Popular Culture in Latin America

History 280E.002

Fall 2005
3104 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
W 4-6

What is popular culture? In Latin America? How can popular culture best be studied from a historical perspective? What are the important questions to be asked? What are the best sources for the historian to use in studying popular culture? And what are their limitations as well as their advantages? How does history draw creatively on complementary disciplines for both theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of popular culture? This seminar will attempt to answer these questions by considering broad areas of popular culture in Latin America, spanning the colonial period through the twentieth century: popular religion, oral tradition, carnival & national dance-song, art, and film. Thematically, discussions will focus on authorship, audience, and the construction of national identity. Readings will emphasize Mexico and Brazil, with secondary attention to Cuba and Argentina. Reading knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese is useful but not required.