History of Mexico & Globalization- Fall 2011


Universidad de Quintana ROO


Prof. Olga M. Lazin                                                                                         Office: Business Dpt.

E-mail:olazin@ucla.edu                                                                                   Phone: (310) 208 2244

Office hours: …. and by appointment



Mexico and Globalization is a general survey of the History of Mexico from its pre-conquest origins to the present. We will explore the social, political, and economic transformations of the country, paying particular attention to the impact of such transformations on the everyday lives of the Mexican people.

  It also looks at the way Mexico’s economic and political relationship to the rest of the world –particularly to the United States—has impacted the nation. We analyze how Roberto Gonzales Barrera has extended his tortilla making empire into Guatemala, Costa Rica, the U.S.A, the Europena Union and China. The test case of the GRUPO MASECA is exemplary on how a Mexican entrepreneur has started the industrialization of the hygienic and vitamin-rich tortilla and expanded it into many countries around the world.


Globalization and Mexico´s international businesses.

Required Readings:

“Mexico Faces the 21st Century” by  Donald E. Schultz, and handouts on Interviews of Roberto Gonzales Barrera . [1]

Optional: the books listed below are required reading for this course and are available for purchase at the Grossmont College bookstore. 1) MacLachlan, Colin M., and Beezley, William H. El Gran Pueblo:  A History of Greater Mexico.  Prentice Hall, 1999.


2) Altman, Ida, Cline, Sarah, and Pescador, Juan Javier.  The Early History of Greater MexicoPrentice Hall, 2003.

Sam Quiñones, True Tales from Another Mexico:  The Lynch Mob, The Popsicle Kings, Chalino, and the Bronx (University of New Mexico Press, 2001)


>Do Meyer and Sherman.

A good dictionary is highly recommended.


In order to receive the electronic articles and course announcements, you need to email me sometime before the end of the second week to be placed on our course mailing list.  On the read line simply write Mexico and Globalization, or whichever class you’re enrolled in and in the content write “subscribe”.


If you do not have an email account, you can set up a free account with any commercial service such as hotmail (www.hotmail.com) or yahoo (www.yahoo.com)


In addition, I will hand out a few recent documents and a few newspaper articles that will bring us up to date on some of the topics we will be discussing.   I will also be emailing you recent articles as they appear in online newspapers and magazines.


Consistent attendance in lectures and participation in class discussions is essential to understanding the course themes, and to performing well in the class.


Course Requirements

The final course grade will be calculated based on the following components:


1.  Attendance (5%)-  The most straightforward component of your grade.  Everyone starts out with 100 and six points are taken off for each unexcused absence.


2.  Interactive Journal (10%)-  You will write a series of short thought pieces in which you show your understanding of the concepts and themes being explored in the course and how your readings and films relate to them.  I will give you the topics or questions and you will either write them in class or bring your written responses to class prepared to discuss them with your peers and myself.  You will receive feedback on your responses during our discussions.  You will title, date, and keep them all together in order and be prepared to turn them all in on the last day of class.


3.  Class Participation (10%)- You will have a portion of designated class discussions in which we devote class time to exploring our course themes and how our readings and films relate to them.  You will, in turn, receive 10% credit for your verbal contributions and active listening in our group and class discussions.   Because discussions are only productive when you have completed the readings, seen the films, and have your journal responses ready, you will not receive credit for this portion if you do not come to class prepared.


4.  Map Quiz (5%) The first is a map quiz in which you identify the Mexican states and is worth 5% of your grade.  These questions are actually multiple-choice.


5.  Film Analysis (15%)- A 3 to 5 page analysis of any one of the full length films we will have seen in the course. Your task will be to place the film into historical context, assesses its strengths and weaknesses as a historical document, and provide an overview of the ways that the film contributes to our understanding of the history of the region at that time.

Please feel free to consult me at any time during the course of this project.  I’d be happy to provide you with feedback. Due only the last day of class.


6.  Midterm Exam (25%)-  This exam will be comprised of  identification of terms and concepts, one short essay, and one longer and comprehensive essay.  Part one asks you to identify four terms or concepts and to state their historical significance.  Part two asks you to write a short essay on a topic I assign to you.  In part three, you will to incorporate all of the knowledge you have accumulated from your readings, lectures, discussions, and films into a comprehensive essay.  The midterm covers material from our class discussions, lectures, films, and readings since day one.


