Spring 2024 Spanish UN3371 section 001

Magic and the Supernatural in Latin Amer

Magic & the Supernatural

Call Number 15459
Day & Time
MW 11:40am-12:55pm
254 International Affairs Building
Points 3
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Elvira E Blanco
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description

In 1918, German sociologist Max Weber lamented that scientific innovation had made the world too transparent––disenchanted, devoid of magic. However, even in current times, characterized by information on demand, ubiquitous connectedness, and hyper-rationalization, magic and belief in the supernatural continue to operate and fascinate in the Western world. Think, for instance, of TikTok “ghost cams,” or the incorporation of terms like manifesting or ritual into popular discourses of personal success and self-care. At the same time, we may argue that enchantment never disappeared in many parts of the world: consider the reclamation of the term “brujx” to designate a syncretic spirituality connected with queerness and Latinx ethnicity. In response to these trends and the normalization of magical language in the mainstream, this seminar proposes an expansive an intersectional investigation of what “magic” has meant in the Hispanic world: organized in a loosely chronological manner, it delves into the conceptual roots and historical relevance of notions of magic and supernatural in the Greater Caribbean (Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia), Spain, Guatemala, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico and its US border. With a combination of written, cinematic, pictorial, and audio primary and secondary texts, the seminar addresses the political implications of magical belief and practices; the affects and relationships that magic metaphorizes in literature; the role of belief in configuring socioeconomic hierarchies in colonial and postcolonial contexts; and the uses of popular spirituality to assert agency against the forces of colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy.

Web Site Vergil
Department Latin American and Iberian Cultures
Enrollment 13 students (15 max) as of 1:07PM Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Subject Spanish
Number UN3371
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Section key 20241SPAN3371W001