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Graduate Studies

Graduate Course Descriptions: Fall 2012

Hispanic Linguistics
Hispanic Literatures


HISP-C 105 Intensive Catalan Language
             #27666       11:15A-12:05P    MWF   BH 105               
This class meets with HISP-C 491.

HISP-C 491  Elementary Catalan for Graduate Students
             #27667       11:15A-12:05P    MWF   BH 105               
This class meets with HISP-C 105.

Professor Josep Miquel Sobrer

Globalization has unified economies, torn down political barriers, and turned local spaces into tourist attractions. In this context, Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, has become a successful global city that offers a balanced combination of vibrant economic activity and Mediterranean relaxed lifestyle. Its cultural centers, its architectural and artistic heritage, its sunny beaches, and its cool nightlife have also turned it into one of the world’s most fashionable tourist destinations. The names of some modern Catalan creators are familiar to all: Gaudí, Miró, Dalí, to name just three.
     At the heart of this success lies an enigmatic element: the presence and vitality of the Catalan language. In the last decades, Catalan, spoken by approximately 10 million people, has both maintained a high cultural prestige and increased its public presence remaining a key political tool in Catalonia and the other Catalan-speaking areas.
     This introductory course to Catalan language and culture aims at providing a basic knowledge of the Catalan language. The intensive study of Catalan, geared primarily at reading knowledge, but not limited to it, will be complemented with a cultural overview of Catalonia and the Catalan-speaking lands (País Valencià, Illes Balears, Andorra, Catalunya Nord, and the city of l’Alguer in Sardinia). The case of Catalonia and its unique and exemplary characteristics will be a perfect occasion to undertake more general reflections on the intricate relations between language, culture, politics, and globalization.

     Beginning with the second week, the class will be primarily conducted in Catalan. Students will be expected to use Catalan in class after the sixth week.
     Grades will be based on Class Participation (15%), three tests (30%), one presentation (20%), and a final exam (35%).
     Students will be required to acquire a textbook (Bastons, Bernadò, Comajoan: Gramàtica Pràctica del Català). The possession of a dictionary is recommended. Other materials will be made available by the instructor.

Note:  For Undergraduate Spanish Majors, HISP-C 105 may count as your 300/400 level elective.




HISP-P 505  Literature and Film in Portuguese   (3 credits)

           #29976      1:00P-2:15P    TR   BH 011
            Note:  This class meets with HISP-P 405.

Professor Darlene Sadlier
Office:  Ballantine Hall 806       Telephone: 855-1514

Throughout the twentieth century, Portugal and especially Brazil’s intermittent success in the international film marketplace has been achieved though its ability to fashion important pictures out of the work of its most celebrated authors.  In 1975, all five of the screenplays nominated for the Brazilian Instituto Nacional de Cinema’s prestigious “Golden Owl” award were adaptations. Moreover, during the heyday of the Brazilian “Cinema Novo”(1960's-1970's), which is arguably the most significant era of production, radical film makers repeatedly used literature as a way of covertly criticizing the right-wing military regime. This was also true of film makers in Lusophone Africa.  In recent years, many of the most admired films in the Lusophone world have been adaptations.
This course will provide an historical overview of this link between film and literature. But it will concentrate mainly on films from the latter half of the 20th century and early 21st century that are easily accessible in the United States. The films selected are highly diverse and reflect a broad range of styles and approaches to movie-making during this period. Although the course will examine the differences between film and literature as media, its chief aim is to demonstrate what might be called the politics of adaptation–that is, the ways in which a medium like motion pictures, which addresses large audiences, can employ literature to acquire cultural capital, forge national identity, and effect political action.

Students will write two exams and a short research paper for the class.

HISP-P 512  Brazil:  The Cultural Context  (3 credits)
            #29978    4:00P-5:15P    TR   BH 332
            Note:  This class meets with HISP-P 412 and LTAM-L 426 and LTAM-L 526.

Professor Darlene Sadlier
Office:  Ballantine Hall 806       Telephone: 855-1514

            Taught in English, this course will survey issues specific to the history, politics, and culture of Brazil from 1500 to present day. The course is interdisciplinary and cross-cultural and will provide students with a comprehensive view of the largest country in South America. Among the topics to be addressed in the course are: the colonial encounter and issues such as race, nature, and cannibalism; Brazilian identity and the nation; modernity and artistic and literary modernism; Getúlio Vargas’s “Estado Novo” (New State dictatorship); Brasília as modernist frontier; Cinema Novo (New Cinema); the military dictatorship and post-dictatorial Brazil; dystopian cinema; and migration.

Students will write two exams and a short research paper for the class.

HISP-P 575 Theater in Portuguese  (3 credits)

          #31286    2:30P-3:45P    TR   WH 008  
          Note:  This class meets with HISP-P 475 and HISP-P 498

Professor Luciana Namorato
Office:  Ballantine Hall 837       Telephone: 856-1061

This course is an overview of more than five hundred years of theater written in Portuguese. We will discuss a few major theatrical works from Portugal, Brazil, and Lusophone Africa, with emphasis on the different historical contexts and their various dramaturgical techniques. Readings include plays by Gil Vicente, Almeida Garrett, Martins Pena, Nelson Rodrigues, and Pepetela.  Readings and discussion in Portuguese.



HISP-S 513 Introduction to Hispanic Sociolinguistics

         #29598        2:30P-3:45P   MW   WH 118

Professor Manuel Díaz-Campos
Office:  Ballantine Hall 857     Telephone: 856-5462

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 en diversos niveles de análisis lingüístico. El curso ofrece 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 basada en datos orales de manera individual o en grupos pequeños sobre algún tópico de variación sociolingüística que sea de interés. La evaluación del curso se basa en varios aspectos que incluyen presentaciones en clase, discusión, exámenes, trabajos experimentales de codificación y análisis de datos, así como la elaboración del trabajo final.

2. Objetivos:
Al finalizar esta asignatura los estudiantes estarán en capacidad de:        

HISP-S 517 Methods of Teaching College Spanish

         #20925     9:05A-9:55A   MWF    BH 221

Professor Laura Gurzynski-Weiss
Office:  Ballantine Hall 876     Telephone:  855-6392

This course will provide students with a foundation in the theory and techniques for teaching university-level foreign language in a classroom setting. The theoretical background of communicative language teaching will be emphasized, with particular attention to task-based language teaching. Students will critically review theories on second language acquisition and learn how to implement current findings from research into effective teaching practices. Internal and external factors that affect the language acquisition process will be discussed, as well as how instructors can maximize in-class learning with their role as teachers. The relationships between instructor characteristics and learning opportunities will also be examined. Throughout the semester, students will lead and participate in discussions, complete classroom observations, and carry out teaching evaluations. Students will also collaboratively design classroom tasks, assessments and lesson plans and create an online teaching portfolio.

HISP-S 614: Topics in the Acquisition of Spanish
                       Variation in second language grammars

          #29621     1:00P-2:15P    TR    WH 108

Professor Kimberly Geeslin
Office:   Ballantine Hall 853      Telephone:  856-5470

Proposed Course Description:
It is widely recognized that the development of sociolinguistic competence in a second language is essential in order for a learner to communicate effectively.  The ever-increasing body of research that bridges the gap between the fields of sociolinguistics and second language acquisition has explored the variety of ways in which social context influences the acquisition of a second language. Learners face variation in the input they receive, which is constrained by the social characteristics of the speaker, the geographic location of the interaction and the context in which the interaction takes place as well as a host of linguistic factors. Moreover, they must learn to correctly interpret the social information included in the input they encounter (e.g., the formality of the situation). Additionally, learners must acquire the ability to vary their own speech as a reflection of these social factors in order to produce language that is appropriate and consistent with the expectations of their interlocutors and their own communicative goals.  Finally, the means by which social information is conveyed through learner speech must be acquired in order for language learners project their own identity in the second language. The purpose of this course is to examine this intersection of sociolinguistics and second language acquisition with particular focus on the various approaches to language use and language learning that seek to incorporate social factors. These approaches include several different research paradigms, including theories of social interaction and social identity, variationist accounts of the linguistic and social factors that constrain variation, and several cognitive models within which variation may fit (e.g., Optimality Theory, Connectionism, Dynamic Systems Theory, Complex Adaptive Systems and other usage-based accounts). In addition to their ability to adequately describe variation in second languages, approaches will be evaluated critically on the basis of their ability to answer questions such as when learners begin to acquire variation in the second language, how acquisition proceeds, how social factors interact with second language acquisition, whether learners can acquire the ability to properly interpret variants in a second language and whether or not advanced learners are able to achieve native-like variation in their own production.


Students should have taken S515 and S513 and/or be familiar with and have access to a general reference on Spanish sociolinguistics (e.g., Díaz-Campos 2011) and on second language acquisition (e.g., those listed on the MA reading list such as Ellis 2008).

