RLSP 242 Latin American Travel Writing (W)

Last offered Fall 2013

Beyond Columbus' errant journey into the abyss and the ensuing quest for El Dorado, or Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle, Latin America's interior has often enticed its own learned population. Their travels, in space, time and thought, do not merely present a physical confrontation with alterity, with the continent's supposed heart of darkness, but an intellectual clearing, an origin, from which a more equitable politics may begin. To name but one example, Alejo Carpentier's Los pasos perdidos, the tale of a New York composer's journey to the beginning of society and music, is often seen as the touchstone of Latin American identity. Through accounts of real and fictitious travels, from Carpentier to the crassest of guidebooks, we will study such quests for self. These domestic departures will frame debates on ethics, representation, and epistemology. For comparison's sake, there will be occasional primary and secondary texts on English. Readings will include work by Sarmiento, Gorriti, Mansilla, Vasconcelos, Borges, Bioy Casares, Che Guevara, Allende, SepĂșlveda, and Crosthwaite. Conducted in Spanish.
Class Format: lecture/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: two 5-page papers over the first half, and a 12-to15-page research project over the second half, all of which will be defended through active participation
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Prerequisites: RLSP 201 and above, or permission of the instructor
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Divisional Attributes: Division I,Writing Intensive
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Enrollment Limit: 20
Expected Enrollment: 20
Class Number: 1839
RLSP 242 LEC Latin American Travel Writing (W) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsWriting Intensive Jonathan Pitcher
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