SPAN590

Narrativa Sonora: Sound and Literature in Contemporary Latin American Fiction

Instructor: Tamara Mitchell
Language of instruction: Spanish

Latin America has a rich and complex tradition of orality, both aural and textual. This course reads narrative fiction of the past three decades in relation to that tradition, considering how contemporary works build on, but more importantly diverge from, oral practices that have been the ground of storytelling, memory making, and political interventions in the region. Throughout the semester, we will attend closely to how contemporary aural novels grapple with and contextualize important sociohistorical, political and economic realities, such as gendered and cartel violence, ingrained corruption by political figures, disability, increased out migration through and to North America, and ecological disasters that are increasing in frequency and severity due to climate change. In particular, our conversations will inquire into how narrative texts invoke or represent sound, aurality, and silence formally—through literary devices and formal structure—as a means of indexing, critiquing, and deconstructing structures of power. We will read critical texts from literary sound studies and philosophy to account for how narrative aurality is deployed as a means of responding to precarity, inequality, and violence of the globalized present.

Literary Texts, foundations and recent fiction (suggested or required will be indicated in syllabus):
1. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, selections.
2. Leonora Carrington, La trompeta acústica.
3. Julio Cortázar, El perseguidor.
4. Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo.
5. 20th-century testimonio (selections): Barnet, Mármol, Poniatowska, Menchú.
6. Luis Rafael Sánchez. La guaracha del Macho Camacho.
7. Tatiana Lobo, Calypso.
8. Emiliano Monge, Las tierras arrasadas.
9. Juan Gabriel Vásquez. El ruido de las cosas al caer.
10. Laury Leite, En la soledad de un cielo muerto.
11. Valeria Luiselli, Lost Children Archive.
12. Guadalupe Nettel, Después del invierno.
13. Cesár Aira, Cecil Taylor.
14. Jorge Comensal. Las mutaciones.
15. María Sonia Cristoff. Inclúyanme afuera.

Critical texts (selections or full text and required or suggested will be indicated in syllabus):
1. Lienhard, Martín. La voz y su huella.
2. Marcone, Jorge. La oralidad escrita: sobre la reivindicación y re-inscripción del discurso oral.
3. Ochoa Gautier, Ana María. Aurality: Listening and Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century Colombia.
4. Finley, Sarah. Hearing Voices: Aurality and New Spanish Sound Culture in Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.
5. Librandi, Marília. Writing by Ear: Clarice Lispector and the Aural Novel.
6. Masiello, Francine. El cuerpo de la voz: poesía, ética y cultura. AND The Senses of Democracy: Perception, Politics, and Culture in Latin America.
7. Mercado Rodríguez, Salvador. Novelas bolero: Ficciones musicalizadas posnacionales.
8. Neyra, Ren Ellis. The Cry of the Senses: Listening to Latinx and Caribbean Poetics.
9. Estévez Trujillo, Mayra. “Mis ‘manos sonoras’ devoran la histérica garganta del mundo: sonoridades.”
10. Rancière, Jacques. Politics of Aesthetics.
11. Nancy, Jean Luc. Listening / A la escucha.
12. Rivera Garza, Cristina. Los muertos indóciles: Necroescrituras y desapropiación .