S761 | 4283 | Myers

Professor Kathleen Myers

MW 4:00 - 5:15pm/section #4283/3cr./Ballantine Hall 332

The Development of Testimonial/Autobiographical Narrative in Spanish

This seminar will examine sixteenth and seventeenth century cultural
codes and narrative forms that led to individuals writing about their
personal experiences.  Whether writing from the point of view of a
conquistador, traveler, mystic, or rogue, these first "New World"
authors often drew on European conventions for self-representation.
Based on a variety of legal and religious codes, ranging from the
legal petition to testimony for canonization and Inquisition
processes, these early modern "autobiographies" soon took the form of
confessional writings, chronicles, and picaresque narratives. Many
aspects of this testimonial discourse became key to establishing the
founding elements of Latin American narratives, as seen still in the
popularity of the testimonial novel.  The course will focus on the
emergence of the writings of self in the early modern period and then
will briefly trace how nineteenth and twentieth century narratives
continue to some degree this narrative tradition.  The course will
also have a strong theoretical orientation, dealing with theories of
representation and autobiography.