This course name and description ONLY applies to academic year 2021-2022

LLRO 13186-4: Indigenous Peoples of Latin America: Literature and Representation

Instructor: Ben A. Heller

Who are the indigenous peoples of Latin America? How do they imagine their origins and their place in the world? How do they represent themselves? And how have they been represented by others, from the "conquest" of the Americas, through the colonial period and up until the present? Who controls the representations of indigenous peoples and what are the stakes involved in this representation? This seminar focuses on issues of representation and voice in the literature of and about indigenous peoples of Latin America. We take a historical and literary approach to a wide corpus of texts: founding myths (especially the Popol vuh of the Quiché Maya, but also myths of the Makiritare people of the Orinoco River), novels and short stories, poetry and chronicles, spanning at least the five centuries since Columbus stepped onto the shore of an island in the Bahamas. Writing assignments will include several short papers and a longer paper due at the end of the semester.