Movements and Culture
This interdisciplinary seminar explores various ways that culture and cultural productions have been affected by 20th and 21st century antisystemic movements – that is, social and popular movements that have organized against injustices of the capitalist world-system, including socialist, communist, anticolonial, national liberation, antiracist, feminist, and ecological movements, among others. In addition to mobilizing and organizing people and transforming political systems and institutions, movements also shape culture, produce knowledge, engage in ideological struggles, and politicize sites that had been previously treated as extraneous to ‘politics proper.’ We will examine the ways that the multifaceted capacities of movements have been theorized by scholars, as well as by intellectuals of socialist, anticolonial, and liberation movements who have argued that radical or revolutionary projects of social transformation must also transform culture and produce new types of subjects. We will also examine critical analyses of the cultural apparatus and the social relations of cultural and intellectual production, as well as theories of the role of intellectuals in egalitarian and emancipatory struggles. We will examine specific movements and cultural productions that emerged from them, including 20th century national revolutionary movements in Latin America and the Caribbean, Black and Chicano liberation movements in the U.S., Zapatismo, the anti-globalization movement, and international socialist and communist movements. The cultural productions we examine will include manifestoes, poetry, novels, autobiography, visual art, theater, and film. Students will also have the opportunity to develop and workshop their own research project as part of the course.