To what extent is New York City part of the Caribbean? This course explores the ways in which writers from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic write New York, whether as tourists, residents, or exiles. We will read about places like Coney Island, Wall Street, Chinatown, Harlem, the Bronx, the Village, the World Trade Center, and Washington Heights. Beginning with the chronicles of José Martí and other Cubans in the late 19th century, we then turn our attention to surrealist visions of catastrophe (1920s & 30s), followed by Nuyorico (1950s), Bronx hip hop (1970s), the gay underground scene (late 1970s & early 80s), 9/11, and the contemporary Dominican diaspora in Upper Manhattan. Topics include exile, nostalgia, transnationalism, imperialism, aesthetics, performance, race, and sexuality.
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