Special Topics: Therapeutic Cosmologies

Therapeutic Cosmologies of Latin America
Course Number: 
189
Semester: 
Spring
Year: 
2017
Section: 
001
Location: 
Hearst Field Annex B5
Instructor: 
Collu, S
Units: 
4
Time: 
M W F 2 - 3 pm
CCN: 
12562

THERAPEUTIC COSMOLOGIES IN LATIN AMERICA

In this class we focus on therapeutic cultures in Latin American studying the circulation of different practices, cosmologies, and ontologies that can be related to forms of care, cure, and embodied healing. We will take “Latin America” as a heterogeneous region of disciplinary knowledge that has developed in relationship to complex colonial and imperial processes related to Europe and North America. In this context we will embark in a journey with detours in multiple and contradictory national/non-national landscapes. Walking through forests, crossing rivers, and discovering urban ecologies we will encounter Amazonian worlds and shamanic rituals in Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil; biomedical and divinatory practices in Cuba; psychotherapeutic cultures in Argentina; and surgical practices Brazil.

Specifically, we will look at how contemporary healing cosmologies are entangled with (often violent) discourses of modernity, post-coloniality, and national state formation. Tracing the circulation of therapeutic cultures within Latin American regions and beyond, we will also explore the recent interest in Amerindian forms of life and thought. Throughout our detours across healing lifeworlds we will encounter the contradictions and continuities that shape and sustain our imaginaries of “Latin America.”