Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Liberal Academia Course of the Day

Taught last summer at the University of Texas:
HIS 363k - Che Guevara's Latin America

Course Description

This course will cover Latin America during the era of the Cuban Revolution through the travels, observations, and revolutionary activities of Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The course builds on the sudden revival of Che's image in pop culture throughout the world, the movie Motorcycle Diaries, and the three additional movies on his life that are now in production. We intend to convert this popularity into a serious investigation of the social unrest into which Latin American countries had entered in the post-World War II period. It was a time in which dominant economic policy of import-substitution-industrialization reached the end of its possibilities, inflation upset the alliance between labor and the middle class, the landholding elites strengthened their control of land while the growing population of landless peasants slid silently into poverty, US companies dominated the most important industries, and dictators reigned.

Che Guevara grew up in Córdoba. He took the first of two trips through Latin America in 1951 while studying medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. After graduating as an M.D., he began a second trip in 1953, visiting two revolutions in progress before reaching Mexico in 1955, where he met the Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro. Students will survey class relations in those countries mentioned in Che's memoirs - Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico. Then they will examine the Cuban Revolution in which Che rose from combat doctor to comandante, to economics minister, to international statesman, and to revolutionary provocateur. We conclude with a discussion of Che's attempt to export the revolution to Bolivia, where he met his death by execution in 1967.

Course Requirements

In this course, students will read two of Che's travel diaries and his memoir of the Cuban revolutionary war. There will be two examinations--the midterm and the final. In the interim, students will receive grades for their participation in discussion and for their reports on countries in which Che traveled and the events in which he participated. . .

Texts

Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries
Guevara, Back on the Road
Guevara, Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War

4 comments:

OBloodyHell said...

> students will receive grades for their participation in discussion and for their reports on countries in which Che traveled and the events in which he participated.

Frankly, I wouldn't object to this sort of course being offered, if it weren't for the fact that the above description should actually read more like this:

students will receive grades for their droolingly sycophantic participation in discussion and for their reports on countries in which Che traveled and the uncritically fawning descriptions of events in which he participated.


That's the part I object to. And you know it's true. Anyone who challenges the "good guy" mantra for Che is going to get a shit grade in this class, because the only kind of asshole who would mentor such a class is exactly the kind of dickhead libtard who doesn't tolerate criticism of anything he (the professor) stands for.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great course...the fact is that Che's revolutionary ideals and ways in which he changed Latin America forever resonate more with the more open-minded, diverse, I-go-to-college-because-I-want-to-learn-not-because-I-have-to student demographic...I'm sure if there was a course on any conservative leader (perhaps Barry Goldwater, or Ronald Reagan, you guys really loved him), you'd have flocks of privileged, white, American-royalty types fawning about them just as much.
This is a great blog...and they say fascism in America is decades away!

Carl said...

You must not have gone to college if you don't know Che was both brutal and a failure.

Anonymous said...

WOW! A report on how brutal and a failure Che was by the corporate American media. Next you'll be sending me links to the Israeli Defense Force homepage saying how evil the Palestinians are!