Costa Rica Colloquium: History and Culture

Universidad Veritas

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Costa Rica Colloquium: History and Culture

  • Host University

    Universidad Veritas

  • Location

    San José, Costa Rica

  • Area of Study

    Economics, History, Latin American Studies, Sociology, Spanish Culture

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Upper

    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
    Course name: Costa Rican Colloquium: History and Culture
    Course code: HUM 3513
    Total contact hours: 48 hours

    COURSE DESCRIPTION
    This course will provide students with an introduction to Costa Rican history and culture. The outstanding socio-economic and political features that have shaped and defined the history and development path of Costa Rica will be explored. The major social issues that have emerged since Pre-Columbian times to the present day will be uncovered to provide the student with an understanding of how Costa Rica?s present day culture has been shaped. Students will have the opportunity to explore 3 main areas: 1) the historical dynamics that have influenced contemporary Costa Rica?s cultural profile 2) the global and regional dynamics that have influenced the history and cultural development of Costa Rica, and 3) the characteristics of Costa Rica?s present day society and culture.

    OBJECTIVES
    1. To emphasize the importance of history in understanding current Latin American cultural phenomena.
    2. To discuss the specific aspects of the Costa Rican culture from a historical perspective.
    3. To analyze the impact of Costa Rica?s history from varying perspectives (economic, social, cultural and environmental).
    4. To emphasize the importance of the social, political and environmental influences and contexts for understanding the current Costa Rican cultural situation.
    5. To use the city and rural space as a window /indicator to reveal historical and present day Costa Rican culture.

    METHODOLOGY:
    It will be followed the critical pedagogic methodology in the PAULO FREIRE meaning, mainly dialoguing. This means any subject will be presented using handouts (that you might have if needed), and eventually I will make you questions, or you will do some exercises. Also, some videos and/or tapes will be used in an interactive way. Generally, but not always, from one class to another you will need to read some papers/articles/book?s chapters in order to have more inputs. It is expected that you will participate actively through questions, answers or comments during the classes.

    SPECIAL ACTIVITIES:
    Description of Special Activities - FIELDRIPS:
    The course includes the opportunity to participate in several possible field trips:
    1) San Jose City History Tour.
    2) Cartago City Tour.
    3) The Museum of Contemporary Art (MADC) or The National Museum.
    4) A volunteer opportunity with Proyectos Orientados al Desarrollo Sostenible (PODS) at the San Miguel village school Club de Conservación.
    5) A visit to the Oscar Arias Peace Foundation or InBio Parque.

    Please Note:
    Site visit times and dates are to be confirmed during the first class session.
    Fieldtrip times and lengths may vary from class times ? but students are still required to attend.
    Site visit locations can vary depending on unforeseen factors.
    All students are required to attend all designated fieldtrips unless otherwise discussed in class.

    Audience
    This course is structured for International Students attending the Study Abroad program at Universidad Veritas. However, courses are not exclusive to foreigners so a few native student could enroll in this course.

    Electronic devices:
    The use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication devices is disruptive, and is therefore prohibited during class. Please turn all devices OFF and put them away when class begins. Devices may be used ONLY when the professor assigns a specific activity and allows the use of devices for internet search or recording. Those who fail to comply with the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.

    Attendance
    Students are only allowed 2 absences (justified or not). The student will fail the course if he/she has more than 2 absences. Students will have a 0 on any assignment evaluated in class (presentations, evaluations, field trips, etc.) if he/she is absent in this class, unless an official document is presented to justify the absence the class after the absence. In this case the assignment will be done this day. An unjustified absence during a day of fieldtrip will immediately mean failing the course unless you have enrollment on a course with another field trip. You can only have two total absences in your elective courses HOWEVER, if you miss more than one day of class in a given month, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT for that particular course.

    Behavior
    Professors have the right to expel a student from the classroom should he / she:
    1) be disruptive in the classroom
    2) be under the influence of alcohol or even smell like alcohol
    3) Behave in a disrespectful way.
    If you tend to be late for class, you will lose 25% of your total grade

    EVALUATION SYSTEM

    ASSESSMENT AND GRADING
    Participation and attitude
    2% deduction for tardiness and unjustified absences.
    You can only have two total absences in your elective courses HOWEVER, if you miss more than one day of class in a given month, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT for that particular course.
    = 10%
    Class Readings (presentation, summary write up)
    = 10%
    Case Study research project write up
    = 25%
    Case Study presentation
    = 15%
    Research Activity: Questionnaire.
    (presentation, summary write up)
    = 7.5%
    Research Activity: Interviews.
    (presentation, summary write up)
    = 7.5%
    Research Activity: Collection of articles.
    (presentation, summary write up)
    = 5%
    Mid-term quiz
    = 5%
    Exam OR Blog Report ? to discuss.
    = 15%
    Total
    = 100%

    CONTENTS
    Areas to be covered:
    ? Pre-Columbian era and indigenous culture.
    ? Colonial times and cultural change.
    ? Export, agriculture and culture: coffee, cattle and bananas.
    ? The crisis years and the development of social movements: The women?s movement, the labor movement and the emergence of communism.
    ? The cultural characteristics of the oligarch.
    ? Civil War and the emergence of a new middle/ business class.
    ? Democracy versus dictatorships.
    ? The Welfare State and the Golden Years. Solidarity and stability.
    ? The 1980s economic crisis and its social, cultural and environmental impacts.
    ? A culture of conservation: Sustainable development and nature tourism.
    ? Costa Rican contemporary art world and cultural spaces.
    ? Shaping forces: machismo and the church.
    ? Globalization and cultures in crisis: Neoliberal individualism or a Post-modern participatory citizenship.
    ? Cultural symbolism ? La Plaza - San José / Cartago.

    SESSION CONTENT
    NB ? Tentative outline ? subject to change!!!
    Session Content Reading and Assignments Class Readers Session 1 Introduction to the course. Case study and class reading assignments defined and assigned. Students invited to talk about their Latin American and Costa Rican historical and cultural knowledge. To read, summarize and present the designated article. Find support material and hand in a brief summary ? or post it on the portal ? start a discussion about your theme. Session 2 Costa Rica?s Historical and Cultural Trends. Brief History and Overview. Major concepts introduced. Assignment: Write a paragraph about how you view Costa Rica culture. To hand in and discuss next session. Session 3 Pre-Columbian era and indigenous culture. Group Work: Discuss assignment. Reading: Molina and Palmer (2006) Chapter One: Trails of the First Peoples. Ferrero (2001) Costa Rica, Zona Fronteriza. * * Session 4 Field Trip Colonial times and cultural change. Cartago History City Tour Group Work: Article review and Spanish practice (possibly in the field). Reading: Perez-Brignoli,H. (1989) Chapter 2. The Colonial Past. Molina and Palmer (2006) Chapter 2: Cacicazgos and Senorios (1500-1570) and Chapter 3 Conquest and Resistance. * *
    NOTES:

    Session Content Reading and Assignments Class Readers Session 5 Export, agriculture and culture: Coffee, cattle and bananas. **Research brainstorming Reading: Molina and Palmer (2006) Coffee, Capitalism and the Liberal State. Molina Jiménez (2005) pages 33-57. La Consolidación del Mundo Cafetalero? * * Session 6 The crisis years and the development of social movements: The women?s movement, the labor movement and the emergence of communism. Reading: Molina and Palmer (2006) The Depression, Social Reform and Civil War. Calvo Fajardo (1997) Different Times, Women, Visions. Brenes Marin. M. (1989) The Women?s Movement and its History, its Struggles and its Achievements. * * * Session 7 Catch up or pay back session. Group Work: Article review and Spanish practice. Session 8 Field Trip San Jose City History Tour Civil War and the emergence of a new middle/ business class. Assignment: To complete the city tour questionnaire by next session, hand in and ready to discuss. Prepare for the quiz.
    NOTES:

    Session Content Reading and Assignments Class Readers
    Session 9 Field trip follow up and Quiz. **Planning Volunteer Session. Assignment: 10 minute presentation of research project idea. First draft summary to be handed in. Session 10 Democracy versus dictatorships. The Welfare State and the Golden Years. Solidarity and stability. Reading: Clark (2001) Chapter 2. The Legacies of 1948? Molina and Palmer (2006) The Golden Age of the Middle Class. * * Session 11 The 1980s economic crisis and its social, cultural and environmental impacts Reading: Hansen-Kuhn (1993) Sapping the Economy: Structural Adjustment Policies in Costa Rica. Molina and Palmer (2006) Crisis, Restructuring and Rolling Back the Social Reform. Assignment: Interview a Costa Rican to find out how they perceive themselves and Costa Rican culture. To hand in and discuss in session 13. * * Session 12 Field Trip A visit to the Oscar Arias Peace Foundation or InBio Parque. Group Work: Article review and Spanish practice.
    NOTES:

    Session Content Reading and Assignments Class Readers Session 13 Field Trip follow up. Cultural understanding after experiencing. A culture of conservation: Sustainable development and nature tourism. Reading: Arias (1989) Palabras del Presidente de Costa Rica? Assignment: Students to find articles on Costa Rica?s Conservation culture to present in this * All students.
    Group Work: Interviews discussed. class. Session 14 and 15 Field Trip A volunteer opportunity with Proyectos Orientados al Desarrollo Sostenible (PODS) in the San Miguel village school. Session 16 Field Trip follow up. Cultural understanding after experiencing (or pay back session). Group Work: Article review and Spanish practice.
    NOTES:

