Regimes of Dispossession: Economy and Culture in Modern Spain

Syllabus

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This course explores the revived interest in primitive accumulation, which David Harvey has coined as the contemporary regime of “accumulation by dispossession,” and its relation to the dynamics of material and symbolic economies in literary, cultural, and theoretical studies. Recent debates about the production of precariousness and insecurity as distinguishing marks of contemporary capitalism examine how the logics of dispossession (and repossession) are mapped onto bodies, recasting preconfigured political subjectivities with the emergence of new political subjects, communities, and social or cultural exchanges. Discussions over the privatization and erosion of communal goods and the ecological devastation of resources, the dispossession of human and environmental rights, the enclosure of land and water, and the freeing (and disciplining) of labor will be interrogated in our seminar from different historical vantage points. Through literature, historical narratives, films, popular culture, and social practices, we will examine the historical continuities and discontinuities of the cultural and material logics of (dis)possession in Spain from the end of the 19th century to the present.

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