Mexican Popular Culture

History 103E.003

Spring 2014
Day & Time: 
M 4-6P

This course will examine Mexico’s rich cultural history, focusing on the period after Independence but with some attention paid to the colonial antecedents of cultural production. We will begin with a general overview of what cultural history is, as well as a consideration of the concept of “popular culture” as an indicator of societal attitudes. In a larger sense, however, this course examines the connections between cultural production and politics, or how major political events, like the Mexican Revolution and the 1968 student uprising, are shaped by a society’s attitudes and perspectives. How those attitudes were formed and how they changed over time is also a major concern of this course. We will consider Mexican culture from several thematic perspectives, including religion, visual culture, music, and sport. Through readings, analyses of various visual and musical sources, and a few film screenings, we will consider what makes Mexico “Mexican”—how its national culture formed and developed.

Course Books

Judas at the Jockey Club and Other Episodes of Porfirian Mexico by Beezley, William Bison Books. ISBN: 978-0803262171 Required
Posada's Broadsheets: Mexican Popular Imagery, 1890-1910 by Frank, Patrick University of New Mexico Press. ISBN: 978-0826319043 Required
¡Que Vivan los Tamales! Food and the Making of Mexican Identity by Pilcher, Jeffrey University of New Mexico Press. ISBN: 978-0826318732 Required
The World of Lucha Libre: Secrets, Revelations, and Mexican National Identity by Levi, Heather Duke University Press. ISBN: 978-0822342328 Required
Refried Elvis: The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture by Zolov, Eric UC Press. ISBN: 978-0520215146 Required
True Tales from Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino, and the Bronx by Quinones, Sam University of New Mexico Press. ISBN: 978-0826322951 Required
The Power of God Against the Guns of Government: Religious Upheaval in Mexico at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century by Vanderwood, Paul Stanford University Press. ISBN: 978-0804730396 Optional
Narcocorrido: a Journey Into The Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas by Wald, Elijah Rayo. ISBN: 978-0060505103 Optional
The Power and the Glory by Greene, Graham Penguin Classics. ISBN: 978-0142437308 Optional