Spring 2021

History of Central America

Listed in: History, as HIST-261  |  Latinx and Latin Amer Studies, as LLAS-261


Russell Lohse (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 261 [LA/TC/TE/TS] and LLAS 261) In this course, students will gain an understanding of major events and themes in the histories of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. As important, they will think and write critically about the contentious history of the region. For good reason, Central America is often considered as a whole, but despite many commonalities, each country's history is unique. How did the indigenous cultures of northern Central America compare to those of the south? Why did the once-united Federation of Central America fracture into five different states? How did Honduras become the quintessential "banana republic"? Why did Guatemala suffer decades of military dictatorships, while Costa Rica abolished its military at the same time? Through lectures and readings, we will answer these questions as we address topics including precolonial indigenous cultures; the conquest, slavery, and encomienda; independence and the struggles of nation-building; foreign interventions; and reforms, revolutions, and counterrevolutions. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Enrollment limited to 18 students. Visiting Assistant Professor Lohse.

If Overenrolled: Preference given first to history majors, then LLAS majors, and then by seniority.


Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021