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Graduate Studies

Graduate Course Descriptions: Spring 2012



Professor Edgar Illas
email: eillas

C618    Topics in Catalan Literature

TR 9:30a – 10:45a/section# 27858/3 cr./BH 235

Topic:  Immigration and Exile in Catalan Literature

In this course we will study the problematic of exile and immigration in modern Catalan literature. Catalonia has often been called a “terra de pas,” that is, a frontier land for the peoples of Iberia and the Mediterranean. Stories of displacement and migration traverse Catalan literature since its rebirth in the nineteenth century. Indeed, its foundational poem, Bonavetura Carles Aribau’s “Oda a la pàtria,” was written in Madrid in 1833 and evokes Catalonia as the lost paradise of an emigré. Yet, at the same time the minority status of Catalan language has made it hard for Catalan literature to travel beyond its borders and become a major or “global” literature; consequently, Catalan literature has often been perceived as a mere regional phenomenon associated with the specific lands of Catalonia, País Valencià, and the Illes Balears. This course will be structured around the tension produced by these two contradictory movements: the tension between exodus and provincialism, or between (global) migrations and (local) regionalism.

We will analyze the historical evolution of this topic, and we will especially focus on two periods: first, the literature of Republican exiles who, after the Spanish Civil War, continued to write in Catalan in France or in Latin America (Mercè Rodoreda in Paris, Pere Calders in Mexico, Pere Quart in Chile, Vicenç Riera-Llorca in the Dominican Republic); and, second, the literature of the two main waves of immigration in contemporary Catalonia: the Andalusian immigration of the 1960s (portrayed by writers such as Francesc Candel and Maria Barbal) and the more recent arrival of immigrants from Africa and Asia (narrated by Morrocan-Catalan writers Najat El Hachmi and Laila Karrouch, Beninois-Catalan author Agnès Agboton, or Iraqian-Catalan writer Pius Alibek). These authors will allow us to examine questions of diaspora, hybridity, social inequality, and nationalism, among many others.

This course meets jointly with Hisp C492.



Professor Luciana Namorato
email: lnamorat

P501   Literatures of the Portuguese-Speaking World II

TR 2:30p – 3:45p/section# 29693/3 cr./BH 235

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, a play, and essays from Lusophone Africa, Brazil, and Portugal.

This course meets jointly with Hisp P401.

Professor Estela Vieira
email: evieira

P570    Poetry in Portuguese

TR 1:00p – 2:15p/section# 29695/3 cr./BH 332

Topic: Love and War in Portuguese Poetry

In Miguel de Cervantes’s masterpiece, Don Quixote says “Love and war are the same thing, and stratagems and policy are as allowable in the one as in the other.” This course focuses on this frequently thematized relationship by reconsidering the ways in which these interconnected experiences are constructed. One of the greatest collections of love sonnets written in English, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese, was unsurprisingly stirred by Browning’s reading of Camões’s Renaissance poetry. This class will survey how the themes of love and war have for centuries occupied poets from around the Portuguese-speaking world. We will read a selection of Portuguese, Luso-African, and Brazilian poetry, from a range of literary periods and ask ourselves how affect and passion intertwine with political conflict. Amorous sentiment in the lyrical tradition is often bound to political and social engagement especially during important periods of national transitions, thus ironically love plays a crucial role within contexts of political struggle. By exploring the way poetic forms frame and interrogate these concepts we will gain a deeper knowledge of the diverse and evolving traditions of poetry in Portuguese.  

 This course meets jointly with Hisp P470 and Hisp P498.


Professor Kathleen Myers
email: myersk


S504   Bibliography & Methods of Research

MW 1:00p – 2:15p/section# 29706/3 cr./WH 118

This course introduces both M.A. and Ph.D. students to the essential components of establishing a research program in literary studies.   The first part of the course will focus on research methods for identifying a field of specialization and then move through the stages of compiling key bibliography, setting out research questions, and beginning the writing process.  This part of the course will include work with Area Studies librarians, archivists, and writing tutors.  The second part of the course will take students through a series of exercises to help them develop professional skills beyond preparing a research paper:  drafting book reviews, grant proposals, conference abstracts, and C.V.s.   The course is run as a workshop.  Students will be responsible for preparing weekly exercises that will serve as the basis for commenting on each other’s work in a constructive peer review setting.   In addition, there will be a final 12 -15 page paper due at the end of the semester.  The paper will build on the research area, questions, and  bibliography set out by each student in the first part of the course.

Professor César Félix-Brasdefer
email: cfelixbr

S508    Introduction to Hispanic Pragmatics

TR 11:15a – 12:30p/section# 29708/3 cr./WH 205

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts and topics traditionally covered in a pragmatics course from a cognitive and sociocultural perspective. After examining the scope of pragmatics, the main components of the field will be reviewed, including speech act theory, deixis, presupposition, implicature, and different theories that account for the study of ‘meaning’. Since pragmatics examines meaning, the semantic-pragmatic distinction will be discussed in relation to other areas of linguistics. The last component of the course examines pragmatic concepts within the fields of discourse analysis, second language pragmatics, and sociolinguistic variation. Methodological issues in pragmatics research will also be reviewed. Examples will be taken from different varieties of Spanish. This course provides the foundation for future advanced courses in pragmatics, discourse analysis, and interlanguage pragmatics. 

Graduate students only.


Professor Steven Wagschal
email: swagscha

S528   Spanish Literature of the 16th & 17th Centuries

TR 4:00p – 5:15p/section# 29710/3 cr./BH 235

Course description: This graduate survey of early modern prose, poetry and theater, explores the dynamics of power, gender and genre in selected, mostly canonical texts by Garcilaso de la Vega, Lope de Rueda, Luis de Góngora, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Quevedo, María de Zayas, Calderón, Ana Caro and others. 

Requirements: There will be one exam and two papers (one short, one longer). At least one of the papers will employ methods of textual analysis known as “close reading.” Students will also give short presentations on critical articles and/or concepts. Finally, active class participation and preparation are important components of the course.

Note: If you have not yet read Don Quixote, it would be a good idea to do so before the semester begins, because it is a major point of reference in the criticism of seventeenth-century literature. Due to time constraints it is not feasible to read it in this course.

  Exam   20%   
  Papers (15%, 25%)   40%   
  Class participation   20%   
  Oral Presentation(s)   20%  

Professor Alejandro Mejias-Lopez
email: amejiasl

S568   19th & 20th Century Spanish American Literature

MW 4:00p – 5:15p/section# 29712/3 cr./BH 241

This course examines Latin American literary production written in Spanish during the nation formation period, that is, from Independence to the first decades of the 20th century.  We will study canonical and non canonical texts within their historical, social, and ideological contexts.  Special attention will be paid to current theoretical and critical approaches and research areas in 19th-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, modernity and modernization; regional vs. global cultural production and consumption; nationalism, pan-Latin Americanism, and imperialism.  Assignments will include participation, oral presentations, exams, and analytical papers.  Class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.


Professor Manuel Diaz-Campos
email: mdiazcam

S612   Topic in Linguistics: Variation & Language Content

TR 2:30p – 3:45p/section# 29715/3 cr./WH 116

This class is an advanced research-oriented course in language variation and change focusing on current issues in the study of Hispanic Sociolinguistics. Students will develop a research paper that will address a current issue of sociolinguistic variation depending of his/her interests. Theoretical discussion and practical exercises will be incorporated during the semester with the purpose of encouraging critical thinking and solving-problem skills. Some of the topics to be included are: 1) An overview of socio-phonological variation in Latin America and Spain 2) Experimental approaches in socio-phonology 3) theoretical frameworks to study sociolinguistic variation, 4) Overview of mophosyntactic variation in Latin America and Spain 5) Variation and Gramaticalization, 6) Acquisition of sociolinguistic variables 7) forms of address 8)  statistical analysis, 9) Social factors, and 10) Speech perception and attitudes,  Class time will be divided in lecturing, class discussion, and solving problem exercises.

Prerequisite:  S513 or equivalent

After successful completion of this course, the student will:

Professor Maryellen Bieder
email: bieder

S638   Topics in 18th & 19th Century Spanish Literature

MW 2:30p - 3:45p/section# 29717/3 cr./BH 219

Topic: Narrative Indeterminacy, Reliability, Gender Construction and Spatial Dynamics in the Novels and Short Stories of Emilia Pardo Bazán.