HISP-S 712 Themes in Spanish Linguistics
Topic: Spanish intonation

Professor Erik W. Willis
Office:  Ballantine Hall 866      Telephone:  855-8494

The topic of this seminar is Spanish intonation.   We will examine the basic phonological units in intonation studies, how those phonological units vary by context, how they vary by dialect, and how they can vary by sociolinguistic variables. The course will have a large practical or laboratory component designed to illustrate the topic and how to conduct research in intonation.

Course requirements include a series of analyses, class presentations, article reviews, and a final research project.  Course materials include the acoustic analysis software PRAAT and assigned articles.


Note:  This class is by permission only.  Call graduate office at (812) 855-9194.


HISP-S 512  Theory and Criticism

          #29589                   4:00P-6:30P    M    BH 335  

Professor Patrick Dove
Office: Ballantine Hall 874     Telephone 855-6136    mailto:
Office Hours:

This course provides an introduction to literary theory with a dual emphasis on (1) becoming familiar with major debates and trends in 20th century and contemporary literary theory; and (2) exploring how theoretical questions and perspectives can inform our reading practices. Theoretical readings will be drawn from a variety of traditions, including Continental philosophy, Marxism and post-Marxism, Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, feminism, deconstruction and other variations on post-structuralist thought. While some of the readings will be drawn from Hispanic Studies circles, the course also provides an opportunity to experiment with how trends in contemporary thought drawn from other fields of study and from other latitudes might be brought into productive dialogue with Hispanic cultural production.

We will give each theoretical text a “hands-on” treatment by reading it in conjunction with a specific literary work (short story, poem or novel fragment) or cultural phenomenon. The goal will not be to apply theory to literary or cultural text but rather to ask how theory and literature inform one another. The course will be structured in seminar format, with—class size permitting—each student responsible for leading one class session in collaboration with the professor. Students will write several short response papers and a longer final research paper.

HISP-S 538: Spanish Literature of the 18th and 19th Centuries
                        Imagining Spain(s): Tradition and Modernity

          #29607       4:00P-5:15P    TR   BH 235

Professor Maryellen Bieder
Office: Ballantine Hall 877     Telephone 855-8297       mailto:
Office Hours:

            The period from the end of the 18th century to the turn of the 20th 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: poems, plays and novels. Selections of prose and poetry are available on OnCourse, as are significant new critical readings of authors, genres and movements. We will also discuss Chapter 1 of La Regenta, since 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 three 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. All written work must adopt the MLA Style, 7th edition. See MLA website and MLA information sheet on Oncourse for further particulars.)

El sí de las niñas, La comedia nueva (1806, 1799). Clásicos Castalia
Don Álvaro (1834). Clásicos Castalia.
El estudiante de Salamanca (1840). Cátedra
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,”
            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. Clásicos Castalia (2 vols.)

HISP-S 558  Colonial Spanish American Literature

          #29613       12:20P-1:35P    MW     LL 105  (Lilly Library)  
          Note:  Due to the room size, this class enrollment is capped at 12.

Professor Kathleen Myers
Office: Ballantine Hall 859     Telephone 855-5027   mailto:
Office Hours:

Through a study of canonical texts from Colonial Spanish America this course will focus on the development of colonial discourse and on theories about it.  First we will examine the chronicles of exploration, conquest and colonization (ca. 1492 – 1600), focusing in particular on the foundation of European concepts about the “New World” and later responses to these concepts by indigenous and mestizo authors.  Next we will study the formation of a “barroco de Indias” during the mid-colonial period (ca. 1600-1750) and its flowering in a variety of poetic and dramatic texts.  As an extension of this work on primary texts from the period, students will do archival research on first editions and manuscript materials at the Lilly Library.  We will read narratives by Columbus, Cortés, Las Casas, El Inca Garcilaso, Guaman Poma, Catalina de Erauso and poetry by Ercilla, Balbuena, and Sor Juana.  Theoretical readings will include works by early modern authors, such as Juan Luis Vives and Luis de Cabrera, and more recent scholars, such as Homi Bhabha and Edward Said.   
Presentations, response papers, and a final paper will be required.

