Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Department of Spanish and Portuguese

César A. Salgado

Associate ProfessorPh.D., Yale University

César A. Salgado


  • Phone: 512.232.4517
  • Office: BEN 3.140
  • Office Hours: TTH 11:30-12:30, 3:30-4
  • Campus Mail Code: B3700


César A. Salgado is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Graduate Adviser in the Program in Comparative Literature at The University of Texas at Austin. He teaches graduate seminars on colonial and postcolonial New World baroque literatures, the "Orígenes" group and journal in Cuban literary history, James Joyce and Luso-Hispanic modernism, the politics of archival fashioning in Caribbean studies, and contemporary literary theory. His articles on Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Latin American and comparative literary topics have appeared in Revista Iberoamericana, Cuadernos americanos, Inti, Apuntes posmodernos, Revista Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana, Actual, Critica, Journal of American Folkore, La Torre, and The New Centennial Review. Dr. Salgado is author of From Modernism to Neobaroque: Joyce and Lezama Lima (Bucknell University Press 2001) and coeditor with Alan West-Durán and María Herrera-Sobek of Latino and Latino Writers, a reference encyclopedia (Gale/Scribners 2004). He is currently at work on a manuscript currently titled "Caribbean Counterfeits: Essays in Critical Archivology."


ILA 380 • Intro Thry & Rsrch Of Lit/Cul

44910 • Fall 2015
Meets W 500pm-800pm BEN 1.118


This course will survey some major “schools” of critical thought about literature—Russian Formalism; New Criticism; Structuralism and Semiotics; Hermeneutics and Reception Theory; Speech Act Theory; Deconstruction and Postmodern Theory; Frankfurt School Critical Theory; New Historicism; Post-Freudian/Lacanian Psychoanalysis; Feminism; Postcolonial and Decolonial Theory; Ethnic and Race Theory and Diaspora Studies; Gender, Queer, and Posthuman Theory; Cultural Studies; and World System Theory.  We will read selected articles and/or chapters by representative authors of each critical movement.  Each week we will try to engage the ideas of four to five theorists considered as canonical to each respective school and discuss their relevance in Ibero American cultural and literary studies. 

The guiding objective of this survey seminar is the genealogical understanding of the situation of literary, cultural, and critical theory in Ibero America today.  Some aspects I would like to foreground through the course are how both international and local schools of theory come about in relation to:  1.  the expansion or contraction of institutional systems (universities, institutes, state agencies) and of transnational or transoceanic intellectual networks (Spanish exiles after the Civil War; European and Latin American émigrés after 1939, 1959, 1973, etc.) and 2. major geopolitical realignments (social revolutions—Russia, Mexico, Cuba--, World Wars, the Cold War, decolonization movements in the Third World, neoliberal globalization). 

Each student will be required to make six to eight short informal presentations of specific articles listed in our syllabus to help lead class discussion.  Students should write a 2-3 page précis for this purpose.  In each presentation they are expected to:  1.  summarize concisely the main arguments in the readings and the distinctiveness of the methods and principles that the author uses to make them; 2.  consider to what extent the author’s main arguments elaborate upon or contradict positions taken by other critics of his/her circle or from opposite schools of thought.  

Towards the end of the course each student is expect to be able to apply a theory or set of theories on the list to his or her own area of research.  The idea is to:  1.  identify a major critical or theoretical polemic in the field focusing on a concrete case or figure;  2.  document the history of this polemic by reviewing the relevant academic bibliography;  3.  stake out a position by choosing and applying a  pertinent critical approach covered in the course.

For the last few meetings, students will research and present on some new or unattended theory or theorist unaccounted for in the course.  In consultation with the instructor, each will choose a book-length work to report on and make a reading selection to be distributed through Blackboard to the other seminar participants.   Some suggestion are:  postmodern ethical theory, the “law and literature” movement, archival theory, violence and trauma studies, eco-criticism, cognitive or neuro-criticism, affect studies, the “animal” theory, or sound studies.  Students will be expected to turn this presentation in to a book review for submission to E3W or another graduate or professional academic publication.

Assignments and Grading:

Two take home exams:  40%

Presentations and participation:  60%

Required Textbooks:

Vincent B. Leitch, General Editor, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism         (Norton, New York, 2010).  Second edition.

Hazard Adams & Leroy Searle, eds., Critical Theory since 1965 (Univ. Presses of     Florida, 1986, 1989, CTS-65 on syllabus). 

Packet of selected readings.


