Americas and Africa

The Americas and Africa caucus invites students to explore the complex history of intercultural encounter, exchange, and conflict that connects South, Central, and North America and the diverse nations of Africa. Courses in this concentration locate these regions within larger global movements of people, goods, and ideas. Major topical themes in the concentration include Indigenous history, African diaspora, immigration, gender, labor, religion, social movements, politics, and critical history of race. Courses in this concentration extend from the colonial era to the modern day and reflect interdisciplinary approaches to historical practice.


Major Requirements

The history major requires a minimum of 12 unique courses. At least eight of the 12 courses must be upper-division (HIS 100-199). A maximum of four courses, including the introductory survey course, may be lower-division (HIS 1-99).

Region of Concentration: Americas and Africa (6 courses)

I. One lower-division introductory survey course:

All of the above courses satisfy the Ethnicity and Race (ER) general education requirement.

II. Four additional Americas and Africa courses, three of which must be upper-division

III. One Americas and Africa Comprehensive Requirement

Historical Skills and Methods (1 course)

IV. HIS 100, Historical Skills and Methods

HIS 100 introduce history majors to historical methods and provides preparation for advanced historical research. Students develop critical reading, historical analysis, research, and disciplinary writing skills. HIS 100 also satisfies the Textual Analysis and Interpretation (TA) general education requirement.

Students who enter UCSC as frosh are expected to complete HIS 100 by the end of their second year. Transfer students are expected to complete HIS 100 no later than their second term at UCSC.

Catalog of Course Requirements

The History Catalog of Course Requirements indicates what region(s) of concentration and what chronological distribution requirement(s) individual history courses may apply toward.

Breadth Requirements (4 courses)

V. Two courses from each of the remaining two regions of concentration:

Upper-Division Elective (1 course)

One additional upper-division history course of your choice from any of the three regions of concentration

Distribution Requirements

Of the 12 courses required for the major, at least three must meet chronological distribution requirements. One must be set before 600 C.E., and two must be set in periods prior to the year 1800 C.E.

Intensive Major Option

The intensive history major offers students a pathway to enrich their study of history, refine their skills in writing and research, and receive a designation on their transcripts that signals their ambition and accomplishment to potential employers and graduate schools. All history majors are eligible to declare the intensive track, including junior transfers. If a student attempts but does not complete the intensive track they may still graduate with a standard history degree, provided the appropriate major coursework has been completed.

Marí­a Elena Dí­az
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • History Department
  • Affiliations Latin American & Latino Studies, Research Center for the Americas
  • Phone
    831-459-2227 (office), 831-459-1924 (message)
  • Email
  • Fax
    831-459-1925
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Humanities Building 1, 540 Humanities 1
    • College 8 Cafe (T: 5pm after class)
  • Office Hours Fall 2019: Thursdays, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
  • Mail Stop Humanities Academic Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Colonialism, Slavery, African Diaspora, Atlantic World, Latin American and Latino Studies, History, Race, Law and Policy, Personal and Social Identities, Spanish
  • Courses HIS 11A, Latin America: Colonial Period; HIS 130, History of Modern Cuba (20th century); HIS 131, Women in Colonial Latin America; HIS 132, History of the Caribbean: Colonial Period; HIS 190A, Slavery and Race in Latin America; HIS 190B, Race and the Nation in Latin America

Summary of Expertise

Colonial Latin America and Caribbean history

Research Interests

Atlantic world, colonial Latin America and the Caribbean, Cuba. Her research work is located at the intersections of history and anthropology, global and local history, macro and micro levels. Topics include: slavery and freedom; colonialism; legal, political, popular and religious cultures; social identities; race/ethnicity, gender and class.

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Selected Publications