In Quest of the “New” Latin American Chronicle (SPA4717.01)

Lena Retamoso Urbano

This advanced Spanish course is a study of the genre ‘chronicle,’ with one foot in the “objective” (journalistic chronicle,) and the other one in the “subjective” (literary chronicle.) This genre has been, and continues to be, explored by a wide array of writers, journalists, and scholars from different regions of Latin America. By exploring multiple geographies, perspectives, and cultural manifestations; a diverse compass of social and political issues; artistic, literary, historical, popular, and day to day events; gender and sexuality; and collective, marginal, personal, and unusual stories; these authors manifest a contemporary chronicle that is an autonomous and constantly oscillating genre: a “new” chronicle. As Darío Jaramillo points out regarding the current state of the 21st Century Latin American chronicle: “Today, the Latin American Chronicle is an autonomous genre, with its own territory that has treaties of limits-or de-limits-with the neutral information of establishment journalism on the one hand, and with Literature on the other.” Together, we will examine representative chronicles by 21st century Latin American authors including Pedro Lemebel, Juan Villoro, Gabriela Wiener, and Alejandro Zambra, and then students’ individual research questions will determine additional content, as there will be ample opportunity to consider examples of the new chronicle from any time and place in the 21stcentury Latin American world.

Learning Outcomes:
1) Gain a well-rounded understanding of the different issues, narratives, and perspectives explored in the 21st century Latin American chronicle.
2) Gain both confidence and sophistication in the ability to speak, read and write in Spanish about the most relevant contemporary topics examined in this journalistic/literary genre.
3) Develop critical thinking and analytical skills through close analysis and discussion of audiovisual and journalistic/literary texts.
4) Design an academic and/or creative project associated with Latin American chronicles.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: 6 terms of Spanish at Bennington or taking a brief oral and/or written test to evaluate proficiency. Email Lena Retamoso Urbano ( to express interest.
Corequisites: Attendance at 2 Language Series events
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 10:30AM - 12:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Fully In-Person , Spanish