Marxism and Criticism/Frankfurt School

Gÿorgy Lukács, "Art and Objective Truth" (CTS1965);  from The Historical Novel (Norton)

Louis Althusser, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses" (Norton)

Anthony Gramsci, "The Formation of the Intellectuals" (Norton)

Theodor Adorno, with M. Horkheimer, from Dialectic of the Enlightment (Norton), from Aesthetic Theory (CTS 1965) Zainab

Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," "Theses on the Philosophy of History" (CTS 1965) (Norton)

Michel Foucault, Power & Discourse, New Historicism

Michel Foucault, "What is an Author?,” from Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality (Norton);  “The Discourse on Language” (CTS 1965)

Stephen Greenblatt, from Resonance and Wonder (Norton) 

Louis Montrose, “Professing the Renaissance:  The Poetics and Politics of Culture” (Blackboard). 

Steven Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels, “Against Theory” (Norton)

Pierre Bourdieu, from Distinction and The Rules of Art: Genesis Structure of the  Literary Field (Norton)

Postcolonial Theory/Subaltern Studies/Non-Western Theory

Franz Fanon, from The Wretched of the Earth (Norton)

Edward Said, Orientalism (Norton)

Gayatri Spivak, from A Critique of Colonial Reason (Norton)

Hommi Bhabha, “On Mimicry and Man:  The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse” (Blackboard)

Ngugi Wa Thiongo et. al., “On the Abolition of the English Department” (Norton)

Adunis, "An Introduction to Arab Poetics" (Norton)                   

ILA 387 • Transcolonial Joyce

45375 • Spring 2015
Meets M 400pm-700pm BEN 1.106
(also listed as C L 382)

Course Description:  This seminar will attempt to examine the historical and intertextual relationship between the aesthetics of European high and post- modernism and contemporary postcolonial fiction through the analysis of postcolonial novels arguably written in a “Joycean” mode, with a focus on Iberian, Latin American, Latino and Indian contexts.  Revising critical concepts such as influence, imitation, and appropriation, the seminar will seek to portray Joycean high modernism as a postcolonial “World” aesthetic rather than as a Euro-centered movement.

Through an archival reading of the dissemination, translation and/or reception of Joyce’s writing in Hispanic, Latin American, Caribbean, Latino and Indian fiction, we will study the theoretical, ideological, cultural and post-colonial implications in the postcolonial novel’s systematic “refraction” of narrative principles and themes taken from Joyce’s fiction—i.e., aesthetic epiphany; the “technic of the labyrinth”; interior monologue; the “mythic method”; the use of wordplay, slang, and neologism as part of the narrative voice.  Among the issues to be considered are:

  • the novelistic representation of Dublin and of Iberian/Latin American, U.S. Latino and South Asian cities
  • the use of Joycean neologistic techniques in postcolonial fictional discourse
  • language and translation politics in colonial and post-colonial contexts
  • the role of translation in the dissemination of Joycean aesthetics and techniques in the Third World
  • 1950s-1960s debates on culture and decolonization in Third World independence and/or revolutionary contexts (Indian, Cuba)
  • Catholicism and patriarchy as diagetical matrixes
  • the references to myth and cosmogony in high modernism and “magical realism”
  • Ulysses’ relevance as a model for the Latin American “total” novel of the Boom period
  • uses of oral, popular, ethnic, and consumer cultures in high modernist writing
  • theorizing the novel as “method” instead of as a narrative genre
  • Finnegans Wake as a “precursor” of the prevalence of Spanglish in Nuyorican poetry and Cuban American fiction
  • central and peripheral high modernist confrontations with censorship

The course will draw on post-colonial theory to think about the esthetico-political nature of the appeal that Joycean themes and forms have in several “periphery” scenarios, especially in Spain, Latin America, the United States, and India.  English translations of most works will be available, but students are expected to work with these texts with full reading knowledge of English and either Spanish or Portuguese.


One 20-25 page term paper (60%).  Class participation, including three oral presentations (40%):  one on a chapter of Ulysses, another on a postcolonial Joycean author, another on a work of Joyce scholarship to be selected with consultation with the professor.  Due to the complexity of the texts to be read, full knowledge of English and Spanish is required for this course, which will be conducted in English.  Nevertheless, students from the English and the Comparative Literature Departments are encouraged to consult translations when these are available.   The history of the translation of Joyce’s work in Spanish and Portuguese will be an important issue in this course; a competent level of bilingualism is thus essential for satisfactory performance in this class.

