Survey of Spanish American Literature

Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Survey of Spanish American Literature

  • Host University

    Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra

  • Location

    Santiago, Dominican Republic

  • Area of Study

    Latin American Studies, Literature

  • Language Level

    Intermediate, Advanced

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    This course presents a general overview of the historical evolution of Spanish-American literature through literary movements, authors, and their most representative works, in relation to the historical reality in which they were produced.


    For students to:

    1. Become familiar with the principal tendencies, movements, and authors of Spanish-American literature from the colonial era up to the present, through its most representative works.
    2. Discover that the study of literature is a dynamic process in which the cultural reality of a country can be understood by getting to know its literary output.
    3. Acquire the ability to recognize, by means of literary texts, the interdisciplinary relationships between literature and social and historical reality of the Spanish American peoples.
    4. Acquire the habit of utilizing contemporary Spanish American literary texts for teaching purposes, in ways that are effective and methodical.
    5. Acquire an interpretive and critical attitude toward the literary work.
    6. Acquire positive attitudes toward the enjoyment and evaluation of a literary work as an expression of the intellectual work of the Spanish American peoples.


    Unit 1: A ?New World?.

    Subtopic: 1. Pre-Colombian literature and culture.

    1. Literary manifestations of the Pre-Colombian Americas.
    1.1. The indigenous cultures.
    1.2. Literary works.
    1.3. Lyric poetry.
    1.4. Ancient traditions.
    1.5. Painted books
    -Popol Vuh.

    2. The Chroniclers of the Indies, literature of the Conquest.
    2.1. The Chronicle as a historical-literary genre.
    2.2. Classification of chronicles.
    2.3. The language of the conquistadores.
    2.4. The Chroniclers of the Indies.

    3. Epic poetry.

    Unit 2: From the colony to cultural independence.

    1. Colonial letters.
    1.1. Refined literature and popular literature.
    1.2. Literary genres.
    1.3. From the Renaissance to the Baroque.
    1.4. Baroque in the West Indies.

    2. Literature in the period of independence, Neoclassicism.
    2.1. The new South American states, the new American man.
    2.2. General characteristics of Spanish American Neoclassicism, stylistic resources, most important genres.
    2.3. The literature of national liberation, national anthems, origins of the Spanish American novel.
    2.4. Literature of intellectual independence.

    Unit 3: Con la patria en el corazón- Spanish American Romanticism.

    1. Social and sentimental Romanticism, general characteristics. Toward a new aesthetic.
    2. Refined genres, representative authors.
    2.1. Sentimental: Jorge Isaac, María.
    2.2. Sentimental poetry.
    2.3. Variables.

    Unit 4: Modernism: Origins, development, and evolution.

    1. Directions of Modernism.
    1.1. Internal contradictions.
    1.2. Trends: Europeanizing, Spanish, American.
    1.3. Writers of the 1st Generation or Pre-Modernists.
    1.4. Maturity of Modernism.
    1.5. Post-Modernism.
    1.5.1. Four female voices.

    Unit 5: Avant-garde

    1. Points of departure for the artistic revolution.
    2. Some avant-garde movements.
    3. Post-avant-garde.
    3.1. The new Latin American poetry.

    Unit 6: The contemporary narrative.

    1. The regionalist narrative.
    2. The avant-garde narrative.
    2.1. Innovations, subject matters, narrative forms, general directions.
    2.2. Miguel Angel Asturias.
    3. Development of the Spanish American short story.
    4. The new Latin American novel.
    4.1. The disintegration of traditional forms, the simultaneity of language and the novel as total fiction.
    4.2. New perspectives of the present-day Spanish American novel.
    4.2.1. From García Márquez to Isabel Allende. Cien años de Soledad and La Casa de los Espíritus.
    4.2.2. The novel as multiple structures. From Vargas Llosa to Avelino Stanley.


    Analysis (Diferente poems, texts and narrations): 15%
    Brief essays: 10%
    1st Partial exam (Baroque and Neoclassicism): 15%
    2nd Partial exam (Romanticism and Modernism): 15%
    3rd Partial exam (Avant-garde and narrative): 15%
    Final Exam (Analysis of a novel): 30%
    Total: 100%


    Anderson Imbert, E. (1977) Historia de la literatura hispanoamericana. México: FCE-UNESCO.

    Benederri, M. (1971) Letras del continente mestizo. Montevideo: Editorial Arca.

    Billini, G. (1985) Historia de la literatura hispanoamericana. Madrid: Editorial Catalia.

    Florit, E. (1970) Literatura hispanoamericana. Tomo I y II. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

    Franco, J. (1973) Historia de la literatura hispanoamericana. Barcelona: Editorial Ariel.

    Loveluck, J. (1986) Novelistas hispanoamericanos de hoy. Madrid, España: Fundamentos.

    Rodríguez-Luis, L. (1984) La literatura hispanoamericana. Madrid, España: Fundamentos.

    Varios autores. (1975) América Latina en su literatura. México: FCE-UNESCO.

    Yurkievich, S. (1976) Fundadores de la nueva poesía hispanoamericana. Barcelona: Editorial Barral.
    Zum Felde, A. (1973) La narrativa en hispanoamérica. Barcelona: Editorial: Aguilar.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.


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