IS 357: CUBA (Online)

Spring 2017—1st 8 weeks

 Jacksonville University

Instructor: Dr. Jesse Hingson

Office location: Gooding 215

Office Phone: (904) 256-7215

E-mail me at jhingso@ju.edu to schedule a phone appointment or

to schedule a live chat via e-mail

 

What does this course promise?  This course is a survey of Cuba’s past and present.  We will explore the following topics: pre-Colombian civilizations and geography, European conquest and the establishment of Spanish colonial institutions, including slavery, struggles over Cuba’s path to independence, the causes and events of the Spanish-American War, regionalism and racism as a factor in state formation during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, economic development and modernization, authoritarian rule and struggles for democratization, foreign relations with a particular emphasis on US-Cuba relations, the formation and activities of Cuban exile communities in the United States, the origins and consequences of the Cuban Revolution of 1959, and Cuba’s status today.  Learning will be assessed through quizzes, written assignments, and discussions.  Active participation, reading the assigned materials, and completing assignments are all keys for success.  This course satisfies the “Global Studies” core curriculum requirement.  Reading the assigned materials, active participation, and completing assignments are all keys for success.  Please promise that you will do everything that you can to work with me as we explore these issues together.  I promise to do everything that I can to help you learn. 

 

Course Topics and Expected Course Outcomes: As a result of this course, the student will be able to do the following:

1) Discuss the economic, social, cultural, and political factors that influenced Cuba’s history.

2) Analyze primary and secondary documents from Cuba’s history and intelligently discuss the issues involved in the use of such sources for historical analysis.

3) Critically engage significant works by modern scholars that address the course and impact of Cuba’s development. 

 

Academic Dishonesty and the Honor Code: Any evidence of cheating or plagiarism will result in automatic failure for the course.  Cheating is defined as the attempt, successful or not, to give or obtain aid and/or information by illicit means in meeting any academic requirements, including examinations.  It includes copying the writings of others with or without their knowledge.  Plagiarism is defined as the use, without proper acknowledgement, of the ideas, phrases, sentences, or larger units of discourse from another writer or speaker.  All are expected to know and abide by the Honor Code as stated in the university catalog and student handbook.

 

Textbooks (required):

1) Julia E. Sweig, Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know. Second Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012 [hereafter “Sweig”].  The newest Third Edition is fine, too!

2) Aviva Chomsky, et al., The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004 [hereafter “Cuba Reader”]

 

Requirements and Grading Scale:

Online Quizzes: 6 @ 50 points=300 points

Discussion Boards: 2 @ 50 points=100 points

Response Paper: 100 points

Total: 500 points

 

SCALE: A=500-450; B+=449-435; B=434-400; C+=399-385; C=384-350; D+=349-335; D=334-300; F=≤299

 

*No grade of “I” or “Incomplete” will be given unless a documented emergency prevents completion of the course.

 

1) Online Quizzes: Six quizzes will be given on key people, places, ideas, and events covered in the following materials: (a) Powerpoint lectures with audio, (b) Julia Sweig, Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know, (c) Aviva Chomsky, et al., The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics, and (d) any assigned supplemental materials, such as the documentary films, as noted in the syllabus schedule.  It is strongly advised that notes be taken on all materials.  Each quiz will be given on the Blackboard site.  Please consult the schedule to know when the exams will take place.  Failure to complete the quiz by the dates indicated will result in a zero.  Each quiz will have a time limit of one hour (in one sitting).  Materials may be used, but it is strongly recommended that the contents of the materials be reviewed before beginning the quiz.  Each quiz will have 25 multiple choice, true/false, short answer questions and correspond to the following materials:

 

Ø  Quiz #1: Cuba Before 1959

o   View/Listen: Powerpoint Lecture, “Cuba Before 1959”

o   Read: Sweig, “Cuba Before 1959”

o   Read: Cuba Reader, pages 9-19, 39-68, 91-96, 115-149, 163-168, 186-191, 283-286, 290-295, 306-314

 

Ø  Quiz #2: Cuba Before 1959

o   View: Crucible of Empire: The Spanish-American War

 

Ø  Quiz #3: The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1959-1991

o   View/Listen: Powerpoint Lecture, “The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1959-91”

o   Read: Sweig, “The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1959-91”

o   Read: Cuba Reader, pages pages 333-413, 419-447, 515-567

 

Ø  Quiz #4: The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1959-1991

o   View: PBS Documentary on the Cuban Revolution

 

Ø  Quiz #5: The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1991-2006;

After Fidel, Under Raúl

o   View/Listen: Powerpoint Lecture, “The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1991-2006” and “After Fidel, Under Raúl”;

o   Read: Sweig, “The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1991-2006” and “After Fidel, Under Raúl

o   Read: Cuba Reader, 466-513, 590-689

 

Ø  Quiz #6: The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1991-2006;

After Fidel, Under Raúl

o   View: Black in Latin America: Cuba, The Next Revolution

o   View: BBC World, "Inside Cuba", part 1

o   View: BBC World, "Inside Cuba", part 2

 

NOTE ON LECTURES: The lectures are located on Blackboard as downloadable Powerpoint files.  Click on “Slide Show” in order to begin the lecture.  Each Powerpoint lecture contains both images and audio, so please make sure that you have the proper settings on your computer (e.g., the mute button is not activated).  The lectures are only intended to be brief overviews of the material, and they are designed to provide assistance with your exams, including suggestions on where to focus your readings.  Those who consult the lectures perform much better in the class than those who do not.