Required readings:

At the Coop:

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin)

__________, Ulysses, the Corrected Edition (Vintage)

Leopoldo Marechal, Adán Buenoayeres (Cátedra)

Julio Cortázar, Rayuela (Cátedra)

Luis Martín Santos, Tiempo de silencio (Cátedra)

Miguel Angel Asturias, Hombres de maíz (Archivos)

José Lezama Lima, Paradiso(Archivos)

Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Tres tristes tigres (Cátedra)

Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Grande Sertao:  Veredas

Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses (Vintage)

Roberto Fernández Retamar, Raining Backwards (Arte Público Press)

At Jenn's:

*Readings packet #1 (AP) with archival pieces about the dissemination of Joyce’s work in Spain and the Third World (available at Jenn’s Copies)

*Reading packet #2 (TJ) with selections from translations of Joyce’s work into Spanish and Portuguese by Jorge Luis Borges, Amado Alonso, J. Salas Subirat, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Augusto and Haroldo de Campos, José María Valverde, Francisco García Tortosa, María Conde, and others (available at Jenn’s Copies, Sept. 1st)

PDF copies of critical and theoretical articles by Francine Masiello, Sergio Waisman, Ana León-Tavora, Norman Cheadle, Vincent Cheng, Enda Duffy, Trevor L. William, Karen Lawrence, Joseph Valente, Maria Tymoczko and others will be sent by email in due time.

SPC 320C • Cuba In Question-Cub

45695 • Spring 2015
(also listed as AFR 372G, C L 323, HIS 363K, LAS 328)

Concurrent enrollment required in L A 119. Restricted to students in the Maymester Abroad Program; contact Study Abroad Office for permission to register for this class. Class meets May 30-June 27. Taught in Havana, Cuba. Students must consult with Study Abroad Program Coordinator as tra vel and orientation dates may be in addition to these dates.

SPN 328C • Intro To Literatures/Culs

47300 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 301
(also listed as LAS 370S)

Taught in Spanish. Overview of Iberian and/or Latin American literatures and cultures, including the arts and popular expressions, from a multidisciplinary perspective. Among the regions studied are Spain; North, Central, and South America; the Caribbean; and related areas in Africa. Latin American Studies 322 and 370S may not both be counted unless the topics vary. Only one of the following may be counted: Latin American Studies 370S (Topic 27), Spanish 328, 328C. Only one of the following may be counted: Latin American Studies 370S (Topic 3), 370S (Topic 27), Spanish 322K, 328C.

SPN 355 • East/West/New Wrld Encntrs

47355 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.204
(also listed as LAS 370S)

Taught in Spanish. Survey of works mostly in the Latin American and Hispanic literary tradition in which images or themes related to the East (Asia, Eastern Africa, the Middle East) are developed. Latin American Studies 322 and 370S may not both be counted unless the topics vary. Only one of the following may be counted: Latin American Studies 370S (Topic: Visions of the East in Latin American Writing), 370S (Topic 36), Spanish 352 (Topic: Visions of the East in Latin American Writing), 355 (Topic 7).

ILA 387 • Boom And Post Boom

46555 • Fall 2013
Meets M 100pm-400pm MEZ 1.104
(also listed as C L 381, LAS 392S)


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 phenomena known as the “Boom” and the “Post-Boom” in post-WW II Latin American narrative.  The class will discuss the European/New World avant-garde precursors and writings that feed into “Boom” poetics; some of the main authors and works that participate in this wrongly-called “coming-of-age” moment of Latin American literary culture on the world stage; and the publishing, commercial, academic, and geopolitical institutional and cultural frameworks that gave ground to the international popularity and canonical prestige achieved by both “Boom” and “Post-Boom” writers. Special attention will be paid the Cuban Revolution, Spanish editorial practices under Franco and after, publishing industry developments in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Havana and the rise of Latin American studies in U.S. and European universities as key contextual catalysts in the emergence of Boom and Post-Boom canon politics and debates.  We will also consider how the trends in narrative fiction emerging after the alleged “end” of the Boom either extend or challenge the esthetic principles, patriarchal presumptions, and ethics of the Boom novel.  Among these trends we will consider the testimonial novel (Barnet); neobaroque writing (Sarduy); feminist, Afro- and Asian-Latino, and queer revisions of Boom masculinity, nationalism, and heteronormativity (Garro, Sarduy, Santos);  South Cone writing under post-1973 dictatorship (Eltit and Piglia); the “Boom”-like cosmopolitanism and media tactics of the “Crack” generation (Bolaño, Volpi); the “wired,” globalized outlook of the MacOndo writers (Fuguet).

