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HP303 Postmodernism and Popular Culture in Latin America

Module Code: HP303
Module Name: Postmodernism and Popular Culture in Latin America
Module Coordinator: Elizabeth Chant
Date and time TBC
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

This module explores the relationship between postmodernism, the creation of new forms of fiction contesting traditional history and truth, and the emergence of popular culture in Latin American literature and cultures. We will study how four major Latin American authors explored the potential of postmodern narrative structures, such as allegory and metafiction, to create new techniques for writing the self and to question the meaning of national identities in a postmodern age. On this course, students will study theories of postmodernism as elucidated by Euro-western and Latin American scholars, examining issues of capitalism, consumerism, race, gender, truth and justice, dictatorship, mass culture and colonial legacies in the Americas.

This course will be of interest to any students who would like to learn more about contemporary Latin American literature, history and politics, and critical and cultural theory including the writings of scholars such as Jean Baudrillard, Frederic Jameson, Walter Mignolo, and Jean-François Lyotard. We will examine literature from Chile, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, further engaging with issues such as the political exile of Latin Americans in Europe, mass tourism in the Carribbean, and censorship during the Chilean dictatorship (1973-90).

In 2022-3, this module will be taught face-to-face.

Course structure:

Week 1: Introduction to Postmodern theories, philosophies, aesthetics and literatures

Week 2-3: Diamela Eltit, El Cuarto Mundo (1988)

Week 4-5: Carmen Boullosa, Duerme (1994)

Week 6-Reading Week

Week 7-8: Roberto Bolaño, Estrella Distante (1996)

Week 9: Ana Lydia Vega: selected short stories from Vírgenes y mártires (1981), and Pasión de historia y otras historias de pasión (1987)

Week 10: Revision week

Assessment Method:

10 minute video presentation (20%)

3000 word essay (80%)

Dr Elizabeth Chant