SPAN-261 Survey of Spanish American Literature I
This course will consider some of the key texts written since the New World was discovered and during the colonial period. We will study the different ways in which the new continent and its inhabitants entered into the European imagination. Among the themes to be discussed in class are the cultural baggage that each of the cultures had before coming into contact, the various aspects of “otherness,” as well as problems of textuality and representation. Among texts to be analyzed are some of the pre-Columbian indigenous myths, the initial account of the encounter between the Old and the New Worlds by Christopher Columbus, the description of the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés, the history of the Incas as described by the Mestizo Garcilaso de la Vega, the epic account of the war with the Araucanian Indians by Ercilla, some selections of Indian and Mestizo chroniclers representing the vision of the vanquished, and, finally, Sor Juana’s finest poetry and prose written in the Viceregal period.
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