The first half of the course will cover major “Boom” texts, writers and critical debates.  After Spring Break, the course will shift to current debates about more recent trends in post-Boom Latin American writing by younger authors.  The seminar is conceived as a panoramic course, and discussion will focus on the close reading and formal and thematic appreciation of “canonical” novels.   However, we will also consider in detail academic works in esthetic, cultural, critical, and field theory that address:  1. the implications of “Boom” and “post-Boom” writing in the light of the achievements and failures of revolutionary, neoliberal, and “pink wave” movements in Latin American during the Cold War and after (Jean Franco, John Beverly); 2.  the role of literary prizes, translation and publishing conglomerates in the international promotion and commercial success of Boom and post-Boom writers (Angel Rama, Deborah Cohn); 3.  the rise and fall of neoliberalism as an economic and ideological model (Brett Levinson);  4. the connection between Boom politics, the Cuban Revolution and the 1960s cultural moment (Dianne Sorensen); 5.  the role of Boom and post-Boom texts in the institutionalization of Latin Americanism as a field of Otherness/cultural studies in First World academia (Alberto  Moreiras, de la Campa), and 6. post-modern sexuality, gender, and queer studies (O’Connor, Ruvalcaba).



Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones

Alejo Carpentier, El reino de este mundo

José María Arguedas, Los ríos profundos

Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo

Carlos Fuentes, La muerte de Artemio Cruz

Elena Garro, Recuerdos del porvenir

Julio Cortázar, El libro de Manuel


Severo Sarduy, De donde son los cantantes

Miguel Barnet, Canción de Rachel

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 short stories, chapters or articles by:  José Donoso, Carlos Fuentes, Alberto Fuguet, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Angel Rama, Gerald Martín, Gerald Martín, Roberto González Echevarría, Jean Franco, Aníbal González, Brett Levinson, Alberto Moreiras, Deborah Cohn, Diana Sorensen, John Beverly, Román de la Campa, Patrick O’Connor, Héctor Ruvalcaba, and Fabienne Bradu.  Students will also read excerpts from theoretical works about narrative genres, the literary field, symbolic economy, minority literature and literary canon formation by such as Mikhail Bakhtin, Pierre Bourdieu, Jean Baudrillard, Gills Deleuze and John Guillory.


One 20-min. oral presentation and written book review on a major book length study on Boom or post-Boom poetics or writing in Latin America from a suggested list to be provided by the instructor (20%).  A critical bibliography of ten major articles on a Boom or Post-Boom writer or issue with a 20-25 page introduction on the developing horizons of criticism on the writer or issue in question or a 20-25 page article written as the eleventh and last article of a critical anthology gathering the ten articles (50%-60%).  Class participation and short presentations (20%). 

SPN 352 • Visns Of East In Lat Amer Writ

46860 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 370S)

SPN 381M • Origenes In Context

46660 • Spring 2012
Meets M 100pm-400pm BEN 1.118
(also listed as C L 386)

In the late 1940s Octavio Paz once called the Cuban literary journal Orígenes“the best publication of its kind in the language."  In 1994 Casa de la Americas and the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists organized an ambitious conference to commemorate Orígenes as a precusor of the nationalist martiano spirit of the 1959 Revolution.  Published from 1944 to 1956 by poet-writer José Lezama Lima and translator-essayist José Rodríguez Feo, Orígenes was in fact a cosmopolitan modernist journal that featured works by poets of international reknown such as T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and Saint-John Perse as well as by the young local authors of the “grupo Orígenes.” Each of the Cuban poets and writers that published in this journal would eventually become a canonical or cult writer, in or out of Cuba.  Cintio Vitier, winner of the 2002 Juan Rulfo prize, was a leading poet and essayist  identified with the Cuban Revolution and Liberation Theology.  His wife Fina García Marruz is one of the most famous women poet-writers in the island.  Gastón Baquero, a mulatto Batista supporter who lived in exile in Madrid after the Revolution, was regarded before his death as one the best poets living in Spain by many readers.  Eliseo Diego, another winner of the Juan Rulfo, is among the most quoted poets in the language.  Lorenzo García Vega has become a “cult” writrtd  read mostly by small intellectual and academic communities in Habana, Caracas, and Buenos Aires. Virgilio Piñera has been recognized as Cuba's leading playwright; his raw, absurdist stories won him the reputation of being the "Caribbean Kafka."  With Octavio Paz and Jorge Luis Borges, José Lezama Lima remains one of the defining figures of Latin American literature and culture of the twentieth century.

The legacy of these writers in Cuba and Latin America today has been the subject of great intellectual and aesthetic debate given the eccentric, contrasting, and contradictory ways in which origenistas situated themselves vis-à-vis Cuban and global politics and the Cuban revolutionary experience.  This course will evaluate the remarkable Orígenes phenomenon both as a reclusive modernist journal published during a time of great political and social repression in Cuba and as a group of poet-writers facing the polarizing challenges of the most transforming political event in Latin America after the Mexican Revolution.  It will consider the many scholarly and literary polemics that have come up in Cuba and abroad regarding the works of Lezama Lima, Piñera, Vitier, García Marruz, Baquero, and García Vega, and the impact the journal and these polemics have had on  the vision,  practice, and/or scholarly interpretation of  journal publishing as a source of lettered power (poder letrado) among editor/intellectuals such as Guillermo Cabrera Infante and Heberto Padilla (Lunes de Revolución), Roberto Fernández Retamar (Casa de las Américas), Reinaldo Arenas (Revista Mariel),  and Jesús Díaz (Revista Encuentro).

In this course I propose to use the Orígenes case as a model to examine and understand the cultural dynamics behind the esthetico-political agendas, discursive consolidation, polemical power, and historical and archival endurance of key literary journals in the Caribbean in the 20th and 21th centuries.  Going both back and forward in Caribbean print culture, in this course I will consider similar polemics concerning the cosmopolitan vs. localistic esthetico-political agendas of colonial and “neo-colonial” journals that could be considered either Orígenes’  precursors (Revista de avance, Indice) or post-1950s successors (Ciclón, Lunes de Revolución, Revista Encuentro).

I plan to use the holdings of these journals at the Benson Collection to full advantage.  In doing so, I will also address current issues in Caribbean archival politics and fashioning such as journal valoration, acquisition, and preservation as academic capital.



Term paper with draft (50%); short written assignments and commentaries (25%); seminar participation and short presentation assignments (25%)


Tentative Readings:


Revista Avance [Selections]

Small journals before Orígenes:  Verbum, Espuela de Plata, Nadie Parecía, Poeta, Clavileño [Selections]

Orígenes, revista de literatura y arte (1944-1956).  [Selections]

Revista Ciclón [Selections]

Lunes de Revolución [Selections]


Testimonial novels/Essays/Correspondence

Jose Lezama Lima, Paradiso, La expresión americana [selections]

Virgilio Piñera, Poesía y crítica, La carne de René Lorenzo García Vega, Espirales del cuje, Los años de Orígenes [selections]

Cintio Vitier, De Peña Pobre, Lo cubano en la poesía

Fina Garcia Marruz, La familia de Orígenes

Jesús Díaz, Las palabras perdidas

Antonio José Ponte, El libro perdido de los origenistas

José Rodríguez Feo and Wallace Stevens, Secretaries of the Moon

José Lezama Lima and José Rodríguez Feo, Correspondencia


Packet #1:  Anthology of critical articles on Orígenes and the“origenistas”

Packet #2:  Anthology of pieces published in Orígenes and other contemporary Cuban journals by “origenistas” and other Cuban intellectuals


SPN 381M • New World Baroque Genealogies

47270 • Spring 2011
Meets M 1200pm-300pm BEN 1.118


One of the most important trends in Caribbean and Latin American writing following the "boom" of magical realism was the revival of Baroque aesthetics.  "Lo barroco" resurfaced both as a period concept analyzing the "foundations" of Latin American expression in colonial times and as the poetics of a "neobarroco" avant-garde literary movement.   Ever since the term was put back into circulation, the range of its meanings and applications in Latin American fiction and criticism has expanded vertiginously.  In this course we will read some of the colonial and contemporary works of literature studied under this term, and the theoretical essays that study and/or promote its revival.  We will be concerned with tracing a "genealogy" of the concept, studying how the idea of the Baroque came to be associated with aspects of past and present day Caribbean and Latin American culture and literature.  Issues of hybridity, ethnicity, aesthetics, colonialism, orthodoxy/heterodoxy, sexuality, and power will be considered in this genealogical approach

Rather than one particular style or school, we will study the Baroque revival as a complex convergence of concepts, an amalgamation of many distinct cultural theories.  In these works we will not seek to identify one static set of aesthetic principles, but several poetics of the baroque:  lo barroco,  el barroco de Indias,  el barroco  europeo, el barroco "americano", el neo-barroco, el neobarroco caribeño.   We will consider how the neo-Baroque movement springs out of a debate regarding the problematic cultural and political legacy of the colonial period in Latin America's literary modernity,  and why the concept--normally thought as a 17th century European artistic period succeeding the Renaissance--came to describe the post-modern culture of a non-European region in the 20th century.  

To achieve these goals, the reading of the course is divided into three sets.  The first consists mostly of essays and critical articles that debate the definition and the appearance of baroque art and writing during both the 17th century and the modern and postmodern period.   Writings by Wellek, Wolfllin, Weisbach, d’Ors, Maravall, Hauser, Busi-Gluckman, Genette, Sarduy, Calabrese, García Canclini, Pratt, and Bhabha will be discussed either as required reading or in special presentations.  To understand the arguments regarding the "dynamic continuity" or the ruptures and differences between the baroque art of the past and the "neo-baroque" literature of the present, we will consult a selection of Peninsular and Latin American writings of the Golden Age.  Writings by Luis de Góngora, Francisco de Quevedo, Bernardo de Balbuena, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Hernando Domínguez Camargo, and Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora will be read in the context of what contemporary "neo-Baroque" Latin American authors and critics say about them.  The third set of readings consists of contemporary "neo-Baroque" fictions to be discussed in the light of the theories presented in the essays of the first set. We will also consider how modern and post modern Spanish and Latin American film and art reflect these concerns.

The neo-Baroque aesthetic is usually associated with the work of  Cuban writers (José Lezama Lima, Alejo Carpentier,  Severo Sarduy, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Reynaldo Arenas, Antonio Benítez Rojo, Senel Paz). Both in their fiction and their critical essays, these writers have revived (and revised) the European notion of the Baroque as a tool to analyze Cuban and Caribbean cultural history.  The "neo-Baroque," however, is far from being a Cuban monopoly.  An analogous revival of the concept can be seen in the literary and critical works of Mexican writers Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, Fernando del Paso, Salvador Elizondo. and Daniel Sada.  Monteforte Toledo has argued about a regional Guatemalan “neobaroque” esthetic in relation to the work of Miguel Angel Asturias and his “successors.”  A neo-Baroque "performative" virtuosity is one of the most distinct characteristics of the last wave of Puerto Rican fiction initiated by Luis Rafael Sánchez' and continued in the works of Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá. Ana Lydia Vega, and Mayra Santos. This course will consider the "neo-Baroque" as a pan-American phenomenon, even though it will focus on the Caribbean, Mexican, and Central American regions.  In this process, I hope to explore why an esthetic first associated with the great viceregal continental  centers of the colonial period (the barroco americano of Mexico City, Lima, Santa Fe de Bogotá) comes to be identified with the culture of the Caribbean archipelago (neobarroco caribeño).


Luis de Góngoras, Soledades

Francisco de Quevedo, selección de poesía y prosa

Bernardo de Balbuena, La grandeza mexicana

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, selección de poesía, Neptuno alegórico

Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, Teatro de virtudes políticas

Irving Leonard, Baroque Times in Old Mexico (selections)

Mariano Picón Salas, De la conquista a la independencia (selections)

Octavio Paz, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz o la trampas de la fe (selections)

José Lezama Lima, La expresión americana (selections) 

Angel Rama, La ciudad letrada (selections)

Alejo Carpentier, selección de ensayos, El acoso, Concierto barroco

Reinaldo Arenas, El mundo alucinante

Severo Sarduy, selección de ensayos, De donde son los cantantes

Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Tres tristes tigres

Luis Rafael Sánchez, La guaracha del Macho Camacho

Readings packet with theoretical texts and historiography


Barroco by Paul Leduc, Yo, la peor de todas de M.L.Bemberg, El viajero inmóvil , Fresa y chocolate by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Prospero’s Books by Peter Greenaway, Viva Mexico by Sergei Einsenstein , La vida es sueño de Raul Ruíz,  

Requirements and Grading:

One 15-20 page final term paper (60%).  Class participation, including an oral presentation (20%).  Midterm Take-Home Exercise (20%). 

SPN 322K • Civilization Of Spanish Amer

46440-46465 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PHR 2.110
(also listed as LAS 370S)

Survey of the social and cultural evolution of the Spanish American countries. Taught in Spanish.

SPN 325K • Intro To Spn Am Lit Thru Mod

47983 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 800-930 GAR 1.134

Department of Spanish and Portuguese

The University of Texas at Austin

SPN 325K/LAS 370S:  Introduction to Spanish American Literature through Modernism


Fall 2009 Prof. César A. Salgado

TTh 8-9:30 Office/Hrs: BEN 3.140 F 10-12

GAR 1.134 email:

Unique Number:  47983/40959 Office Ph.:  232-4517



This course is a comprehensive introduction to the literature of Spanish America from its beginnings to the end of the Nineteenth Century.  It features diverse types of literary and pseudo-literary texts by the most important authors and figures of the "colonial" and "independence" period.  Among other topics, lectures will emphasize the importance these texts still have in the formation of contemporary Latin American literature and culture by showing how these canonical works have been reinterpreted and readapted by modern authors.  Discussion of the texts will focus on some of the following issues:  the nature of literary production in contexts of ethnic and cultural conflict; the transformation and differentiation of Spanish American literary discourse through the incorporation of expressions, metaphors, and other linguistic elements from native languages; the growing tension and aesthetic distance between Peninsular writing and Spanish American criollo literature; the relationship between writing, power, and social status in colonial texts; and the role of poetry and fiction in the the construction of a new national identity during the period of independence.   More specifically, the course will comment on the principal genres of the colonial and independence period--the crónica, the relación, the historia, the ethnographical informe, baroque and epic poetry, and the sermon in the former; the novel, the pastoral, the essay, the short story, and romantic, gauchesca  and modernista  poetry in the latter. 


