Material Cultures of the Americas

This course surveys the cultures of Central and South America and the Caribbean from 1500 to the present. The course will attempt to serve as a revision to canonical histories that place colonial powers as the active agents of cultural production. Instead, we will focus on texts that illuminate a diverse array of cultures and their hybrid manifestations. Special consideration will be placed on authors who originate from Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru, our regions/nations of primary study. Topics include indigenous materials and arts, movement of materials and trade goods, afro- diasporic material cultures, the creation of colonial styles, sacred and religious arts, the formation of national styles and regional modernisms, and the role of folk/vernacular/popular/craft practices. 3 credits. May satisfy the pre-1800 or non-Western requirements, depending on final project.