Module Catalogue 2024/25

LAS4007 : Latin American Art: Indigenous Contemporary Art and Activism

LAS4007 : Latin American Art: Indigenous Contemporary Art and Activism

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Giuliana Borea
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment

Also open to students in SACS, GPS, SLAW


Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



•       To introduce students to the practices, trajectories, and agendas of Latin American artists.
•       To introduce students to the diversity of Latin American art questioning narrow perspectives of art.
•       To provide students with an understanding of the history and the politics of Latin American art in relation to socio-political processes in the region and to the wider art circuits.
•       To introduce students to concepts and knowledges produced by Latin American scholars, curators and practitioners.
•       To provide students with an understanding of curatorial activity and offer tools to engage with curatorial practices.

Outline Of Syllabus

‘Latin American Art’ explores the work, trajectories and agendas of Latin American artists in relation to socio-political processes and to the art circuits. It examines how art addresses and reimagines key issues such as nation-making, identities and diversity, violence and memory, daily life, inequalities and migration, indigeneity, lands and bodies, with a focus on the 20th and 21st century.

The module is divided in three interrelated sections. The first part explores the Latin American art circuits and categories with attention to different notions of art and offers a historical approach looking at national tendencies and transnational dialogues. The second part focuses on a specific topic –specified in the subtitle of the module. This section looks closely to selected art practices exploring how they explore, engage, and challenge the topic in discussion. The analysis is enriched by conversations with artists, curators, and other art agents from the region. The third part introduces students in the curatorial activity through organising together an exhibition project based on section two. Students are encouraged to visit exhibitions as we explore curatorship as a methodology for research, learning, and engagement.

The module is delivered in English, and draws on art history, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, curatorial and indigenous knowledges. It includes the analysis of visual art practices from a wide range of media and participation -online and in person- of guest speakers. The module seeks to foster connections among students in HaSS with an interest on art and Latin America.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the module students will gain:

•       Knowledge of practices, trajectories, and agendas of Latin American artists.
•       Knowledge of the diversity of art practices in Latin America.
•       Understanding of art concepts and knowledges produced in Latin America.
•       Awareness of the interrelations of art and socio-political processes in Latin America.
•       Awareness of the use of categories and power relations.
•       Understanding of art circuits and institutions in Latin American and their relation to society and to other art circuits.
•       Familiarity with the curatorial activity.

Intended Skill Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will gain:

•       Conceptual, theoretical and methodological tools to analyse, write and talk about visual arts.
•       Ability to analyse art practices in relation to national and regional processes, global trends, and
individual biographies.
•       Ability to explore and debate with interdisciplinary frameworks about arts, culture, and society.
•       Experience in developing critical thinking, and independent and group research.
•       Formulate arguments coherently and present ideas in a written, oral and visual form.
•       Ability to participate in group discussions and be involved in teamwork.
•       Time-management skills.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion421:0042:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture92:0018:009 PIP lectures of 2 hours.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:306:004 PIP seminars of 1.5 hours
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities101:0010:00Reading and visual tasks to prepare each week based on guided questions and contextual information.
Guided Independent StudyProject work18:008:00Project work for exhibition project.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:303:00Workshop – curatorial project week 9-10
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Workshop – curatorial project week 9-10
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity41:004:004 Reflexive responses
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery20:301:001 hour of drop-in surgery offered
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1001:00100:00Free reading and viewing/sensing artworks independently or with peers
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study21:303:00Visiting galleries independently or with peers.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introduction to the module - recorded
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module runs for one semester: 11 weeks and is divided in 3 sections. Sections 1 and 2 run from week 1 to week 8. Teaching is provided by 2 hours lectures every week - 4 lectures for each section - and 1.5 hour seminars every other week (2 seminars for each section). Section 3 runs on weeks 9 and 10 and is organised as a curatorial workshop to develop the group project. Week 11 takes the form of a lecture based on tips to develop the final assessment.

Lectures provide historical, conceptual, theoretical, and socio-political information and methodological tools to introduce students to the understanding of key diverse art practices and moments in Latin American art. Some classes, particularly in section 2, include presentations of key guest speakers and offer students the possibility to ask questions to Latin American art agents.

Lecture materials introduces students to the topics discussed on each session. They range from different sources and formats: texts, artworks, exhibition websites, exhibition visits, videos, interviews, and others. Guiding questions offer students a first approach to the readings and the other materials. Students develop an individual response and expand their analysis in seminars.

In seminars, the students analyse the materials in detailed led by questions given previously to guide the analysis and in relation with aspects developed in lectures. Seminars aim to stimulate students’ own experiences and knowledges in relation to the topic. Seminars consist of student led-discussion fostering students’ critical thinking, formulation of arguments and ability for public presentation.

The workshop consists in working together to develop an exhibition project based on a topic of section 2 selected collectively by the group. The workshop aims to develop transferable curatorial skills, teamwork and time management.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj2M40N/A
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
Reflective logMFour reflective responses submitted before each of the four seminars.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Group exhibition project (40%):
This is a group assessment based on proposing an exhibition project in relation to section 2. In seminars 3 and 4 students learn about curatorial narratives and we have a gallery visit. After Spring break, we focus on the exhibition project in the workshop sessions. The exhibition project has three aims: 1. To get a deeper understanding in the topic of section 2 by selecting and analysing specific art works and familiarising with artists’ trajectories. 2. To gain experience on how to develop a curatorial narrative and project (artworks, texts, space, sensory approach) by connecting a group of artworks and developing novel approaches and questions. 3. To reflect critically on the categories, narratives, and spatial distribution to be proposed for the exhibition. The exhibition project takes the form of a group creative portfolio and includes the exhibition concept, selection of artworks, the curatorial text, decision of a title, information about each individual work, brief biography and trajectory of selected artists; planning of the distribution of artworks in the gallery space; and development of a public programme (issues of budget, loans, transport, etc are covered in lectures, however, the project does not include these management aspects). Students receive a group mark for the exhibition project as a whole and receive an individual mark based on the completion of their task for this assessment.

Essay (60%):
This assessment consists of a 2200-word essay written in English about one of the topics analysed in section 1 of the module. Students will connect the discussion with specific case studies. The aim of this assessment is that students engage with larger debates and at the same time be able to analyse concrete practices, understanding the interrelations between the macro and micro, processes and practices, and developing a coherent and structured argument. Students will have to discuss their selected topic with the module leader by week 9. This assessment will help to develop students’ research and writing skills.

Four responses/ reflections as Formative Assessments:
Four responses submitted before each of the four first seminars. These responses can include the form of written texts of 250-300 words, conceptual maps, drawings, or other forms. These are critical and reflective responses to the readings and activities planned for each seminar. The aim is for students to let their ideas and knowledges flow and take shape through different formats. Students experiment with different ways of knowledge production.

Resit Assessment:
This assessment will consist of a five-question exam, with a duration of two hours, covering topics developed in the three sections of the module.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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