 

2) Discussion Boards: The two questions below will be posted on Blackboard to survey your reactions to the lectures, readings, and supplemental materials relevant to the course.  Three postings minimum are required for each discussion board assignment.  The first posting must be a minimum of 250 words.  It is expected that all postings be written well.  Strong responses will incorporate specific examples from the textbooks and other assigned materials.  The following two postings must be thoughtful responses to at least two different colleagues and must be at least 75 words each, incorporating specific examples from the assigned materials.  Discussion boards are worth 50 points each, which will be distributed among five categories (10 points each): 1) the overall quality/readability of the writing; 2) the overall quality of the ideas; 3) the use of examples from the lectures and readings; 4) the use of examples from the films/visuals; 5) the quality of responses to colleagues in the class.  Please also be prepared to expand on a topic when prompted by the instructor or colleagues to do so.  The rules against plagiarism will apply to this assignment, so please make sure that you post your own thoughts, ideas, and questions

 

Ø  Discussion Board #1: On the eve of the Cuban Revolution of 1959, Cuba seemed to be a stable and prosperous nation.  Looking deep into Cuba’s past, what were the causes of the revolution?  Consider how you would rank these causes.  In your view, what was the single most important factor why the island nation succumbed to revolution in 1959?  Use examples from the following materials:

·         View/Listen: Powerpoint Lecture, “Cuba Before 1959”

·         Read: Sweig, “Cuba Before 1959”

·         Read: Cuba Reader, pages 9-19, 39-68, 91-96, 115-149, 163-168, 186-191, 283-286, 290-295, 306-314

·         View: Crucible of Empire: The Spanish-American War

 

Ø  Discussion Board #2: During the last two years of the Obama administration, US-Cuba relations have thawed somewhat.  However, considering that President Obama has just left office in early 2017 and Raúl Castro the following year, what are the most important obstacles that remain for full normalization?  Among these, what in your view is the single most important obstacle both sides need to overcome to continue the groundwork already laid for improved relations?  You will want to consider the issues that have divided the US and Cuba since 1959.  Use examples from the following materials:

·         View/Listen: Powerpoint Lectures, “The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1959-91”, “The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1991-2006”, and “After Fidel, Under Raúl

·         Read: Sweig, “The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1959-91”, “The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1991-2006”, and “After Fidel, Under Raúl

·         Read: Cuba Reader, 333-413, 419-447, 466-513, 515-567, 590-689

·         View: PBS Documentary on the Cuban Revolution

·         View: BBC World, "Inside Cuba", part 1

·         View: BBC World, "Inside Cuba", part 2

·         View: Black in Latin America: Cuba, The Next Revolution

 

3) Response Paper: Between the two Discussion Board topics listed above, expand on only one question in the form of a response paper (or a formal argumentative essay).  The purpose of this assignment is to apply your knowledge of the materials.  The use of any materials outside of what has been assigned is unnecessary and strictly prohibited.  Each response should be typed, New Times Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, limited to 1200-1800 words, and use parenthetical citations.  It is expected that all written work be carefully edited.  Strong responses incorporate an introductory paragraph with a clear thesis or argument.  Body paragraphs must have viable topic sentences and be steeped in evidence to support the argument/thesis.  Thoughtful conclusions explore the larger implications of main ideas.  I would be glad to provide feedback on a draft before you turn in the final version.  The Response Paper must be submitted to Blackboard or directly to the instructor via e-mail (jhingso@ju.edu) by the deadline indicated on the schedule.  Each late paper will be penalized ten (20) points for each 24-hour period it is late (starting the second after it is due).  Please note that rules against plagiarism will apply especially to this assignment, and programs (e.g., turnitin.com) will be utilized.  To give you an idea of how the response paper will be assessed, a sample response paper and grading rubric are provided on Blackboard.  Please write out the topic at the top of your response paper.

 

SCHEDULE/READINGS: Instructor reserves the right to change the schedule if necessary

 

Week 1: January 9-January 15, Cuba Before 1959

·         Enrollment Verification Activity:  Are you out there?  Please send me a message directly to my e-mail address (jhingso@ju.edu) indicating:

o   1) what questions you have, if any, about the course requirements;

o   2) why you are interested in taking this course (e.g., course requirement) and/or what, if any, connections you have to the country;

o   3) contact information, including telephone number(s).

o   This information will be due by 11:59 p.m. on January 12, 2017.  A twenty-five (25) point penalty to the overall point total will apply if the assignment is not received by the deadline.  Please note that completing the assignment means that you will be exempt from the point deduction.

 

Week 2: January 16-January 22, Cuba Before 1959

·         Take Quiz #1: Available until 11:59 pm on January 22

 

Week 3: January 23-January 29, Cuba Before 1959

·         Take Quiz #2: Available until 11:59 pm on January 29

·         Discussion Board #1 Comments Due by 11:59 p.m. on January 25

·         Discussion Board #1 Responses Due by 11:59 p.m. on January 28

 

Week 4: January 30-February 5, The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1959-1991

·         Take Quiz #3: Available until 11:59 pm on February 5

 

Week 5: February 6-February 12, The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1959-1991

·         Take Quiz #4: Available until 11:59 pm on February 12

 

Week 6: February 13-February 19, The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1991-2006;

After Fidel, Under Raúl

·         Take Quiz #5: Available until 11:59 pm on February 19

·         Take Quiz #6: Available until 11:59 pm on February 19

 

Week 7: February 20-February 26, The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1991-2006;

After Fidel, Under Raúl

·         Discussion Board #2 Comments Due by 11:59 p.m. on February 22

·         Discussion Board #2 Responses Due by 11:59 p.m. on February 25

 

Week 8: February 27-March 5

·         Optional Discussion Board will be open in case there are any questions

·         Response Papers are due by 11:59 p.m. on March 4