History | Seminar in Latin American History
H765 | 2894 | Diaz


TOPIC:  LATIN AMERICAN LEGAL HISTORY

Even though Latin American countries have historically been very
legalistic in nature and most of the pre-twentieth-century archival
documents are of a legal nature, it has not been until very recently
that the study of law, justice, and related issues such as
litigation and crime has taken root among Latin American scholars.
New perspectives on the study of law is promising as the field has
become increasingly multidisciplinary and as it focuses on
deconstructing the social and cultural logic behind the enactment of
laws  and practices of the tribunals at different times and places.
In this particular endeavor, the field is increasingly concerned
with understanding how law produces and reformulates systems of
identity, practices and meanings.  This course aims at providing
students with the tools to: 1) examine major trends and topics in
the historiography and the evolution of the field; 2) become
acquainted with the multiple ways in which the study of law
intersects with the studies of identity, meaning, hegemony, gender,
and citizenship, among others; 3) evaluate the methodological and
theoretical approaches in the historiography, and; 4) familiarize
themselves with legal primary sources produced in civil law
countries.

Students in this course will be required to prepare an
interpretative paper on a related subject based on primary sources.
Students also will be required to lead class discussions and submit
a number of short papers throughout the semester.