Emotional Modernity: The Melodramatic Imagination in Contemporary Latin American Texts and Media

Prof: José Miguel Herbozo Duarte, Ph.D.

Mostly understood as a synonym for formulaic sentimentality, melodrama has been also, since its origins in late eighteenth century street theatre, a mode of interpreting social struggles after emotions. This course offers an introduction to the study of the melodramatic mode and its presence in Latin American fiction and film from the late 19th century until our days. Among other sources, analysis of Argentinean, Bolivian, Chilean, Colombian, Cuban, Mexican and Peruvian fictional and non fictional texts, excerpts from TV shows, popular music, and movies will allow the student to identify that melodrama exceeds the realm of sentimental entertainment, construing understandings and representations of epochal change, social mobility, and multiple forms of violence. With the study of these materials, this course aims to show how violent interactions are legitimized, normalized, or sanctioned after specific ideological purposes; and how emotional interpretations of experience -often considered spontaneous, morally good, and sincere- are products of historical techniques and tropes that result from the negotiation among emergent and established traditions.

Posted by tlatimer@coloradocollege.edu for the November 16, 2018 digest.

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