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Course Section Title Day/Time Instructor
LATIN_AM 391-0 20 Watching Narcos: History as Entertainment TTh 3:30pm-4:50pm Britto, Lina
LATIN_AM 391-0 21 Testimonial Narrative in Latin America TTh 11am-12:20pm Kerr, Lucille
LATIN_AM 391-0 22 Performance in Latin America TTh 2pm-3:20pm Fuentes, Marcela
LATIN_AM 391-0 23 Ancient Cities of the Americas MW 3:30pm-4:50pm Rosado Ramirez, Roberto
LATIN_AM 391-0 24 Latina & Latino History MWF 11am-11:50am Cadava, Geraldo
LATIN_AM 391-0 30 Indigenous Resilience in Latin America since 1492 TTh 3:30pm-4:50pm Rosado Ramirez, Roberto



LATIN_AM 391-0-20: Watching Narcos: History as Entertainment

Watching Narcos: History as Entertainment Crimes, deeds, and spoils of drug traffickers have saturated pop culture for the last decades becoming valuable raw materials for the entertainment industry. This course is designed for students to identify, trace, and analyze audiovisual productions on the so-called narcos in order to understand: (a) the plot devices and aesthetic mechanisms with which cultural producers have commodified history as entertainment; and (b) the effects of these types of narratives and imageries in the creation of historical understandings regarding one of the most challenging problems of our times. We accomplish these objectives by watching films, telenovelas and TV shows; reading selected works of history, sociology, anthropology, and journalism (film criticism in particular); and using the tools and technologies of digital humanities in a series of individual and collaborative projects. The ultimate goal is to produce together an open-access digital repository on drug history as entertainment in the Americas.

LATIN_AM 391-0-21: Testimonial Narrative in Latin America

What is testimonial narrative and how are we supposed to read it? Should we read testimonial texts as historical documents? Or as literary texts? Or as both? And what about testimonial cinema? Does that category refer only to documentary film? Or can feature films also be read, as it were, as testimonial narrative? What's the difference between one way of reading or seeing and the other? What do we expect--or even demand--by reading one way or the other? As it turns out, these are the sorts of questions that Latin American testimonial narrative--which has been among the most prominent (and also controversial) currents in Latin America since the "post-Boom" era--urges us to pose, even if we can't come up with definitive answers. Moreover, the testimonial genre pushes us to think more broadly--that is, about how we understand the term "literature"; how we think about "the author"; how we read texts or view films as "telling the truth" (or not); and more. Together, we will consider such questions and concepts in our reading/viewing of well-known works representing different models of testimonial narrative: Rigoberta Menchú's Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú y asi me nació la conciencia (1983), presents a first-person account of the indigenous human-rights activist's story and struggles; Jacobo Timerman's Preso sin nombre, celda sin número (1981), offers the author's account of his imprisonment during Argentina's military dictatorship; Gastón Biraben's Cautiva (2004; feature film), dramatizes how the daughter of Argentine desaparecidos uncovers her true identity; Patricio Guzman's Nostalgia de la luz (2010; documentary), juxtaposes astronomers searching the skies for the origins of the universe and Chilean citizens searching the earth for the remains of their family members in the post-Pinochet years. Secondary historical and critical materials, as well as discussion of testimonial concepts and terms, will help us to frame and analyze our primary materials. Reading & discussion mainly in Spanish. Prerequisite: 1 course from SPANISH 250-0, SPANISH 251-0, SPANISH 260-0, or SPANISH 261-0. Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

LATIN_AM 391-0-22: Performance in Latin America

Latin America has a rich performance tradition, from indigenous cultural and aesthetic practices to action art to documentary theater to queer and travesti performance art to feminist protest. This course provides an overview of Latin American artistic and activist body-based practices and the ways they have been conceptualized by scholars and curators. We will focus on artists and collectives whose work intervenes in contexts of state violence, migration, transnationality, and gender and sexual countercultures. Students will engage performance as an object of study, analytic, and communication medium in order to develop their own work in dialogue with the course themes. If they so desire, students will have the chance to read and write in Spanish to reflect on the politics of language and translation in performance.

LATIN_AM 391-0-23: Ancient Cities of the Americas

"When colonial empires invaded the Americas in the 16th century, Europeans marveled at the Indigenous cities distributed across the continent. This course examines the ancient cities of the Americas: their origins, their configurations, their operations, and their representations. It considers how archaeologists define urbanism among ancient societies, and why not every human settlement qualifies as a city. We will begin this course by studying the earliest experiments with settlement nucleation in the world. Then, we will review scholarship on ancient cities in North, Central, and South America. Topics will include urban configurations, everyday life in ancient cities, how inequality was built into urban space, and providing for city dwellers. We will discuss the characteristics of ancient Indigenous cities such as Cahokia in Illinois, Tenochtitlan in Mexico, Tikal in Guatemala, and Machu Pichu in Peru, among others. This class will provide you a general understanding of the ancient civilizations of the Americas through the characteristics of their major cities."

LATIN_AM 391-0-24: Latina and Latino History

The growth of the Latino population has transformed the United States and has led to heightened debates about their political power, cultural influence, citizenship, civil rights, and ethnic and racial categorization. Yet as the 2020 election demonstrated, many Americans still don't really understand who Latinos are—or who Latinos have been, and will become. While the increased attention to Latinos may feel "new," Latino communities have played a pivotal role in U.S. history for centuries. In this course, we will explore the 500-year history of Latinos in the United States—and, indeed, across the Americas—from the 16th century through the early 21st century. In its broadest sense, Latino History offers a reinterpretation of United States history that focuses on race, migration, labor, and empire. It is also the history of a community—or several communities, including Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominican Americans, Central Americans, and Cuban Americans, and others—that represents a growing percentage of the U.S. population as a whole, and one that will increasingly influence the politics, social life, culture, and economy of the United States. Although we will focus on the United States, we also will examine the movement of Latino peoples within and between the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. We will use a variety of media, including literature, film, and music, as well as more traditional historical interpretations. Ultimately, you will gain a deeper understanding of the issues and histories that bring Latinos together, those that continue to divide them, their multiple and shifting racial classification, and the long struggles for equality and belonging that have animated their histories.

LATIN_AM 391-0-30: Indigenous Resilience in Latin America after 1492

When Columbus' first expedition to Asia fortuitously reached the Americas in 1492, various native peoples with different cultures and languages, started to be called with the blanket term "Indians." In this course, you will learn about the diverse and complex experiences of Latin American Indigenous groups since the European invasions that started in the 16th century. Through readings and seminar-style discussions, we will trace the long history of conflicts between Indigenous peoples and the groups that have attempted to dominate, assimilate, and "modernize" them in the past five centuries. Through case studies, we will examine issues of race, ethnicity, and identity that have been crucial to these struggles. In this course we will focus on Indigenous agency, and how it is expressed through Indigenous resurgence, revitalization, resistance, and activism in Latin America. This course will highlight that, while Indigenous peoples in the Americas have endured marginalization, domination, and exploitation since the 16th century, being Indigenous in Latin America after Columbus is defined by a remarkable resilience against these forces.

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