Popular Culture in Latin America
Universidad de Belgrano
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Area of Study
Latin American Studies, Popular Culture Studies
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units6
Hours & Credits
This course examines aspects and expressions of popular culture in Latin America to understand how identity is constructed, negotiated and defined by non-hegemonic social sectors and actors. Using an intersectional approach, we will delve into specific examples and material expressions of culture and explore how the realm of culture becomes a space for asserting and displaying different kinds of power. Food, drink, clothing, music, art, and sports shape the manner in which Latin America is imagined and experienced. In the post-pandemic world, where localized and traditional worldviews are increasingly challenged by globalization and the erasure of difference, the cultural world emerges as a site of resistance that allows for the proud manifestation of racial, gender, and class-based identities.
Each class is based on a specific topic with associated mandatory readings, visual and audio material, and in-class activities. It is expected that students come to class prepared for an informed debate and discussion of the topic of the week. Besides the classroom, this course requires participation in “experiences”, or informed and active explorations of the urban landscape. Each student will write two brief personal reports based on this experience. In addition, each student will select a contemporary or historic Latin American cultural production and write a 5-6-page research paper on its relevance and significance to the way the region has been imagined and recreated. These findings will be presented orally to the rest of the class, together with “thinking questions” to trigger interaction and independent thinking. Ultimately, we will focus on a diversity of Latin American cultural expressions to deepen students’ understanding and experience of the region.
• To learn about the importance of culture in the construction of multiple layers of identity
• To develop tools to detect, observe and analyze a variety of cultural productions
• To trigger independent and original thought by fostering a space for discussion and exchange
• To expose students to diverse academic sources and materials • To demonstrate the relevance of an active engagement with the learning experience