From Macondo to McOndo | Newberry

From Macondo to McOndo

Plate II. Jungle scene featuring terraced pyramid-shaped structure made of stone bricks. It is overgrown with trees. In the foreground, several sculptured stone ornaments: a monkey skull, the busts of a warrior and a chieftain, and sacrificial stone.

Frederick Catherwood. Pyramidal building and fragments of sculpture, at Copan, in Views of ancient monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan. 1844. VAULT Ayer 515 .C31 1844.

Re-imagining 20th Century Latin American Literatures and Cultures
Friday, July 17, 2015

9 am to 3 pm

Led by Thelma Jiménez-Anglada, Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago
Chicago Teachers as Scholars

About 10 years ago, in Spain’s El País newspaper, Colombian author Efraím Medina Reyes impudently referred to the now deceased and celebrated Gabriel García Márquez as “García Marketing.” Although Medina Reyes’ comments may seem outrageous to both critics and readers of Latin American literatures and cultures in the U.S., his observations serve to underscore a fundamental shift in the ways in which the notion of magical realism—spearheaded by García Márquez’s writing—has come to be understood by the younger generations in the region.

In this workshop we will traverse some of the main tropes of the Latin American literary period known as the Boom, using magical realism and its imaginary space of Macondo as pretexts. Through the use of literary and cultural texts, the workshop also proposes to question the ways in which these tropes have been traditionally understood, by bringing to the forefront some of the responses that emerged at the end of the twentieth century, such as the McOndo movement. This survey will also allow us to delve into the historical context of the region through an analysis of narratives and visual culture.

Note: Given the contemporary nature of the topic, this seminar will not feature a show and tell with Newberry collection items.

Thelma Jiménez-Anglada is a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Her dissertation is titled, “Territorios, Ley y Violencia: La Novela del Narcotráfico en México.”

Cost and Registration Information 

This Chicago Teachers as Scholars seminar is free and open to classroom teachers in the Chicago Public Schools on a first-come, first-served basis. Seminar participants will receive 5 ISBE professional development credit hours for attending this seminar.


For more information, please email

“From Macondo to McOndo: Re-imagining 20th Century Latin American Literatures and Cultures” is made possible with support from the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago.