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Media and Power in Latin America: From Quipus to Twitter
HIST 321
Spring 2017
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: LAST 320

This interdisciplinary seminar explores how media technologies have shaped Latin American societies and politics from the colonial encounter to the dawn of the digital age. Investigating the local histories of indigenous forms like the Andean knotted quipu, scribal texts, newspapers, radio, photography and social media, we examine how Latin Americans made and used these technologies to assert power, claim status, and launch protests. Through brief theoretical readings and historical case studies, we explore such themes as the relationship between colonialism and the written word, the enduring legacy of alternative indigenous literacies, the importance of rumor and oral communication in societies with low literacy rates, and the role of mass media in identity formation and contemporary social movements.

Structured in part as a lab, the class will be organized around producing a physical and digital exhibition of Latin American media materials available in Wesleyan's collections, to be displayed for the broader university community and beyond. We will produce this exhibition over the course of the semester, integrating individual research projects into our broader collective project which will be conducted as a collaborative/team effort. Along the way we will experiment with hands-on activities that might include making quill pens, setting type, and operating a printing press, take field trips to examine rare media materials first hand, and learn from on-campus experts as we develop our public exhibition.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HIST-MN)(HIST)(LAST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUL-18-2024
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