1. Week 1: Introduction
  2. Week 2: On Progress and History
  3. Week 3: Every Journey Has a Beginning
  4. Week 4: Argentina
  5. Week 5: On the Road
  6. Week 6: Guatemala
  7. Week 7: Mexico
  8. Week 8: Essay 1 due, no class this week.
  9. Week 9: Cuba
  10. Week 10: Cuba
  11. Week 11: Internationalism
  12. Week 12: Bolivia
  13. Week 13: Afterlives
  14. Week 14: Final Paper Due, no class this week.
  15. Week 15: The Journey’s End

Week 1: Introduction

January 21 (Thursday)


  • The syllabus!!

Week 2: On Progress and History

January 26 (Tuesday)


  • G.F. Hegel, “The Division of History,” Introduction to the Philosophy of History, trans. by Leo Rauch (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1988).

  • Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, “‘Her Point Is’: The Art of Summarizing,” and “‘As He Himself Puts It’: The Art of Quoting,” They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (New York: Norton Books, 2009).

DUE: Using one of the templates from Graff and Birkenstein, try to summarize Hegel’s argument about History. What is History, for Hegel? This will be hard, but that is a-o-k.

January 28 (Thursday)


  • Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” Illuminations (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019).

Due: Bring to class a list of categories and concepts divided into two columns: HISTORICISM and HISTORICAL MATERIALISM. As you read Benjamin’s text, add any concepts, keywords, or categories to one of these two columns. Historicism here is what Benjamin associates with progress, history-as-progress, etc.

Week 3: Every Journey Has a Beginning

February 2 (Tuesday)


  • Anderson and Hernández, Che: A Revolutionary Life (New York: Penguin, 2018): Introduction to page 206.

Due: Make a list of what the author and illustrator thought were the most consequential moments in Guevara’s life through the Cuban Revolution. Also list anything in the book that piques your interest or questions that come up.

February 4 (Thursday)


  • Anderson and Hernández, Che: A Revolutionary Life (New York: Penguin, 2018): Finish.

Due: Finish your list, and be prepared to talk about what impact you thing a graphic biography has on understanding history. What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of the format? Here, at the beginning, who do you think Ernesto Guevara was?

Week 4: Argentina

February 9 (Tuesday)


  • Natalia Milanesio, Workers Go Shopping in Argentina (Albuquerque: UNM Press, 2013): Introduction and Chapter 4.

DUE: Identify the overall argument of Milanesio’s book, and the specific argument of Chapter 4. Write a précis of the chapter, and bring your reading notes to class.

February 11 (Thursday)


  • Ernesto Guevara, “Travels in Argentina,” The Awakening of Latin America (Melbourne, AU: Ocean Press, 2013).

  • Eduardo Elena, “Point of Departure:Travel and Nationalism in Ernesto Guevara’s Argentina,” pp. 21-52 in Paulo Drinot, ed., Che’s Travels (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010).

Due: Can you identify any of the dynamics/claims in Elena’s chapter in use in Guevara’s diary?

Week 5: On the Road

Take the time this week to watch the Film adaptation of The Motorcycle Diaries.

February 16 (Tuesday)


  • Patience Schell, “Beauty and Bounty in Che’s Chile,” in Drinot (2010)

February 18 (Thursday)


  • Paulo Drinot, “Awaiting the blood of a Truly Emancipating Revolution,” in Drinot (2010).

For use in your mid-term paper:

  • “First Trip through Latin America (1951-52),” in Guevara (2013).
  • “A Second Look at Latin America (1953-1956),” in Guevara (2013).
  • The chapters by Deas, Ewell, and Zulawski in Drino (2010).

You don’t need to read this for this week, but they are definitely resources for you week 8 paper.

Week 6: Guatemala

February 23 (Tuesday)


  • Cindy Forster, “‘Not in All of America Can There Be Found a Country as Democratic As This One’: Che and the Revolution in Guatemala,” in Drinot (2010).

February 25 (Thursday)


  • Guevara, “The Role of the Doctor in Latin America,” in Guevara (2013).
  • “Decree 900” (1952), pp. 67-70 in Marc Becker, Twentieth-Century Latin American Revolutions (Boulder: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).

Week 7: Mexico

March 2 (Tuesday)


  • Eric Zolov, “Between Bohemianism and a Revolutionary Rebirth: Che Guevara in Mexico,” in Drinto (2010).

March 4 (Thursday) – no class. Meetings with Dr. Black as needed.


No new reading

Week 8: Essay 1 due, no class this week.

March 9 (Tuesday)


March 11 (Thursday)

Week 9: Cuba

March 16 (Tuesday)


  • Marc Becker, “Cuban Revolution, 1959-,” in Becker (2017).

March 18 (Thursday)


  • Guevara, Selections from Episodes of the Revolutionary War.

Week 10: Cuba

March 23 (Tuesday)

Watch Soderberg’s Che, Vol. 1.

March 25 (Thursday)


  • Marifeli Pérez-Stable, The Cuban Revolution: Origins, Course, and Legacy (Oxford University Press, 1998).

Week 11: Internationalism

March 30 (Tuesday)


  • Marc Becker, “Guerrilla Warfare,” in Becker (2017).

April 1 (Thursday)


Week 12: Bolivia

April 6 (Tuesday)


  • Watch Soderberg’s Che Part II.

April 8 (Thursday)

Week 13: Afterlives

April 13 (Tuesday)


  • Michael Casey, Che’s Afterlife (New York: Vintage Books, 2009): Part I and pick one chapter from Part II.

April 15 (Thursday)


  • Casey (2009): Part III.

Week 14: Final Paper Due, no class this week.

April 20 (Tuesday)

Meetings with Dr. Black as needed!

April 22 (Thursday)

Due: Second Paper.

Week 15: The Journey’s End

April 27 (Tuesday)