Cultural Studies of the Americas II
Que cante mi gente:
Latin/o American Literature, Music, and Self-Expression
Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese
University of Illinois
“Alejo Carpentier wrote that Latin American music is a phenomenon like an explosion whose history and evolution, unlike the history of European music, cannot be traced in a linear or coherent pattern. According to Carpentier, Latin American music arises from nowhere as a series of accidents, unplanned events and startling surprises.
—Den Tandt, Catherine and Richard Young. The Cambridge Companion to Latin American Culture
This course will examine the role of music in Latin American self-expression. From tango to reggaetón, Latin American musical forms have become global sensations. At the same time, they have been central components of regional and national identities, playing an integral part in cultural rituals and practices as well as in everyday life. We will closely examine how particular musical forms have evolved, paying particular attention to their relationship with power, resistance and change. Finally, we will analyze how these forms have been woven into Latin Amerian literature and the impact of this relationship.