Forget the rose-in-the-mouth cliché, and discover how tango relates to art, activism, and even therapy. We will analyze films, advertising, theater, poetry, art, documentaries, material culture, digital art forms, and public protests to examine the production, consumption, and diffusion of meaning found in global cultural narratives related to Argentine tango. Students will learn how tango was used to champion women’s rights and modernization in Turkey in the early 20th century, and how Jewish prisoners used it as a symbol of life and endurance during WW II. Participants will explore how tango has merged with Eastern practices and beliefs such as martial arts and Taoism. One session will focus on the dance itself, including a demonstration and lesson.
Paz, Alberto and Valerie Hart. Gotta Tango. Human Kinetics, 2007. ISBN-10: 0736056300.
Thompson, Robert Farris. Tango: The Art History of Love. Vintage, 2006. ISBN-10: 1400095794.
Winter, Brian. Long After Midnight at the Niño Bien: A Yanqui’s Missteps in Argentina. PublicAffairs, 2008. ISBN-10: 1586483706.
MELISSA FITCH is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese. She is editor of the journal Studies in Latin American Popular Culture (University of Texas Press), author of Sides Dishes: Latin/a American Women, Sex, and Cultural Production (Rutgers UP, 2009), and author of the forthcoming “Global Tango: Travels in the Transnational Imaginary.” She has received three universitywide teaching awards at UA and was a Fulbright scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong during 2011-12.