Spanish 280: Recording Cultures: Sound, Literature & Media in Latin America

M 3-6P, BARROWS 180 | Instructor: McEnaney | CCN: 30774

Units: 4

How have attempts to capture sound transformed the history of literature and politics in Latin America? What implications does the study of sonic media have for considering the representational limits of print, from the marginalization of illiterate subjects to the development of new forms of writing that politicized everyday speech? What happens to literary terms like tone, voice, and even realism when we consider them in connection with questions of fidelity in sound recording? Attentive to the phenomenological differences of sound and print, we will study the racialization of media technologies, examine tape recorder novels as documents of queer intimacy, and analyze the politics of power in ethnographic encounters. Along the way, we will ask how new recording methods enabled the invention of a new form of political writing (testimonio), how the “real” arises at the intersection of ethnography and música electroacústica, and how the crónica has re-invented itself in an age of new media such as podcasting. While we will read theorists from media studies, sound studies, and linguistic anthropology, our task will include a more immanent invention of Latin American media theory from primary materials (novels, tape art, films, etc) in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico. Writers, theorists, filmmakers, and artists will include M. Moreno, N. Morejón, L. Zapata, N. Guillén-Landrián, E. Costa, R. Piglia, A. Lanza, D. Link, A. Ochoa, S. Sarduy, J. Sterne, B. Sarlo, M. Silverstein, D. Eltit, R. Walsh, Y. Sánchez, M. Foucault, J. Vásquez, and others.