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DepositArt, Literature and Revolution in Latin America: Telling the Story

Course Description: As German intellectual Walter Benjamin writes in his essay “The Storyteller”, “Experience which is passed on from mouth to mouth is the source from which all storytellers have drawn.” In the process of sharing experiences, more stories are born with authorship that are common while at the same time recognizing the individual opening of the hearer and the teller. In this course, we will explore storytelling as a way to understand the changes that Latin America went through during the twentieth-century: from dictatorships and revolutions to efforts for reconciliation and preservation of memory. The course content will include diverse forms of art, including poetry, mural paintings, photography, testimonies, music, and novels. Equally important, students will be placed in bi-weekly engagement with a Latin American immigrant from the London (Ontario) community. Students will maintain a portfolio to keep notes, reactions, and thoughts about their conversations, class discussions, readings, and own reflections. Based on the portfolio, students will share one story with the rest of the class at the end of the term. Revolutionary movements: we will be able to discern, survive and keep growing in a large part because of its storytelling component, the sharing of experiences from mouth to mouth.

DepositEthics of Responsibility or Ethics of Principles? Trauma and Neoliberalism in Latin America: The ‘Periphery’ Gone Global.

The traumatic experiences of Latin American countries from 1950s to the 1980s clearly illustrate the region’s political circumstances during the Cold War. Although many other regions shared authoritarian experiences during this period, David Harvey asserts that the South American dictatorial regimes of 1970s-1980s may be distinguished as the direct consequence of political-economic engineering. I focus my attention on Chile—and to a lesser extent Argentina—with the purpose of providing a comparative framework to examine the Southern Cone as an object of analysis in terms of the rise and social and cultural impact of neoliberal policies. While sharing a similar imposition of neoliberalism through authoritarianism, both nations have nonetheless experienced significant divergences in their respective socio-political trajectories during the last 15 years. In the Argentine case, this has been driven by the after-effects of the 2001 financial collapse, when neoliberal economic policies were drastically displaced, while at the same time making considerable progress in addressing human rights issues. Until recently, Chile, on the other hand, has continued to deepen and refine the implementation of neoliberal agendas.

DepositThe Formation of Latin American Nations

This book brings the pre-Columbian and colonial history of Latin America home: rather than starting out in Spain and following Columbus and the conquistadores as they “discover” New World peoples, The Formation of Latin American Nations begins with the Mesoamerican and South American nations as they were before the advent of European colonialism—and only then moves on to the sixteenth-century Spanish arrival and its impact. One of the central aspects of this project is to understand the diverse meanings of “nation” in both Late Antiquity and Early Modernity.

DepositSPAN 150: Introduction to cultures of the Spanish-speaking world in Comics

Description: This course is an introduction to cultures of the Spanish-speaking world with an emphasis on comics and graphic novels. In this course we will learn about the graphic novel as an artistic vehicle for studying the history and cultures of Spain and Latin America (including the Latino US). There will be a series of guest appearances from Spanish faculty members who will speak about their areas of specialization, so this course is a great way to learn all about the minor and major in Spanish in Romance Languages and meet the professors who teach in the program.

DepositHeroísmo y conciencia racial en la poeta afro-cubana Cristina Ayala

This article examines the poetry of Cuban writer Cristina Ayala emphasizing the political value of her use of a rhetoric of heroism, a discursive device that masks her demands for recognition of women’s rights and those of Afro-Cubans. The analysis of her poetry suggests that the symbolic manipulation of the “hero” and the representation of “colored” women as intellectuals and “heroes” expressed her desire to intervene in the public arena. By positioning herself within a political discourse that reconstructed slavery’s past, she narrated the revolutionary vicissitudes and created a utopian vision of the future for the Afro-Cuban community. Ayala expresses the emergence of a gender and racial consciousness that challenged discrimination. Finally, this article proposes the relevance of her poetry in Latin American studies, Gender studies and Diaspora studies in Latin America.

DepositGay Proletarian Memory: the Chronicles of Pedro Lemebel

This is an interview conducted to Pedro Lemebel, a Chilean visual artist and writer, who in the 1990s established himself as one of the most provocative and wrenching voices in the contemporary literary culture of Chile and Latin America in general. His chronicles direct their most confrontational barbs towards practices that regulate the traffic of memories, linguistic purism, political reconciliation and sexual ‘decency’. In the 1980s he began his artistic work with the group Las yeguas del Apocalipsis (The Mares of the Apocalypse) where, together with Francisco Casas, he exploded onto the scene of the expiring dictatorial regime through photography, video and performances which unapologetically exposed the political nature of sexual-erotic conduct, bringing to the public forum the gay subject through the installation of its subjectivity in the socio-political arena.