Global Studies (GLST) 308

Americas: An Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean (Revision 4)


Revision 4 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online or grouped study (check availability) with video component*. *Overseas students, please contact the University Library before registering in a course that has an audio/visual component.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Global Studies home page

GLST 308 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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GLST 308 provides a focus on several countries—as well as an overview of the development of the region as a whole—to provide the historical context that underlies the region’s cultures, contradictions, and uniqueness. Course materials will stimulate critical thinking and focus insight into the political discourse of the region, the political actors in it, and its rapidly changing social and political dynamic. Future directions are briefly discussed, inviting a debate on the place for Latin America and the Caribbean in a globalized world.

Topics explored include authoritarianism and democracy, growth and poverty, race and class, the changing role of women, indigenous peoples, movements for social change, and the foreign policy of the United States toward the region. Together, these topics present a comprehensive picture of Latin America and the Caribbean.


  • Unit 1: Introduction and Overview
  • Unit 2: From Colonialism to Independence
  • Unit 3: Dilemmas of National Development
  • Unit 4: Reform: the Market vs the State
  • Unit 5: Authoritarianism and Democratization
  • Unit 6: Indigenous Struggles: Ethnicity, Colour, and Class
  • Unit 7: The Changing Roles of Women
  • Unit 8: Social Change and New Social Actors
  • Unit 9: The ‘Pink Tide’ and the Problem of Sovereignty
  • Unit 10: North America and Latin America in the 21st Century


To receive credit for GLST 308, you must achieve a minimum of 50 percent on the final examination and a minimum composite course grade of 50 percent. The chart below summarizes the course activities and the credit weight associated with each.

Assignment 1 Assignment 2-(Proposal) Assignment 2-(Final Research Paper) Final Exam Total
20% 10% 35% 35% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Kirby, P. (2003). Introduction to Latin America: Twenty-First Century Challenges. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Skidmore, T. E., Smith, P. H., & Green, J. N. (2010). Modern Latin America (7th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.


Solanas, F. (2004). Social Genocide (DVD). Mongrel Media.

Other Materials

The course materials include a reading file. All other materials are available online.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

For more information please contact the course coordinator.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Current Grouped Study Locations

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, August 12, 2013

View previous syllabus