Course Description

This class is a survey of pre-Columbian civilization and the impact of the Encounter with Europe, modern-socio-historical, cultural and political events which shape present-day Latin America. This semester the course will focus on cultural resistance to colonization and other forms of social injustice in Latin America. Participants will study a diversity of textual forms generated to resist oppression (poetry, songs, murals, films, tapestries). Topics for class discussion are the ownership of culture by the marginalized, cultural products as tools for empowerment; the way diverse socio-political contexts trigger different cultural responses, and political participation and involvement in human rights organizations in the U.S.A. as factors that impact both context and cultural products.
Service learning is an important component of this particular class, and it will take place at the Lennox Senior center. Students will share with people of the tercera edad, their knowledge of testimonial texts from Latin America. Students and participants will discuss political circumstances that generated those texts and they will help empower the residents to write their own testimonios. Loyola Marymount leaners will also discuss the origin and political context surrounding the making of Chilean arpilleras (cloth tapestries that tell a story of resistance to the dictatorship), and they will work with participants as they manufacture their own arpilleras.

Service Learning Outcomes

1) To be able to place within their socio-political, historical, and geographical contexts a variety of cultural products generated in Latin America as responses to political repression and economic oppression.
2) To be able to identify cultural products both in the Chican@/Latin@ community of Los Angeles and in Latin America.
3) To improve their analytical, and critical skills in order to understand the role those products play as instruments for resistance and community empowerment.
4) To improve Spanish language listening comprehension skills.
5) To improve Spanish language speaking (production) skills.
6) To improve Spanish language writing and reading skills.

Instructor’s Teaching Philosophy

Professor Partnoy adheres to the teaching premises outlined by Paulo Freire in his book Pedagogia del oprimido, which states that the educator and the disciple constantly switch roles in the learning process. In that sense, the classroom is not a place where the teacher tells the student the correct answers to all questions, and the student in turn repeats those answers back to the teacher when prompted to do so. While some of the original ideas and methods devised by Freire had to be adapted to our reality as a U.S. university, this class seeks to develop critical consciousness and social responsibility.

Required Books:
Daly Heyck, D.L. and Gonzalez Pagani, M.V. Tradicion y cambio. Lecturas sobre la cultura latinoamericana contemporanea.
Other readings:
Galeano, Masetti, Guevara (hand outs)
Mi In: Dia Sereno
Threads of Hope
Las palabras que sobran
Senorita Extraviada
Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo

Class Participation: Students will be evaluated on their preparedness and input during group and class discussion. The instructor will provide a set of questions to guide them in their reading and discussion of the texts. It is to the benefit of the student to bring the homework in writing in a timely manner. This will ensure more effective class participation.

Homework: Written homework is obligatory and due as assigned. This may include activities taken from the textbooks and/or worksheets. If the assignment is not a worksheet, it must be written on lined paper using double spacing, and have your name, date and the assignment written in the top right-hand corner. Late assignments are accepted but do not count toward the grade.

Midterm: It will be conducted in class and it will consist of one essay question, text identifications, and word/concepts definitions.

Service Learning/Internship Project: Community service (20 hours) 5 times during the semester students will be at the community center during class time. In those opportunities, the group will depart for the service location during convo hour. While working, class participants will do field research on the use of cultural expressions (songs, paintings, poems, testimonios) to resist oppression to be empowered as a community. In addition to the 10 hours that the class spends at the Lennox Senior Center, the student should work ten extra hours either at the location, individually with a participant, or at other locations, on a project to empower the elderly, and that helps further the work of the Lennox Senior Center.

Empower Project/Proyecto de accion social will be a project to empower the community. It must have a written component. Good examples are works that can be used for outreach, fund rising, and empowerment of a particular senior citizen participating.

Journal/Diario: The student will keep a journal in Spanish recording their experiences. Specific guidelines for the journal and the empowerment project will be provided by the instructor.

Oral presentation: The presentation of the results of the student service learning/internship projects will last 10 minutes, it should be delivered in formal Spanish, but not read from a paper or a power point projection.

Reflection paper/Ensayo reflexivo: To be written as a final exam, this typed 6-8 page essay will examine how the different class components have shaped the student’s vision of the cultures of resistance in Latin America and the USA Chicano/Latino Community.