From  Oleoducto/Pipeline , by María Teresa Ponce

From Oleoducto/Pipeline, by María Teresa Ponce

Capital Natures:
The Political Ecology of Hispanic Culture

Hispanic Cultures II (SPAN3350-0001), Spring 2017

Santiago Acosta
Columbia University
Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures
TR 5:40 pm-6:55 pm
505 Casa Hispánica

This course surveys the cultural production of Latin America and Spain from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. Students will acquire the knowledge needed for the study of the cultural manifestations of the Hispanic world in the context of modernity. In the first part of the semester we will study the Enlightenment as ideology and practice, taking into account its influence on the cultural, political, and economic development of modernity. We will consider the unmaking of imperial relations between the Old and the New World, the rise of the modern economic system, and the socio-environmental consequences of globalization. During the following sections of the course we will examine how modernization and nation-building processes often hinged on different ways of imagining, representing, and organizing nature. By analyzing literary, philosophical, and historiographic texts, film narratives, and infrastructure projects, we will attempt to grasp an understanding of how the political, social, and economic realms are constantly in the process of producing—and being produced by—the materiality of nature.


  Bestiario , by Starsky Brines

Bestiario, by Starsky Brines

Thresholds of Modernity:
The Art and Politics of Change in the Hispanic World

Hispanic Cultures II (SPAN3350-0001), Fall 2016

Santiago Acosta
Columbia University
Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures
MW 11:40 am-12:55 pm
505 Casa Hispánica

This course builds on the concept of threshold to address the new ideas, subjects, and objects that appear in the Hispanic imagination during times of intense political, economic, and social change. In the first part, ‘Fundamentos,’ we will analyze the role of the Enlightenment in the development of the modern world. In the second part, ‘Umbrales,’ we will discuss the ideological processes through which Spanish American former colonies found their independence, as well as the intellectual climate in Spain after the loss of its New World empire. The third section, ‘Circulation,’ looks at the transnational movement of commodities, ideas, and money as cultural processes inherent to the logic of globalized consumption. We will start by examining Spanish American modernismo and finish with a note on the poetics of recent Spanish economic crises. The fourth part, ‘Monstruos,’ considers the political and cultural significance of different monsters (figures that are half-human, half-beast) appearing in the literature and philosophy of the Hispanic world during times of turmoil. Finally, in ‘Naturaleza’ we will take an ecocritical view of some key literary works (and the recent Academy Award-nominated film El abrazo de la serpiente), to reflect upon the ultimate threshold, that between humanity and nature, as a space of continuous interchangeability.