SPANISH 438 - Political and Economic Thought in Latin America/Spain
Section: 001 Economy, Politics, and Ideology in Latin America
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Spanish (SPANISH)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Enforced Prerequisites:
Nine credits chosen between SPANISH 279 and 399; or two RCLANG 324 and six credits chosen between SPANISH 279 and 399.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

A careful analysis of liberalism, together with a well-known romantic film on mid-nineteenth-century Argentinian estanciero society (Camila, by María Luisa Bemberg), will help us explore the formation of the national state in Latin America, as well as the organization of free trade from the late nineteenth up until the first decades of the twentieth century.

By the 1930s, liberalism had been intellectually discredited, yet there was no single ideology to effectively take its place. From the plethora of ideologies that opposed liberalism and its free-trade policies, and which competed to occupy the vacuum it had left, we will introduce three discourses. First, populism, as Juan Domingo Perón developed it in a legendary speech to the Argentine Chamber of Commerce in 1947. Second, socialism, as seen in Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s ideology of the New Man (1965), and as vividly described by the Nicaraguan politician and writer Omar Cabezas in his novel Fire from the Mountain. Third, the theory of dependency, as brilliantly interpreted by Guillo Pontecorvo in his film Queimada. Since the beginning of the 1950s, dependency theory would change Latin Americans’ understanding of their position in the world, for it challenged the classic liberal doctrine of comparative advantage that had for so long provided a rationale for export-economies.

Returning to the ideological discussion of liberalism, the course will move to study the connections between literature (we will read Tomás Eloy Martínez’s recent translation of Purgatory, his posthumous novel), national popular consciousness, authoritarianism, and the neo-liberal re-structuring of Latin America during the past two decades.

Counteracting neo-liberal policies and technocratic dictatorship as a means of radically restructuring the economy, we will also study liberation theology and de-colonization as two ideological movements deeply committed to fight poverty exacerbated by social and racial injustice in the region. We will reflect on some excerpts of A Theology of Liberation, one of the movement’s most famous books, written in 1971 by the Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutiérrez. De-colonization, on the other hand, a concept dear to Pontecorvo’s films, refers to the undoing of colonialism. It also updates dependency theory in its critique of unequal relations of politics whereby one people or nation establishes and maintains dependent territory over another. We will finish the course with a discussion of the ideological tenets of Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth.

This course counts as elective credit toward the Spanish minor.

SPANISH 438 - Political and Economic Thought in Latin America/Spain
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
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