Prof. Robin Greeley



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Prof. Robin Greeley


robin.greeley@uconn.edu

ARTH 383: Nationalism in 20c Latin America.
Course Description
This course examines how the question of the “nation” in 20c Latin America is consistently posed in relation to a set of interlinked issues, key among them being “modernity,” indigenism and various attitudes towards anti-imperialism. We will concentrate on two case studies – Mexico and Cuba – for several reasons. First, these two countries exemplify many of the important aspects of nation-formation to be seen throughout Latin America. Both further embody significant aspects of the conditions in which visual cultures in Latin America took up particular forms of nationalism in order to gain a global historical identity. Visual representation was seen as a particularly crucial area in the battle for interpretive power during this period, as various artistic and cultural movements struggled to claim symbolic representation of modern nations fundamentally different from their former colonizers.
We will look at theories of nationalism as formative as those of Gramsci, Anderson, Hobsbawm, Gellner and Bhabha, in order to situate them vis-à-vis the Mexican and Cuban contexts. We will move from the formative moment of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1917) and Mexican Muralism, through the Cuban Revolution, to the post-1968 period and into the present. This will allow us to examine a variety of key responses to the issue of cultural nationalism in both countries on the part of the avant-garde, the popular sphere, the state, and political factions from extreme left to extreme right.
Course Requirements:
1) A 15-20 page research paper on a theme chosen in consultation with the professor, due last day of class. Students may choose to concentrate on Mexico or Cuba, but may also elect to focus on the material history of another Latin American country. No late papers accepted. Papers should be typed in Times or Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, with 1 inch margins all around. Pages should be numbered, and relevant illustrations included at the end. Bibliography and footnotes should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style format.
2) an oral presentation (about 20-30 minutes) of your paper at some point in last three weeks of course (sign up).
3) Entries marked with a “*” are to be team-presented in class. Each person should sign up for two selections. You will work in teams of two to present the reading to the class and to lead a discussion of approximately 45 minutes.
4) A weekly 1-2 page critical assessment of each of the “*” assigned readings. These (in addition to your more extended notes on all the assigned readings) will give you a basis for discussion in class.
Although all required readings are in English, it is highly recommended that students be able to read Spanish.

Course materials:

Books to buy (will also be on reserve):
Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. (London: Verso, 1983).

Paz, Octavio, Labyrinth of Solitude. Life and Thought in Mexico (New York: Grove Press, 1961)


Franco, Jean, Plotting Women. Gender and Representation in Mexico (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989).
Bartra, Roger, The Cage of Melancholy. Identity and Metamorphosis in the Mexican Character, trans. Christopher Hall (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1992)
Gellner, Ernest, Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983).
Hobsbawm, Eric J., Nations and Nationalism Since 1780. Programme, Myth, Reality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
Fanon, Franz, Black Skin. White Masks (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1967)
Course Reader
Optional to buy (these will also be on reserve):

Leslie Bethell, ed. Mexico Since Independence, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991)


Pérez, Louis A., Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995)
Martínez, Juan, Cuban Art and National Identity: The Vanguard Painters, 1927-1950 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994)
Rochfort, Desmond, Mexican Muralists. Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros. (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1993)
Camnitzer, Luis, The New Art of Cuba (Austin: University of Texas)
Vasconcelos, José, The Cosmic Race: a bilingual edition, trans. Didier Jaén, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979).
Syllabus:

Read throughout, as appropriate:


Leslie Bethell, ed. Mexico Since Independence, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991)
Pérez, Louis A., Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995)


Week I: intro


Bhabha, Homi, “Introduction: narrating the nation,” in Nation and Narration, (New York: Routledge, 1990):1-7.

Week II: mexico The Mexican Revolution & Muralism


*Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. (London: Verso, 1983).
Rochfort, Desmond, Mexican Muralists. Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros. (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1993)
skim: Vasconcelos, José, The Cosmic Race: a bilingual edition, trans. Didier Jaén, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979).
recommended:

Lomnitz, Claudio, “Nationalism as a Practical System: Benedict Anderson’s Theory of Nationalism from the Vantage Point of Spanish America,” in Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico. An Anthropology of Nationalism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001):3-34.



Week III: mexico Counter Nationalisms: the Contemporáneos


*Paz, Octavio, Labyrinth of Solitude. Life and Thought in Mexico (New York: Grove Press, 1961)
Ramos, Samuel, from Profile of Man and Culture in Mexico, (1934) trans. Peter G. Earle (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1962):101-109; 167-180
skim: Greeley, Robin "Painting Identities: Mexican Nationalism and Gender in the Work of María Izquierdo," Oxford Art Journal v.23, n˚1 (Spring, 2000)
recommended:

Luis Mario Schneider “Los Contemporáneos: la vanguardia desmentida” & Marc Cheymol “El mito de la cultura francesa en los Contemporáneos,” in Olea Franco, Rafael and Anthony Stanton, eds., Los contemporáneos en el laberinto de la crítica, (Mexico City: el Colegio de México, 1994).


due: research paper proposal and preliminary bibliography
Week IV: mexico Indigenism, Gender and the State

*Franco, Jean, Plotting Women. Gender and Representation in Mexico (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989).


