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Graduate Studies

Graduate Course Descriptions: Spring 2008

Literatures in Spanish
Hispanic Linguistics


C550 Modern Catalan Literature

Professor Josep Sobrer

MW 10:10am – 11:00am/section# 25138/Location TBA

Taught in Catalan, this course will survey the panorama of Catalan literature from the eighteen thirties to the present moment. Readings will exemplify all important periods (Renaixença, modernisme, noucentisme, avantguarda, postguerra, postmodernitat). A course pack will be made available to the students. We will read selections of the most significant authors and two novels ( La Plaça del Diamant, by Mercè Rodoreda, and La pell freda by Albert Sánchez Pinyol) in their entirety. Some grammar review will be introduced as needed.

There will be two partial exams and a final. Graduate students will present a term paper at semester's end.

This course meets jointly with C450


P575 Theater in Portuguese

Professor Luciana Namorato

TR 2:30pm – 3:45pm/section# 25158/3cr/Location TBA

This course is an overview of more than 500 years of theater written in Portuguese. We will discuss influential plays from Portugal, Brazil, and Lusophone Africa, with an emphasis on the different historical and cultural contexts and their correlations with various dramaturgical techniques.

Readings include plays by Gil Vicente, Almeida Garrett, Martins Pena, Nelson Rodrigues, and Pepetela. Readings and discussion in Portuguese.

This course meets jointly with P475 and P498.

P701 Seminar in Portuguese Literature

Professor Estela Vieira

Topic: City and Country: Portuguese Literature from the 18 th to the 19 th Century

W 2:30pm - 5:00pm/section# 25155/3cr/Location TBA

The distinction between city and country has a long and complex rhetorical history that has shaped varied literary traditions. While some narratives champion the virtues of the quiet and natural country life and censure the vices of urban centers, others emphasize the backwardness of the rural setting and advocate the city’s progressive vitality. These topoi are essential to reading Portuguese literature, particularly nineteenth-century romantic and realist-naturalist novels. But, as we will discover, these stories complicate the opposition between city and country, both creating and deconstructing the ideologies that constituted an understanding of their time. To prepare ourselves for the reading of classics such as Camilo Castelo Branco’s A Queda dum Anjo , Julio Dinis’s A Morgadinha dos Canaviais , and Eça de Queirós’s O Primo Basílio and A Cidade e as Serras , we will begin with a selection of eighteenth-century texts that already debate between tradition and progress, and modernity and the pre-modern. We will pay particular attention to the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 and its literary aftershocks. This turning-point event divides eighteenth-century Portugal into the Baroque and Neoclassicist periods, and brings into focus these controversial worldviews while having a cosmopolitan center as its setting. Finally, we will consistently work with the two meanings of country (countryside and nation), and explore how oppositions between city and country are also a form of questioning and building a sense of national identity

Literatures in Spanish

S568 19 th- & 20 th-Century Spanish American Literature

Professor Alejandro Mejías-López

TR 9:30am – 10:45am/section# 25173/3cr/Location TBA

This course covers the literary production in Spanish America during the constitution of the new republics, from Independence to the first decades of the 20 th century. We will study some of the most canonical texts of the period within their historical, social, and ideological context. Special attention will be paid to current theoretical and critical approaches and research areas in 19 th-century Latin American literary and cultural studies. Topics will include: aesthetic trends and literary canon creation; relationship between literature, nation-building, and state formation; issues of class, race, gender, and sexuality; literature and modernity; regional vs. global cultural production and consumption; nationalism, pan-Latin Americanism, and imperialism. Assignments may include class presentations, exams, and a final paper.

Readings will include:

J.J. Fernández de Lizardi: Don Catrín de la Fachenda
D.F. Sarmiento: Facundo
J. Hernández: Martín Fierro
G. Gomez de Avellaneda: Sab
J. Isaacs: María
C. Matto de Turner: Aves sin nido
E. Cambaceres: Sin rumbo
J.E. Rodo: Ariel
R. Gallegos: Doña Bárbara

S648 Topics in Contemporary Spanish Literature

Professor Melissa Dinverno

Topic: Memory, History and the Negotiation of the Past in Democratic Spain

M 4:00pm – 6:30pm/section# 25175/3cr/Location TBA

Prior to Francisco Franco’s death and especially since the early years of democracy, the writing of the recent past has been at the forefront of Spanish politics, society and cultural production. How should the past of the Civil War and of the repression of the subsequent dictatorship be narrated in contemporary society? What place do the ghosts of the past have in the formation of a “new” national identity, in a politics of reconciliation or rejuvenation, in a new cultural landscape? Debates over these and related questions have played out in the cultural landscape time and again during the last 37 years and have more recently taken on a more urgent tone as the recuperation of this painful past has now taken shape in efforts to unearth graves of the Civil War and dictatorship. This course will analyze the way that writers and film directors have dealt with issues of memory, history and the collective negotiation of Spain’s difficult and contentious past. Focusing on recent texts, we will examine the varied positions that these intellectuals have formulated and the ways in which they have negotiated concepts such as witnessing, cultural memory, and individual and national identity in their work. Taking an interdisciplinary approach including literary and film studies, sociology, and history, we will also look at the degree to which these stances dialogue with or participate in the construction of wider social discourses on the past in democratic Spain.

Course evaluation will likely involve student discussion-leading, several shorter essays, and one article-length research paper

S659 Topics in Colonial Spanish American Literature

Professor Kathleen Myers

Topic: Contested Conquests: Hernán Cortés and the Conquest of Mexico

TR 1:00pm – 2:15/section# 25176/3cr/Location TBA (Lily Library)

Hernán Cortés’ march from Veracruz to Tenochtitlan (later Mexico City) in his conquest of the Aztecs (1519 - 1521) is considered the launching point for the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica and the beginning of extensive European colonial rule of the mainland of America. Cortés’ fifty-page written account of the march details encounters with indigenous peoples: their customs, temples, and markets. His writing represents the beginning of a tradition of ethnography in the Americas, but he wrote with a conqueror’s eye. Many books, magazines, and films in Mexico, Spain, England and the U.S. have treated the topic of Cortés’ route of conquest from a military and historical perspective, but our focus will be Cortés’ role in the subsequent blending of Mesoamerican and European cultures. Using an interdisciplinary approach and materials that span the nearly five centuries since the conquest, we will combine the traditional study of the historiography of the conquest (including such accounts as those by Bernal Díaz, Sahagún, and Ixtlilxochit) with an examination of ethnographic interviews of Mexicans today and visual materials from the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries (such as magazines, murals, film, and new codices). This methodology allows for different ways of telling stories and different ways of asking questions. Our multifaceted approach will help us reach a deeper understanding of the rich and often painful role the Conquest of Mexico still plays in Mexican culture.

S695 Graduate Colloquium

Professor Deborah Cohn

Topic: Transitional and Hemispheric American Studies

W 1:00pm – 3:30pm/section# 25177/3cr/LI 851

In recent years, there has been a conscious effort to redefine American Studies as transnational and encompassing the study of the Americas writ large, rather than just the U.S. Thus many scholars have argued that the history, culture, and social formations of the United States must be studied within a hemispheric and/or transnational context.  This course will explore the promise, pitfalls, and tensions that arise from the intersection of (traditionally U.S.-centered) American Studies and Latin American Studies, as well as from the reconfiguration of the former discipline from a transnational perspective.  Reading works from a number of different disciplines, we will look at issues such as imperialism, race and ethnicity, diaspora, border studies, and nationalism.  We will ask what effects a hemispheric/transnational frame has on the development of perspectives or the constitution of objects of study.  We will also explore the institutional histories of area studies disciplines and relate them to contemporary political relations and academic trends. There will be weekly readings, the presentation and submission of a mock conference paper, an annotated syllabus, and other assignments.

This course meets jointly with AMST G604

S708 Seminar in Hispanic Studies

Professor Maryellen Bieder

Topic: Modern Spanish Society: The Emergence of Modernity in Spanish Narrative at the end of the 19 th century.

