English   Danish

2010/2011  KAN-MLEAMAS2  Cultures and Identities in the Americas

English Title
Cultures and Identities in the Americas

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course Period Autumn
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study Board
Study Board for MA in International Business Communication
Course Coordinator
Merete Borch
Main Category of the Course
  • Language and Intercultural Studies
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies

Taught under Open University-Taught under open university.
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
In the synopsis the student must be able to:
  • Identify and present a relevant problem/issue within the framework of the course, that is, cultures and identities in the Western hemisphere
  • Relate this to a field within the study of culture and/or identities such as national identity, race or ethnic identity, theories witin identity and/or culture
  • Identify a theoretical framework for the case being presented
  • Identify important literature within the area of study
  • In the oral exam the student must also be able to:
  • Discuss empirical and theoretical aspects and implications of the problem/issue under consideration
  • Carry out an analysis of the problem/issue on the basis of the theoretical and/or methodological framework presented
  • Participate in a discussion of the problem/issue, theories and methods including alternative theoretical/methodological approaches
  • Identify other related issues within the area and/or similar issues in one or more other geographical areas in the Western hemisphere
  • Identify and relate to other issues within the field
  • Suggest or participate in a discussion of how the problem/issue under consideration could be approached from a practical perspective. Such a practical perspective could for example be:
  • Business oriented (e.g. the relationship between advertisement and culture/identity), Organisation oriented (e.g. relationship between culture/identity and development assistance), politically oriented (e.g. relationship between culture/identity and political probelms)
Course prerequisites and restrictions: BA-level knowledge of American studies (the USA and Latin America) is a prerequisite for joining this course. It is assumed that students have specific knowledge of the history as well as the fundamental cultural and identity issues of the Americas (including main trends within cultural theory) when they participate in the course History as in Goldfield, D. et al. The American Journey Combined/Concise ed. (New York: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2008) Thomas E. Skidmore & Peter H. Smith, Modern Latin America, Sixth edition (Oxford University Press, 2005) Cultures and identities (including cultural theory) as in the compendium used in the BA-IVK course Society, cultures and identities. (Available from Jan Gustafsson or Merete Borch)
20 min oral exam based on individual 3-5 pages Synopsis
Exam Period Winter Term
Prerequisites for Attending the Exam
Course Content

The aim of this course is to provide students with the theoretical and methodological tools to analyse culture and identity issues in the Western hemisphere. Students will become familiar with major theoretical approaches in culture and identity studies and learn to apply these theories within various empirical fields in the USA and Latin America such as: nation, race, gender, class, ethnicity, religion, popular culture. The students will also be able to apply this theoretical and empirical knowledge to economic, political and social issues in relation to business and organisations.The course deals with theoretical and empirical issues related to questions about culture and identity in the Western Hemisphere. Classes take their point of departure in an analysis of one or more geographical and/or thematically defined topics.

Teaching Methods
The course uses lectures and group activities. There is an emphasis upon student participation.
All the teaching and the exam are in English.
Cases and synopses: It is the general idea that the theoretical readings and discussions should be related to empirical questions. These ‘cases’ or empirical ‘fields’ can be present in different ways, as: material brought by the teacher to be studied in class (e.g. film scenes and similar); texts posted on Sitescape to be prepared along with the theoretical texts; cases or subjects that the students want to introduce in class. These can very well relate to the subjects the students choose for their synopsis (exam). Although the final deadline for the synopsis is December 15, I recommend strongly that you begin to find your subject early in the course. In this way, it can be integrated in the teaching process. The subject for your synopsis can relate directly to one or more teaching cases, but might also take point of departure in other questions. I wish to remind you that you are entitled to receive 1 hour of individual supervision in relation to the synopsis.

Student Workload
Synopsis 40 hours
Oral exam 30 hours
Preparation for lessons and lessons 155 hours

A bibliography for the course follows. As many texts as possible will be available on Sitescape (as links or documents). The number of pages to read for each class session will vary, typically about 30-40 pages.

Suggested bibliography (subject to change):

a) Basic course readings.

Castells, Manuel: The Information Age. Vol. 2: The Power of Identity. Blackwell, Oxford 1997 (or later). Chapter 1.

