Reflection of culture and the arts For this task, look up the

Reflection of culture and the arts

For this task, look up the definitions of the terms listed below. Then write your definition in your own words. Important: Do this activity before reading the text or: 1.4. Overview of the culture and artistic culture of Puerto Rico 

List of terms to define:


Enlightenment (Note: the current or cultural movement)


Romanticism (Note: the current or cultural movement)

Creole (Note: the current or cultural movement)

Positivism (Note: the current or cultural movement)


Modernism (Note: the current or cultural movement, not the 19th century art movement)

Postmodernism (Note: the current or cultural movement, not the 19th century art movement)


Some online sites and dictionaries where you can look up definitions: (Links to an external site.)
www.definició www.meanings.c om 
 (Links to an external site.)


Write down in your Word document   the definition of the sources used, but you must write it in your own words

Once the document is finished, send the Word document using the upload function.

Put the terms in alphabetical order and list them.

Identify the sources used after each definition. Additional material:

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The rich and complex culture of the island of Puerto Rico is the direct result of dramatic historical, political and economic developments that, over the course of 500-odd years, have affected the complex web of social relations.

Broadly speaking, Puerto Rican society and culture are the consequence of a particular colonial trajectory. In other words, they are the results of the imposition, on the part of two metropolises, Spain and the United States, of their own patterns of dominance. Moreover, they are the product of the strategies of acceptance or resistance with which different groups or social components have historically responded to colonialism and those patterns.

As part of its historical reaction to colonialism, Puerto Rican society and culture that emerged between the 19th and 20th centuries focused on the evolution of a collective imaginary based on highlighting the differences between the island and its metropolises, and on the search to define a collective identity of its own. In the 19th century, this imaginary operated within the coordinate of Hispanism. Under U.S. rule, the most predominant coordinate was nationalism, particularly cultural nationalism (in the absence of political sovereignty).

By this time, the exploration of identity revolved around the definition of a singular national identity. This quest was strongly rooted in cultural manifestations, particularly popular ones, and in the different arts, including high culture.

Apart from that, two other relevant factors that have strongly shaped Puerto Rican society and culture are: the coincidence and mixture of various ethnicities and races, as well as the coexistence and clash of different groups or social components. In other words, Puerto Rican society and culture are also manifestations of both pluralism and ethnic and racial hybridity -and the resulting multiculturalism and interculturalism-, as well as of the concord and conflicts among the various socio-cultural groups or components. From this point of view, Puerto Rican society and culture are not homogeneous spheres, but are the effects, not of a single collective imaginary, but of a multiplicity, not of a singular Puerto Rican identity but of a diversity, which are maintained in continuous dialogue, struggle and negotiation.

Cultural currents that have impacted cultural and artistic development

From another perspective, cultural developments in Puerto Rico have also responded to transformations in the cultural currents or movements (Links to an external site.) that have emerged in the Western world, such as the Enlightenment, Romanticism, Positivism, Modernity and Postmodernity (equally connected to changes of era). As in other places, these cultural currents or movements have (Links to an external site.) provoked significant impacts on the island in the different fields of culture in general, for example, in science, philosophy and, the one that concerns us, in the arts.

In Puerto Rico, the different Western cultural currents or movements were adapted to their own context, provoking changes that were sometimes perceived radically and, at other times, gradually, while affecting in different ways the social groups or components.

Accordingly, in the different periods of Puerto Rico’s cultural history in the 19th and 20th centuries – centuries marked by the end of the Spanish colony and the establishment of American rule – several cultural currents of impact can be identified, mainly: Romanticism (Links to an external site.), Liberalism, Criollismo, Positivism, Nationalism (Links to an external site.) as well as modernist and postmodernist currents (Links to an external site.).

Each of the aforementioned currents or cultural movements introduced characteristics that interpenetrated in the culture and artistic culture of their time, imparting novel approaches and meanings that distinguished themselves from the previous cultural and artistic system, and their particular interactions and articulations OR, sometimes, even merging with each other.

The 19th century was the century in which Romanticism and Positivism joined the Enlightenment as major cultural currents or movements. This conjunction promoted the distancing from the tradition of the baroque past, while introducing the idea of social, cultural and artistic modernization. Apart from these, Liberalism and Criollismo were other axes around which cultural work revolved. It is worth mentioning that the different movements of the nineteenth-century Puerto Rican arts developed from these currents.

During the 20th century, the so-called “American century”, that is, the century under U.S. rule, Nationalism was the main operator against colonialism and North Americanization. It was consonant with the discourse through which the politicians of the first half of the century made their claims to the new metropolis and demanded more liberal measures. In its cultural aspect, the nationalist discourse gave impetus to a broad movement of intellectual and artistic resistance, which focused particularly on the struggle against the North Americanization imposed through the educational system during the first half of the century.

Meanwhile, beginning in the mid-20th century, a renewed, or modernized, version of nationalism evolved in tandem with the post-war modernization and industrialization projects introduced by the United States because of the Cold War. (Links to an external site.) This (neo) nationalism was in tune with the new autonomous government, the Commonwealth, a significant reform of the old colonial relationship with the United States implemented in 1952.

Consequently, between the 1950s and the 1980s, national modernism imposed itself as the main force of the culture and the main engine of its renewal in tune with the new modernization of Puerto Rican society and its immersion in the post-war American Way of Life. This national modernism also permeated the artistic culture and gave birth to the first national schools of the arts during the same period.