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Graduate Studies

Graduate Course Descriptions: Spring 2009

P505    Literature and Film in Portuguese

Professor Darlene Sadlier

TR 2:30pm – 3:45pm/section# 26189/3cr./BH 333
Film: T 6:30pm – 9:00pm/WY 005

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 Portuguese 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.

Grading Requirements:

All students will write a midterm and final exam as well as a research paper (undergraduates 6-8pp; graduates 10-12pp) on a topic to be decided upon in consultation with the instructor. They will also give an in-class presentation based on their final research project.

Note:  This class meets jointly with HISP-P 498 and HISP-P 505

S512    Theory and Criticism
Professor Patrick Dove

TR 9:30am – 10:45am/section#26430/3cr/BH 321

This course provides an introduction to literary theory and the history of literary criticism, with a dual emphasis on: (1) becoming familiar with the major questions, debates, trends and schools of 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 Marxism and post-Marxism, Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, feminism, deconstruction and other variations on post-structuralist thought. We will submit each theoretical text to a “hands-on” treatment by reading it in conjunction with a specific literary work (short story, poem or novel fragment). The course will be structured in seminar format with 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.

C550 Modern Catalan Literature

Professor Edgar Illas

TR 11:15am – 12:30pm/section# 14290/3cr/BH 237

Modern Catalan literature constitutes an extraordinary cultural event that, for multiple reasons, has remained marginal amidst the great European literary traditions. Catalan literature and language have played a central role in the political re-emergence of Catalonia as “a nation without a state.” Given these historical conditions, the Catalan literary tradition is a particularly productive space to explore the always puzzling relations between literature and politics.

 The course will survey the panorama of Catalan literature from the nineteenth century to the present moment. Readings will exemplify all important periods (Renaixença, modernisme, noucentisme, avantguarda, postguerra, postmodernitat) and will include novels, short stories, poetry and plays.We will focus on a good number of female writers. Catalan women writers are especially significant, not only because of their literary value, but perhaps also because, as poet Maria Mercè Marçal put it, they often write subjugated in three main ways: as women, as writers in a minority language, and as members of the working classes. We will also read various general reflections on the task of culture in Catalonia.

The course will be taught in Catalan. Students who have not taken Catalan should seek the consent of the instructor. There will be a mid-term and a final exam. Graduate students will present a term paper.

This course is offered jointly with C450.

S558    Colonial Spanish American Literature
Professor Kathleen Myers

TR 1:00pm – 2:15pm/class# 26431/3cr./Lilly Library

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.

S611    Advanced Spanish Syntax
Professor Miguel Rodríguez-Mondoñedo

TR 2:30pm – 3:45pm/section# 26432/3cr./BH 229

This course is a pro-seminar, whose main goal is to understand: (a) the way syntactic theories are constructed and (b) the impact that a syntactic solution can have on related areas. To achieve that, we will investigate some aspects of the interaction between case and agreement in Spanish, in particular: (i) the behavior of clitics, (ii) the effects of case-marking on the structure of the event (arity operations, telicity, quantization), and (iii) the internal structure of noun phrases. We will study not only the theoretical issues, but we will also discuss how to deal with variation and language acquisition (with respect to clitics and the structure of noun phrases) from a syntactic perspective, and how to build tests to collect judgments relevant to investigate the syntax-semantic interface.

-a critical review of a published paper on one of the topics -a final research paper

S612    Topics in Linguistic Variation and Language in Context
           Topic: Data Collection Methods for Linguistics Research

Professor Cesar Felix-Brasdefer

TR 1:00pm – 2:15pm/section# 14325/3cr./WH 203

The aim of this course is to expose advanced graduate students to the literature on data collection methods for linguistics research. Course topics will include: analysis of data collection instruments, sampling techniques, ethics and institutional review, descriptive and inferential statistics, and analysis and interpretation of the data.

Particular attention will be given to data collection instruments used in experimental and quasi-experimental research. We will also examine the notions of validity and reliability with regard to data obtained from instruments that elicit production and perception data in controlled and naturalistic contexts. We will review the techniques used in ethnographic and case study research to collect different types of data sets for specific purposes. Due to its current popularity, we will examine the effectiveness of techniques used to collect perception data by means of verbal reports (retrospective and think-aloud protocols), Likert scales, multiple-choice questionnaires, and open-ended questions. We will examine techniques for data collection in different contexts, such as in urban and rural areas of Latin America and in institutional settings in the US. Based on the students’ research interests, we will critically assess the method employed in selected research studies, examine the content of the review of the literature that motivate the method, look at the rationale of a pilot study, refine the instrument(s) selected, and analyze and interpret the data in light of the theoretical model used. Evaluation includes active class participation, state of the art review and critique of two instruments, written critiques, and a research project with a focus on method.

