There was no such thing as a Spanish department 500 years ago--not even in Spain. The canon of Spanish literature as it exists now had not yet been written. There were works of medieval literature written in various peninsular languages, but the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon had only recently been united.
There was no such thing as the United States, and English-speaking people had not yet begun to colonize North America. So there could not have been a US university with a Spanish department unfairly balanced in favor of Spain. There wasn't even, yet, a "Latin America" as we know it today.
Another deeply puzzling passage:
These outdated practices tend to rely on several myths: The colonizer is the “root” of the cultural system (a hierarchy that continues after political independence); the language, art, literature, and aesthetics of the subaltern have been profoundly influenced by imperial directives; and the existence of European languages and cultures in the Americas is generally positive.Isn't it actually true that literature in Spanish has been profoundly influenced by other literature in the same language? I don't even know what to do with the notion that "the existence of European languages and cultures in the Americas is generally positive." We are talking about departments of Spanish, so the very premise of such a department is the use of the Spanish language. Whether positive or negative, the existence of Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French in the New World is a fact that makes possible the very existence of American, Canadian, Mexican, Chilean, Brazilian literatures.
It is also quite factual that the colonizer does establish the cultural hierarchy. We might not like that, but it is true. The criollo then continues in that role for quite a while, still establishing hierarchies... There is a confusion here between reality itself and what we'd like reality to be. The study of Latin American literature includes the study of these colonial and criollo elites.