FA18HUM455

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Lili Bernard, “Carlotta Leading the People” 2011

HUM 455-01: Humanities of the America/s

SPRING 2018

T/Th 9.35-10.50 in Hum 582

Sean Connelly

Office hours/ location: T/Th 11-12 in Hum 416

Contact: apciv@sfsu.edu

pdf of this syllabus: FA18HUM455

The Project

Humanities of (the) America(s) explores “humanistic expressions” of America over roughly 400 years through the genres of the historical novel, film, poetry, and popular music.

We will examine key moments in the construction of (the) America(s) as a geographical and historical imaginary that surpasses its appropriation by US Americans as a synonym for the United States and encompasses a remarkable cultural, linguistic, and natural diversity.

From the preColumbian era and the early stages of European colonization to the 21st century, this course examines the ways that narratives and images representing the New World produce the object they purport to describe.

Such texts not only dramatize America’s history; they illustrate contemporary social conditions and destinarian visions. The past becomes the means by which the present is judged and the future is anticipated. In this sense, America is not simply a place but a story.

In order to better understand various representations of America we will need to ask pointed questions.

How does prose fiction in particular shape our understanding of this space, its peoples, and their cultures?

What happens to knowledge, artistic forms, social institutions and cultural values when they travel?

What are the historical wages of revolution, national independence struggles, and other kinds of political violence?

How has global capitalism and resistance to it (class struggle) formed national and regional identities?

Learning Outcomes

Diligent students can expect to complete this course with a basic knowledge of narratology and film analysis and a greater fluency in the history of the Americas.

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

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Basic Etiquette

ARRIVE ON TIME,  work completed, with a hard copy of the assigned text. All assignments should be typed and include name/date/course. No electronic devices should be used during class.

Ethics

CHEATING DESTROYS trust between teacher and student. If you can’t trust your teacher, then you deserve a new one. This principle applies to students as well.

As a general rule any ideas/words that are not your own should be cited. Yet intellectual honesty encompasses more than actively avoiding plagiarism. For example, reading a wikipedia entry rather than an assigned novel or allowing others to do your work for you are examples of cheating.

See http://www.sfsu.edu/~vpsa/judicial/titlev.html

Accessibility

If there’s anything I should know about you as a student, please talk to me RIGHT AWAY and I’ll do my best to help. See also: Disability Program and Resource Center (338-2472 or dprc@sfsu.edu).

Other resources

The SAFE Place – (415) 338-2208; http://www.sfsu.edu/~safe_plc/

Counseling and Psychological Services Center – (415) 338-2208; http://psyservs.sfsu.edu/

Additional information on rights and available resources: http://titleix.sfsu.edu

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“Politicization entails raising the particular to the level of the universal.”

The Work: Grading Rubric

Final Project 20% (syllabus for an alternate version of HUM455) 12/13

Class Work 25% (Class participation, group work, pop quizzes, in-class writing)

Midterm 15% (Short responses to key terms) 10/9

Film Presentation 20% 12/6/ 12/11

Final Exam 2% (Short responses to key terms) 12/13

Students are expected to complete the assigned readings, think about what they read, and actively participate in class discussion. Late work will not be accepted.

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Required Texts

Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of this World (Cuba 1949) 978-0374530112

Eduardo Galeano, The Open Veins of Latin America (Uruguay 1971) 978-0853459910

Patrícia Galvão, Industrial Park (Brazil 1933) 978-0803270411

Federico Gamboa, Santa (Mexico 1900) 978-0807871072

Sesshu Foster, Atomik Aztex (Aztlan 2005) 978-0872864405

Filmography

Images

https://analepsis.org/life-of-toussaint-louverture/

Santa (Mexico 1932)

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Web

Facsimile of the Codex Borgia (pre-Columbian MesoAmerican religious text):

http://www.famsi.org/research/graz/borgia/thumbs_0.html

Resources on the History of the Americas from the AHA:

https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/teaching-resources-for-historians/teaching-and-learning-in-the-digital-age/the-history-of-the-americas

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eReader (Required)

Carpentier, Prologue to The Kingdom of This World: carpentier-marvelous

From John Chasteen, Born in Blood and Fire and Latin American Voices (excerpts):

ChasteenEncounter

ChasteenFacundo

ChasteenGlossary

ChasteenPerils

“Geographical imaginary” geographicalimaginary

Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto (excerpt): ManifestoSec1

Pablo Neruda, “Standard Oil Co.”; “Anaconda Copper Mining Co.”; “United Fruit Co.”: 3NerudaPoems

Patterson, “Inventing Barbarians and Other Uncivilized People” InventingBarbarians

White, “The Purple Terror”: “The Purple Terror”

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Note on Reading

BUY HARD COPIES of the right books! Read with a pencil. Flag significant passages. Always look for patterns. Talk about what you read.

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Schedule:

(note: this schedule of readings and screenings is subject to revision. )

Week ONE 

8/28

Introduction

Screen: “What are Continents?”

8/30

Due: White, “The Purple Terror”; “Geographical imaginary”; upload a recognizable image of  yourself to ilearn

Maps:  the-spatialization-of-history-americas; absolut/cascadia mercator/peterson explore/conquer empires

Week TWO 

9/4

Due: Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto

Optional reading: Chasteen, Encounter

Screen: The End of Poverty?

9/6

Due: Carpentier, Prologue; Carpentier, Kingdom

Week THREE 

9/11

Due: Galeano, Open Veins (through Ch. 2)

9/13

Due: Carpentier, Kingdom (complete)

Week FOUR 

9/17

LAST DAY OF DROP/ADD

9/18

Due: Galeano, Open Veins

9/20

Due: Carpentier, Kingdom/ Galeano, Open Veins

Screen: Haiti: An Endless Revolution (a recut and rereleased version of Aristide and the Endless Revolution)

Week FIVE 

9/25

Due: Carpentier, Kingdom/ Galeano, Open Veins (complete)

9/27

Due:  Carpentier, Kingdom/ Galeano, Open Veins

Week SIX 

10/2

Due: Pablo Neruda, “Standard Oil Co.”; “Anaconda Copper Mining Co.”; “United Fruit Co.”

10/4

REVIEW

Week SEVEN

10/9

MIDTERM

10/11

Due: Chasteen, Perils of Progress

Clips: Adaptations of Santa

Week EIGHT

10/16

Due: Gamboa, Santa

10/18

Due: Gamboa, Santa

Week NINE

10/22

CR/NC DEADLINE

10/23

Due: Gamboa, Santa; Chasteen, Perils of Progress

10/25

Due: Gamboa, Santa

Week TEN

10/30

Due: Gamboa, Santa

11/1

Due: Galvão, Industrial Park

Week ELEVEN

11/6

Due: Galvão, Industrial Park

11/8

Due: Galvão, Industrial Park

Week TWELVE

11/13

Due: Galvão, Industrial Park

11/15

Due: Galvão, Industrial Park

Week THIRTEEN

FALL BREAK

For 11/27: READ Foster, Atomik Aztex (complete)

Week FOURTEEN 

11/27

Due: Foster, Atomik Aztex

11/29

Due: Foster, Atomik Aztex

Week FIFTEEN 

12/4

Due: Foster, Atomik Aztex

12/6

Due: Foster, Atomik Aztex

Film Presentations

Week SIXTEEN

12/11

Due: Foster, Atomik Aztex

Film Presentations

12/13

FINAL PROJECT

FINAL EXAM

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