Class Materials:

Enrique Anderson Imbert & Eugenio Florit, eds.  Literatura Hispanoamericana (COOP)

Juan Francisco Manzano, Autobiografía de un esclavo (COOP)

Course Readings Packet (Jenn’s Copies, 2200 Guadalupe [Church of Scientology Basement])

Three Films (Special Screenings): Cabeza de Vaca;  Yo, la peor de todas;  El otro Francisco


Course Schedule:

Please note that all the readings are due on the day listed and should be prepared prior to coming to class.  Readings are taken from Anderson Imbert and Florit, Literatura Hispanoamericana (marked LH, available now at the University COOP) and from a special SPN 325k Readings Packet (marked Packet, available on Friday at Jenn's Copies [2200 Guadalupe]).  Throughout the course there will be also handouts for required reading.  Note:  The instructor might decide to slightly change some aspect or item of the course outline.  Any change will be announced at least one week in advance.


Aug 27:  Introduction and organizational meeting


I.  The "Literature" of the Pre-Columbian Era


Sept. 1: Pre-Hispanic Literatures: Creation Myths of the Maya and other Mesoamerican Cultures

Readings:  “La literaturas indígenas,” nahuatl and quechua poetry (LH 1-5, 8-10); selection from the Popul Vuh, libro sagrado de los maya-quiché (Packet)

First Set of Composition Topics distributed


Sept. 3:  Pre-Hispanic Literatures:  Creation Myths of the Caribbean Indians

Readings:  Selections from Fray Ramón Pané, Relación acerca de las antigüedades de los indios (Packet)


II.  The Chronicles of the Conquest and Early Colonial Period (1492-1600)


Sept. 8: Colón reports the Discovery:  First European Visions of the New World.  First Settlements in Hispaniola.

Readings: Selections from Cristóbal Colón's Diario de navegación (LH 11-14),  “Capitulaciones de Santa Fe,” “Carta a Santángel,” "Carta del segundo viaje” (Packet)

First Composition Due


Sept. 10:  Engineering the Conquest of Mexico:  Hernán Cortés, conquistador and letrado

Reading:  Hernán Cortés, from the Segunda carta de relación (LH 28-33 and Packet)


Sept. 15: Remembering the Conquest:  Testimony as a “Truer” History

Reading:  Selections from Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Historia verdadera de la conquista de Nueva España (LH 34-44 and Packet)


Sept. 17: Challenging the Conquest and Defending the Native Americans:  Fray Bartolomé de las Casas and the Role of the Mendicant Friars in the New World

Reading:  Bartolomé de las Casas, from Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias (Packet)


Sept. 22:  The First Mestizo Writers:  Garcilaso Re-writes the Inca Empire; Guamán paints the Conquest of Peru in Words and Pictures 

Readings:  Garcilaso de la Vega el Inca, selections from Comentarios reales (LH 75-85 and Packet); selections from Guamán Poma de Ayala, Corónica y Buen Gobierno (Packet)


Sept. 24:  Epic Poetry in Colonial Chile 

Reading:  Selections from Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga, La araucana (LH 97-109)

Take-home Exam questions distributed


Sept. 29:  Tales of Shipwreck and Captivity in the American Southwest

Readings: Selections from Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, Naufragios (LH 47-51, Packet)


Oct. 1: Tales of Shipwreck and Captivity, continued. 

Readings:  Finish selections from Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, Naufragios (Packet)

Screening of clips from Cabeza de Vaca, a Mexican film by Nicolás Echevarría


III.  The Baroque Period:  Focus on Mexico and the Caribbean (1600-1800)


Oct. 6: Pirates of the Caribbean: Silvestre de Balboa y Troya de Quesada’s Espejo de Paciencia and the Beginnings of Cuban Literature

Readings: Silvestre de Balboa, Espejo de paciencia (Packet)

First Take Home Exam Due


Oct. 8: Mexican Literature in the 17th Century I: Alonso Ramírez, Carlos Sigüenza y Góngora and the Pirate Tale as Testimony

Readings:  Selections from Sigüenza y Góngora, Los infortunios de Alonso Ramírez (LH 149-160 and Handout)


Oct.  13: Mexican Literature in the 17th Century II:  Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and New World Baroque Viceregal Culture

Readings:  Selections of poems  by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (LH 161-173)

Second Set of Composition Topics Distributed


Oct. 15: Mexican Literature in the 17th Century III:  Sor Juana's Defense of Women

Readings:  Sor Juana, "Respuesta a Sor Filotea" (LH 174-86)

Screening of clips from Yo, la peor de todas, Argentine film by María Luisa Bemberg 


