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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Raquel Albarran
SPAN 307
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Latin American Literature: Colonial Era through Early Independence

Study of selected works from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century, with special emphasis on their historical and cultural relevance. Development of reading and writing skills. Prerequisite: either SPAN 301, SPAN 302, SPAN 303, 310, SPAN 314, SPAN 315, SPAN 316, or SPAN 330.

Class description

This course focuses on a number of literary and cultural productions of colonial and post-colonial Latin America, from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries. We will examine the implications of and conceptual challenges arising from an understanding of the region as a discursive and lived battlefield where disparate world views entered in complex relations of cultural contact, clash and subordination.

Student learning goals

Discuss colonialism and nationalism in Latin America, particularly in relation to the discursive formulation of ethno-racial and gendered dynamics.

Summarize key characteristics of the following socio-cultural and artistic processes: 1) imperial pre-Columbian formations, 2) the encounter, conquest and subsequent colonization of the region, 3) the Baroque, 4) the Enlightenment and 5) early revolutionary debates of the nineteenth century.

Identify and explain some of the conceptual vocabulary (such as colonialism, coloniality, race, gender, transculturation, nationalism) used to frame different cultural productions.

Demonstrate basic familiarity with the following methodological approaches: close reading and historical analysis.

Connect class readings and discussions to a range of personal interdisciplinary interests.

Assess how written and visual texts can be used to interrogate the past and, equally important, to envision how seemingly remote events continue to impact us in the present.

General method of instruction

Through a combination of lectures, class discussions, and guided writing exercises, we will explore a variety of discursive formations (personal accounts, histories, poetry and essays), audio-visual sources and material expressions.

Recommended preparation

For success in this course, it is recommended that you have completed Spanish 302 and a 300-level literature course, or its equivalent.

Class assignments and grading

Students will be evaluated according to the following requirements:

3 short essays; 1 midterm + 1 close reading exercise; a partial final exam; a final essay; attendance and participation


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Raquel Albarran
Date: 11/30/2013