Faculty of Arts


Visual Cultures and Industries in Latin America


This course studies five sectors of Latin American visual media production and culture industries from the 1930s to the present: independent, politically committed social arts; social movements; corporate media; indigenous media; and new social media.

The objective is to trace the role they have fulfilled in their respective social and historical periods as they relate to the nation-state. We will also trace the important transformations these media and their industries have experienced from the era of the responsible state initiated in the late 1930s, committed to supporting culture industries as part of a national-popular decolonisation project, through the authoritarian and neoliberal eras, characterised by the repressive and neoliberal state and privatised corporate media.

In the neoliberal era, information and media representation are managed, controlled and highly concentrated in the hands of few owners. In the twenty-first century, private media have become a clear target of popular movements which continue to find ways of representing themselves through a variety of visual media. Thus, the last part of the course focuses on the challenges posed by indigenous media to the traditional state and/or corporate industries.

We will include movements engaged with social media and study the ways they are influencing new forms of “reporting”, from advocacy to citizens’ journalism. Alliances across these groups in recent years have led to the establishment of new media laws, which face new challenges.

The focus throughout the course is on who controls visual media production, how information circulates and who has the right to representation, in order to determine what impact state and private media controls have on citizenship and democracy.

Learning objectives

When you successfully complete this course you will have gained: 

  • An understanding of the history of Latin American visual cultures and the culture industries from the 1930s to the present
  • Key critical skills necessary for the analysis of visual media including primary source analysis, historical analysis, library research and verbal and written communication skills
  • Generic skills in research (finding appropriate sources, utilising library databases, formulating  questions), learning how to do a close reading, media analysis (formulating questions, critical thinking, making connections) and communication in both verbal (in class) and written (close reading and essay) contexts, which offer skills to pose a basic thesis for essays and select the appropriate tools for analysis of visual examples to provide evidence for a series of claims


Coursework only 

Availability 2021

Not offered in 2021; planned for 2022




LATINAM 210: 15.0 points


45 points in BA courses or approval of Programme Coordinator



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