November 20, 2013
The presentation we saw had a lot of paintings and photographs. Think back to the pieces of art and what was said about them. What ideas did the art show? How were the ideas presented in the art? Why do you think the artist made it that way? Were there any differences between the pieces of art?
Now, choose one piece of art that you liked best. Write 4-6 sentences about that piece of art by answering the questions above. You don’t need to know the name of the art or the artist, but please include if it was an older (16th – 19th century) or a newer piece of art (20th – 21st century).
For example, my response to this question is:
My favorite piece of art from the last class was the painting of Mary looking like a queen. This was an older piece, and the painting showed her with a gold halo behind her head and dressed looks like a queen. The art showed that she is special because she is the mother of Jesus and represents her high status in Catholicism. I think the artist made her look like a holy queen so Catholics would see her as a person to be respected and honored. Other artists made their own interpretations of Mary that looked very different from this version.
Be prepared to share your response in class. I will randomly choose people to tell the class what they wrote, so be prepared because I might pick YOU!
If you have any questions please feel free to email me. If I don’t hear from you, I assume that everything is 100% clear and you have no questions at all. If this is not true, it is your responsibility to contact me. My email is email@example.com
See you all on Friday!
October 29, 2013
Take a moment to think about our class discussion on identity. After reading the article “Mixed Blood“ by Jefferson M. Fish, we discussed the case of the author’s daughter and her Brazilian boyfriend. The way their races or tipos (types) were described in the U.S. was different from how they were described in Brazil. Regardless of how they were described in each country, the daughter and her boyfriend each self-identified in a certain way (she as “black” and he as “mulatto”) (393-394).
Self-identification is the act of defining yourself as a particular kind of person or as belonging to a particular group, sharing and understanding the experiences of that particular group.
For example, while you are at school, you may not need to identify yourself as a high school student. However, you may need to tell a teacher or classmate, “I am a sophomore.” You self-identify as part of that group. In other situations, you may feel the need to define your identify by your religion, your race/tipo, your country of origin, or in many other ways.
Respond to the following question in the comments section of this blog:
Using the template below, describe 3 situations in which you find yourself needing to self identify. (In other words, in what situations do you find yourself saying, “I am (a) _________.”?) Then fill in the word or words you use in each situation to describe the group to which you identify. (Do not use the “I am a sophomore” example from above.) Be prepared to discuss your answers during class on November 8th.
Situation #1: _____________________
Identity in that situation: I am (a) ________________.
Situation #2: ______________________
Identity in that situation: I am (a) ________________.
Situation #3: ______________________
Identity in that situation: I am (a) _________________.
October 22, 2013
During the first session of the 2013-14 SAAGE class, students from East Palo Alto Academy and Pescadero High School came together at Bolivar House for an introduction to Latin America. CLAS Public Engagement Coordinator Molly Aufdermauer led the class, which covered the following topics:
- Introduction and overview of the SAAGE program
- Geography of Latin America
- Definitions and nuances of the words “Hispanic,” “Latina/o,” “Chicana/o,” “American,” and “indigenous”
- The idea of race as a social construct as exemplified by comparing race definitions in Brazil and the U.S.
- Course syllabus, which contains information about the course content (including class dates and times), grades, and attendance policy
- Latin America Map
- Article “Mixed Blood” - Fish, Jefferson M. “Mixed Blood.” The Brazil Reader. Ed. Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti. Durham: Duke University Press. 2004. 391-394. Print.
- Article “What Color Are You?” - “What Color Are You?” The Brazil Reader. Ed. Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti. Durham: Duke University Press. 2004. 391-394. Print.
October 15, 2013
Congratulations on your acceptance to the SAAGE program
at Stanford’s Center for Latin American Studies!
We are delighted to have you all in the program, and we look forward to a productive year full of engaging discussion and thought-provoking topics!
During this first quarter (Autumn: October to December), we will focus on culture and society in Latin America. Each of the four classes this quarter will be taught by someone different, primarily Stanford faculty.
Preparation for our first class:
What do you already know about Latin America?
In preparation for our first class this Friday, please make a mental note of what you already know about Latin America. This is just something to think about; you don’t need to do any research, and you won’t need to turn anything in. We will have a discussion about what you, the students, already know about Latin America, so please think about this question before you come to class.
January 31, 2013
After our first class this quarter we know a little more about Latin American governments and all of the problems that can arise, but we are still left with an important question:
What can we do when we are unhappy with our government or when we have something important to say about our nations, cities or neighborhoods?
Yes, we can always exercise our right to vote and try to choose leaders that we think will listen to our ideas. Or, if we think we can do a better job ourselves we can always try to be a political candidate ourselves. But, these are not our only options for voicing our opinions or making a difference. Everywhere around the world people are finding creative ways to be heard: protest music, theater, poetry, films, street art, happenings, etc.
