Circulation of Objects: Material Culture in Latin America


Enter a brief summary of what the course is about. Maximum 650 characters in a single paragraph. No format allowedThe purpose of the course is discussing the dimension of material culture in contemporary Latin American literature, art and films. Symbolic values are anchored in objects and material media. What is the place of materiality in our experience of culture? Globalization contacts not just spaces and regions but materiality and immateriality, the digital and the analogic world. This course will focus on the interrelated forms of materiality in the creation of values in contemporary art, literature, cinema, photography, tourism.

The course focuses on material culture in contemporary Latin America throughout literature, essays, visual texts, films and new cultural experiences. Materiality is the media but also is part of the symbolic choice of artists and cultural agents. The course discusses the problem of peripheral countries in the globalized economy and how culture offers a place of reflection and interchange of new experience. In the frame of the new material culture studies, we will study works and practices where documentality, archive practices, objectuality are political issues plenty of potential meanings. Students will be introduced to theoretical writing on material culture in different contexts (Argentina, Brazil, México, Perú). This course will provide students with an accurate understanding of some of the topics of contemporary Latin American culture related to the market, aesthetics and politics including topics as elite culture vs. popular culture, practices of resistance, representation of the violence, cities as spectacles and new phenomena as landfill and poverty art. The class will be conducted in Spanish and all written assignments will also be in that language.

Last Updated 5 months ago




Aira, César. Duchamp en México. Buenos Aires, Simurg, 1997.

————–. “Las dos muñecas”. En La trompeta de mimbre. Rosario, Beatriz Viterbo, 1998.

Akademia Cartonera: a Primer of Latin American Cartonera Publishers. Un abc de las editoriales cartoneras en América Latina. Ed. Ksenija Bilbija and Paloma Celis Carbajal. Madison: Parallel P/U of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, 2009.

——————. The Hundred Thousand Books of Bellatin. Die Hunderttausend Bücher von Bellatin. Documenta 13, 2012.

Bishop, Claire. “Digital Divide”. Artforum. September, 2012.

Epplin, Craig. Late Book Culture in Argentina. New York, Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.

Ferraris, Maurizio. Documentality. Why It Is Necessary to Leave Traces. New York, Fordham University Press, 2013.

Gago, Verónica. La razón neoliberal. Economías barrocas y pragmáticas populares. Buenos Aires, Tinta Limón, 2014.

Groys, Boris. “Under Suspicion: a Phenomenology of the Media.” Web, 4 April, 2014.

Jaguaribe, Beatriz. “Favelas and the Aesthetics of Realism: Representations in Films and Literature”. Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro, 2012.

Karatani, Kojin. The Structure of World History: From Modes of Production to Modes of Exchange. Durham: Duke UP, 2014.

Laguna, Fernanda. Interview by Inés Katzentein. Otra Parte. Número 28, Otoño/Invierno, 2013.

Lury, Celia. Consumer Culture. New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers University Press, 2012.

Rejtman, Martín. Silvia Prieto. DVD Pack. Buenos Aires, Colección MalBA, 2008.

Veleda da Silva, Susana. “Trabajo informal en América Latina: el comercio callejero”. Buenos Aires, UBA, 2010.

Wightman Fox, Richard and T.J. Jackson Lears (eds). The Culture of Consumption: Critical Essays in American History, 1880-1980. New York, Pantheon Books, 1983.

External Resources