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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Maria E Garcia
Seattle Campus

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Class description

Indigenous Encounters: politics, culture, and representation in Latin America. Today, an indigenous leader usually speaks Spanish and English in addition to his/her indigenous language, navigates the web, uses cell phones, and travels frequently to international conferences. What does this say about indigenous identity? How do indigenous leaders' actions challenge our ideas about culture, representation, and authenticity? When, why, and how have the recent changes in indigenous mobilization come about? This course explores these and other questions about indigenous activism. After a general introduction to the political and social history of the region, students will be asked to think critically about concepts like race, ethnicity, culture, and gender. Primarily, we will focus on the contemporary cultural and political transformations advanced by indigenous organizations and their advocates. We will examine the impact that ethnic-based politics have had on development and democracy through such examples as indigenous-military alliances in Ecuador, indigenous struggles against World Bank policies in Brazil, language politics and education policy in Peru, neoliberal multiculturalism in Bolivia, anti-globalization protests in Mexico, and cultural politics in Guatemala. More generally, we will discuss the effects of international aid and alternative development policies on indigenous communities. By focusing on the links between local community activism and transnational networks, this course invites students to engage the challenges, opportunities, and risks of globalization.

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General method of instruction


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Class assignments and grading

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Maria E Garcia
Date: 02/10/2010