SPAN-398 Literature, Film, Music & Human Rights
Fall for 2014-2015
This course, which will be taught in Spanish, will study diverse intersections of the arts and human rights issues in the Americas and elsewhere. Through analysis of literature, music, and film and other visual arts, students will interrogate representations of human rights violations of indigenous communities, women, political prisoners, the transnational poor, workers, ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians, and others. Students will also read major human rights documents from the French Revolution onward and theoretical literature that conceptualizes human rights.
The course will be structured via five units. The first three will study Guatemala (indigenous people and the civil war, testimonial literature), Chile (the Pinochet coup and its aftermath), and Colombia (magical realism and torture). The next two units will be devised and led by students and will focus respectively on the Caribbean (Cuba, Puerto Rico and/or the Dominican Republic) and on one other country or region of their preference anywhere in the world. Transnational connections to people, institutions and issues in the District of Columbia will be encouraged throughout the course.
In addition to oral presentations and other class assignments, all students will be required to participate at least five times during the semester with a human rights groups or campaign and to reflect regularly on those experiences – and how they relate to course readings – in a journal.
By the end of the semester, students will be able to discuss and debate in nuanced ways principal questions of human rights as refracted through the arts. The final paper will demand original research and may focus on any region of the world.
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: