Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
spanish masthead
Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Spring 2008

SPN 349 • Literature in Translation

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

Guided by Edward Said's influential work on the topic of "Orientalism," this course will attempt to survey works in the Latin American canon in which representations of the "East" or an "Oriental" figure prominently. We will discuss how and why these representations are used, and what are their political, cognitive, social, geocultural, and aesthetic meanings and implications in terms of Latin America's own ambivalent relation to the history of Western expansionism. We will study works of the Spanish American colonial period--works that document how "Western" mores and institutions established themselved on a proto-"Oriental" territory. We will also study19th century works heavily influenced by Europe's Romantic exotization of the Orient during the period of imperialist expansion, and 20th century "postcolonial" narratives and essays that rediscover the East as a "sibling" or "twin" culture to the "otherness" in Latin American "civilization." We will also discuss these texts as works belonging to a Latin American literary tradition that is a Western construct.

Grading Policy

One take home midterm: 25% Final term paper: 45 % Class participation, oral presentation and short writing assignments: 30%


Edward Said, Orientalism Christopher Columbus, excerpts from the Navigation Diaries, selection of letters Hernán Cortés, Second Letter to the King Bernal Díaz del Castillo, True Account of the Conquest of New Spain Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, Misfortunes of Alonso Ramírez Domingo F. Sarmiento, Facundo or Civlization and Barbarism Rubén Darío, selection of chronicles and poems Salvador Elizondo, Farabeuf Selection of "modernista" chronicles and poems Jorge Luis Borges, selection of stories and essays Octavio Paz, selection of poems and essays, The Grammarian Monkey, In Light of India Julio Cortázar, Rayuela Severo Sarduy, From Cuba With a Song, Maitreya Course packet with theoretical readings


bottom border