RLSP 264
Outcasts of the Lettered City: Nation-Building and the Margins in 19th Century Latin America
Last Offered Spring 2022
Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

Bandits, vagabonds, runaway slaves, and unruly women. Defeated soldiers. Afro-Colombian rivermen. Indigenous Americans and their white captives. Latin American cultural production of the 19th century is conventionally studied in terms of the urban intellectuals’ projects of nation-formation in the aftermath of the long struggle for independence from Spain. This course examines that process from the outside, considering instead a series of literary and other writings that represent the marginalized others of the desired nation-state, the women and men, many of them Afro-descended, Indigenous and mixed race, who found themselves excluded from the new national community–or who preferred a life on the pampas, deep in the jungle, or somewhere else outside the confines of bourgeois society. Primary readings will be selected from among the following: Simón Rodríguez, American Societies in 1828, Juan Francisco Manzano, Autobiography of a Slave; Domingo F. Sarmiento, Facundo. Civilization and Barbarism in the Argentine Republic; José Hernández, Martín Fierro; Flora Tristán, Peregrinations of a Pariah; Juan Crisóstomo Centurión, Viaje nocturno, Federico Gamboa, Santa; Candelario Obeso, Popular Songs of My Land; Cirilo Villaverde, Cecilia Valdés, Lucio V. Mansilla, Excursion to the Ranquel Indians. We will also read a number of critical essays by leading scholars in the field of 19th century Latin American literature.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 12
Expected: 10
Class#: 3650
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Students will write and revise approximately 20 double-spaced pages, in Spanish, over the course of the semester. Students will also prepare 10-15 minutes responses to their classmates' work. We will read 100-150 pages of Spanish prose each week and well as critical essays, which will often be in English.
Prerequisites: Any 200-level course with an RLSP prefix or permission of instructor.
Enrollment Preferences: Spanish majors and potential Spanish majors.
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
WS Notes: This course is conducted as a tutorial. The number of students in each unit (pairs or triplets) depends on how many students enroll, but whatever our structure turns out to be, each student can anticipate multiple opportunities to write and revise their individual essays in response to feedback from their classmate and professor, as well as to serve as the respondent offering feedback other students' work. Thus we emphasize editing and revision as essential parts of the writing process.
DPE Notes: This course examines structures of exclusion in 19th century Latin America -- the reproduction and perpetuation of socio-economic and institutional structures based on racial, gendered and class-based hierarchies established during the colonial era -- and the spaces that historical individuals have been able to occupy within and around them.

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