Topics in US Latinx and/or Caribbean Literature and Culture

HISP-S688 — Spring 2024

Deborah Cohn
BH 123
Days and Times
TR 1:15P-2:30P
Course Description

Topic: Revolution and the Cold War in Latinx and Latin American Literature (1959-present)

Note: Graduate students only.

This course will examine representations of the Cold War—revolutionary activity, counterinsurgency, and dictatorship—and afterwards in Spanish America and the Caribbean in texts written by Latiné, Spanish American, and Caribbean authors between the 1960s and the present. In each case, we explore how national movements were caught up in broader transnational dynamics and power relations that linked developments in the Caribbean, Spanish America, the U.S., and beyond. We will study representations and critiques of the trajectory of the Cuban Revolution from its early years on, the violence and counterrevolutionary measures in other Spanish American and Caribbean states, and the impacts of U.S. Cold War policies (and interventions) in U.S. efforts to stem the spread of Communism.  We will also examine the legacy of the Cold War in Spanish America, the Caribbean, and the U.S. in the years following the fall of the Soviet Union.  Not surprisingly, several of the works that we will read ask us to take a critical look at democracy as well, both in the abstract and through how it is implemented.  

As part of our discussions, we explore how the works’ depictions of Cold War struggles and violence lay bare questions of power:  who wields it, how they grant or deny legitimacy and structure society and social roles, and the discourses and institutions that support and enforce social order. These issues, in turn, are entwined with questions of imperialism, toxic masculinity, environmental disaster, and contemporary struggles for social justice, equity, self-governance, and autonomy.

Our discussions of Latiné texts will additionally examine the construction of the Latiné as transnational subject, his/her/their relationships with other minoritized subjects within and outside of the U.S., and linkages between the Cuban revolution and civil rights and decolonial movements around the world. 

The course will be taught in English, and readings and films will be available in English and Spanish. We will read the work of authors such as Daniel Alarcón, Julio Cortázar, Junot Díaz, Carlos Fuentes, Cristina García, Rita Indiana, Achy Obejas, Héctor Tobar, and others. (Readings include several works from the HISP MA reading lists.)

Note: This class is jointly listed with CMLT-C 670, AMSTG 751 and ENGL-L 635

HISP-S 688    #32853    1:15P – 2:30P    TR     BH 123    Professor Deborah Cohn

Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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