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2017/18 Key Issues and Texts

Everyday Life in Contemporary Latin America

Primary texts are listed for each seminar. You will be expected to have studied all of the primary texts set for each seminar, together with some of the secondary reading suggested in each of the bibliographies (forthcoming).

Some ‘key issues’ relating to each seminar are identified – you may wish to focus on one or more of these in a seminar paper or an essay.

Michaelmas Term

Seminar 1: Political Futures

Key text

Ureta, Sebastián. (2015). Assembling Policy: Transantiago, Human Devices, and the Dream of a World-class Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Key issues

  • Participation in policy design
  • Political and societal aspirations and failures

Optional additonal reading suggested for students who want to engage further with some of the theoretical insights that emerge from our key text, Assembling Policy, or who are particularly interested in the study of contemporary Latin American cities.
 
Ong, A. (2011) 'Introduction: Worlding Cities, or the Art of being Global', in Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of being Global (eds A. Roy and A. Ong), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. (on Moodle)

 

Seminar 2: Futures, Political

Key text

Chan, Anita. (2014). Networking Peripheries: Technological Futures and the Myth of Digital Universalism. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Key issues

  • Digital cultures in the Global South
  • Discourses of innovation and entrepreneurship

Seminar 3: Political Histories

Key text

Vargas Llosa, Mario. (1963). La Ciudad y los Perros. (in Spanish)

Key issues

  • Class
  • Education

Seminar 4: Entrapments

Key text

Biondi, Karina. (2016). Sharing this WalkAn Ethnography of the PCC. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

Key issues

  • Life in prison
  • The life of prison

Seminar 5: Political Change

Key text

Lazar, Sian. (2017). The Social Life of Politics: Ethics, Kinship, and Union Activism in Argentina. Stanford University Press.

Key issues

  • The relevance of labour politics for contemporary social movements resisting neoliberal capitalism
  • How activism happens and what makes people politically committed

Lent Term

Seminar 6: Obstructions

Key text

Hernandez, Anabel. (2014). Narcoland. London: Verso.

Key issues

  • violence against journalists
  • state collusion with organised crime

Seminar 7: Democratic presents

Key text

Arias, Enrique Desmond, and Daniel M. Goldstein. (2010). Violent Democracies in Latin America. Durham: Duke University Press

Key issues

  • Links between political elites (& other stakeholders) and violence
  • Rebel groups - or Illegal armed groups?​

Seminar 8: Political Nesting

Key text

Graham Denyer Willis. (2015) The Killing Consensus: Police, Organized Crime and the Regulation of Life and Death in Urban Brazil. Oakland: University of California Press.

Key issues

  • Policing in contexts of violence
  • Organized crime, urban space and governance

Seminar 9: Beyond the state, analytically ​

Key text

Taussig, Michael. (2012). The Nervous System. London: Routledge

Key issues​

  • Terror and social Control
  • Critical theory and the craft of writing

Seminar 10: Beyond the state, geographically ​

Key text

Levitt, Peggy. (2001). The Transnational Villagers. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Key issues

  • What does it mean to live "between" nations
  • The political effects of transnationalism