Cultural Agency in the Americas / Edition 1

Cultural Agency in the Americas / Edition 1

5.0 1
by Doris Sommer
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822334992

ISBN-13: 9780822334996

Pub. Date: 01/19/2006

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

“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

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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, for example, on the paradoxical programming and reception of a state-controlled Cuban radio station that connects listeners at home and abroad; on 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.

Contributors. Arturo Arias, Claudia Briones, Néstor García Canclini, Denise Corte, Juan Carlos Godenzzi, Charles R. Hale, Ariana Hernández-Reguant, Claudio Lomnitz, Jesús Martín Barbero, J. Lorand Matory, Rosamel Millamán, Diane M. Nelson, Mary Louise Pratt, Alcida Rita Ramos, Doris Sommer, Diana Taylor, Santiago Villaveces

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822334996
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
01/19/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
392
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Wiggle Room / Doris Sommer 1

1. Media 29

Intervening from and through Research Practice: Meditations on the Cuzco Workshop / Jesus Martin Barbero 31

Between Technology and Culture: Communication and Modernity in Latin America / Jesus Martin Barbero 37

DNA of Performance / Diana Taylor 52

A City that Improvises Its Globalization / Nestor Garcia Canclini 82

2. Maneuvers 91

The Cultural Agency of Wounded Bodies Politic: Ethnicity and Gender as Prosthetic Support in Postwar Guatemala / Diane M. Nelson 93

Tradition, Transnationalism, and Gender in the Afro-Brazilian Candomble / J. Lorand Matory 121

The Discourses of Diversity: Language, Ethnicity, and Interculturality in Latin America / Juan Carlos Godenzzi 146

Conspiracy on the Sidelines: How the Maya Won the War / Arturo Arias 167

Radio Taino and the Cuban Quest for Identi...que? / Ariana Hernandez-Reguant 178

Olodum’s Transcultural Spaces: Community and Difference in Afro-Brazilian Contemporary Performance / Denise Corte 203

Political Construction and Cultural Instrumentalities of Indigenism in Brazil, with Echoes from Latin America / Alcida Rita Ramos 229

Questioning State Geographies of Inclusion in Argentina: The Cultural Politics of Organizations with Mapuche Leadership and Philosophy / Claudia Briones 248

3. Cautions 279

Cultural Agency and Political Struggle in the Era of the Indio Permitido / Charles R. Hale and Rosamel Millaman 281

The Crossroads of Faith: Heroism and Melancholia in the Colombian “Violentologists” (1980–2000) / Santiago Villaveces-Izquierdo 305

Afterword: A Fax, Two Moles, a Consul, and a Judge / Mary Louise Pratt 326

Afterword: Spread It Around! / Claudio Lomnitz 334

References 341

Contributors 371

Index 375

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Cultural Agency in the Americas 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Henry_Berry More than 1 year ago
The Americas is mostly Central and South America where as in Bogota, Columbia, 'no one asks what 'cultural agency' is.' 'The concept resonates with a variety of public practices that link creativity with social contributions.' As the editor and authors of the 16 articles, most of whom are university anthropologists, approach the topic, the 'link' is between scholarship and society. Scholarship takes on a social dimension, bringing benefits to the members of society. The methodology, subject matter, and intellectual character of scholarship bound with a notion of the public good is able to help overcome the traumas of the past, build bridges between antagonistic social groups, and implement performances and other activities having a part in developing a community. Chapter titles indicate the novel, imaginative, and beneficial forms 'cultural agency' can take--e. g., 'A City [Mexico City] That Improvises Its Globalization Tradition, Transnationalism, and Gender in the Afro-Brazilian Candomble [a local religion] The Cultural Agency of Wounded Bodies Politic: Ethnicity and Gender as Prosthetic Support in Postwar Guatemala. The collected pieces provide a sampling of the especially vibrant, generous, and hopeful cultural agency--which the older term social activism refers to to some extent--occurring in heterogeneous Latin American cultures seeking new social forms in the ambiance of postmodernism.