Skip to main content

Objects in Motion: The Circulation of Culture in Colonial Latin America

SPAN 324

What do tangible objects such as textiles, silverwork, maps, books, jewelry, paintings, clothing, furniture, kitchen utensils, and food tell us about the history and culture of Latin America? How through the history of objects can we learn about the identity construction of people in the colonial world? What role do cultural memory and emotions play in the creation of objects and how do objects shape the manner in which people think about others and themselves?


 This course will examine the circulation of objects across cultures and global regions from the 15th to the 18th century and its impact in Latin America today.  We will study how the exchange of gifts, the consumption of luxury goods, the exhibition of wealth through objects, the import and export of certain foods, and the way in which objects travel, tell us about the cultural exchange that took place between indigenous, African, and European societies in the Americas and contributed to what is considered the first global age. Finally, we will discuss the manner in which still today the same tangible objects link the present to the past while underlining the impact of the Americas in Europe, Africa and Asia and the impact of all these three continents in the Americas.

Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:30am – 10:50am

Discussion and written assignments will be in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 228