Literature and the Cultural Politics of Democracy in Chile and Brazil
Revised Last Updated: 02/08/2010
Winter and Spring quarters
Major areas of study include Spanish language, Portuguese language, and Brazilian and Chilean literature, film and history.
Class Standing: Sophomores or above; transfer students welcome.
The year 2010 marks 25 years since Brazil returned to civilian government and 20 years since Chile did so. Military dictatorships in the 1960s and 1970s cast a long shadow on these two Latin American societies. How democratic has this period of redemocratization been? How have writers represented this period in novels, poetry and other genres? Does the work in these textual arts resonate with work in film, art and performance? How have social movements utilized cultural forms to contest the terrain of democracy, especially around issues of human rights and social inclusion? How has the ongoing dominance of neoliberalism impacted redemocratization and culture in both countries?
This program centers on the development of new practices and cultures of citizenship since the end of military dictatorships in Brazil and Chile. We will study the history and politics of the two countries, and we will focus on their social and political transformations since the mid 1980s. We will explore cultural expression and cultural movements that have emerged during this time. One area of focus will be the overt political claims laid on citizenship by activists and advocates in human rights movements, women’s movements, the lesbian/gay/transgender movement, the homeless and landless movements, the movement for economic justice for poor communities and, in the case of Brazil, the black movement. We will study how literature, film, and other arts have been used by groups associated with social and economic justice movements. Our overriding concern is to understand the role that culture plays in reshaping citizenship and the public sphere during the period of redemocratization.
Language study is integral to this program; all students will study either Spanish or Portuguese. When registering, students must choose between a CRN for Spanish and a CRN for Portuguese. Program lectures and seminars will be taught in English, but with original language texts available for advanced language students. During spring quarter, students in the Portuguese language "track" may opt to study abroad in Brazil for four weeks. Everyone else will finish the spring quarter on the Olympia campus.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Special Expenses: $150 for field trips in Washington state; approximately $4,000 for students participating in spring quarter study abroad in Brazil. This $4,000 includes airfare, housing and most meals, and instructional costs for four weeks abroad. A deposit of $500 is due Jan 13, 2010.
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in Latin American studies, literary and cultural studies, language, human rights, politics, history, education and human and social services.
Planning Units: Culture, Text and Language