Cultural Agency in the Americas / Edition 1

Cultural Agency in the Americas / Edition 1

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by Doris Sommer
     
 

"Cultural agency" refers to a range of creative activities that contribute to society, including pedagogy, research, activism, and the arts. Focusing on the connections between creativity and social change in the Americas, this collection encourages scholars to become cultural agents by reflecting on exemplary cases and thereby making them available as inspirations… See more details below

Overview

"Cultural agency" refers to a range of creative activities that contribute to society, including pedagogy, research, activism, and the arts. Focusing on the connections between creativity and social change in the Americas, this collection encourages scholars to become cultural agents by reflecting on exemplary cases and thereby making them available as inspirations for more constructive theory and more innovative practice. Creativity supports democracy because artistic, administrative, and interpretive experiments need margins of freedom that defy monolithic or authoritarian regimes. The ingenious ways in which people pry open dead-ends of even apparently intractable structures suggest that cultural studies as we know it has too often gotten stuck in critique. Intellectual responsibility can get beyond denunciation by acknowledging and nurturing the resourcefulness of common and uncommon agents.

Based in North and South America, scholars from fields including anthropology, performance studies, history, literature, and communications studies explore specific variations of cultural agency across Latin America. Contributors reflect on, for example, the paradoxical programming and reception of a state-controlled Cuban radio station that connects listeners at home and abroad, the intricacies of indigenous protests in Brazil, and the formulation of cultural policies in cosmopolitan Mexico City. One contributor notes that trauma theory targets individual victims when it should address collective memory as it is worked through in performance and ritual; another examines how Mapuche leaders in Argentina perceived the pitfalls of ethnic essentialism and developed new ways to intervene in local government. Whether suggesting modes of cultural agency, tracking exemplary instances of it, or cautioning against potential missteps, the essays in this book encourage attentiveness to, and the multiplication of, the many extraordinary instantiations of cultural resourcefulness and creativity throughout Latin America and beyond.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822334996
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
01/28/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
392
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : wiggle room1
Intervening from and through research practice : meditations on the Cuzco workshop31
Between technology and culture : communication and modernity in Latin America37
DNA of performance52
A city that improvises its globalization82
The cultural agency of wounded bodies politic : ethnicity and gender as prosthetic support in postwar guatemala93
Tradition, transnationalism, and gender in the Afro-Brazilian candomble121
The discourses of diversity : language, ethnicity, and interculturality in Latin America146
Conspiracy on the sidelines : how the Maya won the war167
Radio Taino and the Cuban quest for identi ... que?178
Olodum's transcultural spaces : community and difference in Afro-Brazilian contemporary performance203
Political construction and cultural instrumentalities of indigenism in Brazil, with echoes from Latin America229
Questioning state geographies of inclusion in Argentina : the cultural politics of organizations with mapuche leadership and philosophy248
Cultural agency and political struggle in the era of the Indio Permitido281
The crossroads of faith : heroism and melancholia in the Colombian "violentologists" (1980-2000)305
Afterword : a fax, two moles, a consul, and a judge326
Afterword : spread it around!334

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