20th Century Mexican Literature

20th Century Mexican Literature – Fall 2008

 

Instructor:             Dr. Brian L. Price (pricebl@wfu.edu)

Course Info:          MWF 11:00 – 11:50 pm

Office:                    550 Greene Hall

Phone:                   758-4572

Office Hours:        MW 2:00 – 3:30

 

Class Description

Any reading of national literature automatically implies a reading of the aesthetic and historical processes that leads to the development of literary canons. This course studies what I consider to be a representative sample of Mexico’s 20th-century canon. What constitutes canon and how does a text become canonical? To paraphrase one critic’s questions, how do you load a canon? And can you fire a canon? Throughout the semester we will address the specific historical and aesthetic contexts in which these texts appear. Trends will emerge and tensions will become apparent as we read authors who are intimately involved in trying to tease out what role literature plays in national questions. While we will discuss historical context in lectures, the majority of our focus will be on the texts themselves and on the intertextual dialogues that surface as authors revisit certain aesthetic, political, and cultural ideas and problems.

 

Course Blog

“20th Century Mexican Literature” – www.mexlit.wordpress.com

 

Class Policies and Grading

 

Readings and Participation: 10%. Expectations for upper-level seminars are much greater than the 317/318 level. Reading assignments are approximately 40-50 pages per class session. It is expected that you cover all the materials assigned at least once before class. Allow yourself enough time to read and reflect. Last-minute cramming will not suffice.

 

Blog Entries on Mexican Authors: 15%. All students will be assigned 5 Mexican authors to research and write a 2-page, double-spaced encyclopedia article for each writer. Entries should include biographical information, vital statistics, and bibliographic information for primary and secondary sources. Photos and links to other sites for information (i.e., online interviews, documentaries, or video clips from YouTube) may be included. Also, reflections on the author’s place within Mexican letters are appropriate. These entries will be posted to the course blog (www.mexlit.wordpress.com) and moderated by the professor. Since this information is being broadcast on the web, I ask that you try your best to make the articles as clear, well written, and error free as possible.

 

Blog Postings and Comments: 10%. Each group will submit 5 reading notes for critical articles and literary texts. These should be posted to the blog and tagged. Notes are due by 5:00 pm the day before class so everyone can read them. Late work will be penalized.

 

Additionally, in order to generate more dialogue among students about each other’s ideas, all students will respond (in the comment section) to 2 postings per week.

 

Midterm Exam: 20%. The midterm exam will take place on Wednesday, 15 October. Content 90%, Grammar 10%.

 

Final Exam: 20%. The final exam will be held on the date set by the university. Please do not ask about taking the final exam at another time unless you have a scheduling conflict. Having three exams on the same day is unfortunate, but it is not a conflict. Content 90%, Grammar 10%.

 

Final Research Webpage: 25%. Instead of writing the standard research paper, groups of students will collaborate to develop a content based webpage on any topic relating to our readings of Mexican literature, culture, and history. Since this is the first time I am endeavoring to do a project like this, I am relying heavily on work done by other educators, specifically, University of Michigan professor David Porter’s “Eighteenth Century England” project (http://www.umich.edu/~ece/index.html). More details will follow about how we will organize this, but in the meantime, begin thinking about a subject that sparks your imagination and how you might link it to our Mexican texts.

 

Attendance and Timeliness Policy. My philosophy for attendance and timeliness is fairly straightforward. You are allowed two absences and after that each absence will lower your final grade by 5 percentage points. The tardy policy is similar. You are allowed two tardies and after that each one (or early departure from class) will lower your final grade by 1 percentage point.

 

Grading Policy According to the WFU Bulletin:

A’s are reserved only for exceptionally high achievement

A-/B+/B are all superior

B-/C+/C are satisfactory

C-/D+/D/D- are passing but unsatisfactory

 

The grading scale:    

93-100=A, 90-92=A-, 88-9=B+, 83-87=B, 80-82=B-, 78-9=C+, 73-77=C, 70-72=C-, 68-9=D+, 60-67=D, 0-60=F.

 

Assignment Schedule

 

Week 1

 

 

Miércoles

27 de agosto

Asunto administrativos

Introducción

 

Viernes

29 de agosto

 

No hay clase

 

Week 2

 

 

Lunes

1 de septiembre

 

Lecture: “How to load a canon”

Bloom: Introducción a The Western Canon (1)

Guillory: “Canon” from Critical Terms for Literary Study (2)

 

Miércoles

3 de septiembre

 

Reyes: “Notas sobre la inteligencia americana” (3)
Viernes

5 de septiembre

 

Lecture: La génesis del nacionalismo literario y el debate de 1925

Muñoz: “Oro, caballo, hombre” (4)

 

 

Week 3

 

 

Lunes

8 de septiembre

 

Torri: “De fusilamientos” de De fusilamientos

Azuela: 1º fragmento de Los de abajo (5)

1º blog entry due

 

Miércoles

10 de septiembre

 

Azuela: 2º fragmento de Los de abajo (6)
Viernes

12 de septiembre

 

No hay clase

 

