Senior Seminar on Latin American Post*1950 W18 (SPAN*4410)
Code and section: SPAN*4410*01
Term: Winter 2018
Instructor: S. Henighan
The seminar provides in-depth study of contemporary Spanish America through its literature. The topic for Winter 2017 is “Ecological Dimensions of the Spanish American Novel.”
In this course we will try to develop a critical language for discussing Spanish American fiction in ecological terms, viewing human beings as part of a complex, interdependent ecosystem, rather than as a species superior to, and independent from, the natural world. The new field of ecocriticism is just taking off, leaving both gaps to be filled and room for creativity. We will approach Spanish American classics by authors such as José Eustacio Rivera and Mario Vargas Llosa, which have been analyzed from many other angles, in terms of their engagement with the natural world. We will also study more recent novels, written out of an explicit environmentalist consciousness, as objects of study capable of nourishing an evolving Spanish American ecocriticism.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to
- Interpret, evaluate and criticize texts of different genres by important Spanish American writers and demonstrate an understanding of the evolution of literary technique;
- Formulate a position and build an argument supported by appropriate textual evidence;
- Demonstrate artistic and intellectual appreciation of Spanish American literature, including its aesthetic trajectory over the last fifty years;
- Improve reading skills in Spanish, in addition to speaking skills.
- Display an awareness of environmental issues in Spanish America and the ways in which they are represented in literature.
Method of presentation: