Putumayo: the History and Culture of a Latin American Conflict Zone

Module code: SP3155

This module will focus on the history and culture of the Putumayo, a region of the Colombian Amazon which shares a border with Ecuador and Peru. Although geographically isolated, the Putumayo has been of great strategic, economic, and cultural significance throughout Latin America’s postcolonial history. This module will explore the history and culture of the Putumayo from the late nineteenth century to the present, drawing upon a range of materials, including travel writing, journalism, testimony, fiction, and documentary film. On completion of this module, you will be able to identify the key historical developments in the Putumayo from the late nineteenth century to the present, and connect these to national and international events. You will have developed a critical awareness of discourses about the region, both by Colombians and non-Colombians, and will be able to demonstrate your knowledge of different cultural traditions from the Putumayo, including that of indigenous and mestizo communities. You will be able to demonstrate your knowledge in class discussions and informed written and oral presentations.

Learning

  • 5 hours of lectures
  • 13 hours of seminars
  • 2 hours of workshops
  • 130 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Group presentation (25%)
  • Essay (75%)