Starting from the way Emilia Pardo Bazán tells her stories to her readers–her strategies of narrative reliability and indeterminacy–the course takes a new look at the conventions and clichés of realist fiction. Pardo Bazán’s fiction opens up new spaces to explore gender, social practices, and even representation itself. In conjunction with her use of narrative self-consciousness and a foregrounding of gender construction she dramatizes unconventional urban (exterior) spaces, domestic (interior) spaces and psychological (mental) spaces. She replots and reimagines gender against the culturally and socially dominant models of gender differentiation and rigid gender boundaries. Drawing on narrative theory, gender theory, and spatial theory, this course examines the historical, economic, cultural, and literary resonances at work in her fiction as it redefines the space and practice of realist fiction. Realist representation, implicitly referential, gives way to narrative indeterminacy and ambiguity–as Jo Labanyi posits, “reality is representation”–thus opening new forms of reader engagement with the text.

The core texts for the course are novels by Pardo Bazán in which she plays with narrative reliability and explores unexpected spaces and spatial relations: Insolación (1889), Una cristiana (1890), Memorias de un solterón (1896), and Dulce dueño (1911). To ground our narrative terminology, we will read short stories by other authors, either contemporaries of Pardo Bazán or more recent works. We will also look at some of Pardo Bazán’s short stories and novellas–she wrote over 600 short stories–as more concise examples of her deployment of narrative voice, gender transgression, and spatial practices. These shorter works, the novel Una cristiana, and some critical works will all be available on OnCourse. I placed an order for three novels from the bookstore.

The course requires several short (2-3 pages) “position papers” throughout the semester, each on a problem arising in one of the texts or theories discussed in class. There will be a final paper of 12-15 pages (including notes and works cited) with a preliminary abstract due one month before the end of the semester (i.e., before Thanksgiving).

Professor Anke Birkenmaier
email: abirkenm

S688   Topics in U.S. Latino/Caribbean Studies

TR 11:15a – 12:30p/section# 27615/3 cr./WH 108

Topic: Avant-garde movements in the Caribbean

The historical avant-garde movements of the first half of the twentieth century have been notoriously difficult to pin down to one geographic or cultural area, too great has been their identification with a cosmopolitan ethos; also, individual poets’ and artists’ collaborations in exhibits, anthologies and manifestoes have typically bridged national and even continental divides. Yet, important scholarly work has been done by William Luis, Michael Richardson and others, charting the Caribbean as a site of multiple avant-garde activities where anti-colonial movements went more often than not hand in hand with avant-garde writing.
In this course we will read some canonical avant-garde texts by Spanish Caribbean poets and writers (Alejo Carpentier, Nicolás Guillén, Mariano Brull, Luis Palés Matos, Julia de Burgos, Juan Bosch), next to lesser known writers like the Dominican Aída Cartagena Portalatín, and the Cubans Mariblanca Sabas Alomar and Regino Pedroso.
Our goal is to understand the aesthetic and political relevance of the avant-garde in the Caribbean, to read theories of the avant-garde and colonialism (Peter Bürger, Hal Foster, Walter Benjamin, Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire), and to learn how to do original research on some of the lesser known manifestoes, journals, and authors of the Spanish Caribbean avant-garde.

Professor Patrick Dove
email: pdove

S695   Graduate Colloquium: Literature & Modernity: Southern Cone

MW 9:30a – 10:45a/section# 29719/3 cr./BH 241

Topic: Literature (and) Politics: Modernity, the State and the People in the Southern Cone

In this course we will explore the possible interrelatedness of two 19th century inventions, “literature” and “the People,” in the Southern Cone. We will begin by examining how Sarmiento’s “civilization and barbarism” tropology provides a culturalist framework within which an array of economic and political tendencies compete for dominance in the region during the 19th and early 20th centuries, including Liberalism, Federalism, Eurocentrism, nationalism and anarchism. We will discuss the role played by literature in the consolidation of national boundaries and the determination of national populations (or what Foucault calls biopolitics), all of which tended to push aside alternative social forms and sensibilities (nomadism, regional migration, etc.). We will then look at how 20th century social revolutions—Peronism in Argentina and Allende’s “peaceful road to socialism” in Chile—can be understood both as reiterations of Sarmiento’s schema and as attempts to introduce a fundamentally new political logic. The final part of the semester will be devoted to an examination of the brutal military dictatorships of the 1970s, which can be seen as responses to the “disorder” of social revolution and as paving the way for the sweeping, neoliberal-driven reconfiguration of Southern Cone societies in the 1980s and 90s.

While social history will provide much of the organizing structure, we will also incorporate theoretical meditations on the modern significance of literature, politics and related concepts (biopolitics, the State, sovereignty, the People) from thinkers and critics such as Jacques Rancière, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Alberto Moreiras, Josefina Ludmer, Gabriela Nouzeilles, Giorgio Agamben and Carl Schmitt. For instance, we will ask what it would mean to take seriously, in the context of the Southern Cone, Rancière’s assertion that literature does not represent (or misrepresent) the popular so much as it invents it. However, the proposition that there is a secret conjunction between literature and politics—one of the fundamental questions of this course—can only become productive in a truly rigorous way, it seems to me, if one also takes into consideration what we could call the autonomy of the literary: in a certain real sense, nothing could be less political than a poem or a novel, which—despite the best efforts of critics, writers and activists—cannot, as literature, be explained or justified on anything but their own terms. It is this seeming paradox which provides the point of departure for this course.

Possible primary texts include essays, political speeches, poems and novels by Esteban Echeverría and Domingo Sarmiento (we will read selections from lesser known works—Dogma socialista and Conflicto y armonía entre las razas en América—as well as the classics), Lucio Mansilla, Juana Manuela Gorriti, Amir Hamed, Augusto Roa Bastos, José Hernández, Rafael Barrett, Leopoldo Lugones, Jorge Luis Borges and Bioy Casares, Juan Perón, Rodolfo Walsh, Julio Cortázar, Tomás Eloy Martínez, Osvaldo Lamborghini, Rodolfo Fogwill, Andrés Rivera, Ricardo Piglia, Matilde Sánchez, Roberto Bolaño, Pedro Lemebel and Martín Kohan. We will also screen films by directors such as Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino (La hora de los hornos, selection), Juan Schroeder (Evita), Hugo Santiago (Invasión), Patricio Guzmán (La batalla de Chile, selections) and Fabian Bielinski (Nueve reinas). Finally, we will take a close look at some of the visual iconography (photographs, pamphlets and popular textbooks, and also political rallies) of the Peronist movement and the Unidad Popular in Chile.


Professor Laura Gurzynski-Weiss
email: lgurzyns

S716   Seminar: Second Language Acquisition

TR 1:00p – 2:15p/section# 26583/3 cr./AC C103

Topic: Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition

One of the key questions in the field of second language acquisition (SLA) is why there is such variation in ultimate attainment, particularly when compared with first language acquisition. These discrepancies in SLA can often be explained, at least in part, by the individual differences of those involved in the learning process. This seminar systematically and critically examines the nature of individual differences (IDs) in SLA, how these IDs differentially affect second/foreign language learning, and will seek to explain why some learners are more successful than others.

The course begins with theoretical considerations of IDs in second/foreign language learning, enumerating the ID factors believed to most affect SLA, as well the psycholinguistic rationale as to why IDs appear to mediate said processes significantly more than first language acquisition. Findings thus far in ID research will be explored, including considerations of the interaction between IDs and contextual factors, such as the setting of the study (e.g., laboratory, quasi-experimental classroom and non-experimental classroom research), and internal factors of the individuals involved in communication. ID factors of both the learner(s) and interlocutor/instructor will be discussed (to include learner age, working memory, aptitude, motivation, willingness to communicate, and instructor native language, educational background, experience, etc.). The various operationalizations, as well as common instruments utilized to measure IDs and their influence on SLA processes, will be critiqued in detail. At the completion of each ID factor, students will articulate conclusions to date in the field and identify critical gaps in the literature for future research opportunities, both within and beyond the current semester. 

Class time will consist of student and instructor-led discussions, data and instrument analysis and critique, and the proposal and execution of a modest research project. During the last week of the semester students will present their state-of-the-art study, designed and completed individually or in pairs, on learner or interlocutor/instructor individual differences in relation to SLA. The projects, which will be grounded in the linguistic theory of the students' choice, will be presented at a public colloquium at IU; students will be encouraged to submit the course-required abstract to a larger venue for continued work after the semester is complete.

Students enrolled in this course should have a background in the field of second language acquisition and linguistic theory (S515 or equivalent) and a basic understanding of research methods commonly used in the field.

Course requires departmental authorization.