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

Fall 2007


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41870 TH
9:30 AM-12:30 PM
MEZ 1.104

Course Description

This course examines the literary and cultural production of Afro-Diasporic writers from the Spanish Caribbean (Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic) to analyze the ways they build their socio-political discourses in our global contemporary world. The course will start with a definition of the "African Diasporas" in the Américas, and then it will analyze the historical, cultural and social specificities of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. From a first view of the Haitian Revolution and the discourse of slavery and how the dialectics of master and slave were built in the Caribbean in the nineteenth century we will focus on the literary and cultural production of poesía negrista to put into dialogue the convergences and differences of the concepts of race and racialization in these national contexts. By focusing on the literary and cultural production of black authors in these three islands, and on the sociological and anthropological texts that have described most of these populations I would like to establish a dialogue in which students will see clearly how these black authors create their own forms of agency to negotiate their citizenship and belonging to national discourses. Many of these representations as we will discuss in class move towards definitions of the post-national which built social-racial alliances in different contexts. Therefore, we will be talking more about racial knowledges as ways of subverting traditional Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican views of national culture. Some of the themes I would like to explore are: the intersectionality of race with gender and sexuality, the psychologization of the mulatto and mulatto culture, the folklorization of black cultures, popular music, and Afro-diasporic religions such as Santería and Palo Monte, and Afro-Latino subjectivities among others. The class will include visual materials such as documentaries and films. The course will be conducted in Spanish. Class readings will be in Spanish (and in translation when available)

Grading Policy

Students will give one oral report on an article or book from the class (20%), will write two page critical responses to texts read in class (30%), and will write a 20 page final paper (30%). Class participation will be (20%) of the final grade.


Autobiografía de un esclavo, Juan Francisco Manzano; Essays (Selection) Arturo A. Schomburg; Poemas, Manuel del Cabral; Tun-tún de pasa y grifería, Luis Palés Matos Ensayos (Selecciones) Fernando Ortiz; Cuentos negros de Cuba Lydia Cabrera Poemas Nancy Morejón; Las criadas de La Habana, Pedro Pérez Sarduy; The Farming of Bones, Edwige Danticat; Sirena Selena vestida de pena, Mayra Santos; Drown, Junot Díaz


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