Palacios, Guillermo, “Postrevolutionary Intellectuals, Rural Readings, and the Shaping of the ‘Peasant Problem’ in Mexico: El Maestro Rural, 1932-34.” Journal of Latin American Studies, 30:2 (May, 1998):309-339.
recommended:

Knight, Alan, “Racism, Revolution, and Indigenismo: Mexico, 1910-1940” in The Idea of Race in Latin America, 1870-1940, ed. Richard Graham (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990): 71-113.


Week V: mexico guest speaker: Jesús Pérez Vázquez (University of Connecticut),

“Mexican Cultural Nationalism in the International Sphere”

*Gellner, Ernest, Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983).


recommended: TBA
Week VI: mexico 1968

*Hobsbawm, Eric J., Nations and Nationalism Since 1780. Programme, Myth, Reality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).


skim: Folgarait, Leonard, "The March of Humanity on Earth and Toward the Cosmos: Inauguration and analysis," in So Far From Heaven (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987):55-76
recommended:

Gutmann, Matthew, “1968 – The Massacre at Tlateloloco,” in The Romance of Democracy. Compliant Defiance in Contemporary Mexico (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002):61-72.


Schmidt, Arthur, “Making It Real Compared to What? Reconceptualizing Mexican History Since 1940,” in Joseph, Gilbert, Anne Rubenstein, & Eric Zolov, eds., Fragments of a Golden Age. The politics of culture in Mexico since 1940 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001):23-68.
Week VII: mexico NAFTA & the “Post-Mexican Condition”

*Bartra, Roger, The Cage of Melancholy. Identity and Metamorphosis in the Mexican Character, trans. Christopher Hall (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1992)


John Womack, Jr., Rebellion in Chiapas: an historical reader (New York: The New Press, 1999):245-249; 304-315.
recommended:

Roger Bartra, “Tropical Kitsch in Blood and Ink,” in Blood, Ink, and Culture. Miseries and Splendors of the Post-Mexican Condition, trans. Mark Alan Healey (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002):15-43.


Week VIII: cuba The Modernistas

*Althusser, Louis, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses" in Lenin and Philosophy (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971):127-186


*Hall, Stuart, "Signification, Representation, Ideology: Althusser and the post-Structuralist Debates" Critical Studies in Mass Communcation v.2, n˚2 (June 1985)
skim: Martínez, Juan, Cuban Art and National Identity: The Vanguard Painters, 1927-1950 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994)
recommended:

José Martí, Our America. Writings on Latin America and the Struggle for Cuban Independence, ed., Philip S. Foner, trans. Elinor Randall, (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977).


Robert Linsley, “Wifredo Lam: Painter of Negritude," Art History v.11, no.4 (Dec. 1988)

Week IX: cuba The Cuban Revolution


*Gramsci, Antonio, from Selections from the Prison Notebooks, (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1971): 238-39; 242-264
*Gramsci, Antonio, from Selections from Cultural Writings, eds. David Forgacs and Georffrey Nowell-Smith, trans. William Boelhower (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985):241-244; 206-212
*Hall, Stuart, “The Question of Cultural Identity,” in Stuart Hall, David Held and Tony McGrew, eds., Modernity and Its Futures (Cambridge: Polity Press & The Open University, 1992):274-325.
watch before class: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Memories of Underdevelopment (“Memorias del subdesarrollo” Cuba, 1968).
recommended:

Hall, Stuart, “Gramsci’s relevance for the study of race and ethnicity,” in David Morley & Juan-Hsing Chen, eds., Stuart Hall. Critical dialogues in cultural studies (New York: Routledge, 1996):411-440.


Roberto Fernández Retamar, Caliban and Other Essays, forward by Fredric Jameson, trans. Edward Baker (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989)
Week X: cuba The Cuban Revolution

*Brennan, Timothy, “The National Longing for Form,” in Nation and Narration, Homi K. Bhabha, ed., (New York: Routledge, 1990):44-70.


skim: Camnitzer, Luis, The New Art of Cuba (Austin: University of Texas)
recommended:

Balibar, Etienne, “The Nation Form: History and Ideology,” in Etienne Balibar & Immanuel Wallerstein, Race, Nation, Class. Ambiguous identities (London: Verso, 1991):86-106



Week XI: cuba The Volumen I Generation


*Fanon, Franz, Black Skin. White Masks (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1967)
*Bhabha, Homi, “The Other Question” in The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994):66-84.
recommended:

Read, Alan ed., The Fact of Blackness: Frantz Fanon and Visual Representation (Seattle: Bay Press, 1996)


“After Fanon,” Special issue of New Formations, no. 47 (Summer 2002)

Week XII: presentations




Week XIII: Fall Break/No class




Week XIV: presentations




Week XV: presentations



FINAL PAPERS DUE

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