Invitation to History: Latin American History on Film (HIST*1050) | College of Arts

Invitation to History: Latin American History on Film (HIST*1050)

Code and section: HIST*1050*01

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: Karen Racine


AD-S Virtual:

This course will be taught online in a Synchronous format on the following scheduled day(s) and time(s):

MW    1:00 pm - 2:20 pm

Details provided by instructor: This class will be conducted in a synchronous format via Zoom. Viewing guide and articles will be posted. Films will be available to view independently; class will meet virtually once per week for a fun and challenging discussion.

Course Synopsis and Goals:

Film has become an increasingly important medium for the dissemination of historical knowledge.  Though filmed history represents an exciting development that can offer many advantages over a printed text, writers and directors also face significant pressures when attempting to tell a true story both artfully and accurately.  This course is intended to give the beginning student an introduction to the challenges of bringing real people and events to life on film using Latin American history as the case study.  We will evaluate each film for its accuracy and also will practise decoding the director’s ideological outlook or argument. Students can expect to acquire some knowledge of the genre’s technical aspects and vocabulary so that s/he can become a more critical consumer of media messages.  

  • To gain a broader awareness of people and issues in Latin American history;
  • To gain an introduction to the study of history on film (and a more sophisticated awareness of the both the benefits and limitations of the visual representation of history versus stories told with the written word);
  • To become more conscious of the way public perception of past events is distorted, controlled, enhanced and augmented by mass media;
  • To practise oral and written communication skills.

Method of Evaluation and Weights:

  • 4 film reviews (x 20% each): 80%
  • Participation: 10%
  • Final Exam: 10%

Required Book:

No required text; will use various academic articles available from the library.

*NOTE: This is a preliminary website description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed during the first class session of the semester.