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Slavery, Latifundio, and Revolution in Latin American Literature and Cinema (FYS)
Fall 2018 not offered

In this course, we will read literatures and cinemas of Haiti, Mexico, Guatemala, and Cuba that depict insurrectionist and revolutionary ruptures that take place on plantations and latifundios. We will study how insurrection and revolution are deployed by Caribbean and Latin American literary imaginations to critique the dangerous economic situations in the early 20th century of U.S.-backed client states--referred to dismissively in the United States as "banana republics" after the United Fruit Company converted U.S. naval ships into cargo boats that would import exploitatively planted and harvested bananas--and the economic schemes of underdevelopment that aligned with expanding U.S. hegemony in the hemisphere. We will read narratives of revolution that expose different systems of human oppression, beginning with the Haitian Revolution of the late 18th century, insurrections in Chiapas against casta and latifundio before and after the Mexican Revolution of 1910, and ending with revolts against U.S. economic and military interventions in Guatemala and Cuba in the 20th century. We will attend to the way that revolutions are represented both as vertical ruptures that seek to explode the past and as horizontal historical developments that continue select legacies of the past. While de-romanticizing the commercialized Che T-shirt notion of revolutions in the Americas, we will, more importantly, deconstruct revolutionary progressive discourses of hetero-masculinity, modernity, and development.

Among our topics will be the way fictional narratives render and aestheticize the historically dangerous proximity between dictatorship and democracy, as well as other consequences of specifically Latin American and Caribbean revolutions: the external manipulation of sovereignty, extraction of resources by military-backed force, civil wars, genocide, and the making of migrations and diasporas.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL-Creative W)(ENGL-Literature)

Last Updated on JUL-21-2024
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