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Graduate Studies

Graduate Course Descriptions: Fall 2008

Literatures in Spanish
Hispanic Linguistics


P501 Literature of Portuguese Speaking World II

TR 4:00pm – 5:15pm/class# 25484/3cr./Location TBA

Professor Luciana Namorato

The second semester of a two-semester survey on the literatures of the Portuguese-speaking world. In this course, we will examine the concept of “Realism”--its adoption, transformation, and rejection--by late nineteenth and twentieth-century Lusophone authors. We will read prose, poetry, and essays from Lusophone Africa, Brazil and Portugal. Authors include Aluísio Azevedo, Machado de Assis, Miguel Torga, Fernando Pessoa, Luis Bernardo Honwana, and Mia Couto.

Assignments: midterm and final exams, and one final paper

This course meets jointly with Hisp P401 and Hisp P498.

P520 Literatures in Portuguese in Translation

TR 2:30pm – 3:45pm/class# 16329/3cr./Location TBA

Professor Darlene Sadlier

This course will focus on the themes of travel and displacement in 19th and 20th-century works from Brazil, Portugal and Lusophone African in English translation. The course will begin by looking at novels by Machado de Assis and Eça de Queiroz, two major 19th-century writers who wrote satires about individuals displaced in the countryside and the city. More contemporary works include the Mário de Andrade’s Macunaima, a fantastic tale about Brazilian racial identity, and Graciliano Ramos’ Barren Lives, a story about migrants and drought in the Brazilian Northeast. We will conclude the course by reading post-revolutionary works from Portugal and Africa, including Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s Stone Raft, about an Iberian Peninsula’s aimlessly traveling around the Atlantic, and Lília Momplé’s story of families in war-torn Mozambique, Neighbours.

Requirements :

All students will write a midterm and final exam. They will also write a short research paper and give an in-class presentation on their work at the end of the semester.

This course is offered jointly with HISP P420 and CMLT C603.

P695 Luso-Brazilian Colloquium
Topic: Trans-Atlantic and Other Travels in Lusophone Literature

TR 1:00pm – 2:15pm/class# 16329/3cr./Location TBA

Professor Darlene Sadlier

The idea of travel is implicit in the novel whose structure is often described along the lines of an individual’s journey through society and life. Our course will be examining various literary genres in which the image of travel is a dominant or implicit motif. The course will begin in the medieval period with cantiga de amigos in which the woman laments the absence of her (traveling) lover. Examples of travel in Renaissance literature include a Gil Vicente play, Portuguese literature of exploration in Brazil, India, Africa and the Far East, and selections from Camões epic, Os Lusíadas. In addition to a few poems from the 17 th and 18 th centuries, we will read the romantic writer Almeida Garrett’s sentimental Viagens na Minha Terra, Machado de Assis’s amusing tale “A Parasita Azul,” and Eça de Queiroz’s novel about a decadent society, A Cidade e as Serras. More contemporary works will include stories by Brazilians Clarice Lispector, Elisa Lispector (Clarice’s sister), Guimarães Rosa and the novel Jangada de Pedra by Portugal’s Nobel Prize-winning author, José Saramago. Written on the eve of Portugal’s entry into the European Union, this unusual work describes an Iberian Peninsula broken off from Europe and traveling aimlessly around the Atlantic.


Students will write a midterm and final exam and a short research paper. They will give an in-class presentation on their work at the end of the semester.

This course is offered jointly with P495.

Literatures in Spanish

S512 Theory and Criticism

T 6:30pm – 9:00pm/class# 25496/3cr./Location TBA

Professor Steven Wagschal

This course provides an introduction to literary theory and the history of literary criticism by combining two approaches: (1) readings in the major trends of twentieth-century theory (e.g. Formalism, Post-Structuralism, etc.); and (2) analysis of theoretically-informed literary criticism written by scholars of Hispanic literatures and cultures.  

In this seminar-style course, students will be expected to read all materials before class and with great care, and to contribute to class discussions. Each student will give at least one presentation and write two papers, one of which will be a theory-engaged piece of literary criticism.  

The course will be conducted mostly in Spanish, except for the readings, many of which will be in English.

S548 Spanish Literature of the 20 th- & 21 st-Centuries
Topic: “20 th Century Spain: Intellectual and Popular Responses to Power”

TR 8:00am – 9:15am/class# 25499/3cr./Location TBA

Professor Reyes Vila-Belda

The aim of this course is to survey 20th century Spanish literature, situating literary texts in their intellectual context of opposition to political rule. This will allow us to rethink their cultural meanings and implications, as well as to view them as a response to power. Reading works by authors such as Machado, Valle-Inclán, García Lorca, Martín Santos, Martín Gaite, and Vázquez Montalbán, among others, will enable us apply techniques and theories of literary analysis to the cultural and historical developments that have shaped contemporary Spain. Starting with the Fin de siglo, we will consider the cultural implications of the Institución Libre de Enseñanza and the Residencia de Estudiantes, the Vanguardias, and the Second Republic, the Civil War, the dictatorship of Franco and the transition to democracy. Along the way, we will discuss concepts such as national identity and periphery, hegemony, and popular culture.  

This course is entirely conducted in Spanish.

Requirements: one exam (midterm), class presentations and one research paper.

S558 Colonial Spanish American Literature

MW 2:30pm – 5:00pm/class# 25504/3cr./Location TBA
1st 8 weeks only

Professor Kathleen Myers

Through a study of the most canonical texts of Colonial Spanish American literature this course will focus on the issues involved in the development of colonial discourse and on theories that help elucidate its dynamic. The first section of the course will examine the role of the chronicles during the first century and a half of the colonization process. In particular, we will examine the transformation of historical discourse into narratives of power and resistance. The second section of the course will focus on poetic discourse and its role in the colony and in the formation of a "barroco de Indias". 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, Cortes, Las Casas, El Inca Garcilaso, Guaman Poma, Catalina de Erauso and poetry by Ercilla, Balbuena, Sor Juana.

Theoretical readings will include works by early modern authors, such as Juan Luis Vives and Luis de Cabarera, and more recent scholars, such as Homi Bhabha and Michel Foucault.

Presentations, response papers, and a final paper will be required

S638 Topics in 18 th- and 19 th-Century Spanish Literature
Topic: Romanticism and Spectacle

MF 9:30am – 10:45am/class# 25509/3cr./Location TBA

Professor Josep Sobrer

Romanticism might be the most misused word in literary studies as it may refer to a period or to an intellectual attitude. In this course we will explore the confluence of both meanings of the term and then the impact of nineteenth-century Romanticism on society through spectacle, mostly stage spectacle –theater– but not exclusively.

In addition to the texts specified below, we will read essays on the concept of Romanticism in an attempt to establish the main features of the movement and to study literature in its most public projection: not literature meant for private consumption, but literature meant for audiences. To this end we will also read some theoretical essays on the social significance of spectacle (by Guy Debord, Jean Duvignaud, and others).

Text readings will include works by three Josés: Cadalso, Espronceda, and Zorrilla; and by two Ángels: Saavedra (Rivas) and Guimerà. And plays by Ventura de la Vega, García de la Huerta, and Hartzenbusch. For a contrasting conclusion we will end with Valle-Inclán 1912 play La Marquesa Rosalinda and try to map the transition from Roamnticism to Modernismo and then to Cubism.

S668 Topics in 19 th-Century Spanish-American Literature
Topic: "Sublime Rhythms: 19th Century Hispanic American Poetry"

TR 9:30am – 10:45am/class# 25510/3cr./Location TBA

Professor Carl Good

This seminar will examine issues related to the problem of Hispanic American literary modernity in the mid-to-late 19th century by means of a theoretical exploration of rhythm. We will be particularly interested in seeing how the study of rhythm revitalizes and “makes newly strange” the work of poets who, although still powerfully iconized today in the Latin American context, are rarely read in any meaningful way. Poets studied will include Heredia, Gómez de Avellaneda, Echeverría, Darío and Asunción Silva.

The seminar will focus as singularly as possible on specific poetic texts and contexts, but it will also constitute a study of rhythm in a more general sense, placing it, for example, in relation to problems of semiology, theories of the sublime, and that very interesting border between literary theory and theology (of interest, for example, in the study of poetic mysticism). Writers in these various theoretical areas will include Kant, Nietzsche, Deleuze, Kristeva, Derrida and de Man. Much of our focus in the seminar will be comparatist, as we look at how Spanish language poetry compares to the texture and dynamics of poetry in other languages and periods. As such, the seminar should be of interest to students working on poetic contexts outside of Hispanic American romanticism/modernismo as well, including early modern and 20 th century contexts.

