Course lecturers: Dr. Arij Ouweneel and dr. Christien Klaufus
Tel./mail 020 525 3246 / A.Ouweneel@cedla.nl
020 525 3249 / C.J.Klaufus@cedla.nl
Period: 1 November – 20 December 2017
Time: Wednesdays 13:00 – 16:00 hours
Course load: 6 EC

MA 2. Memories Need to Swim: Mediation, Identity and Myth-making in Latin America

As the performative aspect of the term ‘remembrance’ suggests, collective memory is constantly ‘in the works’ and, like a swimmer, has to keep moving even just to stay afloat. To bring remembrance to a conclusion is de facto already to forget.*


Even in the state of flux in which the world and Latin America find themselves today, people continue to produce and reproduce narratives of who they are and how their “being-in-the-world” is defined by their heritage and the histories of a birth place, hometown, ancestors and journeys. This is the field of memory studies, maintained over the past century by historians, anthropologists, geographers, literary scholars and other humanity and social scientists. Mnemonic communities are constantly being formed, while others change or “stay afloat” with their memories. In the reproduction of their testimonies and narratives over time, new elements are woven into existing narratives, creating innovative ways of myth-making. New narratives and myths are created in the streets of Lima, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Tijuana and other cities and towns, in films, in graffiti and street art, on epitaphs in the cemetery, on Facebook and Twitter, and even in the ‘regular’ media on a daily basis.

This course discusses contemporary myth-making by mnemonic communities in Latin America and traces its components of testimonials and narratives across time and space. Memories are being used to interpret the present and look for a collective future. In the introductory part of the course the approaches are explained and discussed. Next, students will be challenged to explore the workings of memory politics, myth-making and its roots, making use of the insights of cognitive cultural studies and anthropology. Discussing different memory mediators like film, paintings, urban public space, popular art works, urban myths and “fake news”, students engage in the analytic discussion of Latin American contemporary storytelling, identity construction and cultural production.
Form of instruction and assessment
This master course consists of a series of seven 3-hour class meetings that contain both lectures and seminars in which students present and discuss assignments. Grades will be based on the assignments and presentations in class (30%), and a final paper based on additional literature (70%).

Form of instruction and assessment
This master course consists of a series of seven 3-hour class meetings that contain both lectures and seminars in which students present and discuss assignments. Grades will be based on the assignments and presentations in class (30%), and a final paper based on additional literature (70%).

Classes

1

Nov

Introduction: Mnemonic Communities, Identity and Myth-making

Dr. Arij Ouweneel & Dr. Christien Klaufus

8

Nov

The Warriors of the Weeping Lady

Dr. Arij Ouweneel

15

Nov

Tijuana Dreaming

Dr. Christien Klaufus

22

Nov

The Tupac Amaru Museum as Narrative about Castas and Rebellion

Dr. Arij Ouweneel

29

Nov

Colonial Colors and Migrants’ “Mistakes” 

Dr. Christien Klaufus

6

Dec

Meaningful Death and Ghost Stories

Dr. Christien Klaufus

13

Dec

Cultural Memory Cinema: a Seminar

Dr. Arij Ouweneel


Literature (provisional)
Allen, C.J. (1984)“Patterned Times: The Mythic History of a Peruvian Community,” Journal of Latin American Lore 10:2, pp 151-173.
Bastien, J. (1978), “Mountain/Body Metaphor in the Andes,” Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Études Andines 7:1-2, pp. 87-103.
Breglia, L. (2006) Monumental Ambivalence: The Politics of Heritage, Austin: Texas University Press, Chapter 5 and Chaper 6, pp. 135-205.
Félix, A. (2011) “Posthumous Transnationalism: Post-Mortem Repatriation from the United States to Mexico”, Latin American Research Review 46(3), pp. 157-179.
Garrard-Burnett, V. (2015) “Living with Ghosts: Death, Exhumation, and Reburial among the Maya in Guatemala”, Latin American Perspectives 42(3), 180–192.
Gose, P. (1986) “Sacrifice and the Commodity Form in the Andes,” Man 21:2, pp. 296-310.
Kun, J. and Montezemolo, F. (2012) “The Factory of Dreams” in: Kun and Montezemolo (eds.) (2012) Tijuana Dreaming: Life and Art at the Global Border, Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 1-19.
Lerner, J. (2012) “Borderline Archaeology”, in: Kun and Montezemolo (eds.) (2012) Tijuana Dreaming: Life and Art at the Global Border, Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 264-276.
Lopez, S.L. (2015) The Remittance Landscape: Spaces of Migration in Rural Mexico and Urban USA, University of Chicago Press, Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 3, pp.1-70 & 97-132.
Losonczy A. M. (2001) “Santificación popular de los muertos en cementerios urbanos colombianos”, Revista Colombiana de Antropología 37, Disponible en http://www.icanh.gov.co/
Téllez, M. (2012) “Community of Struggle”, in: Kun and Montezemolo (eds.) (2012) Tijuana Dreaming: Life and Art at the Global Border, Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 190-211.


Registration and Participation

UvA Students
Students registered at the University of Amsterdam can register for the CEDLA courses through SIS.

Students registered at other Dutch universities
BA students that are registered at another Dutch university can register as a guest student Spanish Language and Culture (‘bijvakstudent Spaanse Taal en Cultuur’) at the University of Amsterdam in Studielink.

MA students that are registered at another Dutch university can register through our digital registration form.

Non-students
Persons who are interested in our courses, but are not registered as students at a university, may participate in some courses under certain provisions. Those interested, should provide the secretariat with some information on their background, their background knowledge and their special interest in taking the course. Non-students can register for the courses through our digital registration form

The cost of a CEDLA Bachelor course is €40.00 per credit, the Master courses cost €60.00 per credit. The amount due should be transferred to IBAN number NL51INGB0004990722, and made payable to Centrum voor studie en documentatie van Latijns Amerika, Amsterdam. Please make sure you also give your name and the title of the selected course with your payment transfer.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the CEDLA secretariat. We are open on weekdays from 9.00 to 17.00 hours.

Telephone: +31 20 525 3498
Email: secretariat@cedla.nl


* Rigney, Ann. “The Dynamics of Remembrance: Texts Between Monumentality and Morphing.” In A Companion to Cultural Memory Studies, edited by Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nünning. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2010, 345.

Picture: Tobias Mayr (CC BY-NC 2.0)