ENVI 218
"Ecologismo": Literature, Culture and the Environment in Latin America Spring 2018
Division I Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed RLSP 214 / ENVI 218
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

How have Latin American authors and artists responded to environmental concerns, from the logging and rubber booms that threatened the Amazon in the early 20th century to contemporary global warming? How do the realities of Latin American societies–including massive disparities of wealth and poverty; the cultural and political impacts of the region’s indigenous populations; and the complex histories of colonialism, dependency and neoliberalism–inform Latin American responses to environmental issues? How does Latin America’s “environmental imaginary” differ from those of the US and Europe? In this course we will explore these issues and more through literature and other cultural texts from Latin America. We will consider short stories and novellas by authors including Horacio Quiroga (Uruguay), Luis Sepúlveda (Chile), Mempo Giardinelli (Argentina), and Ana Cristina Rossi (Costa Rica); poetry by Esthela Calderón (Nicaragua), Juan Carlos Galeano (Colombia), Homero Aridjis (Mexico); the paintings of Tomás Sánchez (Cuba); and feature films as well as shorter documentaries. In Spanish. This course satisfies the EDI requirement because it is inspired by and organized around Arturo Escobar’s notion of “the political ecology of difference”: our work throughout the semester aims to understand the myriad ways in which “difference” — economic, ecological, and cultural — informs Latin American responses to environmental degradation. We will also explore some of the ways that contemporary artists and intellectuals attempt to revise forms of subjectivity understood as characteristically Western and modern through creative cultural engagement with Amerindian knowledge and forms of expression.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 20
Expected: 15
Class#: 3452
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evalution based on three 5- to 7-page essays, reaction papers, oral presentations, active and informed class participation
Extra Info: Conducted in Spanish
Prerequisites: RLSP 105, or RLSP 200, or results of Williams College Placement Exam, or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Spanish majors, Envi majors and concentrators
Distributions: Division I Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
RLSP 214 Division I ENVI 218 Division I

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