Latin American Literature Syllabus

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Latin Amerideserve to Humanities is a two-semester course sequence that gives a rigorous arrival to Latin Amerideserve to literary works and also society. It is component of College’s core curriculum and also fulfills its significant societies need. Representative works of Latin Amerihave the right to literary works, background, anthropology and art are check out and questioned in course. The course explores the excellent themes and preoccupations that have actually assisted shape Latin America from the 15th century to this particular day.

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Latin Amerihave the right to Humanities I, taught in the fall, starts in the late fifteenth century, when Portuguese and Spanish sailors were cruising both West and South in an initiative to find trade courses to India, and also ends through the late nineteenth-century literary motion of modernismo. A few of the topics disputed in class are conquest and also colonialism, creating as a tool of empire and resistance, authorship and authority, mestizo discourses, the early american baroque, slaextremely, the discourses of nationwide foundation, and the concept of a peripheral modernity in Latin America.


Fading liberty in Querétaro, Mexico. Picture by Francisco Mari.

Latin Amerihave the right to Humanities II, readily available in the spring, runs from the 1880s to now and covers modern Latin Amerihave the right to cultures and literatures after the foundational duration of nation formation. The overarching concern will be to view just how notions of Latin Amerideserve to culture were negotiated at particular historical milestones by different agents such as authors, artists, and also political leaders. Among the themes and topics examined will be positivism and cosmopolitanism, the close and contentious partnership in between art and political engagement during the Mexideserve to and the Cuban Radvancement, the Boom of Latin Amerihave the right to literature in the 1960s, and also the military dictatorships of the 1970s. We finish by considering challenges to sex and migration in the late twentieth century.

LAH I and also LAH II can be taken sequentially or by themselves. For an extensive overwatch of the material we recommend the complete two-semester sequence.


Latin Amerihave the right to Humanities I


Diego Rivera, The good city of Tenochtitlán. National Palace, Mexico. 1925-35.

I. Indigenous America and Iberia (Sessions 1-3)Jews, Muslims and Christians in Spain at the moment of the Catholic Kings. The Portuguese trading empire. Civilizations of Mesoamerica. Writing units. The city of Tenochtitlán. First encounters in between Europeans and also Americans. Readings: Popol Vuh. Mayan Publication of the Dawn of Life and also the Glories of Gods and Kings. (sel.) Christopher Columbus, “Letter to Santangel”; “Third Voyage”. Letter of Pedro Vaz de Caminha to King Manuel of Portugal.

II. Perspectives on the Consearch of Mexico (Sessions 4-7).The national politics of conquest: Conquerors" accounts and negotiations.Early debates on the nature of the Indian. Translation and the semiotics of occupation.Readings:Hernán Cortés, “Second Letter.”Las Casas, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, Democrates Alter (sel.).Bernal Díaz del Castillo, The Conpursuit of New Spain.Tzvetan Todorov, The Conquest of America (sel.)

III. Anti-heroic Conpursuits (Sessions 8-9)Indigenous responses to the conquest. A shipwreck"s account: Cabeza de Vaca in FloridaReadings: Bernardino de Sahagún, The War of Conquest.Cabeza de Vaca, Castaways.

IV. Perspectives on the Inca Empire and also the Consearch of Peru (Sessions 10-11)Overview to Andean cultures and also the Inca Empire. The first mestizo accounts.Readings: Williamson, History of Latin America (sel.)Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries (sel.)Artwork: Drawings from Felipe Guaguy Poma de Ayala, Letter to a King.

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Aleijadinho, The 12 Prophets. Bom Jesus de Matosinhos, Brazil. Photo: Hans Mann

V. Mestizos and also Creoles (XVI-XIX) (Sessions 12-17):Colonial administration. The viceroyalties of the 17th and 18th centuries. New World Baroque. Midterm. Womales and also education in early american America. Colonial conceptions of raceReadings:J.H. Elliot, “Spain and America in the 1sixth and also 17th centuries.” Sor Juana, poems and “Reply”. Catalina de Erauso, Lieutenant Nun.Antonio Vieira, “Sermon.”Film: I, the Worst of All.Artwork: New World Baroque. Casta-paintings.

VI. Independence (Sessions 18-20)Simón Bolívar"s vision for independent America. Civilization and barbarism in Argentina and also Chile, ca. 1830. Brazil: from swarm to empire.Readings:Pedro I, “Declaration of Independence.”Simón Bolívar, “Jamaica letter,” “Angostura Discourse.”Sarmiento, Facunperform (sel.)Film: The Buried Mirror IV.

