Popular Culture in Latin America

Latin American Popular culture offers a "window" and a "mirror" into the many worlds and histories embodied and circulated by the national and imagined pueblos (peoples.) It remains an arena for ideas of nationalism and identity to be created, maintained, and shared within everyday life. This course explores Latin America's rise and evolution of popular culture. Anthropologically, in this course, we will inspect the varied and sometimes conflicting ways in which popular culture maintains a public commentary on violence and nationalism throughout the hemisphere. Additionally, we will examine the ways in which popular culture (re)solves social problems, whilst also casting a light on inequalities. In the context of Latin America, race, gender/sexuality, and class persist as dominant conceptual frameworks which complicate 'normative' definitions and expressions of nationalism, identity, and citizenship. For this reason, we will ask how do understandings of gender, class, race, and sexuality shape the ways they are (mis)represented in popular culture forms? How does Latin American popular culture migrate and shape the Latinx experience and culture industries abroad? Lastly, we will assess the social and political impact of popular culture on claims and affirmations of identity, belonging, and authenticity.






Spring 2020

Mel A. Maldonado-Salcedo
TR: 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM 25WV KRIS