HIST106 - LATIN AMERICA IN THE ARTISTIC IMAGINATION

Description: 
How have painters, filmmakers, novelists, and other artists portrayed the history of Latin America? How do those portrayals – of pre-contact societies as well as of colonization, slavery, revolution, and immigration – compare to scholarly approaches to those same subjects? What are the possibilities of using art to disseminate historical knowledge? Are there any dangers to privileging artistic over scholarly approaches to history, or vice versa? To answer these and other questions, this first-year seminar brings together a wide array of scholarship and artistic output covering nearly five hundred years of Latin American history, from the pre-Colombian period to the modern era. As part of this effort, students will have the opportunity to explore several Penn-based and off-campus cultural centers. We will begin our journey at the Penn Museum, which houses a rich collection of pre-Colombian artifacts from Mesoamerica and the Andes. While they do not fit within traditional definitions of art, these archaeological finds provide compelling insight into the daily lives and ceremonial practices of early Amerindians. They also provide key reference points for artists in colonial and modern Latin America, whose work we will examine through a series of visits to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). The PMA’s holdings include secular and religious portraits, sculptures, and modern murals by such artists as Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. Given the scope of the collection, we will schedule our visits around course readings and writing assignments, not only to maintain a sense of chronological focus but also to take full advantage of the opportunity for close readings of specific objects. Other class outings will include visits to the Library Company of Philadelphia (a repository for unpublished engravings and drawings from Latin America), and area film societies/centers for relevant screenings.
Instructors: 
WALKER, TAMARA
Day and Time: 
CANCELED
Activity: 
SEM
Cross Listings: 
  • LALS107401
Registration Notes: 
FRESHMAN SEMINAR