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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

Winter 2016

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Tuesdays 2:30-5:30 PM
Room: 0015 TEL

Course Director: Professor J.A. Hellman
Office 133 Founders College
Telephone: 736-2100 ext. 44087
Web site:
Office hours: (Winter term) Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30-11:20 AM (drop in) 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:
January 5th

Introduction to the Course: The perennial challenges of fieldwork

Film: Maurice Godelier, "To Find the Baruya," film #3681-3682,

Week 2:
January 12th

Finding a role and overcoming distrust

Myron Glazer, The Research Adventure: Promise and Problems of Fieldwork, (New York: Random House, 1972), Introduction and chapter 1 and 2

Week 3:
January 19th

Reciprocity and other ethical issues

Glazer, op. cit, Chapter 3-A

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

Film: "Papua New Guinea: Anthropology on Trial"

Week 4:
January 26th

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: V&dq=peggy+golde+women+in+the+field

Week 5:
February 2nd

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, pp. 23-33; Chapters 6-9. pp. 65-91; Chapter 14 (only pp. 119-126); Chapter 16 pp. 145-166; Chapter 17, pp. 169-175 “A Note on Methodology,” pp. 232-241.

[Please note: This book is available through the library as an e-book]

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

Week 6:
February 9th

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.

Jon Lee Anderson, “Slumlord: What has Hugo Chavez Wrought in Venezuela?” The New Yorker, January 28, 2013, pp. 40-51. c=ufb1

This is the link for the Torre de David video. “Vocative video” seems to be the film maker <>

READING WEEK: February 15th - 19th
Week 7:
February 23rd

Deeper into danger zones:  Reliable sources?

Robert Gay, Lucia: Testimonies of a Brazilian Drug Dealer’s Woman, (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005), pp. 1-136. [Available as an e-book]

Midterm Exam: In Class 1.5 Hours

Week 8:
March 1st

Studies of NGO programs, aid policy and practice

David Mosse, Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice, (London: Pluto Press, 2005. Preface plus Chapters 2-3. [Please note: Chapter 1 is recommended but not required. ] [Available as an e-book]

Week 9:
March 8th

Studies of NGO programs, aid policy and practice (continued)

D. Mosse, op. cit.. Chapter 4 and 5

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: March 15th

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

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:
March 22nd

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, pp. 1493-1508.

Week 12:
March 29th

Presentation of Fieldwork Essays


York University