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AP/SOSC4450 3.0A

Aspects of Modern Latin American and Caribbean Studies: Culture and Politics

bullet AP/SOSC4604 3.0A Aspects of Development Research: The Field Experience
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AP/POLS6566/SPT 6305
Advanced Topics in Latin American and Caribbean Studies


Curriculum Vitae




SOSC 4604 3.0
Aspects of Development Research: The Field Experience

Fall 2013

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Tuesdays & Thursdays 2:30-4 PM
Room: FC 117

Course Director: Professor J.A. Hellman
Office 133 Founders College
Telephone: 736-2100 ext. 44087   
Web site:
Office hours: Fall term:  Drop in:  Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30-11:20 AM or at other times by appointment.


All the readings listed below are required for the week in which they appear, except when a  reading is explicitly noted as "recommended," or appears between square brackets [ ]. 

Week 1:
September 10th
& 12th

Introduction to the Course

The perennial challenges of fieldwork

Myron Glazer, The Research Adventure: Promise and Problems of Fieldwork, (New York:  Random House, 1972), Introduction and chapter 1.

Week 2:
September 17th & 19th 

Finding a role and overcoming distrust

M. Glazer, op. cit., chapters 2 and 3
Film:  Maurice Godelier, "To Find the Baruya," film #3681-3682, Sept. 19th 

Week 3:
September 24th & 26th

Reciprocity and other ethical issues

Glazer, op. cit, Chapter 4

David Rohde, “Army Enlists Anthropology in War Zones,” The New York Times, October 5, 2007.

Film:  "Papua New Guinea:  Anthropology on Trial"

Week 4:
October 1st & 3rd

Race, Gender, Age and other characteristics of the researcher

David J. Banks, "From Structure to History in Malaya," in Lawless et al, Fieldwork:  The Human Experience, (New York:  Gordon and Breach, 1983), pp. 35-48;
Niara Sudarkasa, "In a World of Women:  Field Work in a Yoruba Community," in Peggy Golde, ed., Women in the Field:  Anthropological Experiences, second edition, (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1986). 

If you are interested in reading more from this collection, The Introduction and first three chapters of Peggy Golde, Women in the Field can be found on line at: Click here

Week 5:
October 8th & 10th

Contemporary challenges in fieldwork:  Inside and outside the law

Judith Adler Hellman, The World of Mexican Migrants: The Rock and the Hard Place, (New York: The New Press, 2008), Prologue, pp. xiii-xxiv; Chapters 2-3; Chapters 6-9; Chapter 14 (only pp. 119-126); Chapter 16-17; “A Note on Methodology,” pp. 232-241.

[ Recommended:  Judith Adler Hellman, Mexican Lives, (New York: The New Press, 1994), pp. 171-184,  “Pedro P.” ]

Week 6:
October 15th & 17th

Contemporary challenges: From social movements to gangs

Dennis Rodgers, “Joining the Gang and Becoming a Broder: The Violence of Ethnography in Contemporary Nicaragua.”  Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 26, No.4.  2007, pp. 444-61.

Dennis Rodgers, “Living in the Shadow of Death: Gangs, Violence and Social Order in Urban Nicaragua, 1996–2002,” Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol.  38, 2006, 267–292

Week 7:
22nd & 24th

Deeper into danger zones:  Reliable sources?

Robert Gay, Lucia: Testimonies of a Brazilian Drug Dealer’s Woman, (Philadelphia:  Temple University Press, 2005), pp. 1-87. 

Jon Lee Anderson, “Slumlord: What has Hugo Chavez Wrought in Venezuela?” The New Yorker, January 28, 2013, pp. 40-51. 

Week 8:
October 29th & 31st

In class exam, October 29th

No class on the 31st because of Co-curricular Days

Week 9:
November 5th
& 7th

Studies of NGO programs, aid policy and practice

David Mosse, Cultivating Development:  An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice, (London:  Pluto Press, 2005.  (selected chapters)
Monica deHart, “Fried Chicken or Pop?  Redefining Development and Ethnicity in Totonicapan,”Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 28 Issue 1, January 2009, pp. 63-82;

Week 10: November 12th & 14th

The “split personality”:  the personal and the professional in international development 

D. Mosse, op. cit..  (selected chapters).  

Anne-Meike Fechter, “The Personal and the Professional: Aid workers' relationships and values in the development process,”  Special Issue: The Personal and the Professional in Aid Work, Third World Quarterly, Vol. 33, Issue 8, 2012, pp. 1387-1404.        

Eric Anton Heuser, “Befriending the Field: Culture and friendships in development worlds,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 33, Issue 8, 2012, pp.1423-1437.

Week 11:
November 19th & 21st

The international volunteer

Rebecca Nelson Jacobs,  “‘Valorando la Cultura Maya’: Volunteer Tourism and Globalized Cultural Production in a Guatemalan Weaving Cooperative,”  Paper presented to the Third International Graduate Student Research Conference, CERLAC, York University, Toronto, 15-16 March 2013. 

Katharina Mangold, “‘Struggling to Do the Right Thing’: Challenges during international volunteering,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 33, Issue 8, 2012.

Week 12:
November 26th & 28th

Presentation of Fieldwork Essays

Week 13:
December 3rd & 5th

More Presentations, Summary and Review

After this outline was composed and posted to the web, the university belatedly noticed that it had scheduled “too many” Tuesday sessions in Fall Term and declared December 3rd to be a “study day.” Thus, we will meet on December 3rd, but attendance will be optional.


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