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Modernity in Latin America


This course can be done for 5 or 10 ects. If you want to take the course for 10 ECTS please consult with the teacher and register with prospectus number: 5654KLA02.

Admission requirements

Registered as a student of the [Research] Master’s in Latin America Studies.
This course is open to students who have a good command of the Spanish language, or students with a passive command of the Spanish but a goed command of Portugues.


The course pays attention in the fascinations and frustrations that Latin Americans have with regard to the phenomenon of modernity and its associated discourses. Especially elites, over time, have carried out various projects of modernization with the aim of introducing innovations political, cultural and economic from Europe and the United States, often with asymmetric and disappointing results in Latin America. Also deals with the way in which the common population of Latin America is facing modernity from outside the region: while some of its elements are directly opposed, other aspects of that modernity are transformed into useful tools at the service of its own social and cultural needs.

Course objectives

  1. Analyze the historical processes of Latin America in the framework of modernity.
    1. Identify the specific fields in which modernity has operated in Latin America.
    2. Identify the ideological components of the discourse on national identity in Latin America in relation to modernity.
    3. Analyze the contradictions, paradoxes and challenges resulting from the process of modernization in Latin America.



Mode of instruction

Lectures (100%), presentations of the students and essay.

Course Load

5 EC = 140 hours in total.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 28 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 48 hours

  • Time for completing assignments, whether in preparation at the college: 20 hours

  • Time to write a paper (including reading/research): 44 hours

Assessment method

The assessment consists of two parts:
A. An individual presentation of 10 minutes about an issue concerning modernity and identity.
The figure for the presentation is equal to 25% of the final mark.
The aspects which are evaluated are:

  • clarity in the explanation

  • relevance of the chosen theme

  • use of academic language

  • ability to synthesize during de the exposition

B. An essay of at least 15 and up to 18 A4 format pages, related to the chosen theme of the presentation.
The score of the essay is equal to 75% of the final mark.
The aspects that are assessed are:

  • coherence and clarity of writing

  • quality of the argumentation

  • proper use of bibliographic sources

  • writing in academic language.

  • formal presentation of the text

  • level of the contents analysis

This course can be extended to 10 ECTS with a final essay of a minimum of 30 pages.

Resit exam takes place if the mark of the essay is less than 6.0. Resit consists of a new improved version of the essay within a limited time.


Blackboard is used for providing study materials (literature and PowerPoint presentations of each session), methodological indications and instructions, specific information about each college and the format of the presentations and the paper.

Reading list

ANDERSON, BENEDICT (1993). Comunidades imaginadas. Reflexiones sobre el origen y la difusión del nacionalismo. México, D.F.: Fondo de Cultura Económica. Capítulo I, ‘Introducción’ (pp. 17-25); Capítulo II, ‘Las raíces culturales’ (pp. 26-62).

COLMENARES, GERMÁN (2006). Las convenciones contra la cultura. Ensayo sobre historiografía hispanoamericana del siglo XIX. Santiago de Chile: DIBAM/Centro de Investigaciones Diego Barros Arana.

CORONIL, FERNANDO (2000). ‘Naturaleza del poscolonialismo: del eurocentrismo al globocentrismo’, en: E. Lander, E. (comp.), La colonialidad del saber: eurocentrismo y ciencias sociales. Perspectivas latinoamericanas (pp. 87-111). Buenos Aires: CLACSO.
URL: http://www.cholonautas.edu.pe/modulos/biblioteca2.php?IdDocumento=0439

DOMINGUES, JOSÉ MAURICIO (2009). La modernidad contemporánea en América Latina. Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI Editores/CLACSO.

FRANCO, JEAN (1997). ‘La globalización y la crisis de lo popular’, Nueva Sociedad, 19, 62-73,
URL: http://www.nuevasoc.org.ve/n149/ens.htm

GIMÉNEZ, GILBERTO (2003). ‘La cultura como identidad y la identidad como cultura’, UNAM, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, México,
URL: http://perio.unlp.edu.ar/teorias2/textos/articulos/gimenez.pdf

GÓMEZ GARCÍA, PEDRO (2007). ‘El fetichismo de la identidad cultural. Por un enfoque más científico y crítico’, en: J. M. Rubio Ferreres et al. (eds.), Identidad, historia y sociedad, capítulo 2 (pp. 55-80). Granada: Editorial Universidad de Granada.

HERMET, GUY (2003). ‘El populismo como concepto’, Revista de Ciencia Política, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, XXIII(1), 5-18,
URL: http://redalyc.uaemex.mx/src/inicio/ArtPdfRed.jsp?iCve=32423101

HOBSBAWM, ERIC (2012). ‘Introducción: la invención de la tradición’, en: E. Hobsbawm y T. Ranger (eds.), La invención de la tradición (pp. 7-21). Barcelona: Crítica.

LARRAÍN, JORGE (2000). Identity and Modernity in Latin America. Cambridge: Polity Press.

LÓPEZ DE AYALA, Mª CRUZ (2004). ‘El análisis sociológico del consumo: una revisión histórica de sus desarrollos teóricos’, Sociológica, 5, 161-188.

MARTÍN BARBERO, JESÚS (2001). De los medios a las mediaciones. Comunicación, cultura y hegemonía. III parte, capítulo I ‘Los procesos: de los nacionalismos a las transnacionales’ (pp. 164-202). México, D.F.: Ediciones G. Gili, 6ª edición.

RUBIO FERRERES, JOSÉ MARÍA (2007). ‘Las identidades en la era de la globalización mediática’, en: J. M. Rubio Ferreres et al. (eds.), Identidad, historia y sociedad, capítulo 4 (pp. 107-134). Granada: Editorial Universidad de Granada.

SCHAEFER, TIMO (2009). ‘Engaging Modernity: the political making of indigenous movements in Bolivia and Ecuador, 1900-2008’, Third World Quarterly, 30(2), 397-413.

SUBERCASEAUX, BERNARDO (2004). ‘Primera parte: apropiación cultural’, en: B. Subercaseaux, Historia de las ideas y de la cultura en Chile, tomo III (pp. 15-31). Santiago de Chile: Editorial Universitaria.

VICTORIANO SERRANO, FELIPE (2010). ‘Estado, golpes de Estado y militarización en América Latina: una reflexión histórico-política’, Argumentos, 23(64), 175-193,
URL: http://www.redalyc.org/src/inicio/ArtPdfRed.jsp?iCve=59518491008



Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Mr. Dr. P.A. Isla Monsalve
phone: +31 (0)71 5272061


Presence during lectures is compulsory. The student is allowed to miss a maximum of three sessions. In the case of more absences, the lecturer may decide to impose supplementary assignments on the student.