Colonialism to Revolution: Power and Politics in Latin America

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The details
Philosophical, Historical, and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
07 September 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This interdisciplinary module provides an introduction to the history, politics and culture of Latin America and the Caribbean, offering insights into major trends and processes that have shaped the region.

As we trace the region's history from its pre-Columbian roots up to the mid-twentieth century modernisation, the module will draw on a broad range of academic disciplines, ranging from anthropology, sociology, and cultural production, as well as economics, politics, and history.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To gain a critical awareness of the key historical processes that shaped the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • To study historical phenomena in interdisciplinary frameworks.

  • To explore links between historical processes, socio-political formations, and cultural production.

  • To gain an understanding of geo-historical relations between centres and peripheries in a broad historical context.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Interdisciplinary understanding of core processes that have shaped pre- and post-colonial Latin America and the Caribbean.

  2. Comprehension of how primary sources (historical documents, cultural production) shed light on these processes.

  3. Ability to identify links between social, political, economic and cultural phenomena.

  4. Preliminary grasp of comparative reasoning and of the links between macro and micro processes.

  5. Capacity to comprehend and summarise primary and secondary sources.

  6. Core skills to support independent research (text comprehension, analysis and summary; search methods for bibliography; essay writing).

Module information

The weekly lectures and seminars will examine a series of core topics, such as: indigenous societies, European conquest, colonial life, the quest for independence, the challenges of nation building, and revolutionary struggle.

As well as engaging with scholarly texts, we will also explore the topics covered in the module through the rich cultural production of Latin America and the Caribbean, by engaging with historical documents, digitised primary sources, political manifestos, films, documentaries, literary texts and artworks, including those held at the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA), the University's unique resource.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 1-hour lecture per week.
  • One 1-hour class/seminar per week.

There will also be a Reading Week when no teaching will take place, exact week to be confirmed.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Ian Dudley, email: idudle@essex.ac.uk.
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre General Office - 6.130; Email: istudies@essex.ac.uk.



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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