Human Rights and Cultural Representations

Universidad de Belgrano

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Human Rights and Cultural Representations

  • Host University

    Universidad de Belgrano

  • Location

    Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Area of Study

    International Relations, Latin American Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Human Rights and Cultural Representations (PALAS 444)
    Universidad de Belgrano
    Program in Argentine and Latin American Studies
    Instruction in English
    Course description
    The cultural and human responses to the violence of genocide politics in the Holocaust will serve as an excellent start point to analyze political repression in Latin America (focus on Guatemala, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile). Central to the theoretical and critical corpus of the course, is the multidisciplinary work of scholars (e.g. Soshana Feldman, Cathy Caruth, Dominick La Capra, Astrid Erll, Jean Amery, Giorgio Agamben). This course discusses not only the impact of trauma, the legacy of memory and the role of the national states during dictatorships in these countries, but also how to make these experiences productive to reconstruct selves and societies. The corpus includes literature, testimonies, documentary and feature film, art, oral history, journalism, poem and popular music by such authors as FrenchJewish Claude Lanzmann, Chilean film director Patricio Guzmán, documentaries by children of the argentine disappeared and literatura by novelist Laura Alcoba.
    Course requirements
    Following UB policies, students need a minimum of 75% of attendance to be in good standing for the final exam. Sliding the ID card is the only way to track attendance. Students are expected to do close readings, participate significantly in class and do one oral presentation. Requirements also include a mid term and final in-class exams. The exams will have essay format and students will be allowed to use class material in order to answer exam questions.Any student caught plagiarizing will be given a "no credit" for all courses taken during the semester.
    Participation 20%
    Mid-Term Exam 20%
    Oral Presentation (1) 30%
    FinalExam 30%
    Week 1
    Course presentation. Characteristics, expectations and goals for the class.
    Introduction to some critical and theoretical issues on memory and testimony.
    The frame of the testimony - On the concept of languages and representation.
    Primary source, Claude Lanzmann´s Shoa (Fragment-projection in class)
    Week 2
    Cultural artifacts of the Shoa
    Jean Amery, At the mind´s limits: contemplations by a survivor on Auschwitz and its realities. "At the mind´s limits" (1-20)
    Memory in Culture Chapter 6 "Literature as a Medium of cultural Memory" (144-172)
    Unclaimed Experience, Trauma, Narrative and History. "The wound and the voice" (1-9)
    Week 3
    Introducing Latin America: blood and fire
    A brief history of the dictatorhips in the Southern Cone. Uruguay: 1972, Chile: 1973, Argentina: 1976
    Chile: Patricio Guzmán, The Battle of Chile (documentary, 1972-1979.Fragments)
    Week 4
    Testimonial source: Arce, Luz. Inferno, a Story of Terror and Survival Patricio Guzmán, Chile the Obstinate Memory (documentary, 1997)
    Week 5
    Testimonial source: Arce, Luz. Inferno, a Story of Terror and Survival
    Patricio Guzmán, Nostalgia for the Light (documentary, 2010)
    Week 6
    Chile: artifacts of memory.
    Raúl Zurita´s poetry Purgatory (in class reading) and Alfredo Jaar (artist, architect, sculptor)
    Conclusions on Chile.
    Week 7
    Argentina: 1976-1983) Images of disaster/ An unimagined catastrophe
    The conditions of a testimony: Pablo Díaz, survivor of the Night of the Pencils, September 16 1976 (La Noche de los Lápices)
    Week 8
    Feitlowitz, Marguerite. A lexicon of terror: Argentina and the legacies of torture.Introduction (3-20)
    Alicia Partnoy.The Little School, Tales of Disappearance and Survival (excerpts)
    Week 9
    Review for mid-term exam
    Mid-Term Exam
    Week 10
    Feitlowitz, Marguerite. A lexicon of terror: Argentina and the legacies of torture. Chapter 1 (21-72)
    Nora Strejilevich. A single, numberless death (excerpts)
    The legacies of terror, the blood of memory. HIJOS: sons and daughters of the disappeared.
    (Re) constructing identity(ies)
    The Rabbit House (novel, 2009) Laura Alcoba
    Week 11
    The Rabbit House (novel, 2009) Laura Alcoba - Conclusions
    Week 12
    The gaze that reconstructs what has been lost: children of the disappeared as movie directors.
    Mourning and social responsabilities/complicities
    M (2007) Nicolás Prividera
    Week 13
    About Justice and Memory
    Juan José Campanella, Secret of their eyes (2009)
    Week 14
    Jean Amery, At the mind´s limits: contemplations by a survivor on Auschwitz and its realities.
    "Resentments" (62-81) and review for the final exam
    Review for Final Exam
    Week 15
    Final Exam

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