This course surveys cultural production in Latin America and Spain from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Students will become conversant with the cultural manifestations of the Hispanic world in the context of modernity. In the first part of the semester we will study the Enlightenment as ideology and practice, taking into account its influence on the cultural, political, and economic development of modernity. We will consider the unmaking of imperial relations between the Old and the New World, the rise of the modern economic system, and the socio-technical consequences of globalization. During the following sections of the course we will examine how the processes of modernization and nation-building drew on different ways of imagining, representing, organizing and materializing knowledge. By analyzing literary, philosophical, and historiographic texts, film narratives, and infrastructure projects, we will attempt to grasp an understanding of how the political, social, and economic realms are constantly producing and negotiating the materiality of the nation. This class does not intend to present a fixed, periodized narrative of causally interrelated events and sources, but to provide representative examples of these political, economic, and technological transitions through a disparate series of cultural artifacts in circulation. Class discussion, assignments, and most primary materials are in Spanish.
This course is a requirement for both the major and concentration in Hispanic Studies.
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