POLITICS AND IDEOLOGIES OF THE AMERICAS
* Rich and industrialized nations from the North assert that capitalism brought progress and welfare to many nations. On the other hand, people from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean argue that capitalism was based upon primitive accumulation rooted on the primitive violence, pillage, and genocide of the inhabitants of the Third World. Accordingly, they claim that rich nations exist today because their ancestors plundered other nations for many centuries. First Europe and then the U.S.A., after they expropriated the Third World of their right to life, have created and imposed structures and laws which allowed them to decide the destiny of these continents.
The above conditions have permitted the historical oppressors to behave like creditors and judges who dictate sentences forcing Third World countries to continue funneling their wealth toward the developed economies, according to this interpretation. Through these mechanisms, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean were converted into secondary chapters of the European history, it is argued by the Third World. Besides the rules of European capitalist market, their culture, religion and identity were imposed upon them. Peoples from these continents were forced to be ashamed of themselves because they were Indians or Blacks, to renegade their cultures and to accept to living under eternal conditions of exile in their own lands.
* This program is aimed to study the above processes in the Americas from pre-Columbian times until today from a multidisciplinary approach which includes history, politics, economics, religion, culture, folklore, literature, theater, media, art, etc. Within this context, the process of underdevelopment, which characterizes the region today, will be historically analyzed and evaluated in light of the formation and expansion of the capitalist system in Europe first and the United States later. This program will utilize Latin American approaches and interpretations, as opposed to Eurocentric studies and models both from Europe and the USA.
* This program will also include a social research methods component to study the subjects described here. Projects including video production, cultural journalism, folklore, theater, alternative media and Spanish language will be developed by students working in small gpoups. During the Spring quarter of 1999 the program will offer interested students a chance to prepare for travel to Chile. Participation in research projects and production of several short documentaries about relevant topics studied in this prgram will be the focus of this Field School to Chile.
* Credit will be awarded in social sciences, communications, Spanish
language, Latin American studies, political economy, arts, television production