Course Content and Outcome Guide for HST 271 Effective Fall 2015

Course Number:
HST 271
Course Title:
History of Central America and the Caribbean
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers Central American and Caribbean history from the pre-Columbian era to the present. Focuses on post-contact history including colonialism, independence, revolution, nation-building and international relationships. Emphasizes social, political and cultural developments and contributions by a diversity of Central American and Caribbean peoples. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  • Articulate and interpret an understanding of key historical facts and events in the history of Central America and the Caribbean.
  • Identify the influence of culturally-based practices, values, and beliefs to analyze how historically-defined meanings of difference affect human behavior.
  • Identify and investigate historical theses, evaluate information and its sources, and use appropriate reasoning to construct evidence-based arguments on historical issues.
  • Construct a well-organized historical argument using effective, appropriate, and accurate language.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assess by using any combination of the following:

  • Exams
  • Essays
  • Oral presentations
  • Research projects
  • Book critiques
  • Service Learning
  • Class participation and discussion
  • Other creative assignments

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Competencies and Skills:

Analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources:

  • Connect evidence to its relevant historical context
  • Analyze and evaluate written, artistic, or other evidence
  • Assess the motivation and purpose of evidence

Evaluate different interpretations of past events and construct your own interpretation:

  • Identify a historian¬Ä¬ôs thesis and supporting evidence
  • Evaluate the arguments used to support different interpretations of historical issues
  • Develop your own thesis and historical interpretation and use evidence to support it

Think critically about the relationship between past and present events and issues:

  • Recognize and identify historical roots and parallels to current issues

Compare and contrast the experience of diverse groups in society:

  • Listen to and appreciate the experience of students from a variety of  backgrounds
  • Assess the contributions and experiences of various groups in society

Demonstrate college-level communications skills with an emphasis on writing (and may include listening and speaking):

  • Communicate effectively in writing about a historical topic
  • Communicate in writing an understanding of historical process and an evaluation of how concepts or values change over time

Clearly articulate thoughts and ideas to a particular audience which may include:

  • Working collaboratively with other students to evaluate and understand historical events
  • Working collaboratively with others in discussions, debate, or role plays
  • Presenting information in oral presentations

Themes, Concepts, Issues:

  • Mayan and other Pre-Columbian indigenous civilizations
  • Exploration and conquest
  • Acculturation
  • Changing political and economic structures
  • Cultural development, literature, art, music
  • Indigenous and Creole society, culture, and politics
  • Imperialism and neo-imperialism
  • Independence movements and revolutions
  • Role of the Catholic Church and other religions
  • The Mission System
  • Ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality and social class
  • Inter- and intra-ethnic controversies
  • Post-colonialism
  • Labor systems (such as collectivity, encomiendas, indenture, slavery, unionization)
  • Trans-Atlantic slave system
  • Sugar economy
  • Civil Wars and militarism
  • International relations and U.S. interventions
  • Geography and the natural environment
  • Tourism
  • Atlantic World