Course Meeting Times

Seminars: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


One intermediate course in Spanish. Class discussions, readings, and audiovisual materials are mainly in Spanish.

Course Description

The goal of this course is to offer a general introduction to 20th and 21st century literature and cultural production about modern Mexico. Emphasis will be placed on the way intellectuals and artists have presented the changes in Mexico City's urban life, and how these representations question themes and trends in national identity, state control, globalization, and immigration.

Throughout the course, we will introduce a variety of mainly contemporary Mexican writers and visual artists whose works (novels, poems, crónicas, short stories, films, paintings) deal primarily with Mexico City's changing social landscape. In addition, the most recent border crossing artistic expressions will also provoke a comparison between other urban experiences, such as New York, Washington or Tijuana. Through critical discussion and frequent writing assignments, this class will improve student's ability to write clear, coherent and meaningful expository prose.

Required Books

  • Pacheco, José Emilio. Las batallas en el desierto. Tusquets, 2010. ISBN: 9788483832356.
  • Tenorio-Trillo, Mauricio. I Speak of the City: Mexico City at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. University of Chicago Press, 2015. ISBN: 9780226273587.
  • Enrigue, Álvaro. Hipotermia. Anagrama, 2011.
  • Goldman, Francisco. Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle. Grove Press, 2015. ISBN: 9780802123770.


Los Olvidados (The Young and Damned). Directed by Luis Buñuel. Black and White, 85 min. Ultramar Films, 1950.

Tlatelolco, Verano del 68 (Tlatelolco, Summer of 68). Directed by Carlos Bolado. Color, 68 min. Maiz Producciones, 2013.

Amores Perros (Love's a Bitch). Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Color, 154 min. Altavista Films, 2000.

Revolución. 10 cortos (Revolution). Directed by Mariana Chenillo. Color, 105 min. Canana Films, 2010.

Evaluation / Grades

Grading is on the basis of frequent relatively small evaluations rather than on one or two major hurdles. See Assignments section.

Class attendance and participation in class discussion sections 30%
Three short response essays 15%
Final essay first draft 15%
Final essay final draft 30%
Final debate participation 5%
Oral presentation of final projects 5%