Aug 20, 2009


After an awesome summer teaching "International Mass Communication" in Oxford, I'm back at my university and routine. The Fall semester has already started and with it my class "Telenovelas, Culture and Society."

For professors, it's always a privilege and a pleasure to be able to teach a class focused on our research area. This is exactly the case for me and this class, which I especially enjoy because it allows me to share with the students what I've learned about telenovelas, and helps me deepen and reorient my research. This year I'm particularly happy because the class filled out pretty quickly and there's even a waiting list for it. I have 24 students who comply with the SPAN 2002 pre-requisite, and whose majors range from mass communication-related (advertising, public relations, journalism, broadcasting and telecommunication arts) to Latin American and Caribbean studies.

In the class, I use telenovelas in the same way I do in my research: as epicenters to study the links between media, culture and society. Therefore, this is the course's general description:

The course will examine Latin American telenovelas and their insertion in Latin America’s social formation. The connections between culture, media and society will be highlighted as we examine the historical roots of the genre, learn about its contexts of production, consumption and regulation, and analyze telenovelas as a public forum for the negotiation of social issues and meanings associated with Latin American reality. In addition, the course will underscore how telenovelas implicate and draw their audiences into the process of cultural production, as we look at how a mass-produced genre, conceived as for-profit entertainment, has tremendous significance in the everyday life of those who watch it.

The course's specific objectives are:
  • To become familiar with communication concepts and tools that are used in critical and cultural approaches to mass media studies.
  • To analyze the ideological, rhetorical and cultural underpinnings of telenovelas.
  • To understand the commercial and aesthetics dimensions of telenovelas, and their social uses.
  • To examine how processes of industrialization and globalization have made their mark on the telenovela genre.
Throughout the semester, I will use a mix of teaching methods and activities that will range from traditional lectures to video conferences with people involved in the telenovela world. I'll share some of it here in my blog.

No comments: