Spanish 104A: Survey of Colonial Latin American Texts

TuTh 12:30-2P, WHEELER 126 | Instructor: Del Valle | CCN: 21293

Units: 4

Prerequisites: Span 25

In this course we will study the colonization of the Americas (16th-18th centuries) as a way of considering what this economic and political relationship has meant at various moments on both sides of the Atlantic: for Spain in particular and Europe in general, as well as for those under colonial control. Some of the key themes on which the course will focus are: the criteria of truth in historical writing and science, the development of new forms of subjectivity, the relationships between distinct racial groups, and the impact of these phenomena on the formation of a world order. The majority of readings will come from the Colonial Period, but we will also examine contemporary theories on colonization.

The course has the following, dual learning objectives for students: first, to foster an understanding of what the “encounter” of these two worlds meant in its time and, second, to study the origins of Latin American countries. On the one hand, the material studied is in conversation with other courses in the department (including those on Medieval and Golden Age Spanish Literature and those on Contemporary Latin American Literature) through the engagement with subjects such as nationalism, indigenismo, and Testimonial Literature, among others. On the other hand, the course intends to stimulate interest in the colonial past and also facilitate the analysis and understanding of texts written in a period very distinct from our own.