Latin American Cultures & Civilizations
Universidad de Belgrano
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Area of Study
Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Sociology, Speech Communications
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units5
Hours & Credits
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 course explores 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, murals and film, the course addresses a set of questions that lie at the heart of how one thinks about Latin America. What is expected from "Latin America"? What where the different "ideas" that Latin America embodied? What are the forms of "Latin American" culture? How are the different "cultures" connected?
(PALAS 362) Latin American Cultures and Civilizations
MA Edgardo Dieleke (ABD)
Universidad de Belgrano
Program in Argentine and Latin American Studies
Instruction in English
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 course
explores 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 shortstories,
paintings, photographs, and films, the course addresses a set
of questions that lie at the heart of how one thinks about Latin
America. What is expected from ?Latin America?? What were the
different ?ideas? that Latin America embodied? What are the forms of
?Latin American? culture? How are 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.
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 in class, and do one oral presentations in pairs or
in groups of three. During the semester, students will write two short
(2-3 pages) papers. They will also conduct research on a specific topic,
the nature and scope of which should be determined in consultation
with the professor. By the end of the semester, students will present
to the class the outcome of this research, and write a 5-6 page final
paper due the week before the final exam. The requirements also
include a midterm and a final comprehensive exam. As part of the
course requirements, the students will have to visit on their own the
Evita and the ESMA museums (see academic calendar below). In
addition to this, each student will be expected to make a significant
contribution to the classroom dialogue. Any student caught plagiarizing
will be given a ?no credit? for all courses taken in the semester.
Participation 10 %
Oral Presentation (1) 10 %
Midterm 20 %
Final Exam 20 %
Short Essay (2) (2 pages) 20 %
Final Paper (6-8 pages) 20 %
Unit 1. ?Discovering the New Continent?: Early Images of Latin
Course introduction: The ideas of America
Amerigo Vespucci: ?The New World?
Great pre-Columbian civilizations (chapters from the Popol Vuh: The
Sacred Book of the Ancient Quiche Maya)
Week 2. The ?New World?: Tales from the Discovery and the Conquest
Christopher Columbus. ?Letter to Luis de Santangel?/ Excerpts from
?A description of Tupinambá?, Anonymous.
Hernán Cortés. Letters from Mexico (selection)
Bernal Díaz del Castillo. The conquest of New Spain (selection).
J.H. Elliott. ?The Uncertain Impact? (1-27)
Oral presentations will be assigned
Week 3. Tales of Conquest, Colonial Encounters and its Consequences
Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. The Royal Commentaries of the Incas
Bartolomé de las Casas. A short account of the destruction of the
Eduardo Galeano. The open veins of Latin America (selection)
Oral presentations: Eduardo Galeano. The open veins of Latin America
Week 4. Revisiting the Conquest
Werner Herzog. Aguirre, the wrath of God
Students have to write the first short paper
Unit 2. Founding New Nations and the Idea of Latin America
Homi K. Bhabha. Nation and Narration. ?Introduction?.
Benedict Anderson. Imagined communities. (Selection)
Short Paper is due
Simón Bolivar. ?Letter of Jamaica?
José Martí ?Our America?
Week 6. Imagining a Nation/ Civilization and Barbarism
Domingo F. Sarmiento. Facundo (Selection)
José Enrique Rodó. Ariel
Doris Summer. Foundational Fictions (excerpts)
María Luisa Bemberg. Camila (screening in class)
Week 7. Re-writing the Foundational Fictions
José Hernández. Martín Fierro (Selection)
Jorge Luis Borges, ?Story of the Warrior and the Captive Maiden?
Octavio Paz. ?The sons of La Malinche?
José Carlos Mariategui. ?The problem of the Indian?
Unit 3. The Arrival of Masses into Public Life
Week 8. The Mexican Revolution and the Cuban Revolution
Vasconcelos, José. The cosmic race (selection)
Juan Rulfo. ?We?re very poor?
John Reed. ?Pancho Villa? (364-71)
Carlos Fuentes. ?Land and Freedom: The Mexican Revolution?
Desmond Rochfort. Mexican Muralists
Oral presentation on Mexican Muralists
Week 9. Discourses of the Cuban Revolution
Ernesto Guevara. ?Socialism and man in Cuba?
Fidel Castro. ?History will absolve me? (Selection)
?Cuba: Historical exception or vanguard in the anticolonial struggle??
Oral presentation on Che Guevara
Senel Paz. ?Don?t tell her that you love me?
Walter Salles, Motorcycle Diaries
Week 10. The Peronist Movement and the Workers
James, Daniel. ?Peronism and the Argentine Working-class?
J.M. Taylor. ?The Myth of the Myth (1-9); ?The Power of a Woman?
Julio Cortázar, ?House Taken Over?
Rodolfo Walsh, ?That Woman?
