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Advanced Book Seminar: "Los de abajo" Part II

Course Description: Delve into a fascinating tale of a group of Mexican revolutionaries led by charismatic general Demetrio Macías around 1913. A historical novel, Los de abajo narrates the lives and adventures of this small group of men during the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), the first social revolution of the 20th century, to be followed by the Russian and Chinese revolutions. The book provides readers fascinating insight into the daily lives of Mexican revolutionaries, their hopes, struggles, and search for meaning, offering a unique perspective not found in academic articles or textbooks. Author Mariano Azuela was a medical surgeon who decided to join the Revolution in 1913 as a field doctor, traveling with the military forces of one of Pancho Villa’s revered generals, Julián Medina. Greatly impacted by this first hand experience, Azuela was inspired to create his novel based on what he observed in the events of the revolution and in the hearts of the revolutionaries who surrounded him.

Designed for students with advanced speaking ability, this course will give you the opportunity to continue polishing your comprehension and conversation skills. In an engaging and highly participatory seminar style, we'll enjoy multimedia presentations and group discussions as we pursue deeper insight into the relevance, meaning and historical impact of the Mexican Revolution.

Special note on the duration of this course: Given the length of this book and in order to have enough time to discuss and talk about the historical context of the novel, this course will be spread out over two terms. In Fall 2020 we will read the first half of the book, and in Winter 2021 we’ll cover the second half of the book.  Students can expect to read about 10 pages or less per week and should plan to take both the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 sessions of the course to get the most out of the experience.

Note about the book edition: Since there are different editions of this novel, we recommend students purchase the Penguin Books 1997 edition in order to easily reference text sections by page numbers. However this is not a requirement and any Spanish edition should work fine. You can find the recommended edition here:

Powell's link

Amazon link

Best suited for: Spanish Advanced I or equivalent

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