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2014夏季学期
2014 summer term
首页 > 2014夏季学期 > 课程大纲(部分) » María-Fernanda-Identity in Latin America’s Literature during the 20th Century

María-Fernanda-Identity in Latin America’s Literature during the 20th Century

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 Identity in Latin America’s Literature during the 20th Century

 Summer 2015 (July 13th -24th, - 32 teaching hours)

 University of International Relations

 Beijing, China

 Lecturer: María-Fernanda González Rojas, MEd et MEE

 

Course Description

Does Identity in Latin America Matter? Do Latin Americans have an identity? This course will explore the concept of identity by reading and studying literary descriptions, images and expressions from six representative and contemporary Latin American authors from: Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. The purpose is to create a certain degree of understanding among the different realities, dynamics and complexities that exist in Latin Americatoday.

Observation: The discussion in class will be in English.

Biographical statement

María-Fernanda González Rojas is currently working as an on-line instructor for the ITESM’s (Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey) in Mexico and as a seminar leader for the Comparative European Politics course at the University of Tromsø in Norway.

Aims and objectives of the course

  • To provide students an overview of the main social, cultural and political issues affecting Latin America in the post-WWII period, with special reference to literary concepts such as magic realism.
  • To present a framework of the different ‘literary devices’ used in Latin-American literature.
  • To observe the different links between literature and social realities in Latin America today.

Syllabus

Session 1: We will analyze and discuss the following questions: What do we understand by identity? What do we know? vs. What we do not know? Some ‘basic’ facts about Latin America. An open discussion about colonial background, common language and religion and lack of infrastructure and education.

a)      Self other: in-group/out-group

b)      People, territory and beliefs

c)      Multiple communities/identities

Reading assignment and/for discussion in class:

Castells, Manuel. 1997. The Power of Identity, Volume II, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Massachusetts, USA, Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.

Galeano, Eduardo. 1973. The open veins of Latin America. Siglo XX1 Editores. México.

Session 2:     Argentina: Borges in his own labyrinth

We will analyze and discuss the following: Cross-cutting, nested (Onion layer) and blended identities in Borges’ world.

Reading assignment and/for discussion in class:

Borges, Jorge Luis. 1945. The Aleph

Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/jorge-luis-borges

Session 3:     Colombia: The study of ‘Magic realism’

We will analyze and discuss Gabriel García Márquez’s work. From Borges to Gabriel García Márquez with ‘Cien años de soledad’ (1967, novel). Reflections on the title: Who can cope 100 years of solitude?! What is magic realism? The use of metaphors, symbolisms. The element of solitude and the cyclical process of life and death, always there. We will explore the plot of 100 years of solitude and the idea of exile.

Reading assignment and/for discussion in class:

García Márquez, Gabriel.1967. One hundred years of solitude.

Session 4:     Chile: Re-invention of cultural identity / Memory and the use of Language

We will analyze and reflect about Isabel Allende’s two books: My invented country (2003, memoir) and The House of Spirits (1982, novel). Two elements to be discussed: solitude and the idea of exile.

Reading assignment and/for discussion in class:

Allende, Isabel. 2003. My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey throughChile. New York. Harper Collins.

Session 5:     Mexico: The different labyrinths and the questions of identity

We will analyze and discuss two masterpieces from Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes. Paz observes in Laberinto de la soledad the elements of death and fiesta, as a source of identity. As for Fuentes La región más transparente he describes the city of Mexico as a portrait and/or result of the Mexican revolution during 1910. In these two masterpieces there is a constant dialogue between two cultures: indigenous and Spanish culture.

Reading assignment and/for discussion in class:

Fuentes, Carlos. 1958. La región más transparente. Fondo de Cultura Económica. México.

Paz, Octavio. 1950. The labyrinth of solitude. Fondo de Cultura Económica. México.

-Submission of the outline-

Session 6:     Mexico: The different labyrinths and the questions of identity

We will continue analyzing Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz’s two masterpieces.

Reading assignment and/for discussion in class:

Fuentes, Carlos. 1958. La región más transparente. Fondo de Cultura Económica. México.

Paz, Octavio. 1950. The labyrinth of solitude. Fondo de Cultura Económica. México.

Session 7:     Peru: Literature and Democracy

We will analyze and discuss the following question: What does literature do for democracy?

Reading assignment and/for discussion in class:

Vargas Llosa, Mario. 2004. The Language of Passion: Selected Commentary. Picador, USA.

Session 8:     Uruguay: Urban poetry

We will discuss the different literary devices such as:

  • Allegory
  • Symbolism
  • Metaphor

We will read and analyze Mario’s Benedetti’s poetry.

Reading assignment and/for discussion in class:

Benedetti, Mario. 1997. Blood Pact and Other Stories. Willimantic,CT. Curbstone Press.

Session 9:     We will continue discussing the different literary devices such as:

  • Analogy
  • Anecdote
  • Cacophony

Literature creates what? (Memory, imaginary, a mosaic of different realities)

Chart of definitions and to identify who is using what?

Reading assignment and/for discussion in class:

Castells, Manuel. 1997, The Power of Identity, Volume II, The Information Age: Economy, Society andCulture,Massachusetts,USA,Oxford,UK: Blackwell Publishers.

Session 10:   We will summarize and close the course with the following questions: Does Identity in Latin America Matter? Do Latin-Americans have an Identity? In which ways can we connect literature with other academic fields? (History, politics, sociology economy among others).

Current event: Final piece written in class.

End of the course.

Bibliography suggested

Allende, Isabel. 2003. My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey throughChile. New York. Harper Collins.

Benedetti, Mario. 1997. Blood Pact and Other Stories. Willimantic,CT.  Curbstone Press.

Borges, Jorge Luis. The Aleph

Castells, Manuel. 1997. The Power of Identity, Volume II, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Massachusetts, USA, Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.

Fuentes, Carlos. 1958. La región más transparente. Fondo de Cultura Económica. México.

Galeano, Eduardo. 1973. The open veins of Latin America. Siglo XXI Editores. México.

García Márquez, cien años de soledad.

Paz, Octavio. 1950. El laberinto de la soledad. Fondo de Cultura Económica. México.

Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/jorge-luis-borges

Vargas Llosa, Mario. 2004. The Language of Passion: Selected Commentary. Picador, USA.

The role of the lecturer in the classroom

Seminar teaching style, with round table and open discussion groups and written exercises.

Course Assessment

This course is 100% internally assessed. It is a practical research seminar as well as a reading program. There are three main components to the final grade:

1     Attendance and Participation            (30%)

-          Full attendance is required         (15%)

-          Evaluation is based on student participation in class, both orally and on evidence of their having done the required reading (15%)

2     Oral presentation and Outline            (20%)

-          During the second week. An oral presentation (incl. outline), 10 min, in which a specific question(s)/case of the students' choosing is discussed with respect to the relevant literature (20%)

3     Writing Piece                                 (50%)

-     A draft outline is due at the end of the first week. The final writing piece is due during the last day of the course. The student will apply the reading and related literature to her/his chosen topic.

Statement: qualifications to lead this course

María-Fernanda González Rojas is a Mexican national. She has a bachelor degree in International Studies from the Universidad de Monterrey. She holds a master in Education from the ITESM in Mexico and a master in European Studies from the Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Netherlands. She has worked in research and teaching for the following universities: ITESM and University of Monterrey in Mexico, Cambridge University in England, Harvard University in USA, Waseda University in Japan and Aalborg University in Denmark.

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