Skip to Gallatin Navigation Skip to Gallatin Main Content

Politics, Writing and the Nobel Prize in Latin America

Semester and Year FA 2018
Course Number IDSEM-UG1711
Section 001
Instructor Linn Cary Mehta
Days TR
Time 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   HUM, GLOBAL



Over the last one hundred years, seven Latin American authors have won the Nobel Prize: Gabriela Mistral (1945); Miguel Angel Asturias (1967); Pablo Neruda (1971); Gabriel García Márquez (1982); Octavio Paz (1990); Rigoberto Menchú (Peace Prize, 1992); Mario Vargas Llosa (2010). Together, they give us a chance to consider some of the major literary and political movements in Latin America leading up to the present. Through novels and autobiography, Asturias and Menchú explore very different aspects of the indigenous struggle in Guatemala; the poetry of Mistral and Neruda reveals the successive influences of surrealism, communism, and feminism, up to the eve of the Pinochet coup in Chile; the novels of García Márquez in Colombia and Vargas Llosa in Peru embody tensions between realism and magical realism; and Paz, in Mexico, in his poetry and essays, represents a country that has been a literary cornerstone of Latin America. We will look at these authors in the context of the history, politics, and anthropology of their respective countries, and conclude by considering a few authors who did not get the prize but were equally deserving,such as Jorge Luis Borges and Roberto Bolaño.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)