Spanish and Portuguese | Topics in U.S. Latino Literature
S688 | 26609 | E. Maguire

Professor Emily Maguire

S688     Topics in U.S. Latino Literature
Topic: Exile and Diaspora in U.S. Caribbean Literature

MW 2:30pm – 3:45pm/class# 26609/3cr./Ballantine Hall 235

This course will examine how the experiences of exile and diaspora
(both political and economic) have helped shape literature produced
in the United States by writers of Caribbean origin.  We will
examine a diverse array of texts – poetry, novels, short stories,
films and critical essays – produced in both Spanish and English by
writers of Puerto Rican, Dominican and Cuban origin.  As we read, we
will use exile and diaspora as experiences whose transitional nature
allows us to interrogate other aspects of Latino-Caribbean
literature.  How are these experiences portrayed, and what role have
they played in the construction of identities, both personal and
collective?  How have these situations shaped the development of
Caribbean communities (both physical and literary) within the
continental U.S.?  Have exile and diaspora served to complicate our
idea of what is Caribbean, or can they be seen as fundamental to the
construction of Caribbean-ness?  We will look at how these movements
affect the treatment of race and gender in these works, and we will
analyze the role of nostalgia and humor in the presentation of
navigating between different cultural and geographic spaces.

Readings will include texts by Oscar Hijuelos, Carlos Eire, Junot
Díaz, Cristina García, Sonia Rivera Valdés, Ana Lydia Vega, Julia de
Burgos, Pedro Pietri, Manuel Ramos Otero, Luís Rafael Sánchez and
Reinaldo Arenas.  Critical readings will be drawn from the work of
Svetlana Boym, James Clifford, Edouard Glissant, Gustavo Pérez
Firmat, and Antonio Benítez Rojo, among others.