Spanish and Portuguese | Topics in Contemporary Spanish American Literature
S678 | 25821 | E. Maguire

Professor Emily Maguire

S678	Topics in Contemporary Spanish American Literature

Topic: “Négritude y negrismo: hacia la creación de identidad afro-

TR 9:30am – 10:45pm/class# 25821/3 cr./Room TBA

The intention of this course is to analyze the representations of a
black identity in the production of three poetic movements in the
Spanish and French-Speaking Caribbean from the 1920s through the
1940s: "Negrismo", "Négritude" and "Poesía Afro-antillana".  The
first part of the course will look at the ways in which these
movements engage and/or overlap with one another as well as with
European Modernist movements such as Surrealism.  Beginning with the
negrista poems of Emilio Ballagas and Luis Palés Matos, we will
examine early constructions of an Africanist poetics in Cuba and
Puerto Rico.  We will read André Breton’s "Surrealist Manifestoes"
and other texts from French Surrealism, and we will interrogate the
presence and role of an Africanist aesthetic in this and other
European Avant-Garde movements.  We will analyze the articulation of
Négritude in Aimé Césaire’s work and will trace the “dialogue”
established between his work and that of Surrealist writers Breton
and Pierre Mabille.  We will then look at the further development of
an Africanist poetic discourse in the work of Nicolás Guillén, and
examine the particular articulation of a racialized subjectivity in
the Dominican literature through a reading of Tomás Hernández
Franco’s poem “Yelidá.”

In the second half of the semester, we will explore the relationship
of these articulations of an Africanist poetics to ethnographic
discourse, focusing on the work of Fernando Ortiz ("Los negros
brujos, Contrapunteo cubano del tabaco y el azúcar") and Lydia
Cabrera ("El monte").  We will end the course by asking how (or if)
the articulation of a racialized literary subjectivity
in "Negrismo", "Négritude" and "Poesía Afro-antillana" has
influenced more recent treatments of race in Caribbean Literature,
as we read Manuel Rueda’s Las m"etamorfosis de Makandal", Guillermo
Cabrera Infante’s "Tres tristes tigres", and the poetry of Nancy

Theoretical and Critical readings to support our discussions of
these primary texts will be drawn from the work of Edouard Glissant,
Theodor Adorno, Franz Fanon, James Clifford, Paul Gilroy, Henry
Louis Gates, Jr., Josephat Kubayanda, A. James Arnold, Luis Duno
Gottberg, Vera Kutzinski, Robin Kelley, and Néstor E. Rodríguez,
among others.

This course will be taught in Spanish.  Readings for the course will
be in Spanish and English.  A reading knowledge of French is
helpful, but not required.