 

Week 4

 

 

Lunes

15 de septiembre

 

Lecture: Juan Rulfo “el Zorro”

Rulfo: Pedro Páramo, 65-87. (1)

Testimonies from Arreola, Volpi, Monterroso

 

Miércoles

17 de septiembre

 

Rulfo: Pedro Páramo, 88-107. (2)

 

Viernes

19 de septiembre

 

 

Rulfo: Pedro Páramo, 107-133. (3)

 

Week 5

 

 

Lunes

22 de septiembre

 

Rulfo: Pedro Páramo, 133-154. (4)
Miércoles

24 de septiembre

 

Rulfo: Pedro Páramo, 154-178. (5)

 

Viernes

26 de septiembre

 

Lecture: Arreola, hacia una literatura cosmopolita

Arreola: “El prodigioso miligramo” de Confabulario (6)

 

Week 6

 

 

Lunes

29 de septiembre

Arreola: “Baby H.P.”, “Anuncio”, “En verdad os digo” de Confabulario (1)

2º blog entry due

 

Miércoles

1 de octubre

 

Arreola: “El guardagujas” de Confabulario (2)

 

Viernes

3 de octubre

 

Lecture: Indigenismo dentro del ámbito intelectual

Rojas: “El diosero” de El diosero (3)

 

 

Week 7

 

 

Lunes

6 de octubre

 

Castellanos: “La tregua” de Ciudad Real (1)
Miércoles

8 de octubre

 

Castellanos: “Los convidados de agosto” de Los convidados de agosto (2)

 

Viernes

10 de octubre

 

Lecture: Carlos Fuentes y el Boom

Fuentes: “Chaac Mool” (3)

 

 

Week 8

 

 

Lunes

13 de octubre

 

Fuentes: “Chaac Mool” (4)

 

Miércoles

15 de octubre

 

Midterm Exam

Viernes

17 de octubre

 

Fall Break: no hay clase

 

Week 9

 

 

Lunes

20 de octubre

 

Lecture: Escritura, metaficción y sociedad

Spires, Beyond the Metafictional Mode (5)

Elizondo: “El grafógrafo”, “Novela conjetural”, Mnemothreptos”… 3º blog entry due.

Miércoles

22 de octubre

 

Elizondo: “Futuro Imperfecto” (6)

 

Viernes

24 de octubre

 

Lecture: Novela histórica

Menton: “Introducción”, La nueva novela histórica en Latinoamérica (1)

Hutcheon: “Historiographic Metafiction” (2)

 

 

Week 10

 

 

Lunes

27 de octubre

 

Rivera Garza. Nadie me verá llorar, Cap. 1. (3)

 

Miércoles

29 de octubre

 

Rivera Garza. Nadie me verá llorar, Cap. 2&3. (4)

 

Viernes

31 de octubre

 

Rivera Garza. Nadie me verá llorar, Cap. 4. (5)

 

 

Week 11

 

 

Lunes

3 de noviembre

 

Rivera Garza. Nadie me verá llorar, Cap. 5&6. (6)

 

Miércoles

5 de noviembre

 

Rivera Garza. Nadie me verá llorar. Cap. 7&8 (1)

 

Jueves

6 de noviembre

 

Rivera Garza. Nadie me verá llorar.

 

Time: TBA

Visita a clase de Cristina Rivera Garza

Presentación de Cristina Rivera Garza

 

Week 12

 

 

Lunes

10 de noviembre

 

Lecture: Onda y contracultura frente al Estado

Agustín: “Cuál es la onda” (2)

4º blog entry due

 

Miércoles

12 de noviembre

 

Agustín: “Cuál es la onda”

 

Viernes

14 de noviembre

 

Lecture: José Emilio Pacheco y 1968

Pacheco: “El torturador” (3)

 

Week 13

 

 

Lunes

17 de noviembre

 

Pacheco: fragmentos de Morirás lejos
Miércoles

19 de noviembre

 

Lecture: Legitimacy and crisis in the 1980s and 1990s

Price: “Juan Villoro y la crónica nostálgica del rock and roll” (4)

Villoro: fragmentos de Tiempo transcurrido: crónicas  imaginarias

 

Viernes

21 de noviembre

 

Villoro: fragmentos de Tiempo transcurrido: crónicas imaginarias (5)

 

 

 

Week 14

 

 

 

Lunes

24 de noviembre

 

Samperio: “Estación fatal”, “Cuando el tacto toma palabra”, “Fuera del ring”, “Tiempo libre” (6)
Miércoles

26 de noviembre

 

Thanksgiving

Viernes

28 de noviembre

 

Thanksgiving

 

Week 15

 

 

Lunes

1 de diciembre

 

Lecture: Desplazamiento del canon hacia la(s) frontera(s)

Mendoza: “Culiches”

5º blog entry due

 

Miércoles

3 de diciembre

 

Crosthwaite: fragmentos de Instrucciones para cruzar la frontera
Viernes

5 de diciembre

 

Conclusión

 

Week 16
Viernes

12 de diciembre

 

 

Examen Final

 

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