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Human Rights and Cultural Production in the Americas

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Organizer: IRINA POPESCU

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This seminar explores the connection between cultural production and human rights discourse in Latin America and within Latinx communities in the United States. The time frame can be wide, as can the artistic genres. The main topic for the seminar is investigating what kind of cultural products are being created/were created in the Americas and how these engage directly with an attempt to combat faltering human rights laws and discourses throughout the hemispheres. In seeking to create a discourse between North/South, the papers submitted should also address the advantage of the hemispheric outlook. The main point of exploration in this seminar is to investigate how specific methods of artistic and narrative production work alongside human rights law and discourse in a time of crisis.
 
Some questions to consider:
 
Is there trend in cultural production that is embodied in both hemispheres? In other words, does the kind of art/narrative that arises in a time of crisis in the Americas cross the North/South divide?  What can this crossing enable?
 
What kind of art seems better prepared to address issues such as Argentina’s recent illegalization of abortion or the United States recent family separations?
 
What kind of art seems more ethically grounded, refusing the spectacle of violence that often engulfs the attempts made to document human rights abuses?
 
How are indigenous communities in the Americas using cultural production to respond to the current (and past) human rights abuses?
 
What ethical dilemmas does the realm of aesthetics face when representing the victim/s of human rights abuse? And how do particular art or narrative forms illuminate and combat these dilemmas?
 
How do city-spaces become avenues for addressing human rights issues and reframing these issues within the city itself?
 
Please send a 200-250 word abstract to ipopescu@bowdoin.edu by September 20 at 4pm. I also encourage those that are interested in submitting a proposal to this seminar, to contact me before submitting a paper abstract officially through the ACLA portal.

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