7. Final Exam (30%)- This exam will be comprised of identification of terms and concepts and two comprehensive essays.  Part one asks you to identify five terms or concepts and to state their historical significance.  In part two, you write two comprehensive essays (or two short essays, we’ll decide as the final gets near) in which you incorporate all of your accumulated wisdom.  As you did in your midterm, you will back up your arguments with specific examples drawn from your readings, lectures, discussions, and films.  The questions will be drawn mainly from material since the midterm.

Extra credit: You may choose any of the themes I will be recommending to you and do an analysis of the business entrepreneur, or the business group the instructor advises you on.


You will receive study guides with sample questions before the midterm and the final.


There will be no make-ups for any of the examinations.  No incompletes will be given.  (Verified emergencies/certificates provide the only exceptions to these policies.)


Attendance, punctuality and withdrawals. Roll is taken at the beginning of class.  BE ON TIME.  Late arrivals disrupt the flow of the class.  While I do my best to formally drop students who stop attending class, it is ultimately your responsibility to withdraw from the course.  Failure to do so may result in an unexpected F.


Turn off your phones and pagers or set them on silent mode, or cell phones will be confiscated.


Side conversations and passing notes are rude and a distraction to the class, and therefore have no place in our classroom.  Just as meaningful participation is rewarded, disruptive behavior will be penalized.


Course Outline (Tentative)

Week 1

            Introduction.  Have in writing for next class, journal entry #1, part 1:  your written impressions of the following quotes on globalization. "Mexico’s 1st and 2nd Green Agricultural Revolutions: and the Grupo MASECA"How do we know what we know?;  Historiography (the history of the history of the region). Class discussion.  Topic:  quotes on history. Journal entry #, part 2:  Further reflection of these ideas in light of our class discussion today.


Suggested Supplementary Readings:  Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books, 1979.  Gary B. Nash, Charlotte Crabtree, and Ross E. Dunn, History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past ( New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1997)


Week 2  

2/3-2/7 Native societies on the eve of the Conquest

        Read: Altman, et. al., chapters 1 and 2            

        Film:  “The Buried Mirror: Conflict of the Gods”


Suggested Supplementary Readings: David Carrasco, Daily Life of the Aztecs: People of the Sun (Westport, Conn., 1998); MacLachlan, Colin M., and Rodriguez O., Jaime E.  The Forging of the Cosmic Race:  A Reinterpretation of Colonial Mexico.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1990.



Week 3  

2/10-2/14    Invasion, Conquest, and Settlement of Mexico

        Read:  Altman, et. al. (this is The Early History of Greater Mexico), chapters 3 and 4

“Latin America’s Indigenous Saint (Juan Diego) Stirs Anger, Pride”, article to be handed out


Group and Class Discussion on Conquest and Narratives of Conquest


Suggested Supplementary Readings:   Diamond, Jared, Guns, Germs, and Steel:  The Fates of Human Societies (New York: W. W. Norton, 1997);  James Lockhart,  The Nahuas After the Conquest:  A Social and Cultural History of the Indians of Central Mexico, Sixteenth Through Eighteenth Centuries (Stanford:  Stanford University Press, 1992)



Week 4  

2/17-2/21    No class Monday 2/17- Campus wide holiday, Washington’s B.D.


        The Colonial Economy

        Read:  Altman, et. al., chapters 5, 8 and 9

Map Quiz (W)

Bring a Scantron and a #2 Pencil

Week 5

2/24-2/28    Christianity, Change and Continuity in Native Societies, and the forging of the “Cosmic Race”

Read:  Altman, et. al., chapters 6, 7 and 10


Group and Class Discussions on chapters 5-10


Recommended novel:  Rosario Castellanos, The Book of Lamentations (New York:  Marsilio Publishing, 1996)

Recommended film: “I, the Worst of All”, Maria Louisa Bemberg's film on Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.

For further reading:  Shroeder, Susan, Stephanie Wood, and Robert Haskett, eds. Indian Women of Early Mexico. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997.



Week 6  

3/3 –3/7         Late Colonial changes and the move to independence

Read:  Altman, et. al., chapters 11-18


For further reading:  Van Young, Eric. The Other Rebellion:  Popular Violence, Ideology, and the Mexican Struggle for Independence, 1810-1821. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001.



Week 7

3/10-3/14    Instability, Pastry Wars, and Invasions:  Mexico from the 1820’s to the 1850’s

        Read:  M&B  (this is El Gran Pueblo), ch.’s 1 and  2



        Juarez, the French Invasion and Cinco de Mayo:  The Wars of the Reform, 1850’s-1870’s

        Read:  M&B, ch. 3



Week 8

3/17-3/21     Railroads, Rurales, and “Order and Progess”: The “Modernization” of Mexico, 1876-1910

        Read:  M&B, ch. 4



    Skeletons, dispossessed natives, and the ossification of Liberalism:  The costs of the “Modernization” of Mexico, 1876-1910

        Read:  M&B, ch. 5


Suggested Supplementary Readings: William H. Beezley,  Judas at the Jockey Club and Other Episodes of

Porfirian Mexico  (University of Nebraska Press, 1987);  John Mason Hart, Empire and Revolution: The Americans in Mexico since theCivil War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002).


Week 9

3/24-3/28    The Liberal Order Collapses:  The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1917

        Read:  M&B, ch.’s 6 and 7


    Film:  “Viva Zapata!”


Suggested Supplementary Readings: John Mason Hart, Revolutionary Mexico:  The Coming and Process of the Mexican Revolution (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1987);  Alan Knight, The Mexican Revolution, 2 volumes (Lincoln:  University of Nebraska Press, 1986);  Friedrich Katz, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa (Stanford:  Stanford University Press, 1998);  John Womack, Zapata and the Mexican Revolution;  Samuel Brunk, Zapata! (University of New Mexico Press)



Week 10

3/31-4/4        Midterm Examination


        Class and Group discussions “Viva Zapata!”



Week 11

4/7-4/11        “Institutionalizing” the Revolution, 1917 to 1937;  and Binding “Many” Mexicos into one?

    Read:  M&B, ch.’s 8 and 9, and

         “Educating Mexico’s Indians” article to be handed out


The Revolution Becomes “The Miracle”:  The Drive for Urban and Industrial

Mexico, 1937-1946

        Read:  M&B, ch. 10



Recommended novel:  Lopez y Fuentes, Gregorio.  El Indio.  New York:  Continuum, 1994.

For further reading:  Ochoa, Enrique C. Feeding Mexico:  The Political Uses of Food since 1910. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 2000.



Week 12  

4/14-4/18    Spring Break- No Classes



Week 13

4/21-4/25    The Death of the Mexican Revolution? 1946-1972

        Read:  M&B, ch. 11


Mexico from Boom to Crisis, the mid 70’s to 1982

        Read:  M&B, ch. 12, pp’s 421-445



Recommended Film:  “The Last Zapatista”

Recommended Novel:  Hector Aguilar Camín, La Guerra de Galío (Galío’s War)

Suggested Supplementary Readings: Enrique Krauze, Mexico:  Biography of Power (New York:  Harpercollins, 1997); Gilbert M. Joseph and Daniel Nugent, eds.,  Everyday Forms of State Formation:  Revolution and the Negotiation of Rule in Modern Mexico (Durham:  Duke University Press, 1994);  Stephen D. Morris, Corruption and Politics in Contemporary Mexico (Tuscaloosa:  University of Alabama Press, 1991)





Week 14

4/28-5/2        The Economic Crisis of 1982 and the "Lost Decade"

    Read:  M&B, ch. 12, pp’s 445-451 and articles to be handed out


For further reading:  Judith Teichman, Policymaking in Mexico: From Boom to Crisis (Boston:  Allen & Unwin, 1988);  Judith A. Teichman, Privatization and Political Change in Mexico (Pittsburgh:  University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995);


Neo-Liberalism challenged:  “Superbarrio” and the Zapatista uprising

Read: M&B, ch. 12, pp’s 451-487 and articles to be handed out

“The Rapid Rise of NeoBanqueros:  Mexico’s New Financial Elite”

