FOLK 507 640 Cruising the Caribbean
Seminar: Tuesday 5:30-8:10
Shaped by transnational desires, first of sugar and then of tourism,
the Caribbean presents a challenge for the cross-disciplinary
study of cultural change. Especially since its has been shaped
by the displacement of people, goods and ideas from Africa, Asia,
Europe and Latin American since its very inception. In this introductory
course on the Caribbean we will critically examine "creolization"
processes at social, religious, political, economic and artistic
levels as they were driven by pirates, privateers, maroons, exiles
and tourists. Drawing from works in folklore, history, anthropology,
music, film and literature, we will ask, for instance, in which
ways did the French Revolution propel the creation of the first
Black Republic of Haiti, and the sugar boom boost the fomration
of Cuban Santeria? How has the image of the sensuous/threatening
mulatta evolved since plantation, minstrel shows, to tourist experiences?
On what kind of histories and emotions do "zombies"
feed upon? Why did Raggae and Merengue succeed on the global stage?
What is the relation between the display of national icons in
Trinidadian carnival and the rhetoric used by the tourism industry?
How is the colonial past re-packaged as "pleasure islands"
for global consumption?
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