Oral presentation on Rodolfo Walsh
Week 11. The Political Aesthetics of Peronism
Students have to Visit the Evita Museum and write a short paper
Fernando Solanas. The hour of the Furnaces (screening in class)
Oral presentation on Solanas
Daniel Santoro. Selection of his paintings
Short paper on Evita is due
Unit 4. From Dictatorships to Neoliberalism
Week 12. Dictatorships in the Southern Cone
Richard Gillespie. ?Montoneros: Soldiers of Perón? (377-385)
Andres Di Tella. Montoneros (excerpts)
Oral presentation on Montoneros.
The Madwomen at the Plaza de Mayo / Hebe de Bonafini and Matilde
Visit to the ESMA Museum
Patricio Guzmán. The Battle of Chie (film excerpts in class)
Oral presentation on Madres de Plaza de Mayo
Week 13. Subaltern Identities and New Political Organizations
Rigoberta Menchú. I, Rigoberta Menchú (Selection)
Ejército Zapatista. ?Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle?
Oral Presentation on Subcomandante Marcos
Cocacolero by Alejandro Landes (screening in class)
Unit 5. Latin America in the 21 Century: The Problems of Globalization
Week 14. The year of 2001 in Argentina / Social unrest and Violence
Ernesto Livon Grossman. Cartoneros
Noemi Klein. The Take.
Final Paper consultations
Fernando Meirelles. City of God.
Lourdes Portillo. Señorita extraviada
Final Paper is due
Bibliography (in progress)
Brennan, Timothy. ?The Nation Longing For Form.? Nation and
Narration. Homi K. Bhabha, ed. London: Routledge, 1990. 44-70.
Chomsky Aviva et al. The Cuba Reader. Durham: Duke University
Cortázar, Julio. ?The Gates of Heaven? (comic).
Elliott, J.H. ?The Uncertain Impact? The Old World and the New (1429-1650)
Cambridge UP, 1970. 1-27
Galeano, Eduardo. Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the
Pillage of a Continent. New York: monthly Review Press, 1977.
Gené, Marcela. Un mundo feliz. Imágenes de los trabajadores en el
primer peronismo. BA: Fondo/Universidad San Andrés, 2005.
Gilbert, Joseph and Timothy Henderson, ed. The Mexico Reader.
Durham: Duke University Press, 2002.
Halperín Donghi, Tulio. Contemporary History of Latin America
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.
James, Daniel. ?Perón and the People.? Resistance and Integration: Peronism
and the Argentine Working Class, 1946-1976. Cambridge UP, 1988.
Kraniauskas, John. ?Rodolfo Walsh y Eva Perón: ?Esa mujer?. Nuevo
Texto Crítico 12: (1993): 105-19.
Levine, Robert M & John Crocitti, ed. The Brazil Reader. Durham:Duke
University Press, 2003.
Martínez, Tomás Eloy. Santa Evita. Trad. Helen Lane. New York:
Marysa Navarro. ?Evita, una de las primeras desaparecidas políticas
de Argentina.? (JSTOR)
- - -. ?Wonderwoman was Argentine and her Real name was Evita.?
Canadian Journal of Latin American & Caribbean Studies 24. London:
Navarro, Marysa, ?Evita and the Crisis of 17 October 1945.? Journal
of Latin American Studies, 12: 1 (Feb. 1980).
Perlongher, Néstor. ?Evita Live? My deep dark pain is love. Ed.
Winston Leyland. San Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press, 1983.
Perón, Eva. In My Own Words (La razón de mi vida).
(PALAS 362) Latin American Cultures and Civilizations
Plotkin, Mariano. ?May Day and 17 of October: Political Rituals and
Peron´s charisma? and The Fundacion Eva Peron, in Mañana es San
Perón: A Cultural History of Peron's Argentina. Delaware: Scholarly
Resources, año. 39-82.
Plotkin, Viviana. Cuerpo femenino, duelo y nación. Un estudio de Eva
Perón como personaje literario. BA: Corregidor, 2003.
Rochfort, Desmond. Mexican Muralists: Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros. San
Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1993.
Rosano, Susana. Rostros y máscaras de Eva Perón. Imaginario
populista y representación. Rosario: Beatriz Viterbo, 2006.
- - -. ?Apuntes para pensar la obra de Daniel Santoro.? Políticas del
Santoro Daniel. Manual del niño peronista. BA: La Marca, 2002.
Sarlo, Beatriz. La pasión y la excepción. BA: Siglo XXI, 2003.
Savigliano, Marta. ?Evita: The Globalization of a National Myth?
Soria, Claudia. Los cuerpos de Eva: anatomía del deseo femenino.
Rosario: Beatriz Viterbo, 2005.
Soria, Claudia, Paola Cortés Rocca, and Edgardo Dieleke ed. Políticas del
sentimiento: el peronismo y la construcción de la Argentina moderna.
BA: Prometeo, 2010.
Starn, Orin et al. The Peru Reader . Durham: Duke University Press,
Summer, Doris. Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin
America. Berlekeley and Los Angeles: U of California P, 1991.
Taylor, J.M. ?The Myth of the Myth? and ?The Power of a Woman.? Eva Peron:
The Myths of a Woman. Oxford: U of Chicago P, 1979. 1-19.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.