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Course Details

Spring 2011-2012
* LAS 323 / GSS 322   na, npdf

Body, Beauty, and Race in Latin America

Mónica Gabriela Moreno Figueroa

The course explores the linkages between the body, as a symbolic cultural form, and ideas about beauty, appearance, racialised perceptions of skin color, and physical characteristics within the Latin American context. We'll examine how practices and concerns about beauty are by no means trivial, they reveal the depth of racial and racist attitudes and their consequences for the performance of national identity, femininity and masculinity, and the sense of self-worth. Examples include beauty contests; the representation of indigenous, black, and mestizo bodies; and cosmetic surgery.

Sample reading list:
Andrew Canessa, Sex and the Citizen: Barbies and Beauty Queens
Alexander Edmonds, Triumphant Miscegenation: Reflections on Beauty and Race
Erynn Masi de Casanova, "No Ugly Woman" Concepts of Race and Beauty
Ginetta Candelario, Black Behind the Ears: Dominican Racial Identity
Maxine Leeds Craig, Race, Beauty, and the Tangled Knot of a Guilty Pleasure
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Students must complete the weekly readings in preparation for seminar discussion. There will be approximately 100 pages of reading per week. From the 2nd to the 11th week there will be required submissions of, two working days in advance of the seminar, a 300-word written critical response. This will be based on one of the designated readings for that week and must include a summary of the reading, a critical reflection, and at least one key question for discussion.

Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Papers - 40%
Oral Presentation(s) - 10%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%

Other information:
Students will give two oral presentations: One based on one of the week's topics comparing and contrasting the readings; and the second presenting the progress of the final project. The final project is a portfolio made up of a 1500-word critical report (applying course readings) and a data file. The portfolio aims to bring together knowledge and understanding of constructions of the body, beauty, and race in Latin America.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43157 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm Th   Aaron Burr Hall   216   Enrolled:10 Limit:25