Literatures of the Americas: Textos Tempranos


SPANISH | Literatures of the Americas (4th year) | Early Spanish American Texts

Course Description
This course examines texts (accounts, maps, illustrations) that were produced during the first 100 years of the discovery and colonization Spanish of the Americas (1492-1590). It focuses on European representations of the New World and its inhabitants and the problems of creating such representation given the unknown nature of land and people. The reflection on the challenges of these representations sets the basis to understand present-day notions of “the Americas” and “the Indian.”
Prerequisite: Introduction to Reading Hispanic Cultures

Learning Goals
At the end of this class the students should be able to:
1. Think critically about representation of the unknown and its challenges
2. Read carefully literary texts, understand them and analyze their content in their historical context
3. To understand present-day Latin American through the stereotypes created by European representations and discourses in the 15th and 16th centuries

Required Materials
Course pack with primary texts written by Cristóbal Colón, Hernán Cortés, Bartolomé de Las Casas, Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Isabel de Guevara. When available, examples of their illustrated editions
Tzvetan Torodov, The Conquest of America (selected chapters)
John Hemming, The Conquest of the Incas (selected chapters)
The Conquest of Paradise (dir. Ridley Scott, 1992)
A good Spanish-English/English-Spanish dictionary, for example Merriam Webster or Collins