HISP-S 628  Topics in Early Modern Spanish Literature
           #29630      5:45P-8:15P     T    BH 018
           Topic: “Reading and the Rise of Leisure in Early Modernity”

Professor Steven Wagschal
Office: Ballantine Hall 862     Telephone 855-1623    mailto:
Office Hours:

S628 Topics in Early Modern Spanish Literature:
TOPIC: “Reading and the Rise of Leisure in Early Modernity”

Reflecting on time spent in the tower library of his Château, Michel de Montaigne wrote famously that “I only look to books to give me pleasure through honest amusement” (Essays II.10), although he went on to explain other goal-directed ways that he read as well. The private library, as a dedicated room for collecting books and for the solitary and silent reading of those books, rose in prominence throughout the sixteenth century and became an increasingly common possession for the highly privileged by the time that Francisco de Quevedo wrote his well-known sonnet on reading from his own tower.
Charting the rise of this practice among figures of far less power and authority than either Montaigne or Quevedo, Cervantes depicts a rural hidalgo who keeps a private library, locked with key. Upon entering the room, the priest, barber, housekeeper and niece “found more than a hundred great volumes, extremely well bound, and a good many smaller ones too. . . .” (I.6). The narrator describes the contents specifically in the pages that follow, as the reader learns that this collection is organized by genre. Books of chivalry abound of course, as do volumes of all kinds of poetry, all, that is, but one: There is a conspicuous absence in Don Quixote's library of devotional poetry. This lack is key to understanding the character’s use for reading: as Edward Baker and others have noted, like Montaigne’s "pleasure" and "amusement," these books are meant for Don Quixote’s entretenimiento.
Much critical emphasis has been placed on the continuation in Renaissance Spain of medieval practices of aural reading, epitomized, it is argued, by the scene at the Inn where the “Novella of Foolish Curiosity” is read aloud. But clearly Don Quixote’s keeping of a private library points to the emergence in the mid-sixteenth century of new types of reading practices that coincide with developments in bookmaking technologies, the increased humanist interest in vernacular poets (like Francisco Sánchez de las Brozas' lengthy commentary on the Castilian poetry of Garcilaso de la Vega), and importantly, the development of a notion of what we now call “leisure time,” time in which the reader was not seeking to cultivate a skill or improve morally, but to find pleasure and amusement.
In this course, we will examine the expansion of the modern concept of leisure time in the context of the History of the Book, as we read volumes meant for entretenimiento, including many that were found among the hundred in Cervantes' fictional library, as well as books collected and read by historical readers in their actual private libraries. In addition to historiographical and theoretical readings on leisure, Renaissance collecting and the History of the Book, primary texts will include at least one chivalric novel (Amadís de Gaula, Tirant Lo Blanc, and/or Belianís de Grecia), lyric poems by Ausiàs March, Boscán and Garcilaso, a pastoral novel such as La Diana or La Galatea (a genre considered poetry in Cervantes’ time), an epic poem (Ercilla's La Auraucana), selections from the Romancero General, and Espinosa’s Flores de poetas ilustres de España, an early seventeenth-century anthology that helped canonize a new generation of young poets, including Luis de Góngora and Quevedo. 

Criticism and theoretical texts will be in English and Spanish. Primary readings will be in Spanish and Catalan. The course will include at least 30% of its primary content in Catalan and may be counted toward the PhD Minor in Catalan. For those not wishing to read Catalan, primary texts—including Martorell's Tirant Lo Blanc and Ausiàs March's Cants d'amor—may be read in translation.

HISP-S 678  Topics in Contemporary Spanish American Literature

           #30115      9:30A-10:45A    TR   WH 108
           Note: Class meets with AMST-G 751

Professor Deborah Cohn
Office: Ballantine Hall 870     Telephone 856-5993  mailto:
Office Hours:

HISP S678/AMST G751:  
Race, Nation, and Anxieties of Empire in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean

This course explores the role of race and ethnicity in literature from the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico (including Greater Mexico and the border).  We will cover works from the late 19th century through the 21st century, focusing on the Spanish American War, the Cold War, and U.S. interventionism in the Caribbean at various moments throughout this period. Special attention will be paid to the relationship between race/ethnicity and U.S. imperialism.  Questions that we will address include:  what role is afforded to race (relations, conflict, miscegenation) in the representations and constructions of regional and national identity that emerge both from within and outside of the nation? how are the political relations between the U.S. and these regions characterized, and to what extent does race play a role in these relations?  what are the privileges afforded to citizenship?  to what extent and in what manner are the latter inflected by race? in what ways are notions of blackness, mestizaje, and whiteness interwoven and interdependent?  
In this course we will read texts by Gloria Anzaldúa, Junot Díaz, Rosario Ferré, Nicolás Guillén, Fernando Ortiz, Paco Ignacio Taibo, José Vasconcelos, and others, as well as critical materials by María DeGuzmán, Amy Kaplan, Gretchen Murphy, Américo Paredes, and Michelle Stephens, among others.  Students will write a short paper and a seminar-length final paper, as well as leading discussion in class and other assignments.