“From North Atlantic NeoLiberalism to Market Pluralism” Salinas and Mangabeira


Week 15

5/5-5/9        Film:  “The Sixth Sun:  Mayan Uprising in Chiapas”


        Read:  “Mexico’s Indians:  One Nation or Many?”  The Economist

        First World, Ha, Ha, Ha!, short article by Elaine Katzenberger


        Group and class discussions on the film and articles on the Zapatista Uprising


Suggested Supplementary Readings: Neil Harvey, The Chiapas Rebellion:  The Struggle for Land and Democracy (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1998);  John Womack, Rebellion in Chiapas:  An Historical Reader (New York:  The New Press, 1999);  Hayden, Tom, ed. The Zapatista Reader. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002;  Andres Oppenheimer, Bordering on Chaos:  Guerrillas, Stockbrokers, Politicians, and Mexico’s Road to Prosperity (New York:  Little, Brown &Co., 1996);  Jorge G. Castañeda  The Mexican Shock (The New Press, 1995);  Carlos Fuentes, A New Time for Mexico (New York:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996);  Elaine Katzenberger, First World, Ha, Ha, Ha!



Week 16

5/12-5/16    Film:   “Traffic” and discussion

        Readings to be handed out: http://blogs.cnnexpansion.com/informacion-privilegiada/?p=507.



Week 17

5/19-5/23    A New Era for Mexico:  Mexico in the 21st Century

    Read:  M&B, ch. 12, pp’s 488-493 and articles to be handed out:

        “Congress Shifts Mexico's Balance of Power” NYT art. 2/22/02

“Mexican Workers Pay for Success: With Labor Costs Rising, Factories Depart for Asia”  Washington Post art. 6/20/02

        “Mexico's Corrupt Oil Lifeline" (NY Times 1/21/03)


Suggested Supplementary Readings: 

Sam Quiñones, True Tales from Another Mexico:  The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino, and the Bronx (University of New Mexico Press)


Finals Week

Finals Week.  No classes this week.  Your final.

Films to incorporate into the syllabus:

3.  “Mexico:  Revolution, 1910-1940”  A documentary tracing the “institutionalization” of the Revolution.  Footage from the period.

[Grossmont College owns a copy, you can view it in the LRC in the library, Code: MV 2752]


4.  “Mexico:  From Boom to Bust, 1940-1982”  Second part in this series, tracing Mexico’s “Revolution” from its industrialization efforts to the oil boom and its bust. Industrialization of the tortillas (Roberto Gonzales’ barrera) Grupo MASECA.



5.  “Mexico:  The End of an Era, 1982-1988”  Third part in this series, tracing the jarring changes that shook Mexico after the 1982 financial crisis also in 1986, Mexico’s worst “crisis” since its Revolution.

[Grossmont College owns a copy, you can view it in the LRC in the library, Code: MV 2754]


Additional Suggested Supplementary Readings


Ruben Martínez:

 “Crossing Over:  A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail” (New York:  Metropolitan Books, 2001);  Bad Language, Naked Ladies, and Other Threats to the Nation : A Political History of Comic Books in Mexico (Duke University Press).

Dr. Olga Lazin wrote, nov.17-2010:



"Mexico’s 1st and 2nd Green Agricultural Revolutions: and the Grupo MASECA"


Lalanne Kersten wrote:

>> Dear Olga,


>> Yes I have received your mails, I am still designing the MBA program the idea is to start on August 2011.


>> I will be considering you for a subject related to Globalization and Mexico´s international businesses. Can you write the title and brief description of the course you would like to give for a Masters Class, please.

Best regards,

[1] Mexican business leaders like Roberto Gonzales Barrera's Grupo Maseca oral History. Globalization of tortilla de mais vitaminizada y higienica by Grupo Maseca S.A. de C.V.  gruma en el mercado de valores, Queria destacar la industrialización de la tortilla de mais y harina.

Su idea veni de los mezcladores de cemento, de los trompos. Eduardo Sastre no quiere que PROFMEX publica la istoria oral de R. G. Barrera.

Dr. Olga Magdalena Lazín




Olga Magdalena Lazín
E-mail: olgalazin@gmail.com