This course is an introduction to Latina/o literature, from the period of Spanish colonization to 1898 and the Spanish-American War. The readings are organized, with a few exceptions, in a roughly chronological order. As we move through our survey of the literature, we will attend to the distinct historical and cultural conditions in which the texts were produced. Some of the historical narratives that will inform our discussions include Spanish colonization prior to the U.S. occupation of the borderlands, the 1846-48 Mexican War and its consequences, and U.S. economic and political interest in the Caribbean territories leading up to the Spanish-American War. Throughout the course, we will interrogate the possibilities, limitations, and the viability of studying these diverse literatures under the rubric of "latinidad." Writers will include Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, Mar�a Amparo Ruiz de Burton, José Mart� and Américo Paredes.