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Optional Modules

Centre of Latin American Studies


Power and Conflict in Latin American Literature

Teaching Schedule

Key Issues and Texts

The focus of this module is literary culture and its proximity to structures of power in Latin America through history. The topics studied are diverse, but what unites them is a desire to work through some of the different ways in which identity, statehood, power, and their contestation and reworking, have been articulated through practices of writing, broadly understood. Texts are drawn from a number of countries across the region, and include a range of different genres. Our study of them will lead us to consider key intellectual and cultural shifts in Latin America, and to explore the usefulness of a number of theoretical and critical paradigms, originating in Latin America, Europe, North America and elsewhere.

A good reading knowledge of Spanish is a prerequisite for the course, since all texts, some of them complex, are read in Spanish. Students are expected already to have a base in the study of Latin American literature. Those who have not, but who do have a good reading knowledge of Spanish, may still take the course, but would be expected to attend various lectures and seminars on Latin American literature to fill gaps in their knowledge. 

The course is taught by staff from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Centre of Latin American Studies, and is co-ordinated by Dr Rory O'Bryen. Teaching takes the form of open-discussion seminars at which students are expected to present short papers. Students are also encouraged to attend lectures on Latin American culture given by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.