Tango: Nation & Identity
When tango was born in Buenos Aires, in the second half of the 19th-century, Argentina was undergoing profound changes. With the arrival of millions of immigrants, the shape of the city and its society began an intense process of modernization. A product from the bordello and a “threat” to national identity, tango came to be a global success in only twenty years. Acclaimed in Paris and New York, tango became a symbol for Argentina and its new ways of thinking about sexuality, gender, and class relations. This course treats tango as a cultural artifact that condenses many of the key debates about the relationships between popular culture and society. Through the study of tango lyrics, plays, films, novels, and other cultural productions, this course proposes a critical analysis of theoretical problems such as national identity, gender studies, and the consumption of culture in a global era. The course combines lectures with seminar-style classes encouraging discussion and participation. Students will also have to visit different places in the city of Buenos Aires that are clearly linked to the history of tango. (1 unit)
This course is cross-listed with Literature.