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Graduate Studies

Graduate Course Descriptions: Spring 2011



Professor Edgar Illas
email: eillas

C550    Catalan Literature

TR 8:00a – 9:15a/section# 28301/3 cr./BH 135

Topic:  Nationalism and Literature in Modern Catalonia

     The emergence of Catalonia as a “nation without a state” constitutes a singular and intriguing event in the context of modern Europe. Catalonia as a political entity and cultural community has not followed any of the two paths that are common in European regions: neither has it become a sovereign state nor has it gradually dissolved into another, larger national unit. Instead, Catalonia occupies an in-between position that is a particularly productive space to explore the puzzling relations between cultures, states, and globalization.

     The course will analyze some representative works of modern Catalan literature vis-à-vis the political debates that traverse them. We will look at some literary movements (Renaixença, modernisme, noucentisme, avant-garda, literatura de l’exili, postmodernitat) and focus on their relationship with the political theories and figures that have shaped Catalan nationalism. Materials will include literary works, political texts, manifestoes, speeches, and biographies. Additionally, we will also study other cultural and ideological forms of Catalan nationalism, such as the Catalan philosemitism of the post-war, the nationalist mission of Barcelona’s Football Club, or the collective imaginaries of the Catalan diaspora.

This course meets jointly with Hisp C450.

The course will be taught in Catalan.

 Prerequisite: C400 or previous knowledge of Catalan.



Professor Darlene Sadlier
email: sadlier

P510   Brazilian Cinema

MW 1:00p – 2:15p/section# 28306/3 cr./BH 015
Film Showing              M 6:45p – 9:00p/BH 144

A survey of Brazilian cinema from the early 20th century to present day. 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 New Cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. The course will tend to focus on more recent films that have appeared since the country’s return to democracy in the mid-1980s, after more than 20 years of military dictatorship. Topics to be discussed during the semester include the chanchada and its re-evaluation as a distinctly Brazilian genre; Third Cinema; the “aesthetics of hunger” and the theoretical writings of filmmaker Glauber Rocha; the relationship between popular culture and radical cinema; and film adaptation. The course is taught in English. Films are in Portuguese with English subtitles. Students who are taking the course for credit in Portuguese will be required to read materials and write their exams and research paper in the language.

This course meets jointly with Hisp P410/LTAM L426/LTAM L526/CMCL C598.

Professor Luciana Namorato
email: lnamorat

P695    Luso-Brazilian Colloquia

TR 1:00p – 2:15p/section# 28307/3 cr./SY 0008

Topic:  Brazilian Baroque and its Echoes: A Transatlantic Approach

This course will examine fictional prose, poetry, sermons, and essays written in Brazil in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries, focusing on their responses to the broader international context of the Catholic Reformation and Counter Reformation, as well as to a national environment marked by a strong Jesuit presence and political instabilities, exemplified by the Dutch invasion of Brazil. We will explore the connections between manifestations of Brazilian Baroque in literature and other arts, as well as between artistic productions of different regions of Brazil, as a means to understand the role of Baroque art in the development of a Brazilian national consciousness, which would serve as the basis for the pro-independence and ufanista tones that characterize the literature written in subsequent years. Readings will include works by Gregório de Matos Guerra and Padre António Vieira, among other Baroque writers, as well as a few relevant works from the Arcadian and Pre-Romantic literary periods that echo the main tenets of Brazilian Baroque.

Graduate students will write a midterm exam and a final paper.

This course meets jointly with Hisp P495 and Hisp P498.


Professor Darlene Sadlier
email: sadlier

P710    Seminar: African Literature in Portuguese

M 4:00p – 6:30p/section# 28308/3 cr./BH 105

Topic:  The Literature of Angola and Mozambique

The course will introduce students to selected authors and works from Angola and Mozambique, with special emphasis on the post-colonial novel. Topics to be discussed include expansionism, the Salazar dictatorship, the colonial wars and censorship, the Portuguese revolution and Lusophone African independence, and post-revolutionary relations between African nations and Portugal.  Students will write a seminar paper for the class.


Professor Manuel Diaz-Campos
email: mdiazcam

S513   Introduction to Hispanic Sociolinguistics

MW 1:00p – 2:15p/section# 28320/3 cr./WH 118

Topic: Variation in Spanish

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 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 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:

 3. Temario:

Tema 1: Los objetivos de la sociolingüística. Las relaciones de la sociolingüística con disciplinas afines como la sociología del lenguaje y la etnografía de la comunicación.  La distinción de los diversos niveles de la variación (diatópica, diastrática, diafásica). El ámbito de la variación y los intentos por formalizar su estudio.

Tema 2: Metodología. Las hipótesis que subyacen en la elección de una variable dependiente e independiente. La determinación de la variable dependiente y de las variables independientes. La distinción entre factores internos y externos. La comunidad lingüística y la selección de los hablantes. Estrategias para la recolección de datos. La transcripción de las muestras de habla.

Tema 3: Aprender a manejar las herramientas computacionales empleadas para el procesamiento e interpretación de los datos.  La interpretación de los resultados y su presentación.

Tema 4: La variación fonológica. La definición de las variables y sus variantes. Los factores internos. Métodos de estudio lingüísticos basados en el uso versus métodos basados en la teoría formal. Los factores externos: nivel socioeconómico, sexo y edad. Los estilos de habla y su relación con los fenómenos de variación. La red social y la comunidad de habla.

Tema 5: La variación morfosintáctica. Los problemas implícitos en la definición de la variable y sus variantes. Los factores internos. Los factores externos: nivel socioeconómico, sexo y edad.

Tema 6: Los mecanismos del cambio lingüístico. El cambio en tiempo aparente. El cambio en tiempo real. El cambio consciente (desde arriba). El cambio no consciente (desde abajo).  La transmisión del cambio.

Tema 7: El bilingüismo. El multilingüismo. Actitudes lingüísticas. Lenguas en contacto. Pidgins. Criollos. La identidad étnica.


Professor Olga Impey
email: impey

S518   Spanish Medieval Literature

T 4:00p – 6:30p/section# 28321/3 cr./WH 204

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 Celestinaand a selection of 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 bibliographyof Spanish medieval literature will constitute the core of the course. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their participation in class and their written work, an annotated bibliography , a research paper and two written examinations.



Professor Miguel Rodriguez-Mondonedo
email: migrodri

S611   Advanced Spanish Syntax

TR 11:15a – 12:30p/section# 28323/3 cr./WH 118

The course is a seminar on the syntax-semantic interface, in particular the syntax of scope, taking Spanish as a point of departure. We will examine scope as the semantic derivative of constituent structure in three domains. First, in the argumental domain, by looking at the interaction of quantifiers. Second, in the checking domain, by examining the interactions between tense, modals and adverbs. And finally, in the discursive domain, by looking at the properties of the speaker projection.


Professor Melissa Dinverno
email: dinverno

S648   Topics in Contemporary Spanish Literature

MW 4:00p – 6:30p/section# 28324/3 cr./KH 200

Description coming soon.

This course meets 1st 8 weeks only (January 10, 2011 - March 5, 2011)

While 19th- and 20th-century Spanish literary history has been written in terms of literary generations (’98 and ’27, for example) and specific, nationally-grounded movements (romanticism, naturalism, etc.), contemporary scholars of Hispanic Studies have begun to mount a critique of this way of thinking, its origins, and the way it has limited our reading of modern (and contemporary) Hispanic literature.  Within this spirit of revisionism, this course seeks to posit a different way of understanding modern Spanish literature, and asks how a new frame may enable us to explain in perhaps more satisfying ways some of the most important writers of our canon, and indeed, reconfigure those canons altogether.  More specifically, this course constructs “modernism” as a broad critical lens for reading, questioning the way that this notion is shifting in Anglo-American studies and is taking shape in Hispanic Studies at the moment.  Within this frame, the course looks at the way poets have both confronted modernization and modernity, and conceived of the intellectual’s place in a rapidly transforming world.  The literary writers and texts chosen focus our horizons on a set of crucial turning points in the conceptualization of the power and relevance of literature in this context of transformation.  Ultimately, we will read these texts to see to what degree (and in what form) “modernism” may or may not allow us to open up more compelling readings of these and other texts.

Theoretical and literary critical works will likely include those by:  Eysteinsson, Calinescu, Berman, Nichols, Ramazani, Geist & Monleon, Delgado & Mendelson, Soufas, Mejías-López, Iarocci, and Jrade.  Literary works will likely include those by Bécquer, Machado, Darío, Gómez de la Serna, Huidobro, and Lorca.

Please note:  This is an 8-week course and will therefore involve a more intense reading schedule than the usual semester-long course.



Professor Carl Good
email: carlgood

S668   19th & 20th-Century Spanish American Literature

TR 11:15a – 12:30p/section# 28325/3 cr./BH 321

Topic: Poetry and Politics in 19th and Early 20th-Century Hispanic America

This course will explore the relation between poetry and politics during the century following independence in Hispanic America.  We will try to be as eclectic as possible in exploring this relation, by approaching it through a number of historical and theoretical perspectives.  On the historical level, we will look at representations of geography and space; the presence of North America in the Hispanic poetic context; the motif of travel, and the role of print.  On a theoretical level, we will look at a number of different conceptions of the relation between aesthetics and politics in the 19th century, focusing particularly on essays by Jacques Ranciére, Walter Benjamin, Julia Kristeva, Georges Bataille and others. 

The poets we will read include Manuel Zequeira y Arango, José María Heredia, Andrés Bello, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Rubén Darío, José Asunción Silva, José Martí and Delmira Agustini.  In our discussions of North American poetry’s relation to Hispanic America, we will also do some reading in the work of H.W. Longfellow and Walt Whitman.  Taking into account that seminar participants may not have extensive experience with poetry, the course will also serve as an introductory survey of this period of Hispanic American poetry in addition to providing a context for learning about theoretical problems that have broad relevance to other areas of literary study.


Professor Anka Birkenmaier
email: abirkenm

S688   Topics in U.S. Latino &/or Caribbean Literature

MW 11:15a - 12:30p/section# 30970/3 cr./BH 141

Topic: Modern Spanish Caribbean Literature

In this course we will explore key notions of Spanish Caribbean literature--with a few forays into the French Caribbean--, as they have evolved from the Haitian Revolution until today. The hypothesis of this course is that diaspora and exile have been constitutive experiences throughout the history of the Caribbean, giving shape to collective and national identities in a variety of ways. Through readings of essays, poetry and novels by José Martí, Antonio Benítez Rojo, the Afro-Hispanic avant-gardes, Alejo Carpentier, René Marques, Junot Díaz, and Mayra Santos Febres, among others we will look at how Caribbean writers have reflected in this context on ideas of nation, race and gender, post-national citizenship and globalization.

Essays by Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Edouard Glissant, Juan Flores, Arcadio Díaz Quiñones, Aimé Césaire, Rafael Rojas, Edward Said will be paired with literary readings. 

Requirements: Two papers, one final exam and one in-class presentation.


Professor Steven Wagschal
email: swagscha

S708   Seminar in Hispanic Studies

R 4:00p – 6:30p/section# 28326/3 cr./BH 105

Topic:  Cervantes’ Brain: Intention, Interpretation and Don Quixote

In The Critique of The Power of Judgment, Kant suggested that the human mind seeks to explain a complex pattern in experience by attributing to it purposiveness as if it were designed. Although Kant’s insight on how the mind works may well be correct, it does not follow that all patterns are indeed purposive (take, for instance, the formation of clouds that might look like an animal or human face). Similarly, readers of literature have a propensity to inquire into patterns that are based on repetition (of sounds, rhythms, words, images, motifs, themes, characters), and then to attribute literary significance to these repetitions. Literary critics often rely on accounts of the repetition of an item (word, image, etc.) in a given narrative context and its re-iteration in one or more subsequent contexts to justify their readings. While such inquiries generate a teleological explanation, they may point, nevertheless, like the face in the clouds, to arbitrary repetitions. If the distinction between arbitrary and non-arbitrary characteristics of a text is tenable, then non-arbitrary repetitions would seem to have something to do with the intentionality behind the literary text’s creation, with what we call “the author.”

In answering the question, “What is an author?,” Michel Foucault famously characterized “it” as a “complex and variable function of discourse.” Some twenty years before that, Wimsatt and Beardsley had labelled as “fallacy” the possibility of knowing an author’s intentions through a literary text. For its part, psychoanalysis called into question the role of consciousness in authorship, favoring instead a focus on unconscious processes. However, with the cognitive turn in literary studies, more theoretical attention has been turned to author intentionality. Taking a cue from Mary Thomas Crane’s work on Shakespeare and Cognitive Studies, the seminar seeks to explore the limits of the author’s intentionality and of literary interpretation through a study of the work of Spain’s early modern iconic author, Cervantes. Without any metaphysical notion of what a “mind” is, at a minimum we should all be able to agree that Cervantes’ brain sent signals to his (good) hand that made it write and revise the manuscript of Don Quixote. What more, if anything, follows from that?

The seminar assumes the participants’ prior familiarity with Don Quixote Parts I and II. While re-reading the novel in its entirety, analyzing it for arbitrary and non-arbitrary patterns of repetition, and looking at several of its major (and mutually exclusive) interpretations from the Seventeenth through the Twentieth Centuries, the course will interrogate historical and current theoretical notions of author intentionality. To this end, we will investigate: (1) the twentieth-century debate on the so-called “Intentional Fallacy,” (2) the sympathetic reception of this idea in some poststructuralist formulations of the death of the author, (3) subsequent philosophical theorization of intentionality, and (4) explore what value Cognitive Studies may hold for literary criticism. Seminar students will also read other early modern texts including the complete Novelas ejemplares and either El Persiles or La Galatea.


Professor Kimberly Geeslin
email: kgeeslin

S716   Seminar: Second Language Acquisition

T 4:00p – 6:30p/section# 28327/3 cr./BH 105

Topic: The Acquisition of Sociolinguistic Competence in a Study Abroad Setting

Nearly every definition of communicative competence includes sociolinguistic knowledge (i.e., the ability to vary language appropriately according to speaker, hearer, situation and linguistic context) among the basic skills needed to communicate effectively in a second language. Still, little is known about how learners acquire this knowledge. Recent research on the comparative gains achieved through study abroad shows differing benefits and different levels of achievement, depending on linguistic structure, learner characteristics, characteristics of the study abroad setting and a host of additional factors.  Despite this variability, however, study abroad appears to hold promise as an environment in which gains can be made in sociolinguistic knowledge of a second language. This seminar will build on the knowledge of study abroad research developed in S614 (fall 2010) and connect that foundation to the issue of variable features of Spanish and their acquisition. Some of the issues addressed in this course include definitions of communicative competence and the pedagogical norm, the hypothesis that there is a minimum proficiency level that must be attained before gains are made during study abroad, contrasting gains across contexts where input is variable as opposed to when input is more categorical, and the role of individual and programmatic variables (e.g., housing situation while abroad) in the SLA of Spanish in a study abroad setting.

This course also has a highly practical component in that it is designed to foster the development of research skills that can transfer to future independent scholarship.  Students will participate in the process of designing and refining elicitation tasks, collecting data, analyzing a variety of types of data and connecting findings to the existing literature as part of the Indiana University Acquisition of Spanish through Study Abroad Project.

Students who enroll in this course should have a background in both second language acquisition and sociolinguistics (e.g., S515 and S513 or equivalent).