week 1: introduction

August 22 (Thursday) – the keys to success

Welcome (back) to the History of Early Latin America. This week, your only responsibility is to carefully read over the syllabus, the course requirements, and to plan for you participation in class! Make sure you understand what the coursework requirements are, and also some general recommendations on how to read, take notes, and think about weekly material.

This semester, I’ve decided not to assign a general textbook for this class. I hope that the decision will save you some money, but it also puts the onus on you to attend every class. My lectures will essentially function as your textbook– providing the overview necessary to situate and understand your readings. Again, it is imperative that you come to class, and that you take notes. You are responsible for everything we discuss in the lecture. This means, you really need to take notes.

If you struggle with note-taking, or have never taken a humanities lecture course before, you will need to think about, and put effort into improving your note-taking. Take a look at these resources, and find a system that works best for you:

  1. Effective Note-taking in Lectures.
  2. The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard.
  3. How to Take Better Nores.

In addition to taking notes during lecture, you need to be an active reader of the pieces we’re assigning. Dr. Raul Pacheco has written a number of excellent blog posts on approaching secondary and primary source readings for undergrads. This post includes links to a number of those pieces.