Course Description

  • Description:

    Fulfills Upper-Level Elective for LCS Major and Minor

    This course offers a comparative study of the literatures of the Americas from the nineteenth century to the present. We will read a range of novels, stories, essays and poems written in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, a number of which were originally published in Spanish. Beginning with nineteenth-century expressions of cultural autonomy from Europe, the course will trace the development of major literary trends in the Americas, paying particular attention to the relationship between the novel and the modern history of the western hemisphere. Our readings will concentrate on literary works from the Americas whose imagined geographies traverse the boundaries of nation and region.

  • Learning Goals:

    Upon completion of the course, students will:

    • demonstrate knowledge of literatures in English, their historical, cultural, and formal dimensions and diversity
    • use strategies of interpretation, including critical and theoretical terms, concepts, and methods in relation to a variety of textual forms and other media
    • engage with the work of other critics and writers, using and citing such sources effectively
    • write persuasively and precisely, in scholarly and, optionally, creative forms
  • Required Reading:

    Readings will average between 150 and 200 pages per week. Supplementary texts will be available as handouts and on Sakai or Canvas. All readings will be provided in English. Students with knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese will be encouraged to read texts in the original when possible (texts in these languages will constitute approximately 40% of the readings). The following books are required:

    William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!
    Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
    Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
    Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World
    Toni Morrison, A Mercy
    Roberto Bolaño, Distant Star
    Francisco Goldman, The Ordinary Seaman
    Valeria Luiselli, Faces in the Crowd

    Consult Rutgers Barnes & Noble for current books for the course.

  • Evaluation:

    Quizzes = 15%
    Two Short Papers (1-2 pages) = 15%
    First Essay (4-5 pages) = 25%
    Second Essay (5-6 pages) = 30%
    Participation = 15%

  • Credits: 3
  • Disclaimer: The information in this course description is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (e.g. Canvas).