Program in Comparative Literature

César A. Salgado

Associate ProfessorPh.D., Yale University

Associate Professor of Latin American and Comparative Literature
César A. Salgado


  • Phone: 512.232.4517
  • Office: BEN 3.140
  • Office Hours: TTH 11:30-12:30, 3:30-4
  • Campus Mail Code: B3700


César A. Salgado is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Graduate Adviser in the Program in Comparative Literature at The University of Texas at Austin. He teaches graduate seminars on colonial and postcolonial New World baroque literatures, the "Orígenes" group and journal in Cuban literary history, James Joyce and Luso-Hispanic modernism, the politics of archival fashioning in Caribbean studies, and contemporary literary theory. His articles on Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Latin American and comparative literary topics have appeared in Revista Iberoamericana, Cuadernos americanos, Inti, Apuntes posmodernos, Revista Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana, Actual, Critica, Journal of American Folkore, La Torre, and The New Centennial Review. Dr. Salgado is author of From Modernism to Neobaroque: Joyce and Lezama Lima (Bucknell University Press 2001) and coeditor with Alan West-Durán and María Herrera-Sobek of Latino and Latino Writers, a reference encyclopedia (Gale/Scribners 2004). He is currently at work on a manuscript currently titled "Caribbean Counterfeits: Essays in Critical Archivology."


C L 323 • Cuba In Question-Cub

33115 • Spring 2015
(also listed as AFR 372G, HIS 363K, LAS 328, SPC 320C)

Concurrent enrollment required in L A 119. Restricted to students in the Maymester Abroad Program; contact Study Abroad Office for permission to register for this class. Class meets May 30-June 27. Taught in Havana, Cuba. Students must consult with Study Abroad Program Coordinator as tra vel and orientation dates may be in addition to these dates.

C L 382 • Transcolonial Joyce

33164 • Spring 2015
Meets M 400pm-700pm BEN 1.106
(also listed as ILA 387)

Course Description:  This seminar will attempt to examine the historical and intertextual relationship between the aesthetics of European high and post- modernism and contemporary postcolonial fiction through the analysis of postcolonial novels arguably written in a “Joycean” mode, with a focus on Iberian, Latin American, Latino and Indian contexts.  Revising critical concepts such as influence, imitation, and appropriation, the seminar will seek to portray Joycean high modernism as a postcolonial “World” aesthetic rather than as a Euro-centered movement.

Through an archival reading of the dissemination, translation and/or reception of Joyce’s writing in Hispanic, Latin American, Caribbean, Latino and Indian fiction, we will study the theoretical, ideological, cultural and post-colonial implications in the postcolonial novel’s systematic “refraction” of narrative principles and themes taken from Joyce’s fiction—i.e., aesthetic epiphany; the “technic of the labyrinth”; interior monologue; the “mythic method”; the use of wordplay, slang, and neologism as part of the narrative voice.  Among the issues to be considered are:

  • the novelistic representation of Dublin and of Iberian/Latin American, U.S. Latino and South Asian cities
  • the use of Joycean neologistic techniques in postcolonial fictional discourse
  • language and translation politics in colonial and post-colonial contexts
  • the role of translation in the dissemination of Joycean aesthetics and techniques in the Third World
  • 1950s-1960s debates on culture and decolonization in Third World independence and/or revolutionary contexts (Indian, Cuba)
  • Catholicism and patriarchy as diagetical matrixes
  • the references to myth and cosmogony in high modernism and “magical realism”
  • Ulysses’ relevance as a model for the Latin American “total” novel of the Boom period
  • uses of oral, popular, ethnic, and consumer cultures in high modernist writing
  • theorizing the novel as “method” instead of as a narrative genre
  • Finnegans Wake as a “precursor” of the prevalence of Spanglish in Nuyorican poetry and Cuban American fiction
  • central and peripheral high modernist confrontations with censorship

The course will draw on post-colonial theory to think about the esthetico-political nature of the appeal that Joycean themes and forms have in several “periphery” scenarios, especially in Spain, Latin America, the United States, and India.  English translations of most works will be available, but students are expected to work with these texts with full reading knowledge of English and either Spanish or Portuguese.


One 20-25 page term paper (60%).  Class participation, including three oral presentations (40%):  one on a chapter of Ulysses, another on a postcolonial Joycean author, another on a work of Joyce scholarship to be selected with consultation with the professor.  Due to the complexity of the texts to be read, full knowledge of English and Spanish is required for this course, which will be conducted in English.  Nevertheless, students from the English and the Comparative Literature Departments are encouraged to consult translations when these are available.   The history of the translation of Joyce’s work in Spanish and Portuguese will be an important issue in this course; a competent level of bilingualism is thus essential for satisfactory performance in this class.

Required readings:

At the Coop:

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin)

__________, Ulysses, the Corrected Edition (Vintage)

Leopoldo Marechal, Adán Buenoayeres (Cátedra)

Julio Cortázar, Rayuela (Cátedra)

Luis Martín Santos, Tiempo de silencio (Cátedra)

Miguel Angel Asturias, Hombres de maíz (Archivos)

José Lezama Lima, Paradiso(Archivos)

Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Tres tristes tigres (Cátedra)

Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Grande Sertao:  Veredas

Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses (Vintage)

Roberto Fernández Retamar, Raining Backwards (Arte Público Press)

At Jenn's:

*Readings packet #1 (AP) with archival pieces about the dissemination of Joyce’s work in Spain and the Third World (available at Jenn’s Copies)

*Reading packet #2 (TJ) with selections from translations of Joyce’s work into Spanish and Portuguese by Jorge Luis Borges, Amado Alonso, J. Salas Subirat, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Augusto and Haroldo de Campos, José María Valverde, Francisco García Tortosa, María Conde, and others (available at Jenn’s Copies, Sept. 1st)

PDF copies of critical and theoretical articles by Francine Masiello, Sergio Waisman, Ana León-Tavora, Norman Cheadle, Vincent Cheng, Enda Duffy, Trevor L. William, Karen Lawrence, Joseph Valente, Maria Tymoczko and others will be sent by email in due time.

C L 381 • Boom And Post Boom

34050 • Fall 2013
Meets M 100pm-400pm MEZ 1.104
(also listed as ILA 387, LAS 392S)


This course is intended as an overview of the main trends in modern and postmodern writing in Latin America related to the creative, critical, and editorial phenomena known as the “Boom” and the “Post-Boom” in post-WW II Latin American narrative.  The class will discuss the European/New World avant-garde precursors and writings that feed into “Boom” poetics; some of the main authors and works that participate in this wrongly-called “coming-of-age” moment of Latin American literary culture on the world stage; and the publishing, commercial, academic, and geopolitical institutional and cultural frameworks that gave ground to the international popularity and canonical prestige achieved by both “Boom” and “Post-Boom” writers. Special attention will be paid the Cuban Revolution, Spanish editorial practices under Franco and after, publishing industry developments in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Havana and the rise of Latin American studies in U.S. and European universities as key contextual catalysts in the emergence of Boom and Post-Boom canon politics and debates.  We will also consider how the trends in narrative fiction emerging after the alleged “end” of the Boom either extend or challenge the esthetic principles, patriarchal presumptions, and ethics of the Boom novel.  Among these trends we will consider the testimonial novel (Barnet); neobaroque writing (Sarduy); feminist, Afro- and Asian-Latino, and queer revisions of Boom masculinity, nationalism, and heteronormativity (Garro, Sarduy, Santos);  South Cone writing under post-1973 dictatorship (Eltit and Piglia); the “Boom”-like cosmopolitanism and media tactics of the “Crack” generation (Bolaño, Volpi); the “wired,” globalized outlook of the MacOndo writers (Fuguet).

