Course lecturers: Dr. Christien Klaufus (coördinator) en Dr. Arij Ouweneel
Tel./mail: 020 525 3249 /
020 525 3246 /
Period: 10 January – 10 February
Time: Tuesday 13:00 – 16:00 hours
Thursday 13:00 – 16:00 hours
Course load: 6 EC
Max. participants: 25


Latin America is the New World, the continent of hope. Hope for a better life for the poor; hope for a more egalitarian society. People used to think that this hope was to be found on the countryside, in the life of the peasants and Indians. Not surprisingly, our attention is nowadays directed towards the city as a hotbed of resistance; as a location of alternative identity constructions, as Latin America has urbanized at a high pace over the last decade: more than three quarters of the population live in urban areas.

The times when the physical-spatial order of the Latin American city was thought to determine its social order are past. Today cities are addressed by exploring citizens’ agency and identity constructions, as a new face of this urbanized New World. In this course students will explore the workings of identity formation and its roots, making use of human-geographical and cultural studies. In the introductory part an overview will be given of Latin American urban studies and the history of urban development. The attention will subsequently shift toward contemporary social movements, socio-spatial segregation, violence, urban policies and urban governance. De course rounds up attention for the everyday experiences in the city, as well as with urban imaginaries on TV and in the cinema.

Form of instruction
This intensive course consists of two sessions per week of three hours each, eight sessions in total. Attending the sessions is a prerequisite: only students that have attended at least seven of the eight sessions can pass the course. For each session the student is expected to read the texts from the literature scheme in the course syllabus. The literature will be discussed in class. The course will be assessed by a take-home exam and several smaller assignments.

Course load
The course load of 6 EC’s consists of the following credit points: attending the sessions 1EC; literature study 3 EC’s take-home exam 2 EC’s. Extension of the credit point with 1,5 EC can be discussed with the course coordinator.

Course objective
Student that have attended this course are expected to:
• Describe urban development processes for the discussed cases in Latin America
• Be able to explain and use core concepts from the urban studies literature.
• Be able to apply knowledge about Latin American cities in broader development debates, for example with regard to social movements, livelihood strategies, social mobility, spatial segregation, violence, and urban spatial policies.

Course assessment and grading
The course grade will be based on the take-home exam and several smaller assignments. The smaller assignments can consist of a film analysis or a discussion of the literature. The average of the smaller assignments weights as 30% of the final grade. The exam grade is 70% of the final grade. The exam will be published on Blackboard on Thursday 9th of February at 9:00 hours. The answers have to be submitted through Blackboard before the deadline on Friday 10th of February at 17:00 hours. The UvA plagiarism rules apply here, see content/plagiarism-and-fraud/plagiarism-and-fraud.html.

Literature (provisional)
- Atencio, R.J. (2011) ‘A Prime Time to Remember: Memory Merchandising in Globo’s Anos Rebeldes’, in: Bilbija, K., & L.A. Payne (eds.) Accounting for Violence. Marketing Memory in Latin America, Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 41-68.
- Bilbija, K., & L.A. Payne (2011) ‘Time is Money: The Memory Market in Latin America’, in: Bilbija, K., & L.A. Payne (eds.) Accounting for Violence. Marketing Memory in Latin America, Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 1-40.
- Bromley, R. & P. Mackie (2009) ‘Displacement and New Spaces for Informal Trade in the Latin American City’, Urban Studies 46(7): 1485-1506.
- Caldeira, T. (1999) ‘Fortified Enclaves: the New Urban Segregation’, in J. Holston (ed.) Cities and Citizenship, 114-138. Durham and London: Duke University Press.
- Gilbert, A. (2015) ‘Urban governance in the South: How did Bogotá lose its shine?’, Urban Studies 52(4): 665-684.
- Goldstein, D. (2004) Chapter 2 ‘Urbanism, Modernity, and Migration in Cochabamba’, The Spectacular City: Violence and Performance in Urban Bolivia, pp. 53- 89. Durham: Duke University Press.
- Griffin, E. & L. Ford (1980) ‘A model of Latin American City Structure’, Geographical Review 70(4): 397-422.
- Haslip-Viera, G., (1986) ‘The Underclass’, in: L.S. Hoberman, and S.M. Socolow (Eds.) Cities & Society in Colonial Latin America, pp. 285-312. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
- G.A. Jones, and D. Rodgers (Eds.) Youth Violence in Latin America. Gangs and Juvenile Justice Perspective, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, various chapters.
- Kent, R. (2006) Chapter 14 ‘Contemporary Cities and Urban Patterns’, Latin America: Regions and People, pp. 246-270. New York: The Guilford Press.
- Klaufus, C., and R. Jaffe (2015) ‘Latin American and Caribbean Urban Development’, European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 100: 63-72.
- Lopez, S. (2015) Chapter 1 ‘The Remittance House’, The Remittance Landscape: Spaces of Migration in Rural Mexico and Urban USA, pp. 35-70. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Sraper, S. (2011) ‘The Business of Memory: Reconstructing Torture Centers as Shopping Malls and Tourist Sites’, in: Bilbija, K., & L.A. Payne (eds.) Accounting for Violence. Marketing Memory in Latin America, Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 127- 150.
- Van Oss, A.C. (2003) Chapter 7 ‘The Colonial City in Spanish America’, Church and Society in Spanish America, pp. 161-186. Amsterdam: CLAS 90 Aksant.

Picture: Pedro Szekely. A scene from La Candelaria, in downtown Bogota. Colombia (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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