Independence Past and Present

The Dawson textbook exert gave minimal descriptions of the various Latin American colonies struggle and entrance into independence. Each country could be course in itself at UBC for reasons of independence and other ideas, which made it difficult for me to soak in all the information. This exert also seemed to be the first if I recall to include Haiti into this discussion. Most of the talk in the previous weeks included mostly Spanish-speaking, or presently Spanish-Speaking colonies and geographic areas, and Haiti is a French speaking country. Also, Dawson references Latin America and Haiti in the context of the 18th century, seeming to suggest this socially constructed term of Latin America shouldn’t have a definite time table as to when it begins or when we should start studying it. It was interesting to identify the role that slavery played in independence of these countries as well, which has parallels to other countries in the Americas, like Canada. Canada was built on slavery and the slaves leaving United States to come up North, even though they still occupied as slaves and used as free labour. Another interesting parallel that I drew from the independence movements of Latin America and Canada, is the role of the Church. The struggle between liberals, conservatives and even further traditionalists or independents for what they want to believe as the best way to confederate a colony. These comparisons of slavery and church helped me further deepen my understanding of independence because of the surface info introduced in this reading.


What other parallels can we draw from Latin American independence and the independence of Canada and the United States?

The Colonial Experience

I first clicked the Lieutenant Nun reading link on our LAST website and stared into the eyes of this man in this portrait. I thought nothing of it and continued reading the introduction to the story or article, whatever you want to call it. I finished reading the introduction and forgot about the portrait by the end of it, until I scrolled to the top of the page, for a reason I do now forget. And then that’s when I saw the portrait again and did a double take. I was staring into the eyes of a ‘woman’ yet I was so blown away by the way this figure as presented. This figure was presented as a war hero, just in this photo as at this point I had yet to continue onto the diary of this woman. For this to be the case, this woman cross dressing and acting like a war hero in the 1600’s is barely comprehensible and seems to burn every idea I had about gender roles in the many centuries of the past. Sure this was not the norm, I do recognize that fact, but if we look at the way history is presented to us there could be an answer. Because most history in pop culture  is presented from the perspective of a white-British or American or French man, sometimes there must be ideas that go against that belief. For a Spanish female to cross dress as a man and take on the life of a man, does seem quite extraordinary, however we should not be in a position to the this as a one off. Maybe some of these European societies and middle-Eastern societies did more role playing than what we know, or what I know (it would be nice if a history trivial could help me out and maybe prove me wrong!). When reading it caught my attention that this woman was raised by nuns and raised around other woman, and then it was unsurprising to me that she may have made that choice because of her personal experiences.

When I started the video about Casta, the first thing that really caught my attention was when the presenter told us that these paintings were popular in Mexico. We are just in week 3 and have yet to construct what ‘Latin America’ is but I keep getting clues as to what it might be. I have always had my own thoughts about what/where Latin America is, but because I am not an expert I still do not want to make conclusions. Though it still seems like an easy answer , these hints help me prepare for when I come to class. I also thought it was interesting to see how much of a role racism and sexism payed in Casta’s paintings. I just finished reading about a woman portraying a man for her whole life, and then there is this artist who used racism and sexism as the focal point for his work. Quite interesting to see the two sides of the times.

If Catalina de Erauso was an American or British figure who took on the transition role in one of those respected countries (for the purpose of the question being really simple lets use the term ‘country’) during the same time period, do you believe the Church would have shown the same leniency?

The Meeting of 2 Worlds

The first thing to know about Christopher Columbus, is that that is not his real name. His real name is Cristoforo Colombo, an Italian man. I find it interesting because even with the name of this course and the socially constructed term of “Latin America,” we can see that ideas and life courses get translated into English, and maybe even ‘Americanized.’ Even how Columbus thought he found India, and presently some of these area’s are called the ‘Indies’ or Land of the Day, in the Caribbean, as well as indigenous of peoples of Canada are often referred to as ‘Indians.’ Guaman Poma de Ayala touches on the topic of ‘Indians’ but only to the point that it was derived from Indies, and they are still known to Spaniards as such. Much like Week 1 where are goal was trying to define Latin America as to ‘where?,’ there is a strong Spanish influence relating to the Columbus and to the Guaman Poma de Ayala entries that we are reading. This has me thinking about what is Latin America and if we are just speaking about Spanish conquered territories in the “American” continents.

I found the Guaman Poma de Ayala article difficult to focus on because of the multiple religious and monarchal figures mentioned. Because it was focussed on Peru and referring it to the “Indies of the Peru,” it can help us tackle the issue of Latin America slowly. We are able to cross ‘HISTORY OF PERU’ off a long checklist to understand this issue. The history referred to in this article is intense and rich full of a lot of it, but for just a beginner learning this topic and having to digest all of it, is not an easy task. There are cities but where are the maps? travel routes? other visuals?

As someone who is not well versed in history, this week proves to be a challenge as we uncover the roots of Latin America- since it’s beginnings. But because this term of Latin America seems to be uncertain in its landscape, where empirical history begin? Where should it end? Even in the 1400’s and 1500’s why must this history be the foundation for Latin America? Leads me to believe that maybe it isn’t as uncertain as we think, and this socially constructed concept or term has some clarity, that hopefully we learn as a class in the coming weeks.

Week 1 Intro and Video Review

Hi everyone my name is Jared and I am a 3rd year Sociology transfer student from Vancouver. In the college I transferred from, most of credits were Criminology credits, but because UBC was the dream, I became an accidental Sociology major with all my Crim classes transferring as Sociology credits. With a little bit of background in Criminology and an interested in Sociological studies, I felt like this course would be a fun interdisciplinary elective for me to take.

Video1- Independence in Latin America

I decided to watch the video on Independence because I know very little about the history of Latin America, and also not very much world history. I knew at one point these lands would have only been populated by indigenous peoples and animals. What I didn’t know is who would come to these lands, and take them over. The first step of Independence is figuring out which empires or colonies ruled these areas of land and what made them different. I found the independence of Mexico to be particularly interesting because of having the United States above them would have made country lines more difficult to deal with, as the Americans were difficult to deal with. In our week one class we talked about “Where (and what) is Latin America?” and in this video they only focused on Spanish speaking and Spanish conquered countries of North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. It gives me more of a heads up coming into week 2 class.

Video2- The War on Drugs

Because of my Criminology/Socio background, I found myself having to watch this video as ideas talked about in this video interest me and are what I’m going to school to learn more about. There were obvious suitors for this video such as Mexico and Columbia as pop culture has informed us already through shows like Narcos, and through modern day news of El Chapo. Going into this video I already had a Socio mindset, rater than an economic or historical context when watching the video which helped me understand the deep rationale behind these gangsters and criminals. But also helped me understand the video in a way that many other people might not think. I want to know how an economist, historian, or philosopher would understand this video and how they would react when watching it. Thoughts?

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