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ERIC Number: ED454017
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Feb
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Real Challenge: Teaching Latino Culture to White Students.
Elissondo, Guillermina
Cultural studies courses offered to undergraduate students of foreign languages tend to rely on canonical works that avoid sociopolitical perspectives and present the culture of the "Other" within the dominant world view. There is an urgent need to move from these traditional curricula to more engaging programs that capture the challenging postmodern articulations between language, culture, and social narratives. However, some initial student resistance to the change is to be expected. The author reflects on the experience of teaching one class of Latin American cultural studies to a group of White, middle-class undergraduates who were upper-level Spanish majors. A cultural literacy pedagogy was used to stimulate a critical reflection on the crossing of cultures. As background to a discussion of U.S. interference in Chilean politics in the 1970s, students examined and interpreted Disney cartoons published in Chile at that time. The cartoons focused on initial encounters between Indigenous people and foreigners in a Third World scenario, characters' willingness to abandon idealism in exchange for pleasure or material goods, or the role of fun in education. Many students refused to see the hidden subtexts behind the cartoons'"innocent happy characters" or to recognize that Disney cartoons served as indoctrination in the American world view and advanced U.S. political and economic interests. Students' reactions are analyzed in terms of their prior educational experiences. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A