution and migration to the United States.  All of these
topics will be examined from the perspective of both external forces
and the experiences of the men and women who lived and made their
histories.

Readings will include two general texts, one or two short monographs
and a short packet.  Documentaries and films are also part of the
course material.  The course requirements include three essay exams,
one short paper, and in-class written exercises.