SPAN505

Barroco y neobarroco en el mundo hispánico: los casos de España y Cuba

Instructor: Raúl Alvarez Moreno
Language of instruction: Spanish

This course explores the connections and distinctive traits between Spanish baroque and Latin American neobaroque as cultural and ideological codes in the context of the radical transformations that took place during the emergence of the modern and post-modern worlds. Using as case studies seventeenth century Spain and twentieth century Cuba, we will study how the poetics of baroque and neobaroque proposes a way of appropriating reality that does not respect limits, leaves unsolved or half-solved issues and holds within itself the seed of subversion. In this way, we will examine the use of powerful rhetorical devices such as irony, metaphor, fable, symbol, allegory or coincidentia oppositorum in the texts to promote contradictory values and ambiguity, maintain a distinct sense of cultural identity and ultimately challenge ideological or political control. Related to this, we will discuss the links between baroque/neobaroque literary production and topics such as power, cultural control, otherness, racial and religious conflict, orthodoxy/heterodoxy, polycentrism and chaos, colonialism, hybridity or sexuality. Since Baroque was always a hybrid and multi-artistic phenomenon, although the course focuses on literary representation, attention will be paid to (and students will be allowed to work on) architecture art, music, cinema (e.g., Volver, Fresa y chocolate) as well as other contemporary manifestations of the barroque/neobaroque in publicity, media, comic, fashion and computer culture of the Hispanic World.


Primary texts:

  • Góngora y Argote, Luis de. Soledad primera (1613).
  • Calderón de la Barca, Pedro. La vida es sueño (1635).
  • Quevedo y Villegas, Francisco de. La hora de todos y la Fortuna con seso (1645).–selección-.
  • Gracián, Baltasar. El oráculo manual y arte de prudencia (1647).
  • Saavedra Fajardo. Empresas políticas o Idea de un príncipe cristiano (1640). –selección-.
  • Lezama Lima. José. Paradiso (1966) –selecciones-.
  • Cabrera Infante, Guillermo. Tres tristes tigres (1967) –selección-.
  • Sarduy, Severo. De donde son los cantantes (1967).
  • Carpentier, Alejo. Concierto barroco (1972).

Critical sources:

  • Baudrillard, Jean. Cultura y simulacro (1978).
  • Beverley, John. Essays on the Literary Baroque in Spain and Spanish America (2008).
  • Calabrese, Omar. La era neobarroca (1994).
  • Chiampi, Irlemar. Barroco y modernidad (2001).
  • Deleuze, Gilles. El pliegue: Leibniz y el barroco (1988).
  • D´Ors, Eugenio. Lo barroco (1935).
  • Figueroa, Cristo Rafael. Barroco y neobarroco en la narrativa hispanoamericana (2008).
  • Foucault, Michel. Las palabras y las cosas (1966).
  • González Echevarría, Roberto. Celestina’s Brood: Continuities of the Baroque in Spanish and Latin American Literatures (1993).
  • Kaup, Monika. Neobaroque in the Americas: Alternative Modernities in Literature, Visual Art, and Film (2014).
  • Maravall, José Antonio. La cultura del Barroco (1975).
  • Ortega, Julio. El discurso de la abundancia (1990).
  • Rodríguez de la Flor, Fernando. Barroco. Representación e ideología en el mundo Hispánico,
    1580-1680 (2002).