Advanced Spanish language skills required. (NYU SPAN-UA 100 Advanced Grammar & Composition or equivalent.)
This course deals with themes of culture, cultural identity and the politics of culture and identity, with reference to five specific Latin American cases: a). Indigenous communities of the Amazon (Achuar) and the Pampas-Patagonia region (Mapuche, Rankülche); b) Andean peasants (Aymaras) and indigenous proletariat of the Chaco (Toba); c). working class and ethnic neighborhoods of the city. By means of this empirical survey we hope to illustrate and discuss the some of the different ideas that have come to the fore in recent debates about “culture,” including essentialism and constructivism; rethinking of the nature/culture dichotomy; and the idea of cultural identity as a right, as a strategy of domination or as a form of resistance, etc.