This course is designed for students who have already taken an introductory human rights course. As such, it will further contextualize human rights as an ethical and judicial principle, and draw analytical parallels to the development of political rights under colonialism, liberalism, and neoliberalism in Latin America. This is an interdisciplinary course; students will read essays, watch documentary and fiction films, listen to music and research the life and work of Latin American authors and social movements. The course will give students a general knowledge of major political events in the region that have challenged established notions of human rights and justice.
Special attention will be given to the systematic use of violence during the armed conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s and the textual and visual testimonies that attempt to document the trauma of political groups and human rights organizations repressed by terrorist States. We will examine the neoliberal turn in politics and human rights rhetoric and track its impact on international law and local governance. An important part of this course will be to consider the role that documentation has played in cataloging atrocities. We will consider groundbreaking evidence that has paved the way for democratic reforms in certain countries and helped to change complicated amnesty laws that have historically blocked the prosecution of crimes against humanity. We will also explore the role of amnesty laws within the larger international legal community.
Proposal for research paper 15% (4 pages)
Annotated bibliography for research paper 10% (2 pages)
AR Presentation 10%
Discussion and participation 30%
Final Paper 35% (15 pages)
Weekly required readings will be around 100 pages to be done ahead of class. You must come to class prepared for discussion. Read the text or texts assigned before class, take copious notes and come prepared to class with questions. Your participation not only will improve your overall grade but it is a fundamental part of the course’s success. Each student will lead one discussion seminar, introducing a text or the work of an author or filmmaker and explaining its relevance to the history of human rights in the region. We will watch films in class and attend a couple of screenings outside class (if possible). We will analyze films both as artistic products (formal qualities, cinematic genres and stylistic influences) and as sociological documents.
The course will culminate with a 15 page argumentative essay (research paper). I will be happy to discuss a prospectus for the essay and help you organize your bibliography.Please type all written work using a standard 12-point font, use double-spaced text, leave a one-inch margin on all sides, and staple multiple pages. Late papers will be marked down 1/3 grade for each day late. Please follow the MLA Style or APA format for citations and general style formatting. You can find an online version of style manuals at:
Student desiring accommodations on the basis of physical learning, or psychological disability for this class is to contact the Office of Student Services. Student Services is located in Student Affairs.
Please check on Brightspace for a weekly update of reading and writing assignments.
WEEK 1: Human Rights in Latin America
Friday September 8th
Introduction to the Course
Cardenas, S. (2011). Human rights in Latin America: a politics of terror and hope. Philadelphia: Univ Of Pennsylvania Pr. (44 pgs). (CR) 46 pgs.
Ishay, M. (2009). The history of human rights: from ancient times to the globalization era. Chapter 2. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press. (AR) 51 pgs.
FILM: Chicago Boys (2015), by Carola Fuentes and Rafael Valdeavellano (85 mins.)
*Thursday, September 14th:
Opening Art Show Soka University Gallery: Artists Sebastián Chillemi and Pablo Salvadó. Sleeping in the Forest. Dreamscapes of nature and society. Reception: 5:30- 7:30 p.m.
WEEK 2: Dictatorships and State Repression during the Cold War
Friday September 15th
Amnesty International. “Urgent Action.” Santiago Maldonado
Los Espiritus, “Perdida en el Fuego” [Recording]
Dinges, J. (2005). The Condor Years: how Pinochet and his allies brought terrorism to three continents. “The Condor System.” New York: New Press. (CR) 27 pags.
Garcia Espinosa, Julio. “For an Imperfect Cinema.” Chomsky, A., Carr, B., & Smorkaloff, P. M. (2006). The Cuba reader: history, culture, politics. Durham: Duke University Press. (CR) 8 pgs.
Rivera Hernandez, Raul Diego y Mariana Ortega Brena. “Making Absence Visible: The Caravan of Central American Mothers in Search of Disappeared Migrants.” Latin American Perspectives, September 2017. (19 pages) [AR]
Assignment Due! Annotated Bibliography (bring a hard copy to class).
Friday, October 13th
FILM: Naomi Campbell: It’s Not Easy To Become A Different Person/ Naomi Campbell: No es facil convertirse en otra persona, by Nicolas Videla and Camila Jose Donoso, 85 min.
