Skip to main content

Safe at Home: Safe Houses and Resiliency in Latin American Literature

Department: Literature
Instructor: Zachary Hayes
Instructor's Email:
Prerequisites: none 
Section ID: 155900 

Schedule: Mon., Weds., Fri. 10AM - 12PM PST


Course Description

In the era of Covid-19, we have witnessed a seemingly unprecedented shift in our daily lives. Many public spaces have become tinged with a feeling of insecurity, if not closed off altogether. Our homes have thus taken on an increased importance, becoming a gym, an office, a school, a theater, etc.. And with the ambient pressures of a global pandemic, home is more so than ever a site of resiliency, of taking care of ourselves and ensuring our safety.

This has happened in a similar way before. Throughout this course, we will examine stories and accounts from authors and artists in Latin America who, under various difficult circumstances, reflected on the function of the home and strategically adapted their dwellings to protect their humanity. It is these stories of resiliency in the face of danger that we will put into conversation with our own experiences throughout the past year, further enriching a reading of the past as it informs the present.

Course Goals / Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the context and role of home in literary texts (fiction, memoir, poetry, film, music)
  • Evaluate and compare strategies of resiliency in course materials.
  • Develop a critical lens for the connection between art and everyday life.

Course Topics

  • What is the home? And what is a safe house?
  • What lessons do artistic depictions of safe houses offer us?
  • How do we take these lessons of resiliency and strategize their incorporation into our own lives?

*Courses vary by experience and exposure to content. Instructors have the ability to change content and pace to serve the needs of students. Courses have been modified for online teaching.