LSPA250 introduces students to the content and research methods associated with social movements and grass roots organizations in Spain, Latin America and select countries on our itinerary. The course takes an interdisciplinary and multicultural approach to learning. The topics and activities in this class are both theoretical and personal, designed to connect people’s stories of social activism from around the world with our own daily experiences.
The course explores examples of social movements through films, documentaries, art, photography, music, and political discourses. We will read and analyze political documents, manifestos and texts related to those movements in translation. Through our readings and discussions, we aim to answer questions such as: What does social movement mean? How does the experience of social movement differ among peoples and countries around the world? How can this knowledge help us understand the United States better?
In Spain, we study the anti-austerity 15-M movement and explosive growth of Iglesias’ Podemos (Yes, we can) political party. The course examines social movements in In Latin America such recent student protests in Chile, the EZLN in Mexico, the liberation theology movement in Central America, and revolutionary movements in Cuba and Venezuela.
Throughout the course, we will integrate case studies from the countries we are visiting into the curriculum. These include Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress Youth League in South Africa, Mohandas Gandhi’s Salt March in India, Tiananmen Square protests in China, and more.
Spanish majors and minors are encouraged to take this course and can write their papers in Spanish with permission from the professor.
Field WorkCountry: Spain
Date: September 16, 2017
Our field component will be at the port of Barcelona, Spain. We will tour the Ribera neighborhood on our way to visit the Picasso Museum.
The Picasso Museum offers unique insights and perspectives about the society and history of Spain and France in the years before and after the Spanish Civil War. The activism that defined this period and is personified in Pablo Picasso set the stage decades later for the popular movements, organization and movements that mark Spain today. Historically, Barcelona has been at the center of political and nationalist mobilization in Spain.
Through an exploration of the Picasso Museum, we will learn about the painter’s early works and the connection between the art world and politics in Spain. Picasso’s best known political statement was the legendary antiwar painting Guernica. Completed in 1937, it was Picasso’s response to the Nazi bombing of the Basque city Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. At Picasso’s wishes, Guernica remained outside of Spain until democracy returned to the country. It returned to Spain in 1981, six years after the death of dictator Francisco Franco. Our tour highlights the Picasso’s artistic progression that led him to eventually paint Guernica and remain active on the world stage.
1. Develop familiarity with periods in Picasso’s career.
2. Connect Picasso’s paintings with the social context within which they were created.
3. Understand the role artists have played in Spanish activism and mobilization.