The course will give students an overview of Argentine history and culture.
Each week, one class will be dedicated to approaching Argentina through a specific lens: geography, literature, visual arts, and popular culture. Each lens will provide a view into different moments, spaces, topics and social actors.
The remainder of the classes will loosely draw a timeline throughout Argentine history, from the pre-Columbian period to date, providing a closer look into significant events and public figures that have shaped the Argentine identity.
Lectures: Most classes will be lectures led by the teacher. Students will frequently be assigned short pre-reading assignments with a reading guide.
In-class student presentation: In the class dedicated to the lens of popular culture, students will choose and present a popular culture topic. Students will be encouraged to compliment brief desk research with first-hand accounts obtained from local contacts.
Field trips and additional recommended visits: One field trip will be organized each week. Additional museums and sites will be recommended. Students may visit these outside of class hours.
Paper: At the end of the course, students must hand in a paper elaborating on one of the topics covered in class. Research for the paper must include and cite bibliography and at least one field trip. These can either be selected from the course bibliography and recommended filed trips or aligned on with the teacher prior to handing in the paper.
Course Length: 4 weeks
Duration of classes: 3 hours
Tue 16 June
Class: Course Introduction. Timeline of Argentine history.
Field trip: City Tour: Plaza de Mayo, Puerto Madero, La Boca and Boca stadium.
Wed 17 June
Class: Argentine geography. Population. Natural resources. Landscape.
Workshop: In groups, students research and present different regions: Northeast, Northwest, Cuyo, Patagonia and the Pampa. (economic activity, wildlife, tourist attractions).
Thu 18 June
Class: Pre-Columbian Argentina. Everyday life of indigenous groups, conflict, mixed races, wars of extermination. Whitewashing. Reading: “The deeds of Elal”.
Workshop: In groups, students research and present indigenous communities and ethnicities today: traditional celebrations, claims over land, etc.
Field trip: Ethnographic museum.
Fri 19 June
Class: Colonial Argentina, Revolution and Independence.
Field trip: Bicentennial museum/ National History museum and San Telmo.
Mon 22 June
Class: Agro-export model. Gauchos. Reading: Leopoldo Lugones. “National Identity in a Cosmopolitan Society”
Class: Trivia challenge. General knowledge about Argentina and Buenos Aires.
Field trip: Having mate and recreation in Bosques de Palermo.
Tue 23 June
Class: Immigration and Tango. Reading: Oreste Sola. “Making it in America”
Field trip: Museo de la inmigración
Wed 24 June
Class: The Belle-Epoque. Reading: “The Paris of South America”
Field trip: Colon theater, 9 de Julio Av. and the obelisque.
Thu 25 June
Class: Popular culture. Personalities, themes in being Argentine.
Workshop: In groups, students research and present a topic of their choice: food, fútbol, music, family, etc.
Class: Students share the topic for their paper.
Mon 29 June
Class: Peronism. Reading: “Perón and the people”.
Workshop: In groups, students research the impact of Evita, both during her life and after her death and the strong passions she caused. Fundación Eva Perón, women’s right to vote, what happened with her body after her death, etc.
Field trip: Recoleta neighborhood and cemetry
Tue 30 June
Class: Argentine literature. Readings: Jorge Luis Borges. “Funes, the memorious, Julio Cortázar. “House Taken Over”
Field trip: Villa Ocampo. Approx. 1 hour away. (minibus). Stop in San Isidro on the way back.
Wed 1 July
Class: 1955-76 Perón’s exile and return. Reading: “Montoneros: soldiers of Perón”
Workshop: In groups, students research the ideals and demands of that period both in Argentina and internationally. Cuban Revolution, Cold War, Latin American dictatorships, Cordobazo, Tucumán Arde, etc.
Field trip: Evita museum and botanical garden.
Thu 2 July
Class: Dictatorship of ’76 and state violence. Reading: Hebe de Bonafini. “The Madwomen at the Plaza de Mayo”.
Field trip: Parque de la memoria. Ex ESMA.
Mon 6 July
Class: Argentine economy. Foreign debt, exchange rate and inflation.
Reading: Osvaldo Soriano. “Living with inflation”.
Workshop: In groups, students research economic topics: salaries, cost of living, “precios cuidados”, different exchange rates, poverty, informal employment.
Tue 7 July
Class: Visual arts and artists Quinquela Martin, Xul Solar, Antonio Berni, Marta Minujín, Leon Ferrari.
Field trip: Fine Arts museum/ MALBA and street art in Palermo.
Wed 8 July
Class: Current issues. Feminism and gender-neutral language. Reading and listening: The Washington Post. “A language for all”.
The final course grade will be based on a percentage system of the points accumulated during the semester, according to the following scale: