Tag Archives: hispanic history

Third World

Here is a reading on the Third World along with its vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

For the record, I disdain this term, which smacks of colonialism and in fact, as far as I am concerned, is a legacy of colonialism. The colonial powers expropriated wealth and labor from their colonies, then saddled them with a moniker that makes it sound like poverty and underdevelopment is somehow their own fault. If this reading didn’t point out this term’s problems, however blandly (“In addition, some artists and intellectuals adopted the term Third World to describe the common history of imperialism and decolonization shared by many countries in the group” and “Though some now regard the term as insensitive, it remains in use to describe impoverished parts of the globe….”), I probably wouldn’t publish it at all. That said, the reading does open a door to a critical discussion of colonialism and its atrocious legacy.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

United Nations

Now seems like a perfect time to post this reading on the United Nations and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. Every person on this planet would benefit, I not so humbly submit, to consider themselves members of the United Nations–all species on earth would similarly benefit, I think.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Latin American Boom

“Latin American Boom: A term for the recognition and publication of Latin American fiction in Europe, the U.S., and Latin America during the 1960s. The ‘boom’ writers were innovative and experimental and yet also accessible, and included Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, Jose Donoso, and Julio Cortazar. Guillermo Cabrera Infante is often considered part of the group. The reasons for the boom include attention and the awarding of prizes by publishers in Spain to Latin American authors; the Cuban Revolution (1959), which focused attention on the Americas; the exhaustion of the Nouveau Roman style and a renewed interest in vibrant storytelling; and the conjunction of imaginative work that engaged political and historical themes. Paradoxically, the fame of book writers has obscured the recognition of pre-boom writers like Onetti, Pinera, Lezama Lima, Lispector, Arguedas, and Arreola, while post-boom writers have found it hard to crack the commercial market, given the starlike promotion of the boom novelists. Notable exceptions are Isabel Allende and writers whose work has been made into successful U.S. films, plays, or musicals, such as Manuel Puig.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

The Weekly Text, October 9, 2020, Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Week IV: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Emiliano Zapata

This week’s Text, in the ongoing observation of Hispanic Heritage Month 2020, is a reading on Emiliano Zapata along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. Any study of the history of Mexico, United States policy there or elsewhere, or revolutionary movements across the world probably ought to include something on this patriot and revolutionary.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“One Hundred Years of Solitude: (Spanish title Cien anos de soledad). A novel (1967; English translation 1970) by the Columbian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1928-2014), generally regarded as the archetypal example of Latin American magical realism. The setting is the small, isolated Columbian village of Macondo, a fictional community that had previously appeared in Garcia Marquez’s La hojarasca (1955; Leafstorm and Other Stories) and in La mala hora (1962; In Evil Hour). The novel follows seven generations of the increasingly inbred Buendia family, the founders of the village, and their story parallels the history of Columbia itself.”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

The Weekly Text, October 2, 2020, Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Week III: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Teresa of Avila

Ok, for Week III of Hispanic Heritage Month 2020, and for the Weekly Text from Mark’s Text Terminal for October 2, 2020, here is a reading on Teresa of Avila along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

Teresa was essentially a sixteenth-century Catholic mystic. Her mysticism, unsurprisingly, brought her to the attention of the Inquisition. She founded a religious order; as the reading explains, she was, in the final analysis, an influential figure in Catholic theology. If you want to move beyond the relatively basic comprehension questions on the worksheet, you–and more importantly, your students–can consider some of the concepts present in Teresa’s story: religious law, orthodoxy, mysticism, feminism and women’s role in the Church, among others.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Zapotec

“Zapotec: The main territory of the Zapotecs was the valley of Oaxaca (Mexico) with its great center at Monte Alban. It is still uncertain when these people first came to Oaxaca, but by c. AD 300 a distinctively Zapotec culture can be recognized. In c. 1400 the area was infiltrated by Mixtecs who came from the mountains from the north and west and occupied most of the Zapotec sites. Part of the region was never conquered by the Aztecs, and the Zapotecan language has persisted to the present day.”

Excerpted from: Bray, Warwick, and David Trump. The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology. New York: Penguin, 1984.

The Weekly Text, September 25, 2020, Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Week II: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on American Imperialism

This week’s Text–and it may seem odd as an offering for National Hispanic Heritage Month–is this reading on American Imperialism and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. The United States has violated the sovereignty of Latin American nations repeatedly since the early-nineteenth century. This meddling in the affairs of Latin America arguably began with the theology of Manifest Destiny and the foreign policy of the Monroe Doctrine.

Even the easygoing researcher will locate dozens of examples of United States involvement in Latin America. Three are most salient for the purposes of this blog post, mostly for their egregiousness: the 1954 coup in Guatemala that overthrew the democratically elected Jacobo Arbenz; ten years later, the 1964 Brazilian coup that toppled the leftist government of Joao Goulart; and, in my own historical memory, the 1973 coup against the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende. The latter, incidentally, has been extensively documented, with then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s role in the Chilean coup examined by, among others, the late Christopher Hitchens and, most comprehensively, by the National Security Archive.

Incidentally, Henry Kissinger is regarded around the world as a war criminal–as this withering editorial from 2017 in The Harvard Crimson emphasizes.

Finally, I’ve always found it useful to turn to one of American history’s most famous quotes, from General Smedley D. Butler, on American imperialism:

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

(Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier (Port Townshend, Washington: Feral House, 2003.)

Enough said.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Modernismo

“Modernismo: A literary movement that arose in Spanish America in the late 19th century and was subsequently transmitted to Spain, In their quest for pure poetry, the modernists displayed a dazzling technical virtuosity and technical perfection that revolutionized Spanish literature.

According to some critics, the publication of Jose Marti’s Ismaelillo (1882) marks the beginning of the movement. Others assert that, while Marti exerted enormous influence on Spanish-American writing and thought, his poetry is so individual that he cannot be considered even a precursor of modernism. There is no disagreement, however, as to the dominant role of Ruben Dario, whose work defined and stimulated modernism in America and in Spain. The publication of his Azul (1888) is sometimes said to signify the birth of modernism, and Prosas profanas (1896) is held to show modernism at its zenith. Other early modernist poets (often considered precursors of this movement) were Manuel Gutierrez Najera, Jose Ascuncion Silva, and Julian del Casal, the Cuban. Modernists of the later, post-1896 phase include Leopoldo Lugones, Jose Enrique Rodo, Julio Herrera y Reissig, Jose Santo Chocano, Amado Nervo, and Rufino Blanco Fombona.

In rebellion against romanticism, from which, however, they were not always able to free themselves, the modernists drew their initial inspiration and technique from European, particularly French, sources. From French Parnassians and symbolists, such as Gautier, Coppee, and Verlaine, came their pessimism and melancholy, their belief in art for art’s sake, their zeal for technical excellence and musicality, their love of exotic imagery and a vocabulary in which swans (one of Dario’s favorite symbols), peacocks, gems, and palaces abound. Another distinctive characteristic of the modernists was their unceasing experimentation with old and new verse forms, In their desire to escape from the sordidness of reality, the early modernists usually shunned political and native themes. Their successors, however, inspired no doubt by impassioned verses that Dario hurled at Theodore Roosevelt in his ode to Argentina, turned increasingly to American subjects, as exemplified by Chocano’s Alma America (1906). In prose writing, particularly the essay, modernismo fostered a new simplicity and elegance, the finest examples of which are to be found in the works of Rodo.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

The Weekly Text, September 18 2020, Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Week I: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Diego Rivera

If you’ve never seen the paintings of Diego Rivera, you’re in for a treat. In observance of the first week of Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 (it runs between September 15 and October 15), on Mark’s Text Terminal, the Weekly Text is a reading on Diego Rivera along with its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review