The first half of the course will cover major “Boom” texts, writers and critical debates.  After Spring Break, the course will shift to current debates about more recent trends in post-Boom Latin American writing by younger authors.  The seminar is conceived as a panoramic course, and discussion will focus on the close reading and formal and thematic appreciation of “canonical” novels.   However, we will also consider in detail academic works in esthetic, cultural, critical, and field theory that address:  1. the implications of “Boom” and “post-Boom” writing in the light of the achievements and failures of revolutionary, neoliberal, and “pink wave” movements in Latin American during the Cold War and after (Jean Franco, John Beverly); 2.  the role of literary prizes, translation and publishing conglomerates in the international promotion and commercial success of Boom and post-Boom writers (Angel Rama, Deborah Cohn); 3.  the rise and fall of neoliberalism as an economic and ideological model (Brett Levinson);  4. the connection between Boom politics, the Cuban Revolution and the 1960s cultural moment (Dianne Sorensen); 5.  the role of Boom and post-Boom texts in the institutionalization of Latin Americanism as a field of Otherness/cultural studies in First World academia (Alberto  Moreiras, de la Campa), and 6. post-modern sexuality, gender, and queer studies (O’Connor, Ruvalcaba).



Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones

Alejo Carpentier, El reino de este mundo

José María Arguedas, Los ríos profundos

Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo

Carlos Fuentes, La muerte de Artemio Cruz

Elena Garro, Recuerdos del porvenir

Julio Cortázar, El libro de Manuel


Severo Sarduy, De donde son los cantantes

Miguel Barnet, Canción de Rachel

Diamela Eltit, El cuarto mundo

Ricardo Piglia, Respiración artificial

Roberto Bolaño, Los detectives salvajes

Jorge Volpi, El fin de la locura

Mayra Santos, Sirena Serena vestida de pena

Readings packet with short stories, chapters or articles by:  José Donoso, Carlos Fuentes, Alberto Fuguet, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Angel Rama, Gerald Martín, Gerald Martín, Roberto González Echevarría, Jean Franco, Aníbal González, Brett Levinson, Alberto Moreiras, Deborah Cohn, Diana Sorensen, John Beverly, Román de la Campa, Patrick O’Connor, Héctor Ruvalcaba, and Fabienne Bradu.  Students will also read excerpts from theoretical works about narrative genres, the literary field, symbolic economy, minority literature and literary canon formation by such as Mikhail Bakhtin, Pierre Bourdieu, Jean Baudrillard, Gills Deleuze and John Guillory.


One 20-min. oral presentation and written book review on a major book length study on Boom or post-Boom poetics or writing in Latin America from a suggested list to be provided by the instructor (20%).  A critical bibliography of ten major articles on a Boom or Post-Boom writer or issue with a 20-25 page introduction on the developing horizons of criticism on the writer or issue in question or a 20-25 page article written as the eleventh and last article of a critical anthology gathering the ten articles (50%-60%).  Class participation and short presentations (20%). 

C L 382 • Lit/Archiv Fash In Caribbean

33925 • Spring 2013
Meets W 200pm-500pm CLA 0.124
(also listed as LAS 381)


Literature and Archival Fashioning in the Caribbean

Spring 2013

CL 382           

What is the relationship between the Caribbean as a field of study and the creation of archives?  How do archives contribute to canonize or monumentalize a Caribbean writer or a historical figure?  What forms of archiving--preservation of government records, manuscripts, letters, and unpublished materials; the search for and publication of "secondary" forms of writing--emerge in relationship to the study and the definition of the Caribbean as a region?

How has the relationship between culture and archiving developed in colonial and postcolonial regions such as the Caribbean?  How are race, slavery and post-slave society, class, and gender implicated in these issues?  Is the Caribbean "archive" national, transnational, or diasporic?  How have archival politics determined the relationship between literature and historiography in the Caribbean?

This seminar will address such questions from contemporary archival theory while reviewing genre forms in Caribbean literature that occupy a hybrid space between fiction and documentation, literature and history, fantasy and fact:  legends, memoirs, crónicas, historical novels, and testimonial narratives.  We will look into several "case studies" of archival fashioning--the "archivo colombino," "archivo del 1898," “archiving” slavery, documenting the Cuban Revolution, among others-- to investigate epistemological, esthetic, and hermeneutic issues in the definition of what is Caribbean history and literature from the sixteenth century to the present.

