The Gender of Nationalism

I. Junot Díaz on The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (BWLOW)

Summative comments and conclusion
II. Laura and Liz: Presentation
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Gender, Nation and Historical Silence
Judith Butler on Gender Insubordination

Haiti & the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided

I. From Alejo Carpentier’s Haiti, to Junot Díaz’s Dominican Republic

0. Henry Louis Gates, Haiti & the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided (ancillary video)

1. Ada Ferrer’s, Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (2014)


2. Junot Diáz on José Martí, “Moyers and Company” (ancillary video)

3. Junot Díaz at U of R (ancillary, 1:05-18)

5. Junot Díaz on The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (BWLOW)

II. “The Superman Question”: The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007)

0. Connor and Katie’s presentation (10-12 mins.)

1. Sample Annotations from GENIUS

Page 256, BWLOW


“32. Those of you who know the Island (or are familiar with Kinito Méndez’s oeuvre) know exactly the landscape I’m talking about. These are not the campos that your folks rattle on about. These are not the guanábana campos of our dreams. Outer Azua is one of the poorest areas in the DR; it is a wasteland, our own homegrown sertão, resembled the irradiated terrains from those end-of-the-world scenarios that Oscar loved so much — Outer Azua was the Outlands, the Badlands, the Cursed Earth, the Forbidden Zone, the Great Waste, the Plains of Glass, the Burning Lands, the Doben-al, it was Salusa Secundus, it was Ceti Alpha Five, it was TatooineEven the residents could have passed for survivors of some not-so-distant holocaustThe poor ones — and it was with these infelices that Beli had lived often wore rags, walked around barefoot, and lived in homes that looked like they’d been constructed from the detritus of the former world. If you would have dropped Astronaut Taylor amongst these folks he would have fallen to the ground and bellowed, You finally did it! (No, Charlton, it’s not the End of the World, it’s just Outer Azua.) The only non-thorn non-insect non-lizard life-forms that thrived at these latitudes were the Alcoa mining operations and the region’s famous goats (los que brincan las Himalayas y cagan en la bandera de España).

Outer Azua was a dire wasteland indeed. My moms, a contemporary of Belicia, spent a record-breaking fifteen years in Outer Azua. And while her childhood was far nicer than Beli’s she nevertheless reports that in the early fifties these precincts were full of smoke, inbreeding, intestinal worms, twelve-year-old brides, and full on whippings. Families were Glasgow-ghetto huge because, she claims, there was nothing to do after dark and because infant mortality rates were so extreme and calamities so vast you needed a serious supply of reinforcements if you expected your line to continue. A child who hadn’t escaped a close brush with Death was looked at askance. (My mom survived a rheumatic fever that killed her favorite cousin; by the time her own fever broke and she regained consciousness, my abuelos had already bought the coffin they expected to bury her in.)”

1. Annotate the opening epigraphs and explain ALL references. Then comment: How do the epigraphs help frame the novel?

2. Annotate the following sections. (Feel free to divide the work with others assigned to your sections.) Annotate only the most significant (and difficult) concepts and histories as you see fit.

3. Group 1. Julie, Katie: PART I, Chapter 1: Ghetto Nerd at the End of the World (1974–1987)

4. Group 2. Laura, Erin and Liz: Chapter 2: Wildwood (1982–1985)

5. Group 3. Conor, Emily and Makenna: Chapter three: The Three Heartbreaks of Belicia Cabral (1955–1962)

6. Group 4. Amber and María: Chapter four: Sentimental Education (1988–1992)

7. Group 5. Alex, Karolina and Cindy: PART II, Chapter 5, “Poor Abelard (1944-1946)

Revolution redux

I. Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of this World

1. “Magic Realism” as aesthetic practice

II. Presentation 1

Karolina and Cindy

III. Student lead discussions

Part I

Chapters 4-8: Amber, María

Part II

Chapters 1-4: Alex, Cindy

Chapters 5-7: Julie, Laura

Part III

Chapters 1-4: Karolina, Erin

Chapters 5-7: Conor, Katie, Makenna

Part IV

Chapters 1-2

IV. Presentation 2


V. Carlos Alberto Montaner, Los nietos de la Revolución Cubana/The Revolution’s Grandchildren  (2010)

After Independence: The Return of the Historical


(Eugène Delacroix, “Liberty Leading the People,” 1830, Louvre, Paris)


“Magic Realism”







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I. Primary Materials

1. Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of this World: complete novel by 11/5 class meeting. (Prologue)

2. Ancillary (and covered in class as it relates to Franz Roh): Lo real maravilloso and the avant garde (B).

3. Presentation 6: Michel-Rolph Trouillot, “The Three Faces of Sans Souci,” in Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History: 31-69 (Karolina and Cindy).

4. Hand in midterm essays

II. Ancillary Materials:

Paul Krause lecture on “Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Silencing the Past

Jon Beasley-Murray lecture on “Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of this World

III. Reading Guide: Narrative Complexity for Beginners

Lope de Vega (page 1)

Norman Stallion (page 3)

Cap Francais (page 3)

Normandy (page 3)

Crupper (page 3)

M. Lenormand de Mezy (page 3)

louis d’or (page 3)

Headstall (page 3)

Percheron (page 3)

Sorrel (page 3)

Hardtack (page 3)

Leyden (page 4)

Rheumatism (page 4)

Calf’s foot jelly (page 4)

Tripe a la mode de Caen (page 5)

Gum Arabic (page 5)

Prints – Engraving (page 5 and 70)

Paris (page 5)

The King of France (Louis XVI) (page 5; see also p. 71)

Blind Man’s Buff (page 6)

Macandal (page 7)

Mandingue (page 7)

Kingdoms of Popo, of Arada, of the Nagos, or the Fulah (page 7)

The Incarnation of the Serpent (page 7)

Kankan Muza (page 7)

Lance (page 7)

Rigadoon (page 8)

Quadroon (page 9)

Parasol (page 9; also p. 43)

Limonade (page 10)

Ile de la Tortue (page 10 and thereafter)

Fife March (page 10)

Creole (page 10)

Oxblood (page 10)

Narrative Arts (page 13)

Sierra Leone (page 13)

Belfries (page 13)

Guinea (page 13 and thereafter)

Cupolas (page 13)

The Land of Salt (page 14)

Millet (page 14)

Andalusia (page 14)

Whidah (page 14)

Canebrakes (page 14)

Rollers (page 15)

Tourniquet (page 15)

Whetstone (page 15)

Machete (page 15)

Carob tree (page 17)

Capers (page 17)

Fungi (page 18)

Baron Samedi, Baron Piquant, Baron La Croix and other Lords of the Graveyards (page 19)

Macandal’s Poison (page 20)

Cacao (page 20)

Cistern (page 20)

Mastiffs (page 21 and thereafter, inc. p. 83)

Rainbow of Whidah (page 23)

Guano (page 24)

Brass Mortar (page 24) – (Different sense than Mortar in Part 3, Page 114)

Nux Vomica (page 24)

Asafetida (page 24)

Althea Root (page 24)

Attar of Roses (page 24)

Pongue (page 25)

Congolese (page 25)

Le Havre (page 25)

Le Bonnet de L’Eveque (page 25 and thereafter, inc. p. 113)

Bocor (page 26)

Artibonite (page 26)

Milch-cows (page 26)

Rouen (page 26)

Plaine du Nord (page 27)

Alfalfa (page 27)

Bottle Flies (page 27)

Coq-Chante plantation (page 28)

Office of the Dead (page 28)

Crucifixes (page 28)

Miserere (page 29)

De Profundis (page 29)

Breton sailor (page 29)

Necromancer (page 29)

Mme Lenormand de Mezy (page 29)

WhitSunday (page 29)

Putrefaction (page 30)

Houngan of the Rada Rite (page 30)

Santo Domingo (page 30)

The sack of Cartagena (page 34)

Piet Hein (page 34)

L’Esnambuc, Bertrand d’Ogeron, Du Rausset (page 34)

Code Noir (page 34)

Fandango (page 34)

Castanets (page 34)

Schooner (page 35)

Jacmel (page 35)

Gannet (page 35)

Huisache (page 36)

Damballah (page 36)

Ogoun (page 36 and hereafter, inc. pages 61 and 109)

Conch shell (page 37)

Provencal (page 39)

Toussaint Louverture (page 39)

The Three Wise Men (page 39)

Balthasar (page 39)

Nativity (page 39)

Angola (page 40)

Yenvalo (page 41)

Blunderbuss (page 42)

Rapiers (page 42)

Quebracho (page 43)

Tricorne (page 45)

Loas (page 45)

Madame d’Abrantes (page 49 – see also Duchess of Abrantes, page 85, below)

Palanquin (page 49)

The Daughter of Minos and Pasiphae (chapter title, page 51; Minos, page 56)

Contredanses (pages 51, 78, and 87)

Sonatas (page 51)

