Buenos Aires & Montevideo May ’18

Course Name: Literature/Culture of the River Plate
Professor: Dr. Gustavo Geirola
Credits: 3
Lib Ed.:  Culture 6
GPS [Global Poet Scholarship] Eligible: Yes!
GPS: Students who started in Fall 2016 can subtract $2000 from course fee total.
Cost/Fees: $2500-$3000 (estimated)

Prerequisites:

SPAN 310, 355, or 356

Junior/Senior standing

Students will focus on several topics (history, art, music, politics, globalization, etc.) related to Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Students will discover how history, politics, sports, artistic and media discourses shape everyday life of porteños and montevideanos; they will learn about the contrasting ways of Argentine and Uruguayan living by learning about wealthy urban areas, traditional neighborhoods, and slums, and how neoliberal economic agendas and globalization have a significant impact on the environment, such as rapid growth of the population, urbanization of the cities, and communication.

The course seeks to read and analyze cultural artifacts (texts, films, architecture, historical documents, music, art, etc.) produced in and on these two cities in the Southern Cone. Students will be able to appreciate the origins and cultural development of the region from early Spanish colonial period to the emergence of Modernity and modern global societies. Migration from different geographical regions had a strong influence in the River Plate’s cultures since Spanish colonization. The course will explore how notions of “otherness” and cultural politics of violence impact  cultural production of the arts. It will also explore forces and discourses of authoritarianism, the gendered strategies of torture and resistance, and the rold of race and ethnicity in political violence. It will focus on how the construction of politics, human rights, and social struggle intersects cultural production and writing, before, during, and after dictatorships. Texts written by women and minorities will be a priority.

Buenos Aires and Montevideo are the most vibrant and cosmopolitan doorways to South America and well known as impressive cultural urban centers where tango, theater, literature, soccer, for instance, were always interrelated.

At the end of the course, students will know
•  Buenos Aires and Montevideo, their main monuments, playhouses, museums, etc.
•  Appreciate the cultural and socio-historical differences between these cities.
•  Critically read literary texts, movies, and appreciate the importance of popular culture (theater, music, soccer, tango, etc.).
•  Comprehend the style of life of porteños and montevideanos, with their racial, class and gender differences.
•  Be aware of the particular use of Spanish in both cities.
•  Understand how politics intersects with cultural trends and contradictions from their historical background in colonial times to current neoliberal agenda.
•  Appreciate Argentina and Uruguayan cuisine and the most traditional national daily menu.
•  Assess cultural differences between River Plate and American cultures.

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