Special Themes in Literature: Soccer in Latin American Culture, Literature, and Film

Soccer in Latin American Culture, Literature, and Film
English 3110
Jack Draper
Course Description

This course explores Latin American societies, cultures, and questions of national and regional identity as expressed through literary, historical and journalistic writings on soccer, as well as through fictional and documentary films on this global sport with strong roots in Latin American popular culture. To what degree has soccer influenced artistic endeavors in Latin American countries, how has it been involved in nation formation, and can we speak of a Latin American regional identity expressed through soccer and artistic or philosophical/cultural representations of the sport? How does the sport help to mediate Latin American societies’ sense of cultural regionalism or nationalism, and their view of their own place in the world, collectively or as individual nations? How does it influence and/or reflect understandings of class, race, gender and sexuality in Latin American cultures as represented in literature, film and broader public discourse? Course textbooks include a recently updated edition of a literary classic by Eduardo Galeano placing Latin American soccer in a global context, as well as two recent analyses of the national and regional cultural/social significance of soccer in Latin American societies. Other written works covered in class lectures and discussions will include poetry, short stories and crônicas (brief literary/journalistic columns) on soccer. Films covered focus on the iconic significance of regional soccer legends like Maradona and Pelé, but also include broader narratives about soccer from youth to professional levels in Latin American leagues, including: Pelé Eterno / Pelé Forever (Massaini Neto, 2004), Futebol / Soccer (Moreira Salles, 1999), Forever Chape (Zimbalist & Zimbalist, 2018), Maradona by Kusturica (Kusturica, 2008), Linha de passe / Long Pass (Salles & Thomas, 2008), Pelé: Birth of a Legend (Zimbalist & Zimbalist, 2016), and Democracia em preto e branco / Democracy in Black and White (Asbeg, 2014).

This course is cross-listed with Portuguese 3005 (section 1) and Spanish 3005.

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