"Manifest Destinies Frontiers" - Topics in Latina/o Literature
- John Alba Cutler
- Parkes Hall 223 - TuTh 11:00AM - 12:20PM
- The Cowboy. The Pioneer. Few characters have been as central to American identity (and literature) as these. But why has the frontier played such a central and persistent role in American literary history? Do these characters have an inverse in the various Latino identities that emerge at the historical sites of American expansion? Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican identities forged at key moments of American empire (and crisis) beg the question, whose destinies are manifest in the history of American empire? This course examines the persistence of Manifest Destiny and the frontier as tropes through some of their key iterations in early and nineteenth-century American literature. We will pay particular attention to the flexibility of borders and identities during various historical moments to interrogate the myriad ways "America" and "Americanness" have been imagined. The course has a broad historical trajectory, but it is nevertheless primarily a literature course. We will, of course, think about each of these texts in relation to their particular historical and social contexts, but we will also interrogate the texts as literature, attempting to account for how genre, language, and trope combine to provide us with some of our most enduring (and often most problematic) representations of American and Latino identities.
- Participation, short writing assignments, two essays of 7-8 pages.
- Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, La relación; Mary Rowlandson, The Sovereignty and Goodness of God; James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans; Henry David Thoreau, "Resistance to Civil Government"; George Lippard, Legends of Mexico; John Rollin Ridge, The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta; Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, The Squatter and the Don; Herman Melville, Benito Cereno; José Martí, selected essays and poems; and Frank Norris, McTeague.
- Literature & Fine Arts Distro Area
Overview of class
Class Materials (Required)
Current as of 05/03/13 05:40:03 PM