Latin America & Caribbean Anthropology 2021

This is the homepage of the January 2021 anthropology course using the second edition of The Anthropology of Latin America and the Caribbean by Harry Sanabria. The course tackles this enormous range of material by concentrating on processes and themes across the Americas. The course outline corresponds to the chapters in the Sanabria textbook, and we will be blogging our way through as the course proceeds:

1. Anthropology, Latin America, and the Caribbean

2. Before the Europeans

3. Conquest, Colonialism, and Resistance

4. Independence and Nation-Building

5. Cultural Politics of Race and Ethnicity

6. Gender, Sexuality, and Reproduction (1/28)

7. Religion and Everyday Life (1/29)

8. Food, Cuisine, and Cultural Expression

9. Striving For Health and Coping With Illness

10. Violence, Memory, and Justice

11. Neoliberalism, NAFTA, and Immigration

12. More Connections: Popular Culture, Tourism, and Digital Cultures

Sanabria & the Americas

After using the first edition of the Sanabria textbook for previous courses, I was able to try out the second edition in January 2020. In general, I think Sanabria did smart work with his update. He actually shortened(!) the textbook, cutting away many of the too-esoteric references and “debates” that were mostly within anthropology. Sanabria’s inclusion of many examples in the United States fits with the approach to teach on the Americas rather than attempting to draw culture boundaries.

However, there are three things that seem to be missing from the textbook. I would be grateful for your suggestions!

  1. Colorism. Somewhat strangely, there is no discussion of colorism in the chapter on Race and Ethnicity. Colorism has been a huge issue across the Americas, and although some of our best insights come from Latin American and Caribbean examples, colorism is a topic that needs more attention in the United States as well.
  2. Climate Crisis. Although every so often Sanabria mentions climate change, the textbook really needs a whole chapter on environmental issues in the Americas.
  3. Coronavirus. Admittedly this is something Sanabria could not have anticipated. He does include material on Zika and Ebola.

Reflecting on the Americas

This webpage is part of a series of posts about teaching anthropology of Latin America and the Caribbean. The series includes:

These posts are all cataloged in the Latin America index tag for the site, which also includes related blog-posts.


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