SPN 375 • National Literature of Spanish America
1:00 PM-2:30 PM
This course will explore the cultural consequences of the Hispanic American War of 1898 in the Hispanic Caribbean, an event which marked the end of Spanish influence in the zone and the beginning of U.S. political and economic hegemony. It will concentrate on the cases of Cuba and Puerto Rico, countries that at the conclusion of the 19th century were involved in projects of nation-formation, either negotiating with or rebelling against Spain for more sovereignty or absolute independence. These projects were thwarted by the intervention of the United States and the ensuing incorporation of Cuba and Puerto Rico into a new, complex system of neocolonial domination and dependence. In this course we will read works of Cuban and Puerto Rican literature that narrate, analyze, or consider this "change of masters," and its serious geopolitical, cultural, and linguistic implications. (The literature of other Hispanic countries directly affected by the U.S. presence in the Caribbean zone --Nicaragua, Haiti, The Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Mexico--will be referred to as well but not in detail.) We will read "nationalists" works that advocate a resistance to this new system, as well as works that argue for a "strategic" accommodation. Discussion will address issues of power and language in a bi-cultural, bilingual context; visions of North America and North Americans from a "caribbeanist" perspective; the debate about the two "Americas"; the "militarization" of the Caribbean under the new U.S. hegemony as it is represented in literature; the connection between nationalism and the defense of "hispanidad" in the thirties and on; the "narrative of violence" in neo-colonial confrontations. Poetry, narrative, and essays will be considered, as well as some works of scholarship that will provide an essential historical background.
One final: 35 % Class participation: 15% 5 essay assignments: 50%
TEXTBOOK AND/OR CLASS MATERIALS: Jose Martí, Política de Nuestra América, Norteamericanos, Cartas de Nueva York Eugenio María de Hostos, Diario (selections) Ramón Emeterio Betances, Cartas Manuel Zeno Gandía, Redentores Jorge Mañach, Martí el apóstol, Indagación del choteo Pedro Albizu Campos, Discursos (selection) Antonio Pedreria, Insularismo Poetry by Julia de Burgos, Juan Antonio Corretjer, Francisco Matos Paoli, Luis Palés Matos; Fina García Marruz, Eliseo Diego, Cintio Vitier, José Lezama Lima Cintio Vitier, Lo cubano en la poesía José Luis González, El país de cuatro pisos, La llegada Rosario Ferré, Maldito amor