IV.  The Independence Period:  Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism



Oct. 20:  Promoting Insurrection:  The Prose of the Wars of Independence 

Readings: Simón Bolívar, "Mi delirio en el Chimborazo," "Carta de  Jamaica" (Packet)

Second Composition Due


Oct. 22: The Role of the Enlightenment and Neoclassicism in the Literatures of Independence

Readings:  Jose Joaquín de Olmedo, "Poema de Junín:  Bolívar" (LH 241-248); Andrés Bello, "La agricultura en la zona tórrida;" selected essays (LH 248-55, 258-262); José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, “Los paseos de la experiencia” (LH 235-241)


Focus on Nineteenth Century Argentina


Oct. 27: Romanticism and Dictatorship in Argentina I:  Short Story 

Readings:  Esteban Echevarría, "Clasicismo y romanticismo", "El matadero" (LH 272-3; 279-291)


Oct. 29:  Romanticism and Dictatorship in Argentina II:  The “gaucho” in the Novel and the Essay

José Mármol, Selections from Amalia (Packet); Domingo F. Sarmiento, Introduction to Facundo o civilización y barbarie (Handout)


Nov. 3:  Romanticism and Dictatorship in Argentina III:  Sarmiento Diagnoses the Nation

Domingo F. Sarmiento, selections from Facundo o civilización y barbarie, Viajes, and Recuerdos de Provincia (LH 291-309)


Nov. 5:  Argentina After Dictatorship IV: Redeeming the “gaucho” through "poesía gauchesca" 

Reading:  Selections from José Hernández, Martín Fierro (LH 353-392).


Focus on Nineteenth Century Cuba and Puerto Rico


Nov. 10 : Romantic Poetry and the Cuban Exile 

Readings: José María Heredia, poems (LH 263-272); Gertrudis de Avellaneda, poems (LH 313-321); pages from Avellaneda’s novel Sab (handout)


Nov. 12:  Slavery and Writing in Cuba:  Manzano’s Autobiography

Readings:  Juan Francisco Manzano, selection of poems (handout); Autobiografía de un esclavo (start)

Second Take-Home Exam Questions Distributed


Nov. 17:  Slavery and Writing, continued

Reading:  Juan Francisco Manzano, Autobiografía de un esclavo (Finish) 

Screening of Clips from El otro Francisco, Cuban film by Sergio Giral (1975)


Nov. 19: Slavery, Race, and Incest in 19th Century Caribbean Theatre 

Reading:  Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, La cuarterona (Packet)


V.  Fin de Siecle and the Spanish American War (1880-1900)


Nov. 24: Poetry and Action:  José Martí, the Cuban-Spanish War and the principles of modernista poetry 

Readings: José Martí, “Versos sencillos,” choice of crónicas,” “La verdad sobre los Estados Unidos” (Packet)

Second Take Home Due


Dec. 1: The "Modernismo” Poetic Movement in Latin America: Rubén Darío

Readings: Poems by Rubén Darío, Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera, José Asunción Silva (packet), Julián del Casal, Julio Herrera y Reissig (Handout)


Dec. 3:  North vs. South? Latinidad vs. Nordomanía after 1898: From Martí to Rodó

Readings:  Martí, "Nuestra América," Selections from José Enrique Rodó, Ariel (Packet)

Third Composition Questions Distributed



Sat Dec 12:  Final Exam 9-11 AM and Third Composition Due



Requirements and Grading System:

Attendance and participation:  15%

Composition 1:  5%

Compositions 2 & 3:  20%

Take-Home Exams (Total of four compositions):  40%

Final Exam:  20%


You will have the chance to rewrite one of your essays to improve your grade.  Classes will consist of a combination of lecture and discussion.  The instructor will usually begin presenting background materials and analysis for the first 30-45 minutes of the class.  The remaining 30-45 minutes will be saved for collective discussion or individual presentations.  The instructor will often distribute a list of discussion question to guide the readings for the next meeting. Each writing assignment will consist of general essay topic questions  that students should answer on their own.  Discussion of the topic is encouraged among students in preparing an essay; nevertheless, the instructor will not accept any "co-authored" exams.  He will also expect originality and independence of thought from each individual, and good and consistent Spanish prose.  Compositions should be 2-3 pages each. Take Home Exams will consist of two 2-3 page comparative essays that answer the exam questions to be provided. Students are encouraged to seek the assistance of a Spanish writing tutor to review their style, grammar, and vocabulary.  Grammar will be evaluated, although the essay's content and quality of analysis will carry the weight of the grade.  Special provisions will be made for students with disabilities. These students may be required to provide documentation from the Office of the Dean of Students-Services for Students with Disabilities.

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