Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Foundational Fictions


Do you agree with Doris Sommer that inter-racial romances are metaphors for the tormented process of nation-formation in nineteenth-century Latin America?


Please read at least one of the following

Alencar, José de, Iracema, trans. Clifford Landers, Oxford University Press (Oxford, 2000 [1865]).

Azevedo, Aluísio, The Slum: a Novel [O Cortiço], trans. by David H. Rosenthal, Oxford University Press (Oxford, 2000 [1890]).

Gómez de Avellaneda, Gertrudis, ‘Sab’ (1841), in Sab and Autobiography, trans. Nina M. Scott, Texas Pan-American Series.

Villaverde, Cirilo, Cecilia Valdés or El Angel Hill, Trans. by Helen Lane, Oxford University Press (Oxford, 2005 [1882]).


Davies, Catherine, ‘Introduction’, in Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Sab, ed. Catherine Davies, Manchester University Press (Manchester, 2001 [1841]).

Guzmán, Tracy L. Decine, “Diacuí Killed Iracema’: Indigenism, Nationalism and the Struggle for Brazilianness’, Bulletin of Latin American Research, vol. 24:1 (2005).

Lindstrom, Naomi, ‘Foreword’, in José de Alencar, Iracema, trans. Clifford Landers, Oxford University Press (Oxford, 2000 [1865]).

Sommer, Doris, Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America (Berkeley, 1991).

Treece, Dave, Exile, Allies, Rebels: Brazil’s Indianist Movement, Indigenist Politics and the Imperial Nation-State, Greenwood Press (Westport, 2000).

Williams, Claudette, ‘Cuban Anti-Slavery Narrative through Postcolonial Eyes: Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda’s Sab’, Bulletin of Latin American Studies, vol. 27:2 (2008).