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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Spring 2007

SPN 380K • The Prose of the Nation. The Latin American Essay since the Independence to the Cold War.

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47965 T
6:30 PM-9:30 PM
BEN 1.118

Course Description

This course proposes a discussion about the parallel between literary and political reflections that can be found in the most outstanding essayists in Latin America. The relationship between the literature and the construction of the nation leads us to reconsider some contemporary theoretical approaches that point to the imaginary generation of this concept, such us the definitions proposed by Benedict Anderson, Homi Bahbah, Slavoj Zizek, and Doris Sommer, among others. This means that we will analyze the nation as a literary topic, which will be addressed under the following questions: what are the imaginary constituents of the myth of the nation in Latin America? How the relationship between politics, history, ethnography, and aesthetics can be articulated? And, what is the status of essay as genre in Latin America? This class will be divided in three units, focusing on the three historical periods of major production of Latin American essays: a) The formation of the nations after the independence in Nineteenth Century from Bolivar to José Martë; b) The modern prose including the generation of the Centenario, the Ateneo de la Juventud and the projects of social-oriented states; c) and the generation of the Cold War.

Grading Policy

Oral presentation 10% Class participation 10% Three partial exams 30 % Term paper 50%


Andrés Bello. "Alocusion a la poesia" Simon Bolivar. Carta a un caballero de Jamaica Sérgio Buarque de Holanda. Raèzes do Brasil Manuel Galvez. El solar de la raza Luis González. "El paès de cuatro pisos" José Marti. "Nuestra América" Rubén Dario "Catille Mendes. Parnasianos y decadentes" José Enrique Rodo Ariel Roberto Fernández Retama. Calibán Carlos Mairátegui. Siete ensayos de interpretacion de la realidad peruana Fernando Ortiz. Contrapunto cubano del tabaco y el azucar Paz, Octavio. El laberinto de la soledad; La estacion violenta Ángel Rama. La ciudad letrada Alfonso Reyes. La experiencia literaria, México en una nuez José Vasconcelos. La raza cosmica


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