Magical (or magic) realism is a narrative technique characterized by the integration of fantastical or mythical elements into a realistic chain of events. It usually juxtaposes elements from opposing cultures, be they colonizer and colonized (as in many works by Salman Rushdie), dominant and subservient cultures (Native Americans in The Painted Drum by Louise Ehdrich), contemporary life vs. surviving superstitions and beliefs (as in Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez), making it especially useful as a political tool (Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits). It can be used for sexual politics, as in Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence, the story of a woman trying to take control of her destiny in a decidedly male world. In this course we will watch one movie and read four books that utilize magical realism in very different ways and for very different purposes. Lecture (plus questions). Facilitated Discussion.