Anthropology | Contemporary Latin Am Social Movements
E600 | 12315 | Greene

This course offers students the chance to explore the diversity of
grassroots politics, social movements, alternative democratic
practices within contemporary Latin America.  We will attempt to do so
in both an academic and a practical sense:  by not only reading about,
writing about, and discussing social movements but also by attempting
to become something like a social movement ourselves.  The academic
side of the course will introduce students to various Latin American
social movements, provide an overview of the possible theoretical
approaches to understand them, and equip students to undertake a
rigorous comparative analysis of them.  The course will entail an
explicitly comparative framework based on readings and a few films
focused around the analytics of ethnicity/race, gender, resources,
human rights, electoral strategies, and the environment.  Running
parallel to (and possibly even against) the academic discussion are
the more practical and experimental efforts we will undertake.  The
experimental question we hope to give a practical answer to is the
following:  As a group how can we (or, indeed, can we at all) devise
plans and engage in activities to join an existing social movement or
constitute one of our own during (and possibly after) this course?
This will entail a fundamentally different format for interaction
between students and between student and instructor than is typical in
most academic settings.  As a result it will also require a
considerable amount of active participation in rethinking the nature
and possibilities for us as a politically invested, social collective.

The course is a joint undergraduate/graduate class and the readings
and requirements are divided accordingly.