VII. The Slave Trade (Sessions 21-24)Slaincredibly and the worldwide abolitionist motion. Romantic depictions of Indians and slaves.Readings:Manzano, Autobiography of a Runameans Slave. Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Sab.Film: Quilombo.

VIII. The shaping of “Latin” America. (Sessions 25-26)The idea of America. The poetics and politics of Modernismo. Conclusion.Readings: José Martí, "Our America" and other essays.Rubén Darío, poems.

Latin Amerihave the right to Humanities II

I. Moving Toward the Twentieth Century: Modernismo/Modernity (Sessions 1-4)Latin Amerihave the right to modernity. Positivism in Brazil, Rodó’s Ariel: in between theories of imperialism and language politicsReadings:Machado de Assis: “The Psychiatrist.” Euclides da Cunha: Revolt in the Backlands (sel.).Jose Enrique Rodó: Ariel. Roberto Fernández Retamar: “Calibán.”

II. The Mexihave the right to Radvancement and its Aftermath (Sessions 5-8)The cientificos and also Mexico under Porfirio Díaz. Land conflicts. The Revolution, education and learning and the arts. The Mexihave the right to MuralistsReadings:Mariano Azuela, The Underdogs.Octavio Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude.José Vasconcelos, The Cosmic Race (sel.)Film: Viva ZapataArtwork: Murals by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros

III. Avant-garde Movements: Between Aesthetic Innovation and also Political Engagement (Sessions 9-11)The Cannibalist Manifesto. Modernist women and early on feminism. Afro-Caribbean poetry. Latin American poets in the Spanish Civil WarReadings:Vicente Huidobro, poetry (sel.)Osvald de Andrade"s “Anthropophagist manifesto.”Nicolas Guillén, poetry (sel.).Schosen poetry by Gabriela Mistral, Alfonsina Storni, Delmira Agustini.Teresa de la Parra, “The Influence of Womales on the Formation of the Amerideserve to Soul.”Cesar Vallejo"s and also Pablo Neruda"s battle poeattempt (sel.) Artwork: Representations of womales in avant-garde art: Mestizas, mulatas, negras.

IV. The Magical Realist Setting (Sessions 12-16)Surrealism and also the Haitian revolution. Carpentier, Borges, García Márquez: theories and also national politics of magical realism. The global translation and proactivity of the Latin Amerideserve to novelReadings:Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of this World.Jorge Luis Borges: Ficciones. Selected essays. Gabriel García Márquez, 100 Years of Solitude.José Donoso, Personal History of the Boom (sel.)

V. The Cuban Rdevelopment (Sessions 17-19)Beginnings of the rdevelopment. Cultural politics and censorship. Testimonial composing. Cuban cinemaReadings:Fidel Castro, “Words to the Intellectuals.” Schosen poeattempt by Heberto Padilla, Nicolas Guillén, Ernesto Che Guevara. Miguel Barnet, Biography of a Runaway Slave.Films: P.M.; Memorias del subdesarrollo

VI. Negotiating Gender in Latin America (Sessions 20-23)Post-Boom. Dictatorships of the 1970s. Queer identities. Late 20th century feminismReadings:Manuel Puig, The Kiss of the Spider Woman.Achy Obejas, “We came all the Way from Cuba so You Could Dress Like This?”. Luisa Valenzuela, “Tango”. Rosario Ferré, “The Poisoned Story.”Nélida Piñón, “Meat Pie”.


VII. Migration Cultures (Sessions 24-27) Latino, hispano, and also chicano motions. The U.S. Census Bureau. Language Politics in the U.S. Readings: Ana Lydia Vega, “Cloud Cover Caribbean”. Richard Rodriguez, “Hunger of Memory” (sel.). Tato Laviera, AmeRihave the right to (sel.). Film: The Blue Diner


Tbelow will be one mid-term and one final examicountry. Over the course of the semester there are typically 2-3 composing assignments that make a total of 10-12 pages. Please ask your instructor for more indevelopment. Due to the fact that this is not a lecture class, it is necessary that students come prepared to discuss the assigned materials.

Internet Resources

Here is a list of links to websites and also databases that are easily accessible over the netoccupational. We hope that they are useful to students and also instructors of Latin American literature and society achoose, whether they are preparing a class, a presentation or a seminar paper.

Pamela Graham, research librarian in Latin American Studies at, has actually organized products on Latin America at the university. Her library page provides a portal right into University’s extensive collections and also sources.