Spring 2017

The Baroque Roots of Latin American Culture

Listed in: Spanish, as SPAN-344

Moodle site: Course


Paul A. Schroeder Rodriguez (Section 01)


The term "Latin America" was coined by a French diplomat in the early nineteenth century to emphasize the region's affinity to a progressive French sphere of influence identified with the Enlightenment, as opposed to a backward-looking Spanish tradition identified with the Baroque.  In this course we will examine the validity of the claim that the Latin American Baroque (ca. 1600-1800) was incompatible with the Enlightenment, or indeed with modernity.  We will begin by defining the major characteristics of the European Baroque as an artistic movement linked to the project of Counter Reformation in Europe and the evangelization in the Americas.  We will then examine examples of Latin American Baroque art, architecture, and literature that simultaneously participate in and subvert this project.  Some of the artists we will study include the indigenous architect José Kondori, the Afro-Brazilian architect and sculptor Aleijadinho, various works by anonymous artists, and poems by Gregório de Matos (Brazil), Mateo Rosas de Oquendo (Peru), Bernardo de Balbuena (Mexico), and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Mexico).  We will conclude by considering recent reappraisals of the Latin American Baroque as an alternative modernity, and the legacy of this period on contemporary art and literature.  The course is conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 199 or 211 or consent of the instructor. Spring semester.  Professor Schroeder Rodríguez.


Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Languages Other Than English


2018-19: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017