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Rachel Walton
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Essay Prompts

If Latin America is often seen as a “periphery” to the “center” of the world (Euro-North America), how does the production of science fit into this paradigm? Pick two countries for this question.


How has perceptions of the US-Mexico border changed over time by people on both sides of the border? For this question, I would suggest sticking to either the time period of the 1840s-1910s or to the 1920s to the 1990s.


People across the Americas developed and proposed radical left-wing analyses and organizing schemes in the early twentieth century. Why might one become an anarchist in this time period? For this question, pick two locations.


The Southern Cone went through a terrible phase of authoritarian regimes in the latter half of the twentieth century. For this essay, pick two countries (out of Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay) and discuss the overlaps and differences in two of the following categories: economics, violence, disappearance, national politics, and international diplomacy.


When looking at the twentieth century, we might categorize it as one of various yet different revolutions across Latin America. For this essay, pick one country (out of Mexico [1910s onward], Cuba [1890s or 1959 onward], Bolivia [1950s and/or 2000s], Chile [1970s], Nicaragua [1980s]) and answer the question: was it really a revolution?

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Primary Sources

Primary sources are documents, images or artifacts that provide firsthand testimony or direct evidence concerning an historical topic under research investigation. Primary sources are original documents created or experienced contemporaneously with the event being researched. Primary sources enable researchers to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period.

Primary sources can include:

  • Memoirs or speeches
  • Statements or reports released by a political party, agency, nonprofit, or association 
  • Official documents such as congressional hearings and reports
  • Magazine and newspaper articles
  • Court documents 
  • Legislation or treaties 


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