The module takes an interdisciplinary approach to key challenges in contemporary Latin America, offering insights into major trends and processes that have shaped the region from the second half of the 20th century up to the present day. You will gain perspectives and methodologies from a broad range of fields, including economics, politics, art history, as well as sociology, contemporary history, political ecology and human rights.
The module starts with a critical introduction to the region grounded the violence of its colonial past, quest for independence and the impacts on ethnic composition and sociocultural formations. Then, we will explore and discuss specific contemporary challenges facing the region, such as the impacts of globalisation and neoliberalism; the struggle for democratization and human rights memory; femicide and women's rights; precarious urbanization and social justice; environmental activism and the Rights of Nature movement, among others. As well as engaging with scholarly texts from different disciplines, we will also examine ways that cultural production from Latin America addresses the topics explored in the module. You will also have the opportunity to study artworks held at Essex's unique on campus resource, the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA). You do not need to speak Spanish or Portuguese to do this half-module. All you need is an interest in learning more about recent trends and processes shaping life in contemporary Latin America.
- Module Supervisor: Olivia Arigho Stiles