Topics in African American Studies: Afro-Latin America on Camera


In this course, we will see how the camera, in still and moving photography, has served to register blackness in Latin America as a structure, experience, and representation frequently neglected in popular media. Starting with the images of enslavement and freedom in the form of painting, sketches, prints, daguerrotypes, and other early photographs in nineteenth-century Latin America, we will explore how the camera has marked the passing of time and created racial histories-actual and fictional-that educate us, move us, and influence how governments make policy. We will view an array of films, video, and still photography, across multiple genres, that center the histories and present-day joys and struggles of black people in Latin America while actively considering how our own consumption of media informs our racial perceptions of Latin America. The work that we view and read about will be used to question Latin America's perceived racial exceptionalism narratives, such as mestizaje, mulatismo, and racial democracy, and how they depend on sugarcoated histories of race mixture during slavery and colonization. This course will also focus heavily on how image-making becomes a persuasive means to make one's blackness known in the framework of the Latin America nation-state, to stake claims to rights, and to document black life in productive, pleasurable ways that do not always center the ongoing gentrification, annihilation, and genocide of black communities.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Eth; BU BA; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM; AS SC; FA VC

Section 01

Topics in African American Studies: Afro-Latin America on Camera
View Course Listing - FL2023