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Advanced Book Seminar: "Ciudad Real"

Course Description:

In this advanced book seminar, we will read and discuss the book “Ciudad Real” a collection of short stories written by the Mexican poet and author Rosario Castellanos (1925-1974), one of Mexico's most important women writers of the 20th century.

Ciudad Real was the name of the city San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, during the time of the Spanish colony. This collection of stories that take place in Ciudad Real explores the centuries-old domination of the Mayan people by the Spanish colonizers and their descendants. Each story weaves into the next to present a portrait of the men, women, and children of the region, with their hopes, tragedies, beliefs, and fears. Most of all, Ciudad Real reveals the pain and damage suffered by both the weak and the strong when exploitation is the basis for everyday life.

Rosario Castellanos, who was raised in Comitán, Chiapas in a family of landowners, witnessed first-hand the inequalities, injustice, and tragedies that had been suffered by the native people over the course of nearly five centuries without end in sight. Within her stories, she explores and contrasts the worlds of the exploiters and exploited, and tries to shed some light about the roots and origins of their complex realities.

Designed for students with advanced reading and speaking skills in Spanish, this course will give you the opportunity to continue polishing your comprehension and conversational fluidity while we embark on this literary adventure that will deepen our insight of the long lasting effects of colonialism and how deeply its structure of power is permanently ingrained across societies in the world.

All reading materials will be provided in class.

Best suited for: Spanish Advanced I or equivalent

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