These types of creative interactions with the state are exactly what our final projects will focus on this quarter. All of us will develop some sort of “performance” which we will share on our last day of class. Maybe you have a really good life, or you are happy with your government, or maybe you just don’t know that much about political issues yet. Still, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have something to say! What are you mad about? What do you want to change? What do you want to say but have never had the chance? These questions are what we will be examining with our projects this quarter because what you think and what you say matters.
For next class, February 7, bring your initial ideas about what you might want to say and how you might want to say it (song, poetry, rap, film, dance, theater, whatever.) We will use the last thirty minutes of class to discuss our ideas and share examples. Be creative, be confident, and be passionate!
January 31, 2013
In order to start thinking about all the possible ways we can creatively critique, resist, or simply interact with our government, we will use this space on the blog to share inspiring examples.
So, starting this week, use the comments section of this post to share examples of whatever music, film, art, etc. that makes you think and makes you want to say something.
I’ll start us off by posting a few things that interest me. Since I’m a big fan of hip-hop, most of the following examples are part of that genre, but don’t feel limited by my interests! Look for any kind of music or creative demonstration that interests you.
First, here’s a link to the song “The Fourth Branch” by Immortal Technique that we listened to and discussed last class. If you want to learn more about Immortal Technique and his incredible story, take a look at this documentary The (R)evolution of Immortal Technique, made in 2011. **Again, be warned that this film, and his music in general, is filled with strong opinions and strong language.
Next, here are a few recent examples from Brazil: Here’s a clip of brazilian rapper Marcelo D2′s song “Carta ao Presidente (Letter to the President)” He used the final song of his famous 2006 album Meu Samba é Assim as an open letter to Lula, Brazil’s president at the time, demanding change for many of the nation’s problems.
Another interesting example comes from the very popular funk carioca, a kind of Brazilian dance music that, like hip-hop, often glorifies money, sex and crime. There is even one kind of funk carioca called proibidão that is banned from the radio and clubs because it promotes violence by the multiple gangs that control parts of Rio de Janeiro.
However, there are some artists like MC Júnior e Leandro that use funk carioca to speak out about the bad conditions in the slums and pressure the Brazilian government promote peace instead of violence. Here is their song “Chumbo Quente (Hot Lead).” This video has the song accompanied by images of violence in Rio, but be warned that some of the images are rather graphic! If you are sensitive to that sort of thing but still want to hear the song, listen to it here. This site has the lyrics and a video with an image of Rocinha, the favela where MCs Júnior e Leandro live (and where I used to live too!) **an interesting side note about this song for those of you who don’t speak Portuguese: the word chumbo means “lead” and refers to all of the gun violence in Rio, but it is also a word that refers to the military dictatorship that controlled Brazil from 1964-85. By using the word chumbo, the MCs suggest that Brazilians today suffer from oppression just like they did during the ditadura.
Finally, for an excellent overview of important protest songs from Latin America, check out these two episodes from NPR’s show LatinoMix: “Es Un Monstruo Grande Y Pisa Fuerte: 12 Latin American Protest Songs” which aired in 2011 and “El Pueblo Unido: More Latin American Protest Songs” from October of last year. We will talk more about these songs and their importance later on in the quarter.
Now, start looking for your own inspiration!
January 9, 2013
Welcome back, SAAGE students! We wish you a very happy new year and hope you all had a wonderful break. This quarter’s classes will focus on Political Economy of Latin America and will cover topics related to the responsibility of state, religion and state, and issues of poverty and violence. We look forward to seeing you later this month.
December 20, 2012
During the fall quarter, students discussed and explored the multi-faceted identity that makes up Latin America as a whole, but also individuals of any country or community. Students worked in groups to create art pieces that represent the students’ individually as well as the Latin American influences in their lives and communities.
Faculty: Marília Librandi-Rocha, Assistant Professor of Brazilian Literature and Culture
Class summary: Using a varied source material, students discussed the idea of a multifaceted identity that combined Latin America’s diverse ethnic heritage. Students discussed national stereotypes, conflicts with identity, and how identity is portrayed.
Materials: “The Captive” J.L. Borges, “They Don’t Care About Us” Michael Jackson, “Vou festejar” Mangueira
October 2, 2012
On behalf of SAAGE faculty and staff, we congratulate and welcome the 2012-13 SAAGE Participants from East Palo Alto Academy and Pescadero High School! Your applications highlighted your enthusiasm for Latin American Studies, and we are excited to share this year with you. We believe each of you will contribute greatly to the discussions throughout the course.
We look forward to seeing you at our first class meeting on October 11th!