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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Spring 2006


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39900 F
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
BEN 1.118

Course Description

What is the relationship between the Caribbean as an field of study and the creation of archives? How do archives contribute to canonize or monumentalize a Caribbean writer or a historical figure? What forms of archiving--preservation of government records, manuscripts, letters, and unpublished materials; the search for and publication of "secondary" forms of writing--emerge in relationship to the study and the definition of the Caribbean as a region? How has the relationship between culture and archiving developed in colonial and postcolonial regions such as the Caribbean? How are race, slavery and post-slave society, class, and gender implicated in these issues? Is the Caribbean "archive" national, transnational, or diasporic? How have archival politics determined the relationship between literature and historiography in the Caribbean? This seminar will address such questions from contemporary archival theory while reviewing genre forms in Caribbean literature that occupy a hybrid space between fiction and documentation, literature and history, fantasy and fact: legends, memoirs, crñnicas, historical novels, and testimonial narratives. We will look into several "cases" of archival fashioning--the "archivo colombino," "archivo del 1898," among others-- to investigate epistemological, esthetic, and hermeneutic issues in the definition of what is Caribbean history and literature from the sixteenth century to the present. The course will be organize around the figures ad work of "archivist-writers". These are either literary writers, historians, or intellectual figures that have been involved in, have inspired or questioned the production, consolidation, or theorization of important Caribbean or Caribbean-related libraries, archives, or collections. In the case of some writers, these archives in question may be background for the production of historical fiction that we will discuss in class

Grading Policy

Oral presentations (20%), short take-home exercise relating fictions and documents (20%), participation (10%), 15-20 page term paper (50%) The take-home exercise will consist of two 4-5 page essay questions related to the theories, texts, and methods discussed in class.


Domingo Delmonte, readings to be announced/Manzano, Autobiografða de un esclavo Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, Mis memorias, Biblioteca Histïrica de Puerto Rico (selections) Lola Rodrðguez de Tiï, selection of poetry and readings/Jose Martð, chronicles Arturo Schomburg, selection of readings Cayetano Coll y Toste, Leyendas puertorrique ìas, Boletðn Histïrico (selections) C. L. R. James, Beyond a Boundary, selections from Black Jacobins Alejo Carpentier, El reino de este mundo, El arpa y la sombra José Luis González, El paðs de cuatro pisos, La luna no era de queso Eduoard Glissant, Caribbean Discourse Antonio Benitez Rojo, Mujer en traje de batalla, selections from La isla que se repite Rosario Ferré, Memorias de Ponce, Vecindarios eccéntricos Edgardo Rodrðguez Juliá, Caribe ìos, "1797: Pandemonium" (inédito) Ana Lydia Vega, Falsas crïnicas del sur/Olga Nolla, El castillo de la memoria


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