Corrales, Javier and Mario Pechemy. “Introduction.” The Comparative Politics of Sexuality in Latin America: A Reader on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights. 30 pgs. (CR)
Prieur, Annick. Mema’s House, Mexico City: On Transvestites, Queens, and Machos. “Stealing Femininity: On Bodily and Symbolic Constructions.” (CR) 39 pgs.
CNDH, Comision Nacional de los Derechos Humanos, “Los derechos humanos de los transgeneros, transexuales y travestis.” (AR) 36 pages
Weld, Kirsten. “Introduction: The Power of Archival Thinking,” and “Revolutionary Lives in the Archives.” Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala. (CR) 60 pages
Sarkar, Bhaskar and Janet Walker. “Introduction: Moving Testimonies.” Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering. (AR) 25 pages.
*Tuesday, October 17th:
Workshop with Chilean muralist Camilo Diaz
Camilo Diaz will give a short talk and mural workshop called “Paint and Struggle” on Tuesday Oct 17 from 4:30 to 6:30. Following a presentation and discussion about UMLEM, a group of Chilean muralists who work to create political and social change through public art, Mr. Diaz will guide students in their own politically oriented mural project. Students will be able to paint murals within the Residence Halls.
Friday, October 27th
Interview with SUA alumni. Human Rights violations in Venezuela.
For those interested in learning about the political situation in Venezuela please read the following article by Steve Ellner:
Silva Lopes, Ivonete. “Political Culture and the Democratization of Communications in Brazil.” LAP
Friday, November 17th
Media and Democratization in Latin America, by Javier Campo and Tomás Crowder-Taraborrelli. (Lecture of forthcoming special issue of Latin American Perspectives on Media and Democratization in Latin America).
Silva Lopes, Ivonete. “Political Culture and the Democratization of Communications in Brazil.” LAP (reading from last week) (CR)
Zamorano Villareal, Gabriela. “The Plan Nacional, a Process of Indigenous Communication.” Indigenous Media and Political Imaginaries in Contemporary Bolivia. (to be uploaded soon). (CR)
Assessment of Media Development in Bolivia (UN Report) Category 2 (pgs. 37-50). (AR)
Maricato, Erminia. “The Future of Global Peripheral Cities.” Latin American Perspectives, March 2017. (CR)
Friendly, Abigail. “Urban Policy, Social Movements, and the Right to the the City in Brazil.” Latin American Perspectives, March 2017. (CR)
Friday, December 15th
Deadline to submit your final research project.
Please submit via email your final research paper by 6 p.m.
Archard, David, and Colin M. Macleod. The moral and political status of children. Oxford University Press, 2005.
Aquarius, Directed by Kleber Mendonca Filho, 2016.
Assessment of Media Development in Bolivia. UNESCO, 2017.
Barcelos, Iuri and Natalia Viana. “Revealed: fires in São Paulo Favelas more likely on higher-value land.” The Guardian, 2017.
Campo, Javier and Tomás Crowder-Taraborrelli. Media and Democratization in Latin America: Lecture of forthcoming special issue of Latin American Perspectives on Media and Democratization in Latin America. 2017.
Cardenas, Sonia. Human rights in Latin America: a politics of terror and hope. Univ Of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.
Chicago Boys. Directed by Carola Fuentes and Rafael Valdevellano. 2015.
Cohen-Salama, M. Tumbas Anónimas: Informe sobre la identificación de restos de víctimas de la represión ilegal. Catálogos Editora, 1992. pp. 87-95.
Collyns, Dan. “Time has created distance: Peru’s filmmakers take on country’s long conflict.” The Guardian, 2017.
Corrales, Javier and Mario Pechemy. “Introduction.” The Comparative Politics of Sexuality in Latin America: A Reader on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights. University of Pittsburgh Press. 2010.
Cowie, Sam. “Inside Crackland: the open-air drug market that São Paulo just can’t kick.” The Guardian, 2017.
Dinges, J. “The Condor System.” The Condor Years: how Pinochet and his allies brought terrorism to three continents. New York: New Press. 2005.