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Graduate Studies

Graduate Course Descriptions: Fall 2007

Literatures in Spanish
Hispanic Linguistics


P567 Contemporary Portuguese Literature

Professor Estela Vieira

Topic: Several Selves, Numerous Nations: Twentieth-Century Portuguese Literature

TR 2:30pm – 3:45pm/section# 26350/3cr./Location TBA

This course introduces students to essential writers and literary periods of twentieth-century Portuguese literature. We focus on the tendency in Portuguese literature to react to the crisis of self and modernity with the representation of many different selves rather than with the fragmentation of the individual. Beginning with Fernando Pessoa's project of creating different poets or heteronyms, the course continues with readings from a literary tradition, in which these themes evolve. With vanguard literary experimentation emerges a need to question the sense of identity in conjunction with an exploration of Portugal's multicultural history. In this search, self and national identities are multiple and multiplied and hence constantly defining and redefining themselves. The course then examines the modernist heritage and the transition to later post-modern fiction by António Lobo Antunes, Lídia Jorge, and José Saramago, attempting to connect the modernist project with postmodern and postcolonial debates about identity as diverse. We will read closely a variety of different genres, including poetry, short story, novella, novel, and essay, and supplement our primary readings with relevant theoretical reflections on the representation of self in literature and culture.

This course is offered jointly with P498 and P495.

P676 Machado de Assis

Professor Luciana Namorato

TR 1:00pm – 2:15pm/section# 26360/3cr/Location TBA

In this course, we will study selected works by the Brazilian writer Machado de Assis (1839-1908). Readings will cover all of the genres he published: novel, drama, short story, novella, poetry, literary criticism, and newspaper columns. Our discussions will include, but not be limited to, Machado’s social and political criticism of the Brazil of his time, as well as his literary dialogue with Brazilian and European predecessors and contemporaries. Readings and discussion in Portuguese.

Assignments: midterm and final exams, and one final paper

Literatures in Spanish

S528 Spanish Literature of the 16 th- & 17 th- Centuries

Professor Steven Wagschal

TR 9:30am – 10:45am/class# 26467/3cr./Location TBA

This graduate survey of early modern prose, poetry and theater, explores the dynamics of power, gender and genre in selected canonical texts by Garcilaso, Lope de Rueda, Góngora, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Quevedo, María de Zayas, Calderón and others (with the notable exception of Don Quixote, due to time constraints).

Requirements : There will be one exam and two papers (one short, one longer). At least one of the papers will employ methods of textual analysis known as “close reading.” Students will also give short presentations on critical articles and/or concepts. Finally, active class participation and preparation are important components of the course.

Note : If you have not yet read Don Quixote, it would be a good idea to do so before the semester begins, because it is a major point of reference in the study of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature.


Papers (15%, 25%)
Class Participation
Oral Presentation(s)

S578 20th- & 21st- Century Spanish American Literature

Professor Gustavo Sainz

TR 8:00am – 9:15am/section# 26468/3cr./Location TBA

En los últimos años del Siglo XX y al comenzar el Siglo XXI, han aparecido megaeditoriales que editan libros hipercomerciales al mismo tiempo que la globalización y el neoliberalismo cierran librerías y centros de estudio. De tímidos posmodernismos se ha retrocedido a novelas sospechosamente decimonónicas, pseudohistóricas, líricas, experimentales, testimoniales y cada vez menos localistas. Revisaremos algunas novelas seg ún las escuelas al uso. Haremos tres reseñas con la intención de publicarlas posteriormente. Habrá un examen parcial y un examen final.


Miguel Angel Asturias: El señor presidente. Jorge Luis Borges: Ficciones. Julio Cortázar: Rayuela. Carlos Fuentes: La muerte de Artemio Cruz. Manuel Puig: El beso de la mujer araña. Alvaro Mutis: Abdul Bashur, soñador de navíos. Angelina Muñiz-Huberman: Areúsa en los conciertos.

S618 Topics in Spanish Medieval Literature

Professor Olga Impey

Topic: “The Triumph of the Ladies: On the Defense of Women in Fifteenth-Century Castile”

MR 4:00pm – 6:30pm/section# 26478/3cr./Location TBA
2 nd 8 weeks only

This course will explore the participation of women in the making of history and culture in the Iberian area, during a time characterized by Huizinga as “the autumn of the Middle Ages” and by María Rosa Lida de Malkiel as “pre-Renaissance.” Special attention will be given in the introductory segment of the course to the impact that queens (such as María of Castile, María of Aragon, Isabel of Portugal and Isabel, the Catholic Queen), women writers (Leonor de Córdoba, Teresa de Cartagena, Isabel Villena, etc.), and fictional literary figures (Laureola, Gradissa, etc.) had in offsetting the misogynist tradition cultivated by Boccaccio, Alfonso Martínez de Toledo, Jaume Roig, etc.

