Associate Professor of Hispano Literature
He has numerous publications on nineteenth and twentieth century Latin American literature. His most recent essay, Anachronism and Baroque Abandon:
Carpentier’s, Cortázar’s, and Botero’s Decolonial Columns, is in collaboration with Monique Roelofs, with whom he is working on a book-length study of anachronism in contemporary Americas literature.
At Hampshire, he regularly offers courses on Latin American narrative and culture, Latin@ literature, world literature and translation studies.
"Mediocre writers borrow. Great writers steal." exhorts T.S. Elliot. This course connects the reading and writing processes so that they are reciprocal and reinforcing. Every week we will alternate between reading a mosaic of U.S. American short fiction and analyzing the ways in which these narratives make their point, and practical writing exercises in order to build linguistic, literary and cultural skills. During the final month, you will workshop your own narratives, fiction or non-fiction, allowing you to give and receive feedback on the process and products of your practice. You will be expected to provide clear, thoughtful, constructive oral and written feedback on your peers' efforts too. The aim is to become a better critical reader by being attuned to how narratives work, and to create something new that is haunted by the past.
Along with his compatriot J.L. Borges, Julio Cortazar's writings altered contemporary literature. His fictions are relentlessly self-reflexive: they problematize the representation of reality through various linguistic and stylistic devices, which the course will study in detail. By reconstructing the literary traditions, cultural situations and historical moments in which his texts were produced and circulated we will also ascertain his impact. A particular rich case study will be his short-story "Las babas del diablo,' translated as "Blow-Up." The story became the basis for an intersemiotic translation, Antonioni's film "Blowup," which in turn was "re-made" by De Palma as "Blow Out." We will also pay attention to his collection of flash fiction, Cronopios and Famas, given how increasingly prevalent this genre has become due to the Internet.
A seemingly straightforward question: "What does it mean to translate?" might be one of the trickiest, most paradoxical, and yet liberating questions in the field of language study. This class aims to prepare students for the task of translation by introducing them to various approaches - as a creative process, as a multifaceted profession, as a political and ethical problem in our world today -- and by encouraging its practice. In class we will discuss leading and competing theories of translation as well as works of fiction that highlight the work of the translator. We will contemplate the place of translation in global writers of the xx-xxi centuries. And, crucially, we will facilitate the students' work on their portfolio of translations
This tutorial considers the forces unleashed by political instability and economic and technological change by examining novels from around the world. We will read novels by Manuel Puig, Caio Fernando Abreu, Hector Tobar, William Gibson, China Mieville and Haruki Murakami. These contemporary novels follow their protagonists' attempts to define themselves as they move between strangely familiar and yet beautifully alien environments. The tutorial aims to make students engage critically with the multiple notions of national, cultural, racial, and ideological identity that have emerged in this altered landscape. The notions of self that emerge across interacting economies and cultures seem more and more influenced by the processes of translation. The class also explores what it means to be human when we are lost in translation.
This course connects the reading and writing processes so that they are reciprocal and reinforcing. Every week we will alternate between reading a mosaic of U.S. American short fiction and analyzing the ways in which these narratives make their point, and practical writing exercises in order to build linguistic, literary and cultural skills. During the final month, you will workshop your own narratives, fiction or non-fiction, allowing you to give and receive feedback on the process and products of your practice. You will be expected to provide clear, thoughtful, constructive oral and written feedback on your peers' efforts too. The aim is to become a better critical reader by being attuned to how narratives work.
The post office, asserts the Chilean writer Jos Donoso, is a writer's true homeland. This assertion certainly describes the major novels of the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Nobody Writes to the Colonel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Autumn of the Patriarch, A Crime Foretold, and Love in the Time of Cholera. Throughout his novels, letters constantly circulate. Anticipated letters are never written, although on demand letters can be purchased. If need be, there is special delivery to heaven. Even when delivered, some are never read. History is a dead letter, an inconvenient detail. Still, letters endlessly proliferate, foreshadowing textuality in the age of the world-wide web. By tracking their movement, the course will trace and sort GGM's imaginary postal system, explore how his technology addresses the lettered city, and investigate our capabilities and longings as navigators of ever-accumulating bodies of texts, traces, and signs.
The Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes has asserted that the real historians in Latin America are its novelists. We will examine this premise by reading a number of novels in which the protagonists go in search of their roots. Our interest is in how these novelists dramatize the history of their regions and countries, and how their fictional versions illuminate our understanding of the "real" history of the continent. Novels by Carpentier, Rulfo, Vargas Llosa , Arguedas, Ferre, Danticat, Saer, and Eltit are likely.
Given the importance of letters to the Latin American colonial enterprise and nation-building project, literature is a privileged site to think through contemporary rhetorics of modernity, decoloniality, and neoliberalism. We will begin with the critique of modernity by Borges and Cortazar and then turn to the fractures and shifts introduced by Rulfo, Garcia Marquez, Kincaid, and Eltit, as they confront the pressures of the marketplace and imagine alternative knowledges. We will explore implications for love, desire, aesthetic experience, and time in Lispector, Puig, and Lemebel. Alongside the above writers, we will read selections of the postmodern and postcolonial projects of Anzaldua, Fanon, Franco, Lugones, Mignolo, Rama, Richard, among others.