    Session Content Reading and Assignments Class Readers Session 17 Research and revision/blog session. Session 18 Session 19 Field Trip Costa Rican contemporary art world and cultural impacts Group Work: Article review and Spanish practice. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MADC) Reading: To be handed out. * Session 20 Field Trip follow up. Cultural understanding after experiencing/ or pay back. Assignment: Interview a Costa Rican about the position of women in Costa Rican society. To be handed in and discussed next session.
    Session Content Reading and Assignments Class Readers Session 21 Shaping forces: machismo and the church. Reading: Sharratt (1997) The Suffragist Movement *
    in Costa Rica, 1889-1949. Interviews discussed. Session 22 Globalization and cultures in crisis: CAFTA and Neoliberal individualism or a Post-modern participatory citizenship. Assignment: Students to find articles on CAFTA and culture to present in this class. Group Work: Article review and Spanish practice. All students. Session 23 Conclusions / Exam (or final pay back session) Session 24 Research Project Presentations.
    NOTES:

    ASSIGNMENTS DEFINED
    CASE STUDIES
    Activity:
    ? The student chooses a case study area
    ? Researches and amplifies the information
    ? Writes up their case study.
    ? Hands in their Case Study project on the ________________
    ? Presents their case to the rest of the class on the ________________

    EXAMPLE CASE STUDY TOPICS
    1) The importance of coffee in the cultural development of Costa Rica.
    2) The culture of conservation: its roots and development.
    3) The future: CAFTA and culture, individualism or solidarity.

    CLASS READINGS
    ? Each student will have at least one class reading.
    ? The student will be given articles/ texts from the reading pack.
    ? The student reads and prepares the text for synthesis and presentation to the class on the assigned date.
    ? The student must also bring additional material to discuss in their class reading session (related to the discussion topic of the day).
    ? A brief summary of the texts must be handed in on the day of the presentation along with a copy of any additional material/texts used.
    ? Hand in the link for the internet articles found.
    ? Prepare and hand in a discussion question about your theme.
    ? The rest of the class must respond to the question on the academic portal.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY and CLASS READING TEXTS
    (In reading order. Articles will be provided or can be found in the Veritas Library)
    Molina and Palmer (2006) Chapter One: Trails of the First Peoples. From The History of Costa Rica. UCR, San Jose.
    Ferrero (2001) Costa Rica, Zona Fronteriza. Entre el Pasado y el Futuro. Ediorial Costa Rica, San Jose.
    Perez-Brignoli,H. (1989) Chapter 2. The Colonial Past. A Brief History of Central America. University of California press. Oxford, England.
    Molina and Palmer (2006) Chapter 2: Cacicazgos and Senorios (1500-1570) and Chapter 3 Conquest and Resistence. From The History of Costa Rica. UCR, San Jose.
    Molina and Palmer (2006) Chapter 6: Coffee, Capitalism and the Liberal State. From The History of Costa Rica. UCR, San Jose.
    Molina Jiménez (2005) pages 33-57. La Consolidación del Mundo Cafetalero?Del Legado Colonial al Modelo Agroexportador. Costa Rica 1821-1914. Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica. San Jose, Costa Rica.
    Molina and Palmer (2006) The Depression, Social Reform and Civil War. From The History of Costa Rica. UCR, San Jose.
    Calvo Fajardo (1997) Different Times, Women, Visions: The Deep Roots of Costa Rican Feminism. From, Abshagen Leitinger. The Costa Rican Women?s Movement. Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
    Brenes Marin. M. (1989) The Women?s Movement and its History, its Struggles and its Achievements. The Case Study of Costa Rica. Lock Haven Int review. Issue 12. USA.
    Clark, M. (2001) Chapter 2. The Legacies of 1948: Democratic Institutions, Social Welfare and Economic Development. In Gradual Economic Reform in Latin America. The Costa Rican Experience. SUNY, New York.
    Molina and Palmer (2006) The Golden Age of the Middle Class. From The History of Costa Rica. UCR, San Jose.
    Hansen-Kuhn (1993) Sapping the Economy: Structural Adjustment Policies in Costa Rica. The Ecologist, Vol.32. No.5 Sep/Oct 1993.
    Molina and Palmer (2006) Crisis, Restructuring and Rolling Back the Social Reform. From The History of Costa Rica. UCR, San Jose.
    Arias (1989) Palabras del Presidente de Costa Rica? In Hedstrom, I. (1989) La Situación Ambiental en Centroamérica y El caribe. DEI, San José.
    Sharratt (1997) The Suffragist Movement in Costa Rica, 1889-1949. Centennial of Democracy? From, Abshagen Leitinger. The Costa Rican Women?s Movement. Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations