Great Books from the World at Large: Latin America and Africa
COM LIT XL 4DW
This course studies texts from Latin America (Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia) about the discovery of the New World, European conquest and the efforts to free
Latin America from colonial imposition. The African texts studied (Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya) include stories that protest colonization, call for independence and celebrate African pride.
Address the topics and issues raised by literary works
Establish the relevance of a short story’s themes and issues to the story’s author
Think about the relevance to your lives of the topics and issues a story raises
Master the techniques of coherent and persuasive written literary analysis
About this course:
As David Damrosch reminds us, “Reading a work from a different place and time involves a back-and-forth movement between the familiar and the unfamiliar. A view of the world is always a view from wherever we are, and we inevitably filter what we read through our own experience. But if we don’t impose our expectations onto the new work, its distinctive qualities will enlarge our field of vision.” The Latin American works we read—and write about—include stories by Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina), Carlos Fuentes (Mexico), and Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia) about the discovery of the New World, European conquest, and the efforts to free Latin America from colonial imposition. The African works we read—and write about—include, in addition to stories by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria), Nadine Gordimer (South Africa), and Nugugiwa Thiong’o (Kenya) that protest colonization, call for independence, and celebrate African pride, a play about British presence in West Africa (Death and the King’s Horseman) by Nobel Prize-winner Wole Soyinka.