Spanish 280.2: The Invention of the Caribbean: Islands, Literatures and Politics

W 3-6, 225 Dwinelle | Instructor: Dominguez | CCN: 31878

Units: 4

Through a wide spectrum of sources (essays, fiction, poetry and art), this graduate seminar will examine commonalities and the discontinuities among the last Spanish colonies (Cuba, Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic). We will explore the ways in which writers told an origin story and attempted to foster a sense of common destiny and of belonging to a nation. Rather than strive for breadth of coverage, the course opts for depth: we will delve into the major themes that shaped modern Caribbean literature and culture in the 19th century: race and slavery; colonialism, nationalism and imperialism; history, memory and revolution. We will pay close attention to the ways in which literary, racial and national imaginaries were constructed and consolidated through the 19th century, and the long-lasting impact they had in the 20 th century. The readings will include works by Virgilio Piñera, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Fernando Ortiz, José Luis González, Antonio S. Pedreira, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Salomé Ureña, Manuel Galván, Cirilo Villaverde, and Salvador Brau, among others. Critical and theoretical essays by Antonio Benítez Rojo, Èdouard Glissant, Bruno Latour, Paul Ricoeur, and Walter Benjamin.