The course will be organized around the figures and work of “archivist-writers”.  These are either literary writers, historians, or intellectual figures that have been involved in, have inspired or questioned the production, consolidation, or theorization of important Caribbean or Caribbean-related libraries, archives, or collections.  In the case of some writers, these archives in question may be the background for the production of works of historical fiction that we will discuss in class

REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:Oral presentations (20%), short take-home exercise relating fictions and documents (20%), participation (10%), 15-20 page term paper (50%)

The take-home exercise will consist ofone 4-5 page essay questions related to the theories, texts, and methods discussed in class.


Domingo del Monte, selection of readings

Juan Francisco Manzano, Autobiografía de un esclavo and other documents

Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, Mis memorias, Biblioteca Histórica de Puerto Rico (selections)

Lola Rodríguez de Tió, selection of poetry and readings

Jose Martí, Crónicas y cartas de Nueva York; readings on the celebration of the Centennial of Martí’s Birth in Cuba, 1952

Arturo Schomburg, selection of writings.

Cayetano Coll y Toste, Leyendas puertorriqueñas, Boletín Histórico (selections)

C. L. R. James, Beyond a Boundary, selections from Black Jacobins

Alejo Carpentier, El reino de este mundo, El arpa y la sombra

José Luis González, El país de cuatro pisos, La luna no era de queso (memorias)

Eduoard Glissant, Le discours antillais

Antonio Benitez Rojo, Mujer en traje de batalla, La isla que se repite

Joaquín Balaquer, La isla al revés/ Juan Bosch, El Caribe, frontera imperial/

Mario Vargas Llosa, La fiesta del chivo (selection)

Jean Price Mars, Ainsi parla l’oncle, La République d’Haïti et la République Dominicaine

Rosario Ferré, Memorias de Ponce, Vecindarios eccéntricos

Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá, Caribeños, El camino de Yyaloide, “1797: Pandemonium”  (inédito)

Ana Lydia Vega, Falsas crónicas del sur/Olga Nolla, El castillo de la memoria/ Mayra Montero,  El capitán de los dormidos

Ana Menéndez, Loving Che

Readings packet on Caribbean Theory, Archivology, and Historiography

C L 386 • Origenes In Context

33810 • Spring 2012
Meets M 100pm-400pm BEN 1.118
(also listed as SPN 381M)

In the late 1940s Octavio Paz once called the Cuban literary journal Orígenes“the best publication of its kind in the language."  In 1994 Casa de la Americas and the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists organized an ambitious conference to commemorate Orígenes as a precusor of the nationalist martiano spirit of the 1959 Revolution.  Published from 1944 to 1956 by poet-writer José Lezama Lima and translator-essayist José Rodríguez Feo, Orígenes was in fact a cosmopolitan modernist journal that featured works by poets of international reknown such as T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and Saint-John Perse as well as by the young local authors of the “grupo Orígenes.” Each of the Cuban poets and writers that published in this journal would eventually become a canonical or cult writer, in or out of Cuba.  Cintio Vitier, winner of the 2002 Juan Rulfo prize, was a leading poet and essayist  identified with the Cuban Revolution and Liberation Theology.  His wife Fina García Marruz is one of the most famous women poet-writers in the island.  Gastón Baquero, a mulatto Batista supporter who lived in exile in Madrid after the Revolution, was regarded before his death as one the best poets living in Spain by many readers.  Eliseo Diego, another winner of the Juan Rulfo, is among the most quoted poets in the language.  Lorenzo García Vega has become a “cult” writrtd  read mostly by small intellectual and academic communities in Habana, Caracas, and Buenos Aires. Virgilio Piñera has been recognized as Cuba's leading playwright; his raw, absurdist stories won him the reputation of being the "Caribbean Kafka."  With Octavio Paz and Jorge Luis Borges, José Lezama Lima remains one of the defining figures of Latin American literature and culture of the twentieth century.

