Not available in 2020/21
Land and Conflict in Latin America since 1750

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Anna Cant SAR 3.12


This course is available on the MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, MSc in History of International Relations, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International and World History (LSE & Columbia) and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

Extending from the late Spanish colonial era, through the wars of independence and up to present-day social conflicts, this course will focus on land. How has land been conceptualised and fought over? How have different social groups developed relationships with the land? In what ways have conflicts over land shaped Latin American politics? Students will be encouraged to take an interdisciplinary approach to these questions, drawing on new research in geography, anthropology and political science, as well as various strands of history. Despite the great diversity of the Latin American continent, land is a constant reference point and one that lends itself to rich comparative study. Topics will include the global and local politics of the colonial hacienda system, anti-colonial indigenous rebellions, scientific exploration and population displacement, peasant movements, land reform, Cold War development policies and ongoing social protests over land and resource extraction.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT.

There will be a reading week in week 6 of the Michaelmas and the Lent Terms.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay and 2 other pieces of coursework in the MT.

Students are required to write one 2,500-word formative essay in the Michaelmas Term and two formative discussion posts at the beginning of the year.

Indicative reading

  • Richard Boyer and Geoffrey Spurling (eds.), Colonial Lives: Documents on Latin American History, 1550-1850 (OUP, 2009);
  • Brooke Larson, Cochabamba, 1550-1900: Colonialism and Agrarian Transformation in Bolivia (Duke University Press, 1998);
  • Steve J. Stern (ed.), Resistance, Rebellion, and Consciousness in the Andean Peasant World, 18th to 20th Centuries (University of Wisconsin Press, 1988);
  • F. Salomon and S. Schwartz (eds.), Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas: South America (CUP, 1999);
  • Nora E. Jaffary et al (eds.), Mexican History: A Primary Source Reader (Westview Press, 2009);
  • Laura Gotkowitz, A Revolution for Our Rights: Indigenous Struggles for Land and Justice in Bolivia,1880-1952 (Duke University Press, 2007);
  • Joe Foweraker, The Struggle for Land: A Political Economy of the Pioneer Frontier in Brazil from 1930 to the Present Day (CUP, 2002);
  • Carmen Diana Deere and Magdalena León, Empowering Women: Land and Property Rights in Latin America (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001);
  • Enrique Mayer, Ugly Stories of the Peruvian Agrarian Reform (Duke University Press, 2009);
  • Bettina Engels and Kristina Dietz (eds.), Contested Extractivism, Society and the State: Struggle over Mining and Land (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).


Essay (50%, 5000 words) in the ST.
Online assessment (35%) and class participation (15%) in the MT and LT.

Online assessment comprises online discussion posts of 500 words; 6 in the MT and 6 in the LT

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International History

Total students 2019/20: 5

Average class size 2019/20: 5

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills