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Defining Latin America and Latin American Literature (17th to 21st Century) Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Program Spring 2020 Semester - Buenos Aires

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Defining Latin America and Latin American Literature (17th to 21st Century)

Defining Latin America and Latin American Literature (17th to 21st Century) Course Overview


CEA CAPA Partner Institution: CEA CAPA Buenos Aires Center
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Primary Subject Area: Latin American Studies
Instruction in: English
Course Code: LAS362EZE
Transcript Source: University of New Haven
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45
Prerequisites: None


This course is an overview of Latin American literature from the 17th century to the present. The literary canon of Latin America is a heterogeneous body of work, presented chronologically in this syllabus, with authors and texts grouped according to movements, style changes, and problems specific to each period.

Besides covering the most important authors of the so-called 'Latin American Boom' of the 1960's and 1970's (allegedly the most well-known literary movement of Latin America), like Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Julio Cortázar, important writers and thinkers from other periods are also included, such as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, José Martí, and Rubén Darío, among others.

Latin American literature began by differentiating itself from its many influences, while also keeping in touch with the major cultural centers of the world. The first step was instituting itself as different and autonomous from Spain. Later, it was the time for approaching and following France and other European countries. Finally, there was the opportunity for establishing itself as a region and as a literature on its own right, with its own identity. Thus, Latin American literature poses questions regarding the politics, conveniences, and implications of founding itself on the particularities of its local color or on universalism, sometimes evidencing this as a false dichotomy.

In this regard, there isn't one Latin American literature. The 20 nations that belong to the region have their own particular voices, traditions, idioms and slang. Of course, all of them have similarities and share an overall feeling of cultural closeness and proximity. But while this may seem a homogenous cultural landscape from the outside, by dwelling deeper into Latin American literature students will have a closer look at the distinctive notes from each country and region of this fascinating subcontinent.

Therefore, this course has been designed so as to promote a continuous conversation on identity, stereotypes, and trans-national cultural and aesthetic relations, which will hopefully question established ideas of what Latin America and its literatures are.

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