The final weeks of the seminar will assume a workshop format in which students will work closely with the professor and other seminar participants on the formulation of their final papers. Students wishing to devote their final projects to areas beyond the 19 th-century Hispanic American context will be welcome to do so.

S695 Graduate Colloquium
Topic: “Local/ Global: The Politics of Knowledge and Space in Contemporary Latin American Literature and Culture”

W 4:00-6:30pm/class# 27526/ cr./Location TBA

Professor Alejandro Mejías-López

This course will explore the intersection of power, knowledge, space, and representation in two distant but related moments: 1880’s-1920’s ( modernismo, regionalismo, indigenismo) and 1980’s-2000’s (testimonio, indigenous movements, and the so-called “generación X, generación de McOndo” or “post-post-boom”). Some of the topics that will be discussed are: culture, literature, and (neo)liberalism; local, national, and transnational identities; travel and migrations; urban space and ecology.

The course will be conducted in Spanish. Assignments will include presentations and a final paper. Materials may include journals, fiction, crónicas, travel narratives, testimonios, and comunicados (Martí, Darío, Arguedas, Rivera, Burgos&Menchú, Fuguet & Gómez, Subcomandante Marcos), photography (Chambí, Modotti), film ( Amores Perros, Bolivia, María Full of Grace, Incidents of Travel in Chichén Itza, A Couple in a Cage), and theory (Foucault, De Certeau, Clifford, Rama, Sarlo, García Canclini, Mignolo).

This course meets jointly with LATM 526 and CULS C-701.

Hispanic Linguistics

S509 Spanish Phonology

TR 2:30pm – 3:45pm/class# 25495/3cr./Location TBA

Professor Erik Willis

This course examines the sound system of Spanish and reviews theoretical models that account for the system.  The course delivery includes both lecture and student presentations of specific topics.  Students will be evaluated on participation, presentations and a final paper.

S614 Topics in the Acquisition of Spanish
Topic: Task Variation and Task Design

M 4:00pm – 6:30pm/class# 25508/3cr./Location TBA

Professor Kimberly Geeslin

This course focuses on issues related to research design, data elicitation methods, and statistical analysis in the second language acquisition of variable structures. Specifically, the course will explore the variation that exists across tasks, the degree to which particular tasks are effective for the investigation of variable tasks, and relationship between variable structures and obligatory contexts. This course will guide students through the major steps involved in the development of a research project designed to analyze empirical data. The main areas of discussion will be: choosing a topic for research, generating research questions, writing a research proposal and reviewing the relevant literature, selecting the most appropriate data collection techniques, obtaining approval to work with human participants, coding and organizing the data in databases, choosing the appropriate statistical analysis, and writing about the research project in a professional style. In order to study the areas above, course readings will include published research studies, and there will be hands-on practice in developing individual research projects. Evaluation will be based on several projects and activities focused on individual aspects of the research process as well as a more extensive final project.

Prerequisite: S515 or equivalent.

S712 Topics in Hispanic Linguistics
Topic: Dialect Perception Across the Spanish Speaking World

Professor Manuel Díaz-Campos

W 4:00pm – 6:30pm/class# 25511/3 cr./Location TBA

This is graduate-level seminar focused on the study of dialect perception across the Spanish speaking world. The role of variability and experience with language has important effects in dialect categorization. Dialect variation is one of the indexical properties of language and its study has implications not only for spoken language theory, but also for sociolinguistics and phonological theory. Therefore, the seminar will cover current perspective providing an understanding of linguistic variability in speech perception. The main goal is to examine an almost unexplored subject in the Hispanic sociolinguistic literature. The basics of dialect variation across Latin American and Spain, and the issue of dealing with variation in Speech science and phonology will be covered. We will review the available literature produced in dialect perception in the English speaking world (Clopper and Pisoni 2004, Preston 1986, 1993, among others) as well as articles examining Spanish data. Students will be required to design and complete research projects, participate in class discussion, and write a final paper proposal.