Course Instructor: Katherine Ternes
There seems to be an evolution of revolution that is sweeping over the world of late. This course looks back at the twentieth century and focuses on three highly influential popular struggles in Latin America: the Mexican, Cuban, and Nicaraguan revolutions. Some of the questions that we will explore are: What does the word "revolution" signify in the 21st century? Are revolutions necessarily violent? Why and how did a revolutionary cultural heritage evolve in Latin America? How do visual images and songs influence our perspective of and attitude toward revolutions? Why is the face of "Che", a loved and hated rebel leader, printed on t-shirts all over the world? The investigation of historical accounts of each struggle will lead us to understand underlying factors and consequences; however, our main goal will be to break free from the confines of history and advance into the fields of art, literature, film, and music. For instance, we will read Mexico's groundbreaking novel of the revolution and a fascinating memoir by a female revolutionary in Nicaragua. We will also examine the symbolism in Cuban poster art and critique a movie about Che Guevara's adventures in South America before joining the Cuban Revolution. Our discussions and close readings will confront us with issues not only of concern to Latin America but also to the world: dictatorship, democracy, nationalism, leadership, guerrilla warfare, land reform, industrialization, literacy, public art, and worker's and women's rights.