MASTER NARRATIVES OF HISPANISM
The aim of this graduate seminar is to undertake a critical examination of the master narratives of the field of Hispanism itself through a reading of significant primary and secondary sources. Master narratives, in this context, involve overarching historical assumptions about the history, culture, and literature of the Hispanic world, assumptions that shape our research projects. A critical examination entails some degree of skepticism and distance, even when the temptation might be to simply choose the best of these narratives. The point is neither to dismiss these narratives out of hand nor to become blind adherents of any given paradigm, but to examine the ways in which they have given our field its current identity, in ways we should be more aware of than we are. Some of these narratives are cast negatively, taking the form of "Spain never had a genuine X." Many emphasize historical fissures, discontinuities, and the uneven development of modernity. In some cases, a master narrative might be more optimistic, imposing a spurious ideological unity on a more heterogeneous reality. One example is the influential Américo Castro version of Spanish history, "la morada vital," that Carlos Fuentes re-articulates in his popular book El espejo enterrado. The hypothesis of the course is that the master narrative of master narratives can be defined as the "struggle for modernity," in both Spain and Latin America.
Because the topic of the course is the metadiscourse of Hispanism itself, the line between primary and secondary sources will be borrosa. Many of the texts read in class will belong to the genre of the essay, like the "artículos" of Larra, Lorca's lectures, or the prose writings of José Lezama Lima. We will also look at the academic articles included in Mabel Moraña's Ideologies of Hispanism and Epps and Cifuentes' Spain Beyond Spain, and similar reflections by leading scholars in the field. Novels, plays, and books of poetry are also relevant to narratives of Hispanism.
The readings, roughly, will fall into three equally weighted categories: (1) those concerned primarily with peninsular Spain, from Larra to Subirats, passing through Menéndez Pelayo, Menéndez Pidal, the generation of 1898, Américo Castro, Lorca, Valente, Goytisolo, and Eduardo Subirats. (2) Narratives of the Americanness of Latin American Literature and the formation of national identity. José Martí, Borges, Lezama Lima, Doris Sommer.(3) Narratives that attempt to bridge the gap between the two continents, creating transatlantic accounts of Hispanic culture.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Master narratives: The Course
This is what I have so far. It still needs a lot of work, but I haven't even looked yet to see when I am giving a seminar next: