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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Fall 2003

ANT 391 • Identity Politics & Contemporary Latin America

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
27155 W
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
EPS 1.128

Course Description

This seminar will critically examine the widespread claim that "cultural difference" has come to provide a new underlying principle for the organization and enactment of oppositional politics. Our principal objectives will be, first, to develop an understanding of what this claim means, second, to assess its validity in Latin America, and third, to analyze the consequences for the people to whom it refers. Our discussions will be framed by the debate revolving around the relationship between these "new" politics and what Fredric Jameson has called the "cultural logic of late capitalism." In the first five weeks we will situate the topic historically and theoretically, which will also provide seminar participants with a common theoretical language. In at least one of these weeks, we will explore the topic in comparative perspective, through a selection of readings from the South Asian school of "subaltern studies." Readings for the remainder of the seminar will be focused on particular instances of identity politics in Latin America. A final session will consider the implications of these cultural-political conditions for data collection, the production of theory, and activist research in anthropology and related disciplines.


(preliminary list) De la Cadena, Marisol Indigenous Mestizos; The politics of race and culture in Cuzco, Peru (1919-1991), (Duke 2000) Escobar, Alvarez and Dagnino (eds.), Cultures of politics/politics of cultures. (Westview 1998) Grandin, Greg Blood of Guatemalans (Duke 2000) Nagle, Robin Claiming the Virgin. The Broken Promise of Liberation Theology in Brazil (Roultledge 1997) Nandy, Ashis The intimate enemy : loss and recovery of self under colonialism (Oxford 1983) Starn, Orin Nightwatch. The politics of protest in the Andes (Duke, 1999) Trouillot, M., Silencing the past: power and the production of history (Beacon 1995) Wade, Peter, Music, race, & nation : musica tropical in Colombia (Chicago 2000) Other texts listed as required reading can be found in the course reader, available at Abel?s Copy (715-D


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