Skip to main content
Indiana University Bloomington
  • People  |

collage of photos

Graduate Studies

Graduate Course Descriptions: Fall 2008

Literatures in Spanish
Hispanic Linguistics


P510 Brazilian Cinema

Professor Darlene Sadlier

T 6:30pm – 9:00pm/section# 27211/3cr/Location TBA

A survey of Brazilian cinema from the early 20 th century to the present. The course will give special attention to representative filmmakers and their works, beginning with Mário Peixoto’s Limite (1930), which is regarded as one of the masterpieces of silent cinema. Other subjects to be explored include the chanchada, or Hollywood-style musical comedies of the 1940s and 1950s, the Vera Cruz Studio of the 1950s, and the radical New Cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. The course will tend to focus on more recent dramatic and documentary films that have appeared since the country’s return to democracy in the 1980s, after more than 20 years of military dictatorship. The course is taught in English. Films are in Portuguese with English subtitles.

Students will write midterm and final exams and a short research paper.

P570 Poetry in Portuguese

Professor Darlene Sadlier

Topic: 20th-Century Lusophone Verse

TR 2:30pm – 3:45pm/section# 27219/3cr/Location TBA

A survey of major authors and works in 20th-century poetry in Portuguese. Subjects to be discussed include trans-Atlantic modernism and the little poetry reviews; Brazil’s “Catholic” poets; social-realist poetry under fascism; concrete and minimalist approaches to verse; and colonial and post-colonial writings from Lusophone Africa.

Students will take a midterm and final exam and write a short research paper.

Literatures in Spanish

S518 Spanish Medieval Literature

Professor Olga Impey

TR 1:00pm - 2:15pm/section# 27242/3cr./Location TBA

This course will offer both a survey of Spanish medieval literature and an in-depth reading of specific literary works, which will be examined in close connection with the historical, social and cultural contexts that produced them, and with the literary traditions, conventions and genres to which they belong.

The aim of S518 is to develop in students the interpretative acumen and analytical skills that will enable them to comment cogently on Spanish medieval texts and on the world view they reflect.

The reading list will include Poema de mio Cid , Milagros de Nuestra Señora , El Conde Lucanor , Libro de buen amor , Cárcel de amor , La Celestina as well as other short narrative and poetic texts.

S518 will be taught in Spanish. Lectures will alternate with seminar-type classes. Close reading of each work, and familiarization with the fundamental criticism and bibliography of Spanish medieval literature will constitute the core of the course. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their participation in class, an annotated bibliography or a research paper and two written examinations.

S538 Spanish Litearture of the 18 th & 19 th Centuries

Professor Maryellen Bieder

Topic: Imagining Spain(s): Tradition and Modernity

W 4:00pm – 6:30pm/section# 27245/3cr/Location TBA

The period from the end of the 18 th century to the turn of the 20 th century embraces the literary movements labeled in histories of Spanish literature as Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism and Naturalism. The course will situate these literary movements in their historical context and consider to what extent individual works exemplify and/or defy this categorization. Through a selection of canonical texts (prose, poetry and drama), the course will explore how different authors imagined the Spanish people and the newly emerging Spanish nation. The course will also test the hypothesis that the modern novel as a genre defines itself by referring to other forms of cultural production and marking its distance from them.

We will read complete core texts: plays and novels. We will also read two course packs: one incorporates selections of prose and poetry; a second draws together important new critical readings of authors, genres and movements. We will discuss Chapter 1 of La Regenta; there is insufficient time to read the entire novel. (Zola’s Nana, in French or English translation, is recommended reading, as is George Borrow’s The Bible in Spain.)

Each student will make two oral presentations: one on a poem or essay, the second on a critical essay. There will be two to four short (2-page) response papers on assigned readings (literature). The final course paper is a minimum of 12 pages, including notes and works cited. If possible, depending on the size of the class, at the end of the semester all students will give a short presentation on their paper’s thesis and conclusion.


El sí de las niñas , La comedia nueva (1806, 1799). Clásicos Castalia
Don Álvaro (1834). Clásicos Castalia.
Don Juan Tenorio (1844). Clásicos Castalia
Los pazos de Ulloa (1886). Cátedra
La desheredada (1881). Alianza


Feijoo: “Defensa de la mujer”
Larra: artículos de costumbre
Espronceda: “A Jarifa en una orgía,” “Canción del pirata,” El estudiante de Salamanca
Gómez de Avellaneda: poemas
Coronado: poemas Bécquer: Rimas, “El miserere,” “Los ojos verde,”“El rayo de la luna”
Castro: poemas
Böhl de Faber, La corruptora y la buena maestra
La Regenta: Capítulo 1 [(1885). Clásicos Castalia. 2 vols.]

S668 Topics in 19 th and early 20 th Centuries Spanish American Literature

Professor Alejandro Mejías-López

Postcolonial Moves: Spanish American Literature and the Hispanic Atlantic

T 4:00pm – 6:30pm/section# 27247/3cr/Location TBA

Proposing a revision of postcolonial theory and many of its central assumptions based on the British imperial model, this course will center on 19 th- and early 20 th- century Spanish American literature and its relationship to the former metropolis, Spain (and to a lesser extent, to other metropolitan [French, British] and postcolonial [U.S.] literatures). Starting with Bolívar’s texts calling for international help against the tyranny of Spaniards and ending with political commitment of Spanish American intellectuals to the Spanish Republic in 1936, the course will explore the complex relationship of attraction and rejection between both sides of the Hispanic Atlantic. We will study travel narratives by Spanish Americans such as Sarmiento, Mansilla, and Matto de Turner; the production of Spanish American writers who lived and wrote in Spain, such as Gómez de Avellaneda and Hernández Catá; the reception of Rubén Darío and modernismo in Spain; and the prominent role of Spanish American writers in the defense of the Spanish Republic during the Civil War. Although the focus of the class will be on Spanish American letters, we will also pay close attention to Peninsular writers and intellectuals, especially those like Zorrilla, Serrano, Valera, Valle-Inclán, Unamuno, and Guillermo de Torres who either traveled through Spanish America or wrote profusely about Spanish American literature.

S678 Topics in Contemporary Spanish American Literature

Professor Deborah Cohn

Topic: Faulkner, Spanish American, and Caribbean authors

TR 9:30am - 10:45am/section# 27249/3cr./Location TBA

Authors writing in Spanish America in the 1950s and 1960s were acutely conscious of forging a new literary style for themselves, one that they hoped would be better able to express the region's reality and experiences than they perceived traditional realist discourses to be. This course studies the emergence of the Boom in relation to the decline of realism and the contemporary interest in Euro-American modernist prose, focusing in particular on William Faulkner¹s influence. We both read Faulkner and examine Spanish American and Caribbean authors¹ readings and rewritings of William Faulkner. In addition to Faulkner, we will read works by Rosario Ferré, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Edouard Glissant, Juan Carlos Onetti, Juan Rulfo, and Mario Vargas Llosa.

We will focus in particular on reworkings and appropriations of Absalom, Absalom! and ³A Rose for Emily.² We will examine representations of the family and how these are affected by the U.S. South¹s racial, sexual, and gender discourses. We will also study the transformations in the representation of time, and the repudiation of notions of linearity, causality, and chronological order as part of efforts at rewriting regional‹U.S. Southern, Spanish American, and Caribbean‹history. We ask just what it was about Faulkner and his depiction of the U.S. South that appealed to Spanish American authors who were just then beginning to achieve international fame. We further examine the implications and limitations of the writers¹ view of Faulkner and the South for the regional consciousness that was being cultivated and promoted by Boom authors during this period.

Students are also encouraged to think about the nature and dynamics of literary influence and to ask what it means to study Spanish American and Caribbean writers¹ relationships to Faulkner within the interdisciplinary context of Latin American studies, American studies, and comparative literature. Course will be conducted in Spanish; readings will be in English and Spanish.

S708 Seminar in Hispanic Studies

Professor Reyes Vila-Belda

Topic: Silence and Cultural Production in Postwar Spain

M 2:30pm – 5:00pm/section# 27250/3cr/Location TBA
Note: date/time may change

In this seminar we will study the culture of the first decades of Franco’s dictatorship from an interdisciplinary socio-economic and historical perspective and view the textual production of the period as an instrument of resistance in the face of the repression and political marginalization imposed by the victors of the Spanish Civil War. We will also consider subsequent cultural texts produced years later that reflect the political struggle against the dictatorship. We will concentrate on the governmental imposition of silence trough censorship, as well as the representation of those discriminated against, based on gender or class, and analyze how that cultural output challenged the authoritarian system. Particular attention will be given to repressive practices, and its impact on the textual and rhetorical strategies used by these authors, such as ellipsis, humor or irony, to transmit their message.

Starting from Michael Richards’ theoretical approach to the understanding of the Spanish political autarky, we will read a variety of texts representing different genres: a selection of poetry, one play, comics and films, and narratives such as La colmena, by Camilo J. Cela, Nada by Carmen Laforet and La voz dormida by Dulce Chacón, among others. Special attention will be given to the study of the imposition of social norms and dictatorial restrictions as seen through the eyes of Carmen Martín Gaite in Usos amorosos de la postguerra española. Further secondary readings draw from selections by different critics.

Requirements: Class discussion, Seminar-topic class presentation, and a long final research paper.

Hispanic Linguistics

S509 Spanish Phonology

Professor Erik Willis

MWF 11:15am - 12:05pm/section# 27237/3cr./Location TBA

This course examines the sound system of Spanish and introduces theoretical models that account for the system.  The course delivery includes both lecture and student presentations of specific topics.  Evaluation will be based on homework assignments, exams, presentations, and a final paper.

S513 Introduction to Hispanic Sociolinguistics

Professor Manuel Díaz-Campos

TR 1:00pm - 2:15pm/section# 27239/3 cr./Location TBA

1. Descripción del curso:

El curso de introducción a la sociolingüística hispánica tiene como principal objetivo iniciar a los alumnos de postgrado en el manejo de los conceptos básicos en el área con especial énfasis en el estudio de la variación a diversos niveles de análisis lingüístico. El curso ofrecer las herramientas metodológicas básicas no sólo para que puedan interpretar de manera crítica artículos especializados en la disciplina, sino también aplicar los conocimientos adquiridos en el diseño y escritura de una investigación piloto de manera individual o en grupos pequeños sobre algún tópico de variación sociolingüística que sea de interés.

2. Objetivos:

Al finalizar esta asignatura los estudiantes estarán en capacidad de:

S614 Topics in the Acquisition of Spanish

Professor Kimberly Geeslin

Topic: Variation in second language grammars

R 4:00pm – 6:30pm/section# 27246/3cr./Location TBA

This course examines the intersection of research on language variation and studies of the stages through which learners pass as they acquire variable norms. Arguably one of the most difficult aspects of a second language to acquire, norms for variation involve an understanding of which forms are appropriate for the expression of a given meaning in a single discourse context. The acquisition of these norms is inextricably linked to a second language speaker’s ability to indicate group membership through phonological, morphological, syntactic and lexical choices. Questions such as when learners begin to acquire variation in the second language, whether or not advanced learners achieve native-like variation and what form this variability takes across time will be addressed. Course readings include theoretical treatments of how variation might be incorporated into mental grammars as well as recent examples of original research on the variation of a particular grammatical structure in learner grammars. Particular emphasis will be placed on the development of research skills including task design and data analysis with the goal of promoting individual scholarship.

Students should have access to a general reference text on sociolinguistics (such as those from S513) and on second language acquisition (such as those listed on the MA reading list, or required for S515).