After civilization

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After civilization

  1. 1. After Civilization: TheTheory and Practice ofIntroducing Latin AmericanCulture Sophia McClennen
  2. 2. What’s Cultural Studies? An interdisciplinary methodThat has a critical perspective on:-the notion of the literary canon-the concept of absolute truth-systems of cultural value.It focuses on culture, especially popularculture, as a way to understand society.
  3. 3. How does this apply to a course on Latin American Culture?  Introduction to Latin American Culture  Revise our own notion of culture  Be critical regarding dominant notions of culture and belief in Latin America at different times  Be sensitive to power relations and how they affect the production of knowledge
  4. 4. “Destabilizing the concept of a true source of history allows classroom discussion of the perplexities involved in defining a culture.” (9)This course proposes “areas of inquiry”.We will engage critically with problems of representation,particularly in the media and in popular culture
  5. 5. “[…] in a course on foreigncivilization taught at a UnitedStates university, a criticalawareness of questions ofcultural hegemony seemsessential.” (7)
  6. 6. Sophia McClennen suggests thatwe should“foster international conciousnessinstead of perpetuating an exoticnotion of difference and aWestern-oriented notion of valueand culture.” (7)
  7. 7. Does this mean ‘facts’ don’t matter?“… understanding details and facts is importantbecause the information provides us with a moreinformed critical stance.” (11) Cultural literacy: to understand and appreciate the conditions of production and reception of culture (texts, films, music) in their contexts.
  8. 8. We need to understand thehistorical relations between cultures -between Spain and the populations of Latin America -between the indigenous culture and the Spanish culture -between Spanish speaking and English speaking peoples in the US -between the US and Latin America
  9. 9. “The study of civilization isalso the study of the acts of barbarity carried out in thename of civilization […]” (13)

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