In 2001, the term "BRIC" was coined as shorthand to talk about the rising economic, political, and cultural importance of some of the world's largest but, until recently, poorest countries. Since that time, strengthening ties between China and many countries in Latin America have drawn the world's attention, attracting both hope for new development opportunities and fears of renewed dependency in Latin America. This course examines the rise of China and Latin America in the new millennium using the full range of social-scientific disciplines (anthropology, political economy, history, etc.) to explore the nature and stakes of this newest wave of transpacific relations. The course begins with an examination of three main moments/spaces of encounter, including the colonial, cold war, and contemporary periods, in order to explore both the changing meaning of China and Latin America and also the implications of these changes on the social, economic, and political relations between the two regions. The second half of the semester is structured around problematics and case studies that provide a way to study diverse processes and experiences across distinct levels of analysis (local, national, regional, and global) as well as across diverse cultural and regional contexts (Southern Cone v. Central America). Major assignments include a literature review, a research paper, and a comprehensive final exam.
Prerequisites: IPE 201 or SOAN 200/204 or equivalent social science introductory coursework. LAS or AS background recommended.