Democracy and Dictatorship

HISP-S472 - Prof. Cohn — spring 2022

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Deborah Cohn
BH 344
Days and Times
TR 11:30A-12:45P
Course Description

The Cold War, Revolution, Counter-Revolution, and Dictatorship in Spanish American and Latinx Literature 

In this course, we will explore the ripple effect of the Cold War and revolutionary politics in Spanish America and the U.S. in works by Spanish American and Latino/a authors.  For many, the Cuban Revolution of 1959 sparked hopes of establishing political and cultural autonomy throughout Spanish America. Focusing on literary, political, and historical texts, we will examine this period, its aftermath, and its legacies, including representations and critiques of: the Cuban Revolution, its goals and impact; the cultural effervescence that emerged out of this moment; the dictatorships in and counterrevolutionary measures of the Spanish American states (often supported by U.S. Cold War policies) in their efforts to stem the spread of Communism; and U.S. interventionism and imperialism. We will examine texts within their national contexts and also focus our attention on their transnational dimension, that is, their relationships to other nations and their struggles in the Caribbean, Spanish America, and the U.S., and the diasporas that they prompted. We will examine the ways that content and structure/techniques work together in artistic texts to convey themes, and we will explore how texts engage with—reflect, respond to, and, often, seek to change—their historical, cultural, social, and/or political contexts. In addition to the Cuban Revolution, we will also examine social(ist) movements and dictatorship elsewhere in the Caribbean and in the Southern Cone in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the Central American revolutions of the 1970s and 1980s. Readings include works by both Spanish American and Latinx authors.  Our discussions will examine Latinx writers’ constructions of themselves as transnational subjects as they assume their identities and insert their narratives into U.S. and Spanish American literature and history.
We will read novels, short stories, poetry, and political texts, and watch films.  Authors included in the course will include Daniel Alarcón, Junot Díaz, Roberto Fernández Retamar, Achy Obejas, Heberto Padilla, Antonio Skármeta, Marta Traba, and others.   

HISP-S 472     #31847     11:30A-12:45P     TR    BH 344    Prof. Deborah Cohn   

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