Inner Travel (SPA4604.01)

Jonathan Pitcher

Beyond Columbus’ errant journey into the abyss and the ensuing quest for El Dorado, or Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle, Latin America’s interior has often enticed its own learned population. Their travels, in space, time and thought, do not merely present a physical confrontation with alterity, with the continent’s supposed heart of darkness, but an intellectual clearing, an origin, from which a more equitable politics may begin. To name but one example, Alejo Carpentier’s Los pasos perdidos, the tale of a New York composer’s journey to the beginning of society and music, is often seen as the touchstone of Latin American identity. Through accounts of real and fictitious travels, from Carpentier to the crassest of guidebooks, we will study such quests for self. Such domestic departures will frame debates on ethics, representation, and epistemology. Discussions and presentations will facilitate the development of oral fluency. Students will expand their descriptive, analytical and polemical vocabulary. Written work, including an appropriate research project, will solidify familiarity with linguistic structures. Readings will include work by Sarmiento, Gorriti, Mansilla, Vasconcelos, Borges, Bioy Casares, Che Guevara, Allende, Sepúlveda, and Crosthwaite. For comparison’s sake, there will be occasional primary and secondary texts in English. Conducted in Spanish. High-intermediate level. Corequisites: Languages Series

Prerequisites: Spanish 5 at Bennington, or permission of the instructor. For registration, contact the teacher via email.
Credits: 4
T 2:10pm - 4:00pm; F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 18
This course is categorized as 4000, All courses, Areas of Study, Four Credit, Jonathan Pitcher, Languages, Spanish, Tuesday and/or Friday Afternoons.