RLSP 230
Violent States, Violent Subjects: Nation-Building and Atrocity in 19th-Century Latin America
Last Offered Fall 2008
Division I Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed COMP 230 / RLSP 230
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

Although the massive, mechanized wars of the 20th century often overshadow earlier conflicts, the 19th century was also a period of widespread bloodshed in Latin America. Even after the carnage of the Independence Wars came to an end, the new republics continued some of the most violent pursuits of the colonial period: indigenous people were conquered, their lands settled by whites or used for grazing cattle, and blacks (often despite the official abolition of slavery) continued to suffer exclusion, oppression, and abuse. It was a century of civil wars (Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela) and of two bitter international wars, the Paraguayan War(1864-1870), and the Pacific War (1879-1883), each of which would have a lasting impact on the countries involved. In this tutorial we will explore the literary links between some of the violent conflicts listed above and the foundation of national identities in Latin America, reading texts that probe the social and ethical implications of state-sponsored violence. Issues to be explored include militarism and the development of nationalism; genocide and the national community; torture, truth and testimony; and the nature ofcivilization. We will read a variety of 19th century texts by authors like Rosa Guerra, Lucio V. Mansilla and Ricardo Palma; in addition we will also read a few contemporary texts, written in the aftermath of the most recent dictatorships in the Southern Cone and elsewhere, that actively reflect on the long history of state-sponsored violence in Latin America. This course fulfills the EDI requirement by encouraging students to examine the ways that national identities have been constructed in Latin America (and, by extension,elsewhere) emphasizing the forms of violence that have been part of that process.
The Class: Format: tutorial; students will work in pairs throughout the semester, each group meeting with the instructor once a week
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1673
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: each week one of the students will present a 5-page paper on the assigned reading and the other will critique the paper orally
Prerequisites: Spanish 200 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Spanish and Comparative Literature majors
Unit Notes: students will decide whether they prefer to take the course in Spanish (for Spanish/COMP credit) or in English (for COMP credit)
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 230 Division I RLSP 230 Division I
Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives
INST Latin American Studies Electives
LATS Countries of Origin + Transnationalism Elect

Class Grid

Updated 10:55 am

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