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CCOG for ENG 213 Winter 2023

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Course Number:
ENG 213
Course Title:
Latin American Literature
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Explores fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, drama, myth, and other texts from Latin America. Includes works from many cultures and ethnicities from Latin America, including indigenous peoples. All readings are in English. Prerequisites: (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 or equivalent placement. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Identify and discuss the literary forms and elements in a variety of texts (“texts” here is meant in its broadest sense and may include music, architecture, weaving, and visual arts).
  2. Compare and contrast the social, religious, political, economic, gender, generational, and environmental issues raised in these texts with those seen in the world at hand.
  3. Articulate how literary themes and metaphors express particular world views.
  4. Analyze the issues of identity and alienation present in the texts, describing the layers of identity portrayed through characters and cultures and paying particular attention to the creation and dissolution of various types of borders as a way to explore Otherness.
  5. Examine the writers’ explorations of the role of the storyteller in works of Latin American literature.
  6. Write clear, focused, coherent essays about literature for an academic audience, using standard English conventions of grammar and style.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

English and Writing courses align with the PCC General Education philosophy by providing an appreciation of writing and literature from global and personal perspectives. Students in English courses engage the imagination, critical inquiry and self‐reflection, and in the process of doing so, cultivate a more complex understanding of their own culture(s), linguistic/communication practices, and perspectives in relation to others. Because the literary arts lie at the heart of most human cultures, they are essential for understanding each other and navigating our differences. In literature classes, students explore significant texts from diverse cultures and periods in history. Students look closely at texts from a range of genres, articulating the way elements of writing, content, form, and style are interrelated, and considering how values and interpretations have changed over time and through different theoretical lenses. Students engage texts through critical analysis and creative response, learning to use evidence to support their interpretations and to navigate critical conversations. Students explore literature both as an art form designed to provoke thought and challenge social norms, and as an expression of human experience. Writing and Literature courses foster a stronger sense of engagement with history, culture, and society. Writing and Literature students develop an awareness of themselves as readers and writers in a global world, and an enlarged understanding of the relationships between language, identity, ideas, scholarship, communication, and transformation.

Course Activities and Design

Class time consists of lecture and group discussion, exploratory and explanatory group and individual activities, viewing and connecting of film, slides, and other resources to works read, guest lectures, internet or library explorations, oral presentations on outside related reading or study. Written analyses of texts read will range from the informal journal to formal papers; creative writing may also be used to understand literary elements such as voice/perspective, and style, or to explore how changing a social or economic influence impacts the story. A current events journal covering politics, art, gender, and social events and issues may be used to link the texts to contemporary happenings.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The final grade for the course will be based on the extent of the student's understanding of the course readings, lectures, presentations, and discussions. Assessment strategies may include exams, short analytic essays, journals, oral presentations, creative expression linked to the themes explored in the course, formal papers.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

• Setting
• Plot
• Character
• Point of view
• Narrative styles
• Symbolism
• Imagery
• Genres of fiction
• Regional or national literatures
• Social class
• Exploitation
• Gender
• Race
• Ethnicity
• Central vs. marginal social position
• History of conquest
• Impact of Catholicism and other religious ideologies
• Revolution
• Political and social history
• Indigenous cultures
• Role of the storyteller
• Analysis
• Synthesis
• Understanding various texts through social, political, artistic, and other contexts
• Writing about literature
• Close readings
• Speaking and listening reflectively
A number of anthologies exist; however, some present bias through omission or commentary, so if an anthology is used, supplemental texts and critical examination of views should be considered. One good current anthology is The Vintage Book of Latin American Stories, edited by Carlos Fuentes and Julio Ortega. Fortunately, individual works of fiction or poetry in translation (or written in English by writers who are bi- or multi-lingual) are numerous, so instructors should have no difficulty designing a general introductory course or a more focused course around a particular theme or issue. Historical pieces such as The Popol Vuh, the writings of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, and Pablo Neruda as well as contemporary works by Julia Alvarez, Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Claribel Alegria, Rosario Ferre, Julio Cortazar, and Rigoberta Menchu are readily available. To enrich the students¡ understanding of Latin American literature and culture, films can provide a valuable resource as well. Contact one of the instructors for a full bibliography of texts and films.