Latin American Cultures and Civilizations
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Course description Since its discovery until the present, Latin America has been imagined and conceived as the “New Continent”, a place for utopia, but also as a space of uneven modernity and extreme forms of violence. The courseexplores distinctive cultural aspects of Latin America by looking at the ways it has been represented in readings spanning from the diaries written by Christopher Columbus to the texts of the Cuban Revolution, the iconography of Peronismo, or the recent debates on Neoliberalism, Globalization and Populism. Drawing on essays, but also on short-stories, paintings, photographs, and films, the course addresses a set of questions that lie at the heart of how one thinks about LatinAmerica. What is expected from “Latin America”? What were the different “ideas” that Latin America embodied? What are the forms of “Latin American” culture? Howare the different “cultures” connected? The purpose of the course is threefold: to introduce students to problems central to Latin America, to familiarize students with a variety of non-fictional writings in Spanish, such as essay, chronicle, journalism and documentary films, and to sharpen student’s skills as analytical readers.