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Studies in Latin American Literature

The literature of Spanish America from pre-Colombian times to the present. Representative authors and texts from various literary movements will be studied in their sociohistorical contexts.

Literature is an adventure, a key to understanding other people, their cultures, societies, and history, etc. In Span. 373.001, a survey of representative Spanish American and some Latino texts, you will explore such topics as: what it means to be Hispanic American or Latino(a/ix); injustice, liberty and poverty; human rights; gender; race; the environment; fantasy and reality; (post)colonialism and more. Such themes will be seen in selected masterworks from the pre-Columbian period to the 20th century.

The works we will examine were written by male and female authors from different national, socioeconomic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds.  They will be analyzed in their sociohistorical and other contexts; the latter will be seen additionally through videoclips and other types of relevant material culture, like music, art, and so on. The course, taught in Spanish, will also cover how to analyze literary genres and the most important movements that our works exemplify. The required textbook is by Chang Rodríguez and Filer, Voces de Hispanoamérica (2017, 5th ed. online or in print at www.cengage.com); some texts that are not available in it will be online.

Instructional mode: synchronous remote

The intersection between different genres is a key element for understanding the literary phenomenon as a whole and its relationship with the reality from which it emerges. This course will offer a panoramic approach to Latin American prose, poetry, and autobiographical texts, with the purpose of relating the biographical experience with the literary products that materialized from it. It will undertake the analysis and interpretation of a varied corpus of major and representative authors, both canonical and more contemporary, including short stories, novel, poetry, correspondences, diaries, memoirs, and interviews. The discussion will be centered on different aspects concerning the creative process, social and historical contexts, as well as the aesthetics of the literary works.

Instructional mode: synchronous remote

The fear of communicable disease is way older than our present COVID-19 fright. This course seeks to study the literature of Spanish America from pre-Columbian times to the present from the perspective of contagion and disease. We will examine the work of representative authors (both canonical and less-studied) from various literary movements in their sociohistorical contexts. Contagion is linked to literature because it is usually presented as a narrative (crisis in medias res, search for cause, characters, setting, plot, conflict, desired resolution). Contagion and disease are also a rich source of knowledge from a literary perspective because of their high allusive power. We will examine texts that present disease as theme, as aesthetic approach, as self-representation, or as metaphor. Disease and illness, or the sick and diseased as represented in literature will serve as vehicles to assess cultural tensions (e.g. coloniality, politics, artistic pursuit, gender, economics, aesthetics). Class discussion and dynamic and continuous engagement is absolutely expected of all participants.

This course will offer a critical study of major Latin American literary movements from the colonial period to the present. Following Edmundo O’Gorman’s seminal work about Latin America’s struggle to define itself against colonial and imperial legacies, we will begin by exploring how ideas of “América”, “Hispanic”, and “Latin America” emerge and are validated in literature and other cultural production that includes film and art. In turn, these conversations will allow us to think critically about the role literature plays in the representation of race, class, gender, culture, and identity.

El curso Español 373 ofrece una visión panorámica de la literatura hispanoamericana desde sus orígenes hasta el presente.  A través de la lectura de los textos incluidos en el curso los estudiantes se familiarizarán con los géneros y los movimientos literarios más relevantes de la literatura hispanoamericana, así como con los contextos históricos y sociopolíticos en los cuales se desarrolla esta literatura.  El curso abarca tanto una visión histórica como analítica de la literatura, por lo tanto las clases, las lecturas, las actividades y los exámenes requerirán que el estudiante adquiera y use sus conocimientos en ambos campos.

Texto: R. Chang-Rodríguez y Malva E. Filer, eds. Voces de Hispanoamérica: Antología Literaria. Quinta edición. Boston: Heinle Cengage Learning.

Distribución: examen parcial (50%); examen final (50%). La participación en clase puede ayudar a subir o bajar la nota.

This course will offer a critical study of major Latin American and Latinx writers, and literary movements from the colonial period to the present. Following Edmundo O’Gorman’s seminal work about Latin America’s struggle to define itself against colonial and imperial legacies, we will begin by exploring how ideas of “América”, “Hispanic”, “Latin America” and “Latinx” emerge and are validated in literature and other cultural production that includes film and art. In turn, these conversations will allow us to think critically about the role literature plays in the representation of race, class, gender, culture and identity.

Requisites: Prerequisites, SPAN 301 or 302.
Gen Ed: LA.