Gazette de Saint-Domingue (page 51)

Olla Podrida (page 52)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (page 52)

Postilions (page 53)

Mulatto (page 53)

Ipecac (page 54)

Erotomania (page 54)

Malaria (page 54)

Malmsey (page 54)

Bois Caiman (page 59)

Slave curfew (page 59)

Boukman (page 60)

Loas of Africa (page 60)

Animal Sacrifice – the black pig (page 62)

Jean-Francois (page 62)

Biassou (page 62)

Jeannot (page 62)

Voltaire (page 62)

Declaration of the Rights of Man (page 62)

Esparto Grass (page 63)

Cafe de la Regence (page 65)

Palais Royal (page 65)

Tritons (page 65)

Abraham Brunias and “Professions of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar” (page 65)

Paul and Virginia (pages 65 and 87)

Constituent Assembly (page 66)

Encyclopedie (page 66 and later, as the Grande Encyclopedie, on p. 164)

Stanilaus de Wimpffen (page 66)

Lambis (page 66)

Bougainvillaea (page 67)

Demijohn (page 67)

Le Carrefour des Peres (page 69)

Chillblains (page 70)

Havanna (page 71 and thereafter)

Louis XVI (page 71)

Marie Antoinette (page 71)

Dauphin (page 71)

Anarchy (page 71)

Quadroons, Octoroons, Sacatra, and Griffe (page 72)

The Philistines (page 72)

Dagon (page 72)

Moreau De Saint-Mery (page 72)

Haitian Drum (page 72)

Henri Christophe – as cook (page 73)

Santiago de Cuba (page 75 – chapter title)

Jacobins (page 75)

Dido (page 75)

Alsace, France – “Alsatian musician” (page 75)

Clavichord (page 75)

Johann Friedrich Edelmann (page 75)

Marquis (page 76)

Monstrance (page 76)

Cafe chantant (page 76)

Bourgeois (page 77)

Solomonic columns (page 77)

Corpus Christi Day (page 77)

Monsigny (page 78)

Passepieds and Contredanses (page 78; see page 51 above for Contredances)

Émigrés (page 78)

Marseillaise (page 79)

Mason (page 79)

Don Esteban Salas (page 79)

Sulpician (page 80)

The pig of St. Anthony (page 80)

St. Benedict (page 80)

The black Virgins (page 80)

Buskins (page 80)

Houmforts (page 80)

Abacus (page 83)

Creole (page 84)

The Antilles (page 84)

Mithridate (page 84)

Pauline Bonaparte (pages 84-95)

Bajazet (page 84)

The Hellespont (page 84)

Mauritius (page 85)

Duchess of Abrantes (page 85 – see also Madame d’Abrantes, p. 49)

Bay of Biscay (page 85)

General LeClerc (page 85 and thereafter)

The Azores (page 86)

Quarterdeck (page 86)

Mizzenmast Jib (page 86)

Galatea of the Greeks (page 87)

Medlar (page 87)

Un Négre comme il y a peu des blancs (page 88)

Bernadin de Saint-Pierre, Jacques Henri (page 89)

Siesta (page 89)

Alexander Olivier Esquemeling (page 91)

Rhubarb (page 91)

Quai Saint-Marc (page 101)

Artibonite (page 102)

Jean Jacques Dessalines (page 103)

Loco, Petro, Ogoun Ferraille, Brise-Pimba, Marinette Bois-Cheche (page 103)

Centaur (page 104)

Sans Souci (page 105 – chapter title – and thereafter from page 109)

Dondon (page 105)

Ceiba tree (page 105)

Bas-relief (page 108)

The Immaculate Conception (pages 108 and 109)

Salve (page 109)

King Henri Christophe (pages 109 and thereafter)

Cudgel (page 110)

Battledore and Shuttlecock (page 111)

Plutarch’s Parallel Lives (page 111)

Citadel la Ferriere (page 113 and thereafter)

Foundry (page 113)

Mortar (page 114)

Piranesi (page 114)

Scipio (page 114)

Hannibal (page 114)

Hamilcar (page 115)

Liberte, Egalite (page 115)

Spanish Cannon (page 115)

Fiel Pero Desdicado (page 115)

The ‘Sun King’ (Louis XIV of France) (page 115)

Ultima Ratio Regum (page 115)

Milot (page 115 and thereafter)

Napoleonic bicorne (page 117)

Cockade (page 117)

Cyclopean Walls (page 118)

Facade (page 123)

French Capuchin (page 125; see also page 153)