S628    Topics in 16th and 17th Century Spanish Literature
Cervantes and the Literature of Madness

Prof. Steven Wagschal

M 4:00pm – 6:30pm/section# 26433/3cr/BH 235

This graduate topics course focuses on the novelistic and poetic production of Miguel de Cervantes in the context of the history of ideas and the history of art. While exploring a variety of themes, the course will privilege one that permeates most of Cervantes’ literary production: human madness.

Readings by Cervantes include La Galatea, Don Quijote Parts I & II, Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda, Novelas ejemplares, and selected poetry including “El romance de los celos” and “Soneto al túmulo del rey Felipe II.” Additionally we will read selections from Erasmus’ Praise of Folly, Huarte de San Juan’s Examen de ingenios and Laguna’s Materia medica. Theoretical texts will include selections from Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilization as well as critiques of Foucault.

Graduate students will be expected to give short presentations of primary and secondary readings, as well as prepare one 15-20 page final research paper, which will be the basis for their final oral presentation.

The course will be conducted primarily in Spanish. Texts written in languages other than Spanish and English will be available in translation.

S638    Topics in Modern Spanish Literature
Topic: The Problematic Emergence of Bourgeois Culture in 19th-Century Spain: Culture, Theory, Criticism

Professor Maryellen Bieder

W 4:00pm – 6:30pm/section# 26434/3cr/BH 235

A close reading and class discussion of the two masterpieces of 19th-century Spanish realism Fortunata y Jacinta and La Regenta, plus a novel by Emilia Pardo Bazán, Memorias de un solterón in the context of current theories of cultural criticism, Spanish nationalism, and recent critical approaches to each novel. These novels track the shifting class formations from landed aristocracy and provincial middle class, through gradations of urban middle classes to the new urban administrative, commercial and entrepreneurial classes and the newly created titles of nobility. Emphasis on the historico-cultural context, forms of cultural production, and gender construction.

Core critical readings will be available as scanned attachments or through e-reserves.
One 15-20 page final essay with footnotes and bibliography using current MLA format.
The following editions are the ones we will use in class.

1884-1885. La Regenta. 2 tomos. Leopoldo Alas. Castalia: AClásicos Castalia,@ 2000. Edición de Gonzalo Sobejano
1886-1887. Fortunata y Jacinta. 2 tomos. Benito Pérez Galdós. Cátedra: ALetras Hispánicas,@ 2006. Edición de Francisco Caudet
1896. Memorias de un solterón, Emilia Pardo Bazán. Cátedra, ALetras Hispánicas.@ Edición de María Ángeles Ayala        

P655    Camões
: Luís de Camões and 16th-Century Portugal

Professor Estela Vieira

TR 4:00pm – 5:15pm/section# 26647/3cr/BH 331

This course is a study of Portugal’s most renowned Renaissance poet, Luís de Camões (1524-1580). We will initially focus on Os Lusíadas, one of the last great Western epics first published in 1572. We will explore the historical and mythological context which will inform our analysis of Camões’s dramatic narration of Vasco de Gama’s voyage to India. The second half of the course will focus on Camões’s rich lyrical compositions, which are often compared to the poetry of Dante, Petrarch, and Shakespeare. While Camões is a product of the Renaissance tradition and of European expansion his work also deviates from and critiques his dynamic historical moment. By emphasizing foremost love and experience Camões suggests that our empirical and affective lives intertwine with the writing of epic poetry and the development of political empire. Like his compatriots, Camões discovers new meanings and new ways of understanding the world, both his Western civilization and the new worlds he encounters. The course is taught in Portuguese, but students not working toward a major or minor in Portuguese are welcome to do the reading and the writing assignments in English or Spanish.

S695 Graduate Colloquium
: Transitional and Hemispheric American Studies

Professor Deborah Cohn

W 1:00pm – 3:20pm/section# 14328/3cr/WH 108

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