TR 4:00pm – 5:15pm/section# 25179/3cr/Location TBA

This seminar will look at the visual representation of modernity in late 19 th-century Spanish fiction and in Spanish periodicals in the IU Library collection and/or available on-line. Novels include Galdós’s La de Bringas , Alas’s Doña Berta , and Pardo Bazán’s Dulce dueño and Insolación . Relevant criticism includes the classic works of Bram Dijkstra and more recent studies by Noël Valis, Lou Charnon-Deutsch, Maite Zubiaurre and Maryellen Bieder. We will also draw on visual culture theory. To ground our definition of modernity, we will read Pedro Salinas’s Vísperas del gozo . There will be a Course Pack of critical and theoretical readings. Written and oral components of the seminar include reports on the nature and availability of visual materials throughout the semester. Identification and class presentation of a seminar paper topic on graphic or narrative visual images by mid-semester. Seminar papers due before the end of the semester with an oral summary of the paper presented to the class during the last week of the semester

Hispanic Linguistics

S515 Acquisition of Spanish as a Second Language

Professor Kimberly Geeslin

TR 2:30pm – 3:45pm/section# 25172/3cr/Location TBA

This course provides an introduction to the wealth of empirical research focusing on the acquisition of Spanish as a second language. Being introductory, the course begins with an analysis of early research on error analysis and traces the development of second language acquisition theory through the morpheme acquisition studies, studies on Interlanguage development and research on language processing (input and output). In addition to answering the question, How has the field of Spanish second language acquisition developed and evolved over the years, this course focuses on the paths of acquisition of non-native linguistic systems. In order to address both progress in second language acquisition theory, and the current knowledge of the development of non-native Spanish, this course is organized according to grammatical topics that have been identified as particular challenges for English-speakers. Each individual construct is analyzed in terms of its historical context and contemporary findings.

S612 Topics in Linguistics: Variation & Language Content

Professor Cesar Felix-Brasdefer

R 4:00pm – 6:30pm/section# 25174/3cr/Location TBA

Using the framework of Conversation Analysis (CA), the aim of this seminar is to examine the intersection between the linguistic and non-linguistic realization of utterances (grammar) and the social actions (interaction) they express in their sequential and conversational context. The course focuses on how the realization of grammar (intonation, syntax, and pragmatics) is used to organize social interaction. Particular attention will be given to the role of prosody (intonation, loudness, time) and its impact on the sequential organization of conversation. Prosody is part of the vocal resources that we employ in social interaction to convey expressive meaning. Syntax provides the grammatical elements found in simple and compound sentences that are utilized to construct utterances across turns. And, Pragmatics examines the negotiation of meaning in social interaction. It centers on the speaker’s intentional meaning, the interlocutor’s interpretation of that meaning, and the context in which an interaction takes place. Taken together, an analysis of social interaction and grammar examines how turns are constructed in conversation, how grammar influences repair in conversation, and how grammatical resources are utilized in social interaction to carry out pragmatic meaning. This seminar will examine in depth three areas that have not received much attention in Spanish: mitigation, impoliteness, and the organization of turn-taking in conversation. We will critically examine the literature on these topics, review the methodology employed to analyze meaning in interaction, and identify areas for future research. Throughout the course of the semester, the student will carry out a research project that addresses one aspect of the intersection of social interaction and grammar in native or nonnative speaker discourse. Potential topics to be researched may include: backchannels (or listener responses) in natural corpora, the sequential organization of one speech act, the role of mitigation in natural discourse (epistemic modality), the role of laughter in social interaction, turn-taking in conversation, and the role of impoliteness/rudeness in conversation. The results of the research projects will be presented at the end of the semester in a public colloquium. Evaluation will be based on active class participation, transcription of conversational data following conversation-analytic transcript conventions, an annotated bibliography, critiques, writing an abstract of the final project, review of the literature on the topic selected, methodological design, presentation and organization of results of an empirical study, discussion of results in light of existing literature, and identification of areas for future research.

S712 Themes in Spanish Linguistics

Professor Erik Willis

Topic: Spanish Laboratory Phonology

MW 4:00pm - 5:15pm/section# 14517/3cr/Location TBA

This course examines issues in the Spanish Phonological system based on laboratory data.  A portion of the class will be devoted to reviewing methods and techniques employed by Laboratory Phonology studies in general, followed by specific topics in Spanish Phonology.  Spanish topics will include hiatus resolution, nasalization, the vowel system, lenition, stress and accent, and intonation.   The skills and methods employed in this course will be applicable to a variety of phonological research purposes such as second language acquisition, bilingualism, dialectology and variation.  A primary goal of the course is to enable students to conduct original research in Spanish laboratory phonology. 

Course requirements include a series of phonetic and phonological analyses, class presentations, article reviews, and a final research project.  Course materials include the acoustic analysis software PRAAT, texts Phonetic Data Analysis (2003) and The Sounds of Spanish (2005) , and assigned articles.