The Mass of the Assumption (page 130)

Rosary (page 130)

The Dead in Haitian Vodou (page 131)

Dies Irae (page 131)

Capsicum (page 133)

Venus (page 133)

Vulcan’s Forge (page 133)

Ave Maria (page 134)

Helicon (page 136)

Pavillon Chinois (page 136)

Mandoucouman (page 137)

Uniforms (page 137)

Page boys (page 139)

Fulah (page 140)

Evangelists (page 143)

Mother of Pearl (page 143)

Royal Poinciana Tree (page 145)

Place d’Armes (page 147)

Rossini’s Tancredi (page 153)

Queen Marie-Louise (page 153)

Capuchins of Pisa (page 153)

The Dauphin Victor (page 153)

Port-au-Prince (page 153)

Rome (page 153)

Sylphs (page 154)

Lazzaroni (page 154)

Jews’ Harp (pages 154-155)

Flaminio Ponzio (page155)

Antonio Labacco (page 155)

Madagascar (page155)

Persia (page 155)

The Berbers (page 155)

Opere buffe (page 155)

Algiers (page 155)

Palazzo Borghese – Borghese Palace (page 156)

The Piedmont – Piedmontese girl (page 156)

Venus of Canova (pages 158-160)

Pontine Marshes (page 161)

President Boyer (page 161)

Dr. Antommarchi (page 161)

St. Helena (page 161)

Homeopath (page 162)

Dahomey (page 162)

Girandoles (page 163)

Boule Table (page 163)

Coromandel screen (page 164)

The Royal Society of London (page 164)

German Landler (page 164)

Guava Twig (page 165)

The King of Angola (page 165)

Baronetcies (page 166)

Rochambeau at Vertieres (page 167)

Jose Antonio Aponte (page 171)

The Marquis of Someruelos (page 171)

Slave trade to Cuba – “his slave days in Cuba” (page 171)

Agnus Dei – chapter title (page 175)

Moonfish (page 180)

Source link


“The war of the United States with Spain was very brief. Its results were many, startling, and of world-wide meaning.” –Henry Cabot Lodge

Keyword: Biopower

1. The American 1898 and the Question of Empire

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2. Puerto Rico: 1898-1917

The Foraker Law

The Jones-Shafroth Act

Pedro Albizu Campos

Dolores Lebrón Sotomayor

Operation Bootstrap

3. Puerto Rican Nationalists

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4. “El caso Rhodes”

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5. Sex, Science and Reproduction

Iris López




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Ancillary: “When Racism Was a Science

The readings are content sensitive. Check e-mail for links to materials. Inbox search terms: “LIT/SPANISH-SPEAKING CARIBBEAN – Sections – AMST 01LAIS 01.”

Open Source Context:


1920 – Public controversy regarding “Neo-Malthusianism” in Puerto Rico – the island was seen as badly “over-populated” and various solutions were proposed for how this “over-population” could to be controlled. (López 1984)

1930s – Sterilization procedures were introduced into Puerto Rico, along with other contraceptive methods (CPRD article)

1934 – 67 birth control clinics were opened with federal funds channeled through the Puerto Rican Emercency Relief Fund (CPRD article)

1936 – 23 birth control clinics were opened by the private Maternal and Childcare Health Association (CPRD article)

1937 – A law was approved permitting sterilization for health and economic reasons. This law was primarily aimed at low-income women. ( López 1984)

1940s – Mass migration of Puerto Ricans to the mainland US sparked by the new jobs in the burgeoning factories and plantations, caused a back lash among American whites who feared this influx of ethnically and often racially different people. (Fuentes 1987)

1948 – Operation Bootstrap program (“Operación Manos a la Obra”) began – Puerto Rico experienced a rapid transformation of its economy from a rural agricultural to one based on tourism and industry. This program led to skyrocketing unemployment and created an economic crisis due to a burgeoning workforce. Government solutions to this crisis included sterilization (long-term solution) and emigration (short-term solution) programs. (López 1984)

1949 – The Commissioner of Health in Puerto Rico was quoted in El Mundo as saying he would favor the use of district hospitals once or twice a week to perform fifty sterilizations a day. (CPRD article)

1950s – Population Control takes on prominance as an issue for US foreign policy. Puerto Rico was used as a laboratory for some of the first scientific experiments in birth control (the pill was field-tested there for the first time in the late 1950s). (Fuentes 1987)

1952 – The Population Council was formed in the United States by John D. Rockefeller (CPRD article)

1954 – The Family Planning Association of Puerto Rico (a private institution) was established (CPRD article)

