PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE TWO SEPARATE DESCRIPTIONS BELOW, ONE FOR JSIS 480C AND THE OTHER FOR JSIS 480B.
C LIT 315 A / JSIS 480 C CONTEMPORARY ARGENTINE CINEMA TTh 1:30-3:20 5 credits Professor Cynthia Steele
Along with Brazil and Mexico, Argentina was one of the founders of Latin American cinema, from the silent era through the ‘New Cinema Movement’ of the 1960s. In recent years it has also been at the forefront of the new boom in Latin American cinema, producing a steady stream of innovative films in every genre, from documentary to avant-garde film. Some of these films examine the legacy of dictatorship and repression during the 1970s and 1980s, while others explore the subjectivities of new social actors, including women, gays and indigenous people. In this class we will watch films by nine key filmmakers of the past decade: Carlos Sorín (Bombón: el perro), Fabián Bieliski (Nine Queens), Juan José Campanella (The Secret in their Eyes), Lucrecia Martel (The Swamp and The Headless Woman), Adrián Israel Caetano (Bolivia and A Red Bear), Pablo Trapero (Lion’s Den and White Elephant), Benjamín Avila (Clandestine Childhood), Lisandro Alonso (Liverpool), and Lucía Puenzo (XXY and The Fish Child). We will read general overviews of contemporary film history, as well as analyses of specific films. Students will keep a viewing and reading journal, write a 5-7-page final analytical essay, and give a group presentation, in addition to participating actively in class discussions. Some of the films will be screened in class, while we will watch others at home on instant streaming. Our basic textbook will be Jens Andermann’s New Argentine Cinema (London: IB Taurus, 2012).
C LIT 321 A / JSIS 480 B Political Violence and Narrative of the Americas MW 1:30-3:20 5 credits Professor Cynthia Steele In much of the Americas modernization has been accompanied by rampant abuse of human rights, by massacres and tortures carried out by armies and governments, as well as by rogue groups taking advantage of weak states. Using Jean Franco’s new book Cruel Modernity (Duke UP, 2013) as our conceptual framework, we will read recent narrative and watch films from various regions of the Americas (the Southern Cone, Central America and Mexico, the US, and the Caribbean). These works deal with political violence in its various forms: from military repression, torture and disappearance to the violence associated with human trafficking and the drug cartels. We will read Roberto Bolaño’s Distant Star, Martín Kohan’s School for Patriots, Patricio Pron’s My Father’s Ghost Is Climbing in the Rain, Oscar Martínez’s The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail, and Junot Díaz’s The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Films will include La mirada invisible / The Invisible Eye (Argentina), Violeta Went Up to Heaven (Chile), La bestia (Guatemala), and La fiesta del chivo/The Feast of the Goat (Peru). Students will be responsible for writing a final 5-7-page analytical essay and for directing the class discussion of one set of readings, in addition to participating actively in our other discussions.
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