This course attempts to take the pulse of contemporary discourse on culture in Latin America in the last twenty-five years. Its premise is that the commodification of culture that has been one of the hallmarks of neoliberalism has had a profound effect on the nature of that discourse, given that the concept of culture was from the outset the bedrock of cultural discourse in the region. We will examine a number of works that are written from within the discursive crisis just described, each of which addresses it in its own fashion.
The overarching contention is that whereas in the past, the principal category around which that discourse revolved was, writ large, cultural identity and its vicissitudes, in the new critical dispensation the concept of the market has become the dominant trope around which cultural production is articulated—that is to say, the market has become the assumed backdrop and metaphoric fountainhead for that critical and rhetorical production.
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