Latin American Popular Culture since Independence: An Introduction

Overview

This unique reader offers an engaging collection of essays that highlight the diversity of Latin America’s cultural expressions from independence to the present. Leading historians explore funerals, dance and music, letters and literature, spectacles and monuments, and world’s fairs and food. These themes and events highlight the ways in which a wide range of individuals with copious, at times contradictory, motives attempted to forge identity, turn the world upside down, mock their betters, forget their troubles...

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Latin American Popular Culture since Independence: An Introduction

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Overview

This unique reader offers an engaging collection of essays that highlight the diversity of Latin America’s cultural expressions from independence to the present. Leading historians explore funerals, dance and music, letters and literature, spectacles and monuments, and world’s fairs and food. These themes and events highlight the ways in which a wide range of individuals with copious, at times contradictory, motives attempted to forge identity, turn the world upside down, mock their betters, forget their troubles through dance, express love in letters, and altogether enjoy life. The authors analyze case studies from Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Trinidad-Tobago, tracing how their examples resonate in the rest of the region. They show how people could and did find opportunities to escape, if only occasionally, their daily drudgery, making lives for themselves of greater variety than the constant quest for dominance, drive for profits, or knee-jerk resistance to the social or economic order so often described in cultural studies. Instead, this rich text introduces the complexity of motives behind and the diversity of expressions of popular culture in Latin America.

Contributions by: Sal Acosta, Thomas L. Benjamin, John Charles Chasteen, Darién J. Davis, Lauren (Robin) H. Derby, Matthew D. Esposito, Ingrid E. Fey, Stephen Jay Gould, Graham E. L. Horton, Fanni Muñoz Cabrejo, Blanca Muratorio, Jeffrey M. Pilcher, Janet Sturman, and Pamela Voekel.

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Editorial Reviews

John Mason Hart
William Beezley and Linda Curcio-Nagy demonstrate the centrality of popular culture to the understanding of history. They analyze song, dance, ceremony, funerals, regalia, icons, exhibitions, protest, and literature to measure values and provide deep insights regarding class, gender, and race. This book is a tour de force.
Robert Buffington
This revision of a foundational text on the history of Latin American popular culture brings exciting energy to an already dynamic field. New essays and the revised introduction further expand our understanding of a wide range of everyday cultural practices—music, dance, love letters, funerals, cooking, popular celebrations—and their complex relationship with elite national building projects. In conjunction with the best essays from the previous edition, this new material gives us a fascinating, provocative, and insightful glimpse into a vital aspect of Latin American history—one that still eludes most historical studies of the region. Reading this edition, I was struck even more forcibly by the ingenuity of historians of popular culture and by the impossibility of making sense of Latin American history without it.
Edward Wright-Rios
Latin American Popular Culture since Independence demonstrates that history can be serious fun. This wide-ranging collection leads the reader along less traveled paths through Latin America’s last two centuries. Moreover, it brings together a distinguished group of talented researchers who share their expertise with wit and sensitivity. The individual essays truly bring unvarnished practices and unheralded historical actors to life, whether they treat religion, dance, death, food, or forms of story telling. Aside from describing past practices, these scholars also examine historical efforts to alter and shape popular culture and fashion national identity. It is a truly riveting examination of culture as lived, invented, and often manipulated in modern Latin American history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442212558
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/10/2011
  • Edition description: 2nd Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 581,754
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

William H. Beezley is professor of history at the University of Arizona. Linda A. Curcio-Nagy is associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: Piety and Public Space: The Cemetery Campaign in Veracruz, 1789–1810
Pamela Voekel
Chapter 2: Church, Humboldt, and Darwin: The Tension and Harmony of Art and Science
Stephen Jay Gould
Chapter 3: Black Kings, Blackface Carnival, and Nineteenth-Century Origins of the Tango
John Charles Chasteen
Chapter 4: "Cartas y cartas, compadre . . . .": Love and other letters from Río Frío
William E. French
Chapter 5: Peddling the Pampas: Argentina at the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889
Ingrid E. Fey
Chapter 6: Death and Disorder in Mexico City: The State Funeral of Manuel Romero Rubio
Matthew D. Esposito
Chapter 7: Images of Indians in the Construction of Ecuadorian Identity at the End of the Nineteenth Century
Blanca Muratorio
Chapter 8: Many Chefs in the National Kitchen: Cookbooks and Identity in Nineteenth-Century Mexico
Jeffrey M. Pilcher
Chapter 9: The New Order: Diversions and Modernization in Turn-of-the-Century Lima
Fanni Muñoz Cabrejo
Chapter 10: From the Ruins of the Ancien Régime: Mexico's Monument to the Revolution
Thomas L. Benjamin
Chapter 11: Racial Parity and National Humor: Carmen Miranda's Samba Performances, 1930–1939
Darién J. Davis
Chapter 12: Oil, Race, and Calypso in Trinidad and Tobago, 1909–1990
Graham E. L. Holton
Chapter 13: The Dictator's Seduction: Gender and State Spectacle during the Trujillo Regime
Lauren H. Derby
Chapter 14: En el corazón del pueblo: Pedro Infante's Funeral, the Pueblo Motif, and the Contest over his Legacy
Sal Acosta
Chapter 15: Nostalgia for the Future: The New Song Movement in Nicaragua
Janet L. Sturman

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