Argentina: The Making of a Country through its Literature
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Course Description This course considers fiction as a resourceful toolto study cultural history. Drawing mainly on the close reading of Three novels –Sarmiento´s Facundo, Arlt´s The Seven Madmen, Martínez´s Santa Evitaand short stories by Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar,Luisa Valenzuela and Marcela Solá, the course will discuss how the notion of civilization, as opposed to barbarism, has guided Nation-Building narratives in the Nineteenth Century and continues to be central in the fictions of the Twentieth century. The impact of immigration policies, the rise and fall of Peronismo, Eva Peron’s role and legacy, the Dirty War and how these texts work to shape social memory are some of the topics we will discuss in class. How Jorge Luis Borges´Story underscore the thin line that separates civilization and barbarism, while Julio Cortazar´s “House Taken over” represents peronism as a nightmare. Elsa Osorio’s novel “My Name is Light” and Luisa Valenzuela’s short stories speak about the violent deeds of the 70s. By the end of the course, the student will get a general picture of the historical and cultural contexts in which these books and short stories were written and an understanding of the close links between history, politics and literature in Argentina. There are no make ups for classes falling on public holidays. UB holds to the view that plagiarism constitutes intellectual theft and is a serious breach of acceptable conduct. Any student caught plagiarizing will immediately be given a “no credit” for all courses taken in the semester.