Dunkerley, James: Evo Morales, the ‘Two Bolivias’ and the Third Bolivian Revolution. In: Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 39, part 1, February 2007. Cambridge University Press.

Gustafsson, Jan, 2007: The Nation and the Revolution. Techniques of Power and Interpellation inRevolutionary Cuba. (draft)

Jenkins, Richard: Social Identity. Routledge,London, 1996 (or later) Chapter 10+11 (in the 96 edition).

Richard Jenkins:Categorization: Identity, Social Process and Epistemology. Current Sociology vol. 48, # 3 (July 1, 2000) Available for copy in the CBS library or at: http://csi.sagepub.com/cgi/content/short/48/3/7(Pp. 7-25) (optional)

Jorge Larraín Ibañez: Identity and Diversity: Could a Pan-American Identity be constructed? http://www.er.uqam.ca/nobel/ieim/IMG/pdf/construire_larrain.pdf(Pp. 1-9)

Jorge Larraín Ibañez 2002: Postmodernism and Latin American Identity. In: Volek, E. (ed.) Latin AmericaWrites Back. Routledge, N.Y. (Pp. 79-104)

Levitt: Social Remittances. Migration Driven Local-Level Forms of Cultural Diffusion. International Migration Review. Winter 1998.

Suzanne Oboler. 2002. The Politics og Labeling: Latino/a Cultural Identities of Self and Others. In Vélez-Ibañez, Carlos G. & Sampaio, Anna, Transnational Latina/o Communities. Politics, Processes, and Cultures. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Riggins, S. H.: The Rhetoric of Othering. In: Riggins (ed.): Language and Politics of Exclusion, Sage, London, 1997

Sznajder, Mario: Who is a Chilean? In: Constructing Collective Identities and Shaping Public Spheres (Sznajder & Roniger, eds.). Sussex University Press

Sznajder, Mario: The Chilean Jaguar. In: (Roniger & Herzog, eds.). The Collective and the Public in Latin America-Sussex UniversityPress

b) Further (optional) readings: (please contact the teacher if you wish to use any of the following texts, if not available on Sitescape)

José Joaquín Brunner 2002: Latin American Identity – Dramatized. In: Volek, E. (ed.) Latin America Writes Back. Routledge, N.Y. (Pp. 105-120)

Raymond A. Rocco. 2002. Citizenship, civil Society, and the Latina/o city: Claiming Subaltern Spaces, Reframing the Public Sphere. In Vélez-Ibañez, Carlos G. & Sampaio, Anna, Transnational Latina/o Communities. Politics, Processes, and Cultures. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Geoffrey Fox 1996. Hispanic Nation. Culture, Politics, and the constructing of Identity. Chapter 3, The Image Machine. The University of Arizona Press. Tucson. Pp. 40-67

Elisabeth Hallam & Brian V. Street, Introduction. Cultural encounters - representing "otherness". In Hallam & Street, Cultural Encounters. Representing "otherness". Routledge 2000

Stephen D. Morris 2005: Gringolandia. Mexican Identity and Perceptions of the United States.

S. Scmidt. 1997. Stereotypes, Culture and Cooperation in the U.S. –Mexican Borderlands. In P. Ganster et. Al. : Borders and Border Regions in Europe and North America. San Diego State University Press. California.

Samuel P. Huntington: The Hispanic Challengehttp://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/files/story2495.php (Pp. 1-12)

Carlos Fuentes: Huntingtonand the Mask of Racism http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/8229744.htm?1c

Spanish version: http://www.infoamerica.org/portada/fuentes.htm

Interview w. Carlos Fuentes: http://chiapas.mediosindependientes.org/display.php3?article_id=108841

José Carlos Mariátegui: The problem of the Indian (from Seven Interpretative Essays)


Pablo Neruda: Canto General (one poem) http://www.redpoppy.net/poems25.htm

Interview W. Bolivian politican (before he became president) and cocalero leader Evo Morales


Hall, Suart: Who Needs Identity? (Introduction. In: Hall & du Gay: Questions of Cultural Identity, Sage, London 1996, pp 1-31)