The legacy of these writers in Cuba and Latin America today has been the subject of great intellectual and aesthetic debate given the eccentric, contrasting, and contradictory ways in which origenistas situated themselves vis-à-vis Cuban and global politics and the Cuban revolutionary experience.  This course will evaluate the remarkable Orígenes phenomenon both as a reclusive modernist journal published during a time of great political and social repression in Cuba and as a group of poet-writers facing the polarizing challenges of the most transforming political event in Latin America after the Mexican Revolution.  It will consider the many scholarly and literary polemics that have come up in Cuba and abroad regarding the works of Lezama Lima, Piñera, Vitier, García Marruz, Baquero, and García Vega, and the impact the journal and these polemics have had on  the vision,  practice, and/or scholarly interpretation of  journal publishing as a source of lettered power (poder letrado) among editor/intellectuals such as Guillermo Cabrera Infante and Heberto Padilla (Lunes de Revolución), Roberto Fernández Retamar (Casa de las Américas), Reinaldo Arenas (Revista Mariel),  and Jesús Díaz (Revista Encuentro).

In this course I propose to use the Orígenes case as a model to examine and understand the cultural dynamics behind the esthetico-political agendas, discursive consolidation, polemical power, and historical and archival endurance of key literary journals in the Caribbean in the 20th and 21th centuries.  Going both back and forward in Caribbean print culture, in this course I will consider similar polemics concerning the cosmopolitan vs. localistic esthetico-political agendas of colonial and “neo-colonial” journals that could be considered either Orígenes’  precursors (Revista de avance, Indice) or post-1950s successors (Ciclón, Lunes de Revolución, Revista Encuentro).

I plan to use the holdings of these journals at the Benson Collection to full advantage.  In doing so, I will also address current issues in Caribbean archival politics and fashioning such as journal valoration, acquisition, and preservation as academic capital.



Term paper with draft (50%); short written assignments and commentaries (25%); seminar participation and short presentation assignments (25%)


Tentative Readings:


Revista Avance [Selections]

Small journals before Orígenes:  Verbum, Espuela de Plata, Nadie Parecía, Poeta, Clavileño [Selections]

Orígenes, revista de literatura y arte (1944-1956).  [Selections]

Revista Ciclón [Selections]

Lunes de Revolución [Selections]


Testimonial novels/Essays/Correspondence

Jose Lezama Lima, Paradiso, La expresión americana [selections]

Virgilio Piñera, Poesía y crítica, La carne de René Lorenzo García Vega, Espirales del cuje, Los años de Orígenes [selections]

Cintio Vitier, De Peña Pobre, Lo cubano en la poesía

Fina Garcia Marruz, La familia de Orígenes

Jesús Díaz, Las palabras perdidas

Antonio José Ponte, El libro perdido de los origenistas

José Rodríguez Feo and Wallace Stevens, Secretaries of the Moon

José Lezama Lima and José Rodríguez Feo, Correspondencia


Packet #1:  Anthology of critical articles on Orígenes and the“origenistas”

Packet #2:  Anthology of pieces published in Orígenes and other contemporary Cuban journals by “origenistas” and other Cuban intellectuals


C L 390 • Literary & Cul Theory Snc 1900

33670 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 200pm-330pm PAR 302

Description:  Using as a guide our program’s recommended reading list on 20th and 21st century literary theory, this year’s CL390 will survey some major “schools” of critical thought about literature—Russian Formalism, American New Criticism, Structuralism and Semiotics, Reception Theory, Speech Act Theory, Deconstruction, Frankfurt School Critical Theory, New Historicism, Post-Freudian Analysis, Feminism, Postcolonial Theory, Ethnic and Race Theory, Gender and Queer Theory, and Cultural Studies.  We will read selected articles and/or chapters by representative authors of each “school.”  Each week we will try to engage the ideas of four or five theorists considered as canonical to each respective movement or school.  Each student will be required to make three short informal presentations of specific articles in our syllabus to help lead class discussion. Towards the end of the course each student is required to make a more formal 15-20 minute report on a full work by a theorist on the list related to his or her term paper’s topic.  These works can be chosen from a suggested list or the choice can be discussed with the professor. 

