Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

With “La Respuesta” (“The Answer”) Sor Juana Inéz de la Cruz, the 17th century Mexican nun, made the case for the intellectual tradition of women and their rights to education.

Sor Juana’s was a seminal essay in what would come to be called testimonio, a literary genre used by marginal (or “othered”) populations to challenge and deconstruct the official history. In this class we will explore how testimony intertwines with questions of writing and truth in an attempt to posit an ethical response to cultural violence, repression and (mis)representation. We will look at the history of testimony in Judeo-Christian traditions and its how its emergence as a literary genre allows for authorial remembering, renaming and reclaiming of the past.

Among other topics, this course will focus on Latin American Women’s responses to 20th century violence and repression as well as Israeli/Palestinian responses to the massacres at Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon, 1982. Writers and artists may include: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Julia de Burgos, Claribel Alegría, Julia Alvarez, Frida Khalo, Remedios Varo, Chavela Vargas, Rogoberta Menchu, Inverna Lockpez, Mahmoud Darwish, Adonis, Ari Folman, David Polonsky, Yehuda Amichai, Terry Eagleton, Emmanuel Levinas, and Carolyn Forch̩.

Evaluations based on weekly written responses to material, a midterm essay and a final project.




Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.