Skip to main content

SPAN-492 Asian and African Literature in Spanish
Spring for 2014-2015
Faculty:
  • Lifshey, Adam
  • The literature of the Spanish-speaking world has been divided traditionally into two fields of study, Spain and Latin America. This course, however, will be organized as follows:

    (1) The first section will focus on the eight decades or so of Filipino literature in Spanish, running from 1880 to the 1960s. Texts will include a novel by the national hero José Rizal and various short stories, poems, dramas and essays by 20th century authors, including chapters from the only known Asian science fiction novel in Spanish. Students will discuss how to analyze critically a body of literature that for the most part, with the exception of Rizal, is unknown to exist by scholars and general readers alike, both inside and outside the Philippines. Students will also consider how to approach a literary tradition produced under the duress of colonization by three successive empires (Spain, 1521-1898), the United States (1898-1942, 1945-1946), Japan (1942-1945), and after national independence (1946)…and in a language that most Filipinos did not speak in the first place. In addition, students will be encouraged to seek out Asian literature in Spanish that may exist in other former Spanish posessesions in the Pacific such as Palau and Guam, and in immigrant communities in Japan and Australia. This section of the course will conclude with a study of writings in Chabacano, a growing language derived from Spanish and various Filipino languages, that is now spoken by half a million people.

    (2) The second section of the course will concentrate on the Spanish-language literature of Equatorial Guinea in western Africa, whose first novel appeared in 1953 and whose literary output has been proliferating since the mid-1980s. At issue here is the creation of a tradition in an imperial language that began in an era of fascist colonialism (that of the Franco state) that was followed after independence by two particularly egregious dictatorships (the second of which, dating from 1979, continues to this day). As a result, Guinean literature in Spanish has been produced mostly in exile. Students will consider what it means for a national tradition to develop mostly outside the nation it aims to represent and whose readership is almost entirely foreign. After studying Guinean literature, students will read and discuss poetry, fiction, and drama in Spanish from Western Sahara, Morocco and Cameroon.

    The course will culminate in a discussion of how literature in Spanish can be argued to exist as a global rather than transatlantic phenomenon, and whether it might include pop music in Spanglish from Sweden and the United States, literature by Chilean emigrants to Canada, and so forth. From the beginning, however, students will be asked to posit connections between Asian and African traditions in Spanish and more familiar ones from Spain and Latin America. How, for example, do Filipino and Guinean texts in Spanish complicate existing notions of the literature of 1898? The overall goal of the course is for students to question and push outward the supposed boundaries of literature in Spanish. The final paper will demand original research and will include the option of focusing on Asian literature in Portuguese from Goa (India), East Timor, etc. This course is not about reading and commenting on a series of famous texts but rather about helping create a new field of studies: literature in Spanish outside of Spain and Latin America.

    The course is open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students and will be taught entirely in Spanish and in seminar style. There will also be a field trip.
    Credits: 3
    Prerequisites: None

    Sections:

    SPAN-492-01 Asian and African Literature in Spanish
    Spring for 2014-2015
    Faculty:
  • Lifshey, Adam
  • The literature of the Spanish-speaking world has been divided traditionally into two fields of study, Spain and Latin America. This course, however, will be organized as follows: (1) The first section will focus on the sixty years of Filipino literature in Spanish, which runs from 1880 to World War II, including such authors as Pedro Paterno and José Rizal. Students will be encouraged to seek out Asian literature in Spanish that may exist in other former Spanish posessesions in the Pacific such as Guam, Palau, and various archipelagoes. (2) The second section will investigate the Spanish-language literature of Equatorial Guinea in western Africa, whose first novel appears in 1953 and whose literary output continues through the present day. Students will be encouraged to search for literature by other Africans in places like Morocco and Western Sahara and to consider the relevance of such Spanish outposts as Ceuta, Melilla and the Canary Islands. (3) The third and briefest section will consider other literature in Spanish from outside Spain and Latin America, such as bilingual (Spanish/English) pop music from Sweden, Chilean community newspapers in Australia, and diverse hispanophone art in Canada and the United States. Throughout the course, students will be asked to make connections between these obscure literary traditions in Spanish and more familiar ones from Spain and Latin America. How, for example, do Filipino and Guinean texts in Spanish complicate existing notions of the literature of 1898? Critical texts will include essays that comment directly on the texts at hand as well as diverse readings in literary theory. The overall goal of the course is for students to question and push outward the supposed boundaries of literature in Spanish. The course is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates and will be taught entirely in Spanish.
    Credits: 3
    Prerequisites: None
    Other academic years
    There is information about this course number in other academic years:
    More information
    Look for this course in the schedule of classes.

    The academic department web site for this program may provide other details about this course.

    Georgetown University37th and O Streets, N.W., Washington D.C. 20057(202) 687.0100

    Connect with us via: