Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Gender and Race in Latin America
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 750 words seminar presentation  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Critically evaluate the terms 'gender' and 'race', in the context of Latin America
2. Discuss the historical context and development of gendered and racialized ideas in Latin America.
3. Analyse how those ideas were enacted by political elites in forging a 'people'.
4. Discuss strategies of political incorporation and resistance through the lens of gender and race.
5. Describe and assess contemporary understandings of gender and race through three case studies.
6. Evaluate the contemporary legacy of the colonial and slave experience.


This module is designed to complement core provision on the new interdisciplinary masters programmes `Latin American Studies' (S and RT) and masters programmes in the Department of International Politics, particularly `Postcolonial Politics' (S and RT). It will focus on two important dimensions of inequality and power - gender and race - encouraging students to think about Latin American politics and society from a distinctive perspective. For those students taking the masters in Latin American Studies, it will pursue themes introduced in the core module in greater depth.

Brief description

The module will open by identifying and critically discussing the `common sense' view of gender and race in Latin America as portrayed in text books and the media. It will go on to delve deeper into these ideas, taking a broadly postcolonial approach. The founding experiences of modern Latin America - colonialism and slavery - will then be discussed, focusing on the power relations which were established and locating these within a global perspective as well as local experiences. The next two sessions (5 and 6) will discuss race and gender in the twentieth century, focusing on racialised and gendered strategies which sought to mould an understanding of `the people' which reflected ideas about class, race, men and women. It will also discuss the way that race and gender was embedded in the political techniques designed to incorporate `the people' within elite enterprises. The final section will take three contemporary case studies which allow us to look at how dynamics of race and gender are being played out today through patterns of domination, discipline, resistance and reassertion.


1. Text book treatments, media images and critical approaches
2. Unpacking ideas about `gender' and `race'
3. Colonial experiences then - and now
4. Slavery - domination and blackness
5. People-making - indigenismo, mestizaje, hygiene, discipline
6. Class and populism: gender-less, race-less politics?
7. Contemporary case study: the feminism and femicides in Mexico
8. Contemporary case study: reconfiguring blackness in Brazil
9. Contemporary case study: indigenous resurgence in Bolivia
10. Conclusion: power, resistance - and silences

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to how to present their arguments most effectively. They will come to understand the importance of accurate information and clear communication and how to utilise these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. This module will particularly test aural and oral communication skills as it involves an assessed presentation. Students will also be required to submit their report in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convenor and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics. The need to conduct a seminar presentation and to meet coursework deadlines will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well. Students will be obliged to reflect on their own performance in the presentations (key strengths and weaknesses measured against the published criteria) in a form which will be appended to the written version of their seminar presentation.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC). Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on Blackboard.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly giving presentations, listening, thinking and responding to spoken presentations. Moreover, the written work includes writing a presentation which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application; this is tested in the written reflection on their performance, a compulsory element of the seminar presentation.
Problem solving Independent problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of an essay and preparation of a seminar presentation will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of students' ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for all elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as more conventional academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources materials.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: * Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module * Ability to evaluate competing perspectives * Demonstrate subject specific research techniques * Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and political problems
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars and the convenor will encourage students to work in teams outside of them. Blackboard facilities such as the discussion board will also be used.


This module is at CQFW Level 7