RLSP 204
Icons and Imaginaries: Culture and Politics in Latin America Spring 2015 Division I; Exploring Diversity Initiative;
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This course provides an overview of Latin American culture and politics by focusing on some of the most recognizable names and faces from the continent’s turbulent history: Christopher Columbus, Hernán Cortés and Malintzín, Simón Bolívar, José Martí, Pancho Villa, Eva Perón, Frida Kahlo, Che Guevara, Rigoberta Menchú and Hugo Chávez. In addition to exploring the controversies surrounding each figure and her or his influence within a specific historical context, we’ll also unpack some of the overarching issues of Latin American culture and politics: How are nations and nationalism constructed through processes of representation, and what roles do specific iconic figures play in that process? How can popular culture challenge elite representations of the nation and its heroes/heroines, and how durable are the images it produces as expressions of collective will? What opportunities are available to women and sexual minorities in a political culture that has been historically dominated by macho military types? This course fulfills the EDI requirement by enabling students to appreciate the figures that have influenced generations of Latin American women and men and their sense of what is politically possible, while challenging the class to identify the operations of power at work in the construction of the figures themselves. Conducted in Spanish.
The Class: Type: lecture/discussion
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 3788
Requirements/Evaluation: political and cultural essays, literature and films, three 5-page papers
Prerequisites: any course in the Spanish Department numbered 199 or higher or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: Spanish majors and qualified first-year students
Distributions: Division I; Exploring Diversity Initiative;

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