The purpose of this essay is to allow you to further engage with our assigned readings about historical developments in 20the century Latin America. Choose and answer ONE of the
prompts below. If you would like to write about a topic of your choosing, please email me to get my
The essay should be 4-6 pages long, in Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced, and in Word.
For this essay you should use the textbook, the primary source, and any audiovisual
materials assigned in our class.
Do not use any outside sources without consulting me.
Your essays must use proper in-text citation that demonstrates where your information is
drawn from. Remember that you need to use citation even if you are not using a direct quote. For example, if you are paraphrasing a section of the textbook, you should still include an in-text citation. When in doubt, provide citation.
You may use any style of citation you are most familiar with – such as MLA, APA or Chicago style – as long as you use it consistently throughout the paper.
Plagiarism is defined as “[t]he adoption or reproduction of ideas or words or statements
of another person as one’s own without acknowledgment.” This would include, for example, copying or substantially restating the published, unpublished, or on-line work of another person without appropriate attribution. Plagiarism can include insufficient paraphrasing, even if the source is attributed. For the purpose of this class, I will use an “eight word rule,” meaning that if eight consecutive verbatim words are taken from a text without direct quotes, I will consider that to be insufficient paraphrase.
Prompt Option #2: New Song and the Revolutionary 1960s in Latin American
The 1960s were considered a “revolutionary decade” in Latin America and around the world. One reflection of the cultural sensibility of the 1960s can be found in a genre called New Song (Nueva Cancion) or sometimes Protest Song, which was popular in Latin America in that decade. For this option, you should write an essay that analyzes this musical genre and shows how it reflects the politics of the 1960s in Chile.
For this option, you should analyze the lyrics of at least three songs from the period. You may choose from the ones that I suggest, or you can identify your own. Using the English translation of the lyrics, identify and analyze one or more underlying themes (for example, poverty, US imperialism, Latin American unity, or the inevitability of revolution). Be sure to connect those themes to the readings we have done about what was happening in Latin America in the 1960s – i.e. the historical context in which this music was made. To do so you must use our textbook and include in-text citation when appropriate. Remember that the purpose of this option is to use music as a window onto the politics of the 1960s and ‘70s.
You can use the song lyrics available on our Classes page in the Primary Documents folder:
Carlos Puebla “En eso llegó Fidel”
Inti Illimani, “Simón Bolivar
Daniel Vigletti, “A Desalambrar”
Mercedes Sosa, “Solo le pido a Dios”
You can also use the list of songs below, with links to the lyrics in English. You can find many recordings of these songs on YouTube.
Victor Jara (Chile), “El Aparecido/The Apparition” (https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Victor-Jara/El-aparecido/translation/english)
Atahualpa Yupanqui (Argentina), “Basta ya/Enough!” (lyrics available in English https://lyricstranslate.com/en/basta-ya-enough.html-2)
Mercedes Sosa (Argentina), “Si se calla el cantor/If the singer is silenced” (lyrics available in English https://lyricstranslate.com/en/si-se-calla-el-cantor-if-singer-goes-quiet.html)
Thomas C. Wright, Latin America since Independence, especially chapters
The documentary film Mercedes Sosa: The Voice of Latin America available on Kanopy
Song lyrics (available on our Classes page and in links above)