Graduate Courses Spring 2014
(See also courses taught in previous semesters)
Art, Memory, and Human Rights in Latin America
M 1:10-3:55 pm
During recent decades, we have seen an increasing interest in a better understanding of the interplays between social memory, artistic practices, and human rights. This increased interest becomes even more significant in regions such as Latin America, where dictatorship regimes left traumatic wounds still present today in civic society.
This course analyzes the interplays between artistic practices, institutional production of memory, and humanitarian debates in Latin America during the last few decades and problematizes the distinction between artworks, documents, visual evidence, and political activism.
By presenting a number of case studies from across Latin America, this course will examine the way in which official institutions attempt to organize, suppress, or discipline social memories by means of diverse strategies (keeping records, monumentalizing national allegories, deactivating evidences, etcetera) and will examine how diverse socially engaged artistic projects in Latin America have proposed alternative strategies of memory production, trauma de-archiving, and social reconciliation. In order to assess the extent in which abstract ideas such as ‘freedom’ or ‘human rights’ have been aestheticized and have become ethical traps or political buzzwords, we will pay special attention to the performative dimension of artworks, documents, social movements, and political statements.
During the seminar, students will read diverse texts including legal documents, artistic manifestos, institutional statements, and theoretical literature related to interdisciplinary approaches such as memory studies, political performance studies, art criticism, and visual culture. Case studies will include artists (Clemente Padín, Grupo CADA, Teresa Margolles, Gustavo Germano, Rosemberg Sandoval, Luis Camnitzer, Lucía Quieto, Tomás Ochoa, Doris Salcedo, Fernando Bryce, Coco Fusco, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Milagros del Torre, Voluspa Jarpa, Juan Manuel Echavarría, Alfredo Márquez, Alfredo Jaar, Jota Castro, Santiago Sierra) collective projects and political demonstrations (Siluetazo, GAC, Etcétera, Proceso Pentágono, Grupo de Arte Callejero, E.P.S. Huayco, Grupo Mira, Lavando la Bandera, Tercerunquinto, SEMEFO), and institutional projects such as Memorial del 68 (México D.F.), Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos (Medellín), Lugar de la Memoria, Tolerancia e Inclusión Social (Lima), Centro Cultural Museo de la Memoria, MUME (Montevideo), Memoria Abierta (Buenos Aires), and Memorial de la Resistencia de Sao Paulo.
Spanish Nationalism 1808-1898
W 1:10-3:55 pm
Most critical discussion of nationalism in Spain focuses on the cases of Catalonia, the Basque Country, and Galicia. However, the Spanish nation itself is a relatively recent historical construct, dating back to the end of the ancien régime in the aftermath of Napoleon's invasion and the Cádiz constitutional courts. Through analysis of theoretical works on nations, nationalism, national culture, and the role of literature in nation-building, in addition to close reading of literary and nonliterary primary texts, this course examines the political and symbolic figuration of the nation during the period leading up to the 1898 "Disaster"—the loss of the last colonies in the Spanish-American war.
Art & Late Capitalism in Latin America
R 1:10-4:00 pm
This course will examine the ways in which visual art and art theory thought the emergence of post-industrial capitalism in Latin America. Beginning in the 1960s, the so-called dematerialization of art transformed the field of artistic and theoretical production into a fertile ground for posing questions about art’s autonomy from both culture and the social relations of production. We will explore the ways in which artists, critics and theorists revisited issues such as the definition and necessity of the avant-garde, the socialization of art and labor, the historical inheritance of artistic and gremial collectivism and the relationship between art and ideology in light of the social, historic and psychic changes wrought by the emergence of a new phase of capitalist production. In attempting to historicize art’s dematerialization, the course also seeks to raise broader questions about the periodization and contradictory articulation of late capitalism and its social effects in the global periphery.
Cultures of Discipline
F 1:10-3:55 pm
The word “discipline” designates both a branch of knowledge and the practices that demarcate and duplicate the scholarly and religious communities that produce such knowledge. As myriad early modern educators appreciated, a disciple adopts the conventions of his or her intellectual community by participating in exercises of interpretation and instruction. He or she internalizes those conventions through repetition. Treatises on pedagogy serve as this class’s point of departure for examining other sorts of pastoral, inquisitorial, and aesthetic practices. We will focus on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, paying particular attention to the relationship between culture and control in early modern Spain. But by examining early modern peninsular materials alongside late modern essays on subjectivity and aesthetics, we will also historicize our current constellation of the disciplines and consider the future of interdisciplinary scholarship.
Readings include works by early modern authors such as Leonardo Bruni, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Juan Luis Vives, Juan Huarte de San Juan, Tomás de Torquemada, Luis de León, Luis de Granada, Baltasar Gracián, and Pedro Calderón de la Barca, as well as scholarship by Michel de Certeau, Pierre Bourdieu, Stephen Gilman, José Antonio Maravall, Gayatri Spivak, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, and others. Texts in Latin and French may be read in the original or in either English or Spanish translation, and students from outside LAIC may read Spanish texts in English, if available. Our language of class discussion will depend on the preferences of the students who register.
Supervised Individual Research