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Simon Bolivar: The Politics of Monument Building

SPAN 256
Spring 2007 not offered
Crosslisting: LAST 258
Course Cluster: Urban Studies

No figure has been seized upon more as a symbol of cultural and political unity than the liberator, intellectual, and founder of "americanismo" Simon Bolivar. In what is the most recent and perhaps best-known example of this, the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has used the Bolivar legacy to present himself as the new founder, the new liberator, of his nation. In this course, we will examine not only the case of contemporary Venezuela but also the countless appropriations of Bolivar that have occurred across the Americas and in Europe in the 170 years since his death. From Sarmiento to Garcia Marquez, from the Spaniard Miguel de Unamuno to the U.S. socialist Waldo Frank, from the U.S.-led pan-americanismo of the 19th century to the Latin American "americanismo" of the 20th, Bolivar has been the cornerstone of discourse about the Americas. Generally speaking, Bolivar went from serving in the 19th century as a pillar of the liberal tradition to serving in the 20th as the heroic foundation of liberalism's critiques. In this process, modernization, cultural discourse, and the politics of race and gender played definitive roles. To consider all this, we will examine a number of re-writings of Bolivar's life and works, focusing on the dynamic process in which literary, cultural, and political traditions have been formed around him. A wide range of texts will be examined, including letters, essays, poems, novels, screenplays, and films.

Essential Capabilities: Speaking, Writing
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RLAN
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: [SPAN226 or LAST226] OR SPAN221 OR SPAN223
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HISP)(LAST)(RMST)

Last Updated on DEC-05-2023
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