ANTHRO 1781 - What Is Latin America?: Politics, Culture, Identity

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

Prof. Julia Fierman
Mon. 6:00 PM - 8:45 PM
Tozzer 203

This seminar focuses on the anthropology of Latin America in the context of late capitalism to understand the political, economic, and cultural consequences of particular modes of production and the social worlds they create.

Through the genre of ethnography, we examine these consequences by focusing in on the major thematic foci of anthropologies of Latin America: labor, political economy, illiberal governance, crime and policing, political violence, poverty, and corruption. We will read several texts that address each theme, often providing insight into these topics from different geographical contexts within Latin America. In doing so, we will contemplate what it means to examine Latin America as a discreet region, interrogating the structural similarities that supposedly unite this extremely diverse part of the world, while also noting differences and inconsistencies that are often obscured when we mistakenly consider it to be a homogenous part of the world. We will also understand Latin America, and the academic study of Latin America, in the context of global North-South relations, as we are attentive to how scholarship has both problematized and reinforced the structural inequalities of the North-South binary. At the same time, this course’s focus on Latin America in the context of late capitalism places the provocative texts we will read together in conversation with broader global debates about the effects of globalization and the expansion of neoliberalism on communities across the globe.