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Key Issues and Texts: Present Pasts, Pasts Present: Reflections on Literature and History (LT 2023)

Primary texts are listed below for each seminar. Students must read all of the primary texts before attending seminars. Some additional material is available as PDFs to download from Moodle.

Good introductory works for those who do not have a foundation in Latin American literature include:

  • Jean Franco’s Introduction to Latin American Literature (1969)
  • Angel Rama’s La ciudad letrada (1984)
  • Gerald Martin’s Journeys Through the Labyrinth (1989)
  • Doris Sommer, Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America (1991)

Some key issues relating to the module are listed below – you may wish to focus on one or more of these in a seminar paper or an essay.

  • History and its discontents
  • Encounters with alterity
  • Drift, displacement, disorientation, flight and the problem of home
  • Transculturation and intertextuality
  • Mediation, translation, communication and community
  • Transgression and the laws of genre
  • Class, competition, conflict and other economic questions
  • Gender, sexuality, race and the vicissitudes of identity
  • Narration and knowledge

Seminar 1: The colonial chronicle (Rory O'Bryen/Stephanie Rohner) 

Primary texts

  • Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Naufragios (1555) UL ebook
  • Juan José Saer, El entenado (1983) UL (1 copy & Emmanuel) available online

Seminar 2: The slave (auto)biography (Rory O'Bryen/Carlos Fonseca) 

Primary texts

  • Francisco Manzano, Autobiografía de un esclavo (1835/1840) UL ebook
  • Miguel Barnet, Biografía de un cimarrón (1966)  many copies including CLAS

Seminar 3: Worlding national romance (Rory O'Bryen) 

Primary texts

  • excerpts from Jorge Isaacs, María (1867) 
  • Adelaida Fernández Ochoa, Afuera crece un mundo (2018) ask Module organizer 

Seminar 4: Indigenismo (Stephanie Rohner/Rory O'Bryen)

Primary texts

  • Clorinda Matto de Turner, Aves sin nido (1889) many copies & UL ebook 
  •  photographs by Martín Chambi 

Seminar 5: The diary (Carlos Fonseca/Rory O'Bryen)

Primary texts

  • excerpts from José María Arguedas, El zorro de arriba y el zorro de abajo (1971)
  • Ricardo Piglia, Los diarios de Emilio Renzi: Años de de Formación (2015) 

Seminar 6: The urban chronicle (Liesbeth Francois/Rory O'Bryen) 

Primary texts

  • Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera, selected crónicas
  • Carlos Monsiváis, Los rituales del caos