The guiding objective of this survey seminar is the genealogical understanding of the situation of literary theory today.  If we have time, we will try to address some of the new areas of theory in the last turn-of-the-century still unaccounted for in our recommended theory list: ethical theory, the “law and literature” movement, globalization studies, and cosmopolitan theory.


Required Textbooks (Available at the University Co-op):

Vincent B. Leitch, General Editor, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism  (New York, 2001).  Required for CL 385.

Hazard Adams & Leroy Searle, eds., Critical Theory since 1965 (CTS-65 on syllabus). 

C L 180K • Intro To Comparative Lit

32950 • Fall 2010
Meets F 100pm-200pm MEZ 1.104

Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Restricted enrollment; contact the department for permission to register for this course. Required of first-semester graduates in Comparative Literature. Comparative Literature 180, the "proseminar," meets weekly for one hour and offers an introduction to Comparative Literature and to the Comparative Literature faculty at UT. Each week a member of the faculty presents an aspect of his or her research and teaching that intersects with the discipline of Comparative Literature. Past topics have included the writing of literary history, new historicism, Comparative Literature and intellectual history, the literary salon, Comparative Literature and the social sciences, Comparative Literature and opera, and gender and Comparative Literature. This course is a requirement for all first-year Comparative Literature graduate students.

Grading Policy

Offered on the credit/no credit basis only.

C L 381 • Transcolonial Joyce

32960 • Fall 2010
Meets M 1100am-200pm BEN 1.118

This seminar will attempt to examine the historical and intertextual relationship between the aesthetics of European high and post-modernism and contemporary postcolonial fiction through the analysis of postcolonial novels arguably written in a "Joycean" mode.  Revising critical concepts such as influence, imitation, and appropriation, the seminar will seek to portray Joycean high modernism as a postcolonial “world” aesthetic rather than as a Euro-centered movement.  Through an "archival" reading of the dissemination, translation and/or reception of Joyce' writing in Hispanic, Latin American, Caribbean, Latino, Indian and African Diaspora fiction, it will study the theoretical, ideological, cultural and post-colonial implications in postcolonial novel's systematic "refraction" of narrative principles and themes taken from Joyce's fiction--i.e., aesthetic epiphany; the "technic of the labyrinth"; interior monologue; the "mythic method"; the use of wordplay, slang, and neologism as part of the narrative voice.  Issues such as the novelistic representation of Dublin as a “Third World” city, the "compulsive" use of Joycean experimental techniques in postcolonial fiction, colonial and language politics, the contrasts and similarities between the Joycean and other postcolonial manipulation of classical and popular myth, the discussion of Joyce's relevance for the "total" novel of the Latin American Boom period, and the idea of a "novelistic method" over that of "novelistic form" or "style" will also be considered.  The course will draw on post-colonial theory to think about the esthetico-political nature of the appeal Joycean themes and forms have in several “periphery” scenarios, especially in Latin and North America.  I will also reflect on the transcultural appeal Joyce has in other post-colonial contexts and regions.

Tentative Readings:

At the Coop:

James Joyce, Dubliners

A Portrait of the Artist as as Young Man

__________, Ulysses

Anthony Burgess, ed.  A Shorter Finnegans Wake

Leopoldo Marechal, Adan Buenoayres

Miguel Angel Asturias, Hombres de maiz

Jose Lezama Lima, Paradiso

Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Grande Sertao:  Veredas

Luis Martín Santos, Tiempo de silencio

Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Tres tristes tigres

Clarice Lispector, Perto do coraçâo selvagem

Derek Walcott, Omeros

Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

Patrick Chamoiseux, Texaco

Roberto Fernández, Raining Backwards

Ana Lydia Vega, Encáncaranublado

Urayoán Noel, Borinken  (Readings packet of postcolonial theory and transcultural Joyce criticism.  Grading will be based on oral presentations, participation and discussion (40%) and a final research paper (60%).

Curriculum Vitae

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