1950-1958 – Dr. Clarence Gamble (heir to the Proctor & Gamble fortune), mastermind of the ‘Negro Project’ in the US South implemented a similar “experiment in population control” in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. (Roberts 1997:77)

early 1960s – The US began funneling funds to Puerto Rican clinics and eventually sterilization, alongside strict migration controls, became twin pillars of a wide-ranging US policy to control the Puerto Rican population. So successful was the approach that the growth rate of the Puerto Rican population fell from 2.7 per cent in the 1950s to 1.7 in 1980. (Fuentes 1987)

1954-1964 – The Family Planning Association of Puerto Rico subsidized sterilization in private facilities for 8,000 Puerto Rican women (CPRD article)

1956-1966 – The Family Planning Association of Puerto Rico subsidized sterilization in private facilities for 3,000 Puerto Rican men (CPRD article)

1968 – a study by Puerto Rican demographer Dr. lose Vasquez Calzada shows that more than 1/3 (35.3%) of the women of childbearing age in Puerto Rico had been sterilized – one of the highest rates in the world. (CPRD article; Roberts 1997: 94)

1973 – The Family Planning Association of Puerto Rico’s November financial statement declared that the organization received $750,000.00 of its $900,000.00 budget from the United States Federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare (CPRD article)

1974 – The Puerto Rican Health Department created an auxiliary section of Family Planning headed by Antonio Silva. Silva’s department was created to direct an aggressive program of population control with the explicit aim of lowering the Puerto Rican birth rate. (López 1984)

Screen shot 2014-10-15 at 2.35.16 PM1981 – more than 39% of all Puerto Rican women of childbearing age had been sterilized (López 1984)

Revised Syllabus Readings for Wednesday, October 8:

1. José Martí, “Our America,” in El Partido Liberal (Mexico City), March 5, 1891: 1-7 (BB).

Context and Keywords:

Monroe Doctrine (1823)

U.S. Mexico War (1846-48), “The American 1848”

“The American 1898”

Cosmopolitanism“: all human beings, regardless of their political affiliation, are (or can and should be) citizens in a single community. The philosophical interest in cosmopolitanism lies in its challenge to commonly recognized attachments to fellow-citizens, cultural citizens, and the nation/state.

Why does Martí consider cultural and epistemic independence from  “the Old World” absolutely necessary?

2. Roberto Fernández Retamar, “Caliban,” in Caliban and Other Essays: 3-45 (BB).

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[Shakespeare’s The Tempest frames Fernández Retamar’s essay “Caliban”.  The play portrays the relationship between 3 key figures:

Prospero – The deposed Duke of Milan, now stranded on a Caribbean island, whose study of magic has given him certain powers,

Caliban – Prospero’s unwilling slave who claims that the island is really his, and,

Ariel – a spirit who Prospero commands to help with his magic but who is also forcibly kept by Prospero.]

Cuban Revolution (1959)

Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961) and the Cuban Missile Crisis Kennedy Administration (1962): The Exhaustion of the Monroe Doctrine [note the tone of the video and its rendering of U.S. exceptionalism]

El Quinquenio Gris” (1971-1976)

Why does Fernández Retamar reinterpret the figure of Caliban over and against Rodo’s Ariel?

Why is 1898 important to Fernández Retamar?

According to Fernández Retamar, why is Martí’s “Our America” “the most important document published in America from the end of the past century” to the 1960s? (17-18)

For Fernández Retamar, how is Latin America’s “belatedness” into capitalism simply a form of “neocolonialism”? (28 and ss)

3. Pick a paragraph from Martí (1 above) and Fernández Retamar’s (2 above) that encapsulates the essence of each of their respective texts and the ideas that inform their essays. Be prepared to discuss the fragment in relation to why you believe it is representative of each of the essays in question (TCI).

4. Julie and María, Presentation 3: José David Saldívar, “Remapping American Cultural Studies,” from Border Matters.

5. L. Lima, “Empire’s Remains: Cuba, Cuban America, and ‘the American 1898,’” American Literary History: 380-391 (BB).

Response paper topic:
Gómez de Avellaneda in Sab, Martí in “Our America,” and Fernández Retamar in “Caliban” all explain—within the genre constraints of their writing—the necessary elements for “just rule” (justice), good governance, and liberty form oppression. Compare and contrast at least two these writers in relation to these themes (see syllabus for response paper details and due date).

Please note that I’ve deleted the “Oral history interview with Edwin and Louise Rosskam”