The central point of class discussion on the defense of women will be Juan Rodríguez del Padrón’s work, Triunfo de las donas (cca. 1440). After placing this work within the historical context that produced it, we will proceed to:

  1. Examine the text and, for a better understanding of its meaning, translate it into English;
  2. Bring out by comparison Rodríguez del Padrón´s undertaking to refute the defamation of women disseminated by Boccaccio in Il corbaccio and by Martínez de Toledo in the Arcipreste de Talavera;
  3. Trace the possible connection of the Triunfo with Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies;
  4. Explore the series of defensas de mujeres that the Triunfo engendered in the literary works of Alvaro de Luna, Diego de Valera, Diego de San Pedro, Juan de Flores, etc.;
  5. Establish the relationship between the arguments presented in these defensas and the new ideology of “resisting female,” reader and ruler, that emerged in Castile towards the end of the fifteenth-century.

The theoretical and critical framework of class discussions will be based on studies by Iris Zavala, M. E. Lacarra, R. Cantavella, B. Weissberger, L. Irigaray, J. Butler, Abigail Bray, G. Duby and Michelle Perrot.

The course will be conducted in Spanish. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their participation in class discussions, of a critical study presented in class, and on a research paper related to the class topic.

S688 Topics in U.S. Latino &/or Caribbean Literature

Professor Emily Maguire

Topic: Gender and Sexuality in Caribbean Narrative

W 1:00pm – 3:30pm/section# 26479/3cr./Location TBA 

This course seeks to examine the changing representations of gender and sexuality in literature of the Hispanic Caribbean, questioning as it does so the relationship that has developed between particular constructions of gender and sexuality and national identity. Our investigation will center on novels and short stories from Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, but we will also watch several films, both narrative and documentary. We will begin our reading at the fin de siècle, a period of crisis and change in which emerging new formations of gender and sexual identity come into conflict with more traditional models. Proceeding in a more or less chronological fashion, we will interrogate discourses (both national and scientific) that attempt to classify, normalize, and legislate gender and sexuality, as well as the representation of discourses and practices that contest these normalizing impulses. We will look at the treatment of homosexuality in these narratives, as well as at the ways in which issues of gender and sexuality intersect with race and class in these particular national contexts. We will end by exploring how diaspora and globalization have affected constructions of gender and sexuality in the Caribbean context.

 Primary texts will include:

Alejandro Tapia y Rivero, Póstumo el transmigrado
Miguel de Carrión, Las impuras
Ofelia Rodríguez Acosta, La vida manda
Carlos Montenegro, Hombres sin mujer
Aida Cartagena Portalatín, Escalera para Electra
Virigilio Piñera, La carne de René
Reinaldo Arenas, Antes que anochezca
Luis Rafael Sánchez, La importancia de llamarse Daniel Santos
Manuel Ramos Otero, Página en blanco y staccato, Cuentos de buena tinta (selections)
Mayra Santos Febrés, Sirena Selena vestida de Pena
Pedro Juan Gutiérrez, El Rey de La Habana
Ángel Lozada, No quiero quedarme sola y vacía
Rita Indiana Hernández, La estrategia de Chochueca
“Fresa y chocolate” (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, dir.)
“Brincando el charco” (Frances Negrón Montaner, dir.)
“Seres extravagantes” (Manuel Zayas, dir.)

Critical and theoretical readings will be drawn from the work of:

Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick, Judith Butler, Rita Felski, Jean Riviere, Severo Sarduy, Ann Laura Stoler, Sylvia Molloy, Félix Jiménez, Gabriel Giorgi, Rubén Ríos Ávila, Emilio Bejel, and José Quiroga, among others.

Hispanic Linguistics

S508 Introduction to Hispanic Pragmatics

Professor César Félix-Brasdefer

TR 1:00pm – 2:15pm/section# 26463/3cr./Lcoation TBA

Pragmatics is broadly defined as the study of language in social interaction and of the social contexts in which linguistic action takes place. It examines the intentions of language users and how discourse is interpreted by hearers. After examining the scope of pragmatics and a description of basic concepts in the field, the course will analyze how pragmatics relates to other areas of linguistics such as semantics and syntax. Following this introduction, the literature in pragmatic theory will be reviewed and major topics in pragmatics will be examined, such as speech acts, deixis, presupposition, information structure, and implicature. The last component of the course examines these concepts at the discourse level including an analysis of (im)politeness, argumentative discourse, (in)directness, mitigation, and conversation analysis.

S612 Topics in Linguistic Variation and Language in Context

Professor Manuel Díaz -Campos

Topic: Examining Scociolinguistic Variation in Spanish

TR 2:30pm – 3:45pm/section# 23508/3cr./Location TBA

This class is an advanced research-oriented course in language variation and change. A review of current literature and methodology will be pursued with the idea of applying it to Spanish variation phenomena in any variety of the Spanish speaking world. During the semester we will be examining topics such as:1) The development of sociolinguistic studies in Spanish, 2) Sociolinguistic variation in child language: Becoming part of the speech community, 3) Understanding the spreading sociolinguistic variation: Frequency and lexical diffusion, 4) Perceiving variation: Experimental methods for analyzing phonological variation, 5) Practical application of theoretical concepts: Apparent and real-time constructs, and 6) The role of style in describing sociolinguistic variation. Class time will be divided in lecturing, class discussion, and solving problem exercises.