SPANISH 470 - Latin-American Literature, Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries
Section: 003 Spanish Colonialism and the Invention of Race
Term: FA 2013
Subject: Spanish (SPANISH)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Class Misc Info:

This class is suitable to be taken in conjunction with SPANISH 308 and counts as a literature course for the Spanish minor.

Enforced Prerequisites:
Nine credits chosen between SPANISH 279 and 399; or two RCLANG 324 and six credits chosen between SPANISH 279 and 399.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

“The idea of race, in its modern meaning,” writes Peruvian sociologist Aníbal Quijano, “does not have a known history before the colonization of America.” Sometimes it’s useful, in order to critically engage with and think through a given phenomenon or category, to go back to the beginning. This class will explore the invention of race and racism in Latin America as a key component of a system of domination set up under Spanish colonial rule. We will think through the following questions:

  • What are race and racism and what do they do?
  • What is the relationship between colonialism and race?
  • How do notions of race and the operations of racism change from the colonial period to the present day?
  • Why are race and racism so powerful and so successful at persisting over time?

The class will form a loop that both begins and ends in the Caribbean, starting with writings from Christopher Columbus’s first voyage in 1492 and ending with the testimonio of former slave Esteban Montejo, who narrates the experience of slavery and resistance in late nineteenth-century Cuba. Along the way, we’ll interrogate the construction and shifting meanings associated with racial categories like “Indian,” Spaniard,” “Black,” and “mestizo.”

Course Requirements:

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Intended Audience:

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Class Format:

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SPANISH 470 - Latin-American Literature, Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries
Schedule Listing
003 (REC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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