Subalternity, Dictatorship, and the Dream of Emancipation: Paraguay, 1811-Present
Division I; Exploring Diversity Initiative; Writing-Intensive;
This is not the current course catalog
Paraguay is at once the most “typical” of Latin American countries and the most enigmatic. With a predominantly Guarani-speaking population, enormous disparities of wealth and poverty, and a political tradition that favors authoritarian dictatorship, Paraguay is also celebrated, in certain circles, as the only Latin American nation that actually achieved economic and political independence when the other republics were fast becoming economic dependencies of Britain and the US in the 19th century. This course explores the subjects of subalternity, dictatorship, and the “dream of emancipation” in Paraguay’s cultural production of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. We will examine together the writings of the brilliant novelist Augusto Roa Bastos, especially Son of Man and I the Supreme; stories and poems by Teresa Lamas, Josefina Pla, and others; Paraguay’s rich and vibrant tradition of visual art; and works of classic and contemporary film. Conducted in Spanish. This course fulfills the goals of the EDI requirement by challenging students to analyze the ways that structures of power and privilege, articulated at the national and international levels, are manifest in Paraguay, as well as the strategies Paraguayan artists and intellectuals have developed to undermine or contest those structures through creative cultural work. Our explorations will be undergirded by theoretical readings in the fields of postcolonial studies, subaltern studies, and psychoanalysis.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: three essays of 5-7 pages, shorter writing assignments, discussion-leading, active and engaged class participation
Enrollment Preference: Spanish majors
Distributions: Division I; Exploring Diversity Initiative; Writing-Intensive;