RLSP 308
The Subject of Empire: Race, Gender and Power in the Colonial Era Spring 2020
Division I
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Class Details

This class studies Latin American literature of the colonial era (1492-1898) from the perspective of the constitution of the subject: the autobiographical ‘yo’ that is both the subject of discourse and the object of sovereign power. Our readings will include the most outstanding texts of the group collectively known as the Chronicles of the Conquest–the letters of Christopher Columbus and Hernán Cortés and Bernal Díaz del Castillo’s True History of the Conquest of New Spain, among others–whose authors endeavor to establish their historical authority and legitimate their actions before the Spanish king. We will also read later works in which racially and sexually marginalized subjects struggle to contest the identities and the conditions imposed on them by a distant sovereign through far-reaching institutional networks: the mestizo historian known as El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, the cross-dressed soldier Catalina de Erauso, the poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and the slave Juan Francisco Manzano.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 12
Class#: 3799
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: one short (7-page) paper, one longer (15-20 page) paper, proposal, bibliography, discussion-leading
Prerequisites: one RLSP course at the 200-level or above or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Spanish majors
Distributions: Division I

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