(scroll down for the Course List)
Concept: One of the central goals of the Institute is to create
"new" knowledge and to inform new ways of thinking about knowledge.
There are several challenges. First, limited access to academic
materials in general impedes scholarly research in much of Latin
America. Our courses and archive try to make these materials available.
Second, performances function as vital acts of transfer, transmitting
social knowledge. Third, the hope that globalization would prove
a democratizing and 'equalizing' force in global information services
has paled as globalization re-creates many of the inequalities
that have long characterized relations in the Americas. In our
limited way, we contest current models of long distance learning
(those creating a product that will be consumed by 'clients' in
other countries) by developing a collaborative, interactive, multi-sited
web-based project that allows scholars, activists and artists
and students the opportunity and the means of learning from and
contributing to a shared archive.
The concept of the course speaks to these concerns. How do these
systems--the written, the performed, the digital--work together
in the transmission of knowledge? What happens to the knowledge
and social memory of minoritarian communities when only 'book
knowledge', accessible to the few is deemed legitimate? Can digital
technologies help us span the divide between the high-tech 'haves',
and the low-tech, no-tech 'have-nots' as we work together to expand
our artistic and cultural/academic 'archives'? Can they span the
'live' embodied knowledge associated with performance and the
more durable knowledge of the written archive?
The Institute has
developed its areas of research and collaboration following a
chronological/thematic sequence: Conquest, Colonialism, Nationalism,
and Globalization. These themes are unifying topics in a historical
trajectory, as well as the trajectory of social and political
life in the Americas in the last five centuries.