SPN 325k • Introduction to Spanish American Literature Before Modernism
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
This course is a comprehensive introduction to the literature of Spanish America from its beginnings to the end of the Nineteenth Century. It features diverse types of literary and pseudo-literary texts by the most important authors and figures of the "colonial" and "independence" period. Among other topics, lectures will emphasize the importance these texts still have in the formation of contemporary Latin American literature and culture by discussing how these canonical works have been reinterpreted and readapted by modern authors. Discussion of the texts will focus on some of the following issues: the nature of literary production in contexts of ethnic and cultural conflict; the transformation and differentiation of Spanish American literary discourse through the incorporation of expressions, metaphors, and other linguistic elements from native languages; the growing tension and aesthetic distance between Peninsular writing and Spanish American creole literature; the relationship between writing, power, and social status in colonial texts; and the role of poetry and fiction in the the construction of a new national identity during the period of independence. More specifically, the course will comment on the principal genres of the colonial and independence period--the crñnica, the relaciñn, the historia, the ethnographical informe, baroque and epic poetry, and the sermon in the former; the novel, the pastoral, the essay, the short story, autobiography, and romantic, gauchesca and modernista poetry in the latter.
Attendance and participation: 20% 5 3-page essays based on discussion questions (due Mondays): 45% Final exam (probably take home format): 35%