Latin American Indians as Subject and Makers of Art


UG: General Education in the Arts and Humanities
Traditions in World Art: Latin America Indians as Subject and Makers of Art
(Sophomore-Seniors, IAH-II)

Course Description
“Traditions in World Art” makes a reflection on aesthetic qualities of artistic artifacts within historical contexts across major civilizations. This specific section deals with visual arts of and about Latin American Indigenous people. We pay special attention to Latin American Indians as subject of artistic representation, and as creative agents of art. Both practices are examined in relation to native belief systems, historical context and the encounter and mutual influences of Indigenous and Western traditions. This course also addresses the connection between Indian artists and a unique sense of individual and national identity in relation to political and cultural social forces. Materials to be studied in this class include paintings, photography, literature and readings on history and art history.
Prerequisite: IAH-I

Learning Goals
At the end of this course, students should be able to:
1. Reflect critically about what constitutes art in societies other than the West
2. Understand the ways in which world art relates to the construction and reaffirmation   (or transformation) or national identity
3. Distinguish between being object and subject of visual and artistic representation
4. Be aware of the connection between Indigenous Latin American and Caribbean forms of art and their relation with the world

Required Materials
Christopher Columbus, “Letter to Luis de Santangel” (1493)
Carlos Fuentes. The Buried Mirror (1992). Selected chapters: “The Conflicts of the Gods,” “The Baroque Culture of the New World,” “The Culture of Independence,” “Latin America”
Andrés Bello. “Silva to the Agriculture of the Torrid Zone” (1826)
Manuel González Prada. “Our Indians” Transl. Harold Eugene Davis (1961)
José Carlos Mariátegui. “The Problem of the Indian” Seven Interpretative Essays on Peruvian Reality (1928). Transl. Jorge Basadre

Required Media
Cracking the Maya Code. NOVA PBS, 2008
Martin Chambin, “Photographs 1920-1950”
Paintings and murals by Maya-Bonampak, Cuzco School of Painting, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Osvaldo Guayasamín