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

Spring 2010

SPN 380K • Boom and Post-Boom: Canon Politics in the Globalization of Latin American Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47900 T
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
BEN 1.118

Course Description

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 phenomenon known as the "Boom" of the Latin American novel. The class will discuss the precursors and European/New World vanguard movements that lead to the “Boom”; some of the main authors and works that participate in this “coming-of-age” moment of Latin American literary culture in the world stage; and the publishing, academic, and geopolitical institutional frameworks that gave ground to the unprecedented international, global popularity and prestige achieved by the “Boom” writers. It will also consider how the new trends and forms of fictional narrative emerging in Latin America literary cultures after the alleged “end” of the Boom either extend or challenge the esthetic principles, patriarchal presumptions, and epistethics of the Boom novelists: the neobaroque (Sarduy); the postmodern historical novel (Posse); South Cone “discrepant” cosmopolitanism (Eltit and Piglia); the “Crac” group (Bolaño, Volpi); the MacOndo generation (Fuguet, Paz Soldán); and neoCaribbean writing (Santos).

Since this course is, in part, designed to help graduate students in the Spanish and Portuguese Program prepare for the modern Latin American literature question of the MA exam, the first half of the course will cover "Boom" texts and writers assigned in the S & P MA required readings list. After Spring break, the course will shift to current critical debates about the nature of Latin American post-Boom writing, focusing on texts written from 1975 to 2004 by younger non-Boom writers. Although the seminar is conceived as an introductory course where discussion will focus on the close reading and formal and thematic appreciation of key novels, there will be references to academic works of esthetic, cultural, critical, and field theory and history that ponder the implications of the “Boom” and “post-Boom” writing in the light of the achievements and failures of revolutionary movements in Latin American during the Cold War (Franco), the rise of democratic hegemony in the so-called post-dictatorial moment (Avelar), the rise and crisis of global neoliberalism as an economic and ideological model (Levinson), the connection between boom politics and the 1960s cultural moment (Sorensen), the institutionalization of Latin Americanism as a field of Difference- or Otherness-Studies in First World academia (de la Campa, Moreiras), and post-modern sexuality and queer studies (O'Connor).

Grading Policy

One or two 15-20 min. "book review" presentations either on a critical article or book on a boom or post-boom novel or writer and/or a theory book from the complementary list (20%-30%). A critical anthology of five top articles on a boom or post-boom novel or writer with a 20 page introduction or a 20 page article as fifth article (50%-60%). Class participation and short presentations (20%).


REQUIRED BOOKS BOOM: Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones José María Arguedas, Los ríos profundos Alejo Carpentier, El reino de este mundo Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo Carlos Fuentes, La muerte de Artemio Cruz Miguel Angel Asturias, Hombres de maíz Gabriel García Márquez, Cien Años de Soledad POST-BOOM: Severo Sarduy, De donde son los cantantes Abel Posse, Los perros del paraíso 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 chapters or articles by: José Donoso, Carlos Fuentes, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Angel Rama, Roberto González Echevarría, Jean Franco, Aníbal González, Brett Levinson, Alberto Moreiras, Patrick O'Connor, Diana Sorensen, and others.


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