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The Infrastructure of Influence: Transnational Collaboration and the Spread of US Cultural Influence in Colombia, 1930s-1960s

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/12856

The Infrastructure of Influence: Transnational Collaboration and the Spread of US Cultural Influence in Colombia, 1930s-1960s

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Title: The Infrastructure of Influence: Transnational Collaboration and the Spread of US Cultural Influence in Colombia, 1930s-1960s
Author: Corcoran, David Andrew
Advisor(s): Hall, Linda B.
Committee Member(s): Bieber, Judy
Appelbaum, Nancy P.
Cahill, Cathleen D.
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of History
Subject(s): Colombia
Transnationalism
Inter-American Relations
Binational Cultural Centers
Overseas American Schools
Film, Radio and Print Media
Education Reform
Propaganda
US Cultural Diplomacy
LC Subject(s): United states--Relations--Colombia
Colombia--Relations--United States
Cultural relations--United States
Cultural relations--Colombia
United States--Foreign relations--20th century
Colombia--Foreign relations--20th century
Degree Level: Doctoral
Abstract: This dissertation examines the growth of US cultural influence in Andean and Caribbean Colombia during World War II and the first half the Cold War (1930s-1960s). Exploring Colombian-US collaboration in educational and cultural arenas, the study articulates a mid-century shift in Colombian cultural orientation away from Europe and toward the US. Analyzing the cultural complexities of Colombian-US relations during those decades, it demonstrates why this shift began and how it was sustained. While the study credits US cultural diplomacy with encouraging the shift, it emphasizes the role of Colombians in building the new cultural infrastructure that facilitated it. Intent on moving the nation toward capitalist modernity and minimizing the threat of social and political revolution, the Colombian national government and the Colombian Catholic Church aggressively enlisted US resources toward educational and cultural reforms. In doing so, they followed the lead of the nation’s emerging middle classes, newly expanding professional groups, and modernist segments within the national elite as they engaged US cultural models to clear their own paths toward modernity. At the intersection of cultural and diplomatic history, this study presents intimate views of transnational cultures and communities as they developed around schools, cultural centers and mass media programs. Using the Colombian case, it demonstrates how new venues for collaboration were redefining Latin American-US cultural relations during the mid-twentieth century. In contrast to studies that frame inter-American encounters as manifestations of empire, this dissertation demonstrates the frequently overlooked yet crucial role of common interests in building cultural relations across national borders.
Graduation Date: May 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/12856

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