Modelo posible para una propuesta

Propuesta para composición no. 1 y no. 2: El estudiante entregará una propuesta (100-200 palabras) para cada composición siguiendo convenciones del MLA y con las siguientes secciones:

Juana López                

Spanish 410/ 510                    

Propuesta para composición # _____

20 de febrero de 2005

La semiótica del travestí en De donde son los cantantes de Severo Sarduy


1.      Titulo.  ¿El título refleja el argumento?

2.      Textos primarios.  ¿Cuáles textos primarios serán usados?

3.      Tesis.  ¿Cuál es el argumento de la composición?

4.      Textos secundarios.  ¿Cuáles textos secundarios usarás? What ideas from these texts will you be using in the composition?  Please cite references in the “Works Cited” page (Obras citadas).


*Here’s a sample prospectus in English.  I have added red numbers in the following prospectus that relate to the questions addressed in your syllabus and given above for your convenience.  Because of the variety of “unknown” texts, I provide citations in a Note style.  You may decide to follow this Note style for citation especially if you are dealing with obscure texts (or other media) or if you want to highlight that you are examining a given edition of a text.  Please note that because of my red numerical interruptions 1-4, tabulations for each paragraph are off.  Please follow one tab after each paragraph in your prospectus.


Oscar Fernández

Asst. Prof. Spanish & Comparative Literature

Portland State University, Oregon

ACLA 2005 Annual Meeting

Conference:  Imperialisms—Temporal, Spatial, Formal

Panel:  “Conquest and Counterconquest:  Transcultural

Encounters in the Americas

Organizer:  Lois Parkinson Zamora


Francisco Clavijero and Transatlantic Natural Histories  (<=1 Titulo refleja la tesis)


(4 Textos secundarios como introducción=>) In The Shock of Medievalism, Kathleen Biddick analyzes how fifteenth-century inquisitors, especially the authors of the infamous Malleus maleficarum (Hammer of witches, 1487), constructed authority and determined what “counts as evidence” in continental witch trials (107).[1]  In Biddick’s reading of inquisitorial ethnography as a process of conceptualizing the “devil’s anal eye,” European “savages” (Jews and witches) were reproduced with the “technological assistance of the devil” (111).  (3 La tesis!=>) In considering how European imagination conceptualized New World “savages” after 1492, this presentation analyzes how transatlantic natural histories operated under a similar rubric of inquisitorial ethos by constructing authoritative versions of American taxonomy and by determining how fantasies of American monstrous bodies, a projection of European established tropes on the perversity of non-Christians, counted as evidence to guarantee the conquest of the New World.  Instead of Inquisition manuals, New World biology was conceived and managed with the technological assistance of natural historians.

(2 Textos primarios =>) In reading together Pedro Mártir de Anglería’s Décadas del Nuevo Mundo (1555), George Louis Leclerc, Count de Buffon’s Historie Naturelle, générale et particulière (1791), Corneille de Pauw’s Recherches philosophiques sur les américains (1768, 1769) and Francisco Javier Clavijero’s Historia antigua de México (1780) and Capítulos de historia y Disertaciones (c. 1780), this presentation shows how natural history was instrumental in negotiating the cultural and biological realities of the Americas and of Europe.[2]  These European natural histories describe the Americas as a locus morbus (a site of disease and of aberrant sexuality).  For example, in Mártir’s account of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa’s discovery of Panama, Balboa justifies the slaughter of forty native Cuarecua chieftains by describing them as sodomites engaged in what he sees to be transvestite behavior:  “[Balboa] halló al hermano del cacique en traje de mujer “ (200; “Balboa found the caciques’s brother dressed in a woman’s dress”).   Mártir then describes the behavior as contagious and pestilent after rival tribes bring other nobles that appear to be “contagiad[os] de aquella peste” (200; “contaminated by that pestilence”).  For their part, de Buffon and de Pauw became two of the main Enlightenment natural historians to promulgate scientific theories on America’s genetic and sexual enervation. De Pauw even wrote the first entries on “America” for the Supplément de l’Encyclopédie (1776).[3]

(2 Textos primarios and what ideas I am using from them =>) In opposition to European-filtered natural histories, those written by Jesuit Mexican priest Francisco Clavijero (1731-1787) question the New World’s deemed biological and cultural inferiority.  In Historia antigua and Disertaciones, for example, Clavijero advocates for a New World natural history divorced from European authority and its perceived evidence on America’s enervation.  Furthermore, in Historia antigua Clavijero dismisses European natural historians such as “Plinio, Dioscórides, [. . .] Buffon, Bomare y otros naturalistas, no contentándome [. . .] con lo que se me había informado por hombres inteligentes y prácticos en aquellos países (7; “Pliny, Dioscorides, [. . .] Buffon, not satisfied with what I had been informed by intelligent and practical men from those countries”).

(Conclusion:  I try to connect my study with a wider problem of archiving memory =>) In addition to refuting taxonomical data on America’s “enervation,” Clavijero’s dissident natural histories engage and subvert the imperial drive behind much of European natural history by highlighting New World time and space.  In Clavijero’s work, Mexican chronology and landscapes before 1492 are crucial determinants in writing a natural history that emanates from the New World.  In his 1780 letter to the University of Mexico, Clavijero’s hope for a Mexican museum “no menos útil que curioso” (Historia 4; “not only useful but curious”) that collects ancient statues and art work, artifacts, manuscripts by both Spanish and Indians attests to a changing order in archiving cultural and scientific history. This “curious” museum can offer alternative natural histories that not only preserve the memory of past life, but makes conquest and colonial subjects in the Americas be active purveyors of their own collective past. 





[1] All translations mine; Kathleen Biddick, “The Devil’s Anal Eye:  Inquisitorial Optics and Ethnographic Authority,” The Shock of Medievalism (Durham and London:  Duke UP, 1998) 234-42.

[2] Pedro Mártir de Anglería, “Década tercera,” Décadas del Nuevo Mundo [1530 Latin ed., 1892 Spanish ed.], trans. D. Joaquín Torres Asensio (Buenos Aires: Editorial Bajel, 1944); Georges Louis Leclerc, Count de Buffon, Natural History, General and Particular [1791], trans. William Smellie, 9 vols. (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2000); Cornelius de Pauw, Recherches philosophiques sur les Américains, ou mémoires intéressants pour serveur a l’historie de l’espèce humaine.  Par Mr. De P***.  Avec une dissertation sur l’Amérique & les Américains, par Don Pernety (London, 1770).  The Eighteenth Century Research Publications.  Rochester: University of Rochester Library, no year; Francisco Javier Clavijero, Historia antigua de México, ed. P. Mariano Cuevas (México, D.F.: Editorial Porrúa, 1958) and Capítulos de Historia y Disertaciones, ed. Julio Jiménez Rueda (México, D.F.: Ediciones de la UNAM, 1944).

[3] Henry Ward Church, “Corneille de Pauw, and the Controversy over his Recherches philosophiques sur les Américains,” PMLA LI 1-2 (1936):  194.