Spanish

HAILI KONG, Professor and Chair
ELEONORE BAGINSKI, Administrative Coordinator
BETHANNE SEUFERT, Administrative Assistant

Spanish
MARÍA LUISA GUARDIOLA, Professor
LUCIANO MARTÍNEZ, Associate Professor
NANCI BUIZA, Assistant Professor
ADRIÁN GRAS-VELÁZQUEZ, Visiting Assistant Professor
FELIPE VALENCIA, Visiting Assistant Professor
JULIA CHINDEMI VILA, Lecturer
PATRICIA VARGAS, Lecturer

Language Resource Center
MICHAEL JONES, Language Resource Center Director
ALEXANDER SAVOTH, Language Resource Center Technologist

Spanish

Spanish, the second national language of the United States, is the official language of twenty countries—spoken by close to 500 million people in the world. A living and migrating language with a long history, Spanish is the gateway to one of the most vital and heterogeneous literatures and cultures in the world.

The Academic Program

Our program incorporates a wide range of themes, texts and geographic areas. While we pay close attention to canonical texts that have shaped a certain understanding of Iberian and Latin American literatures, we also explore the marginal voices and texts that challenge our preconceived notions. We cross the boundaries of literature, incorporating films and documentaries, as we consider new critical methods and reading practices.

The Spanish Program provides a strong foundation for graduate studies in Spanish and Latin American literatures, and our students pursue careers in a wide range of disciplines. Whether you plan to be an engineer, biologist, historian, or political scientist, the study of Spanish language and its cultures will open your mind to unexplored worlds.

Course Major

The Spanish major consists of eight courses and a culminating senior exercise. The Spanish major seeks to provide training in literary and cultural analysis, as it enables students to acquire linguistic proficiency.

Requirements

  • Students majoring in Spanish must spend one semester in a Spanish-speaking country enrolled in a program approved by the Section. Only two courses taken abroad that pertain to the curriculum of the section may count toward fulfillment of the major. For full immersion, all courses taken abroad must be taken in Spanish. Only advanced language courses taken abroad may receive Spanish credit but will not count toward the major.
  • Upon returning from abroad, students must enroll in a one-credit advanced course in the Section.
  • Students must complete a minimum of eight credits of work in courses numbered 008 and above. One of these courses must be SPAN 022 or 023, except in special cases when the section waives this requirement or approves a similar course taken abroad.
  • Students may count only one of these courses toward the major: 008, 010 or 011. SPAN 006A and SPAN 024 will not count toward fulfillment of the major. Note that neither AP nor IB credits will count towards the major.
  • One of the eight credits of advanced work may be taken in English from the courses listed in the catalog under “Literatures in Translation: Spanish” (LITRS) offered by the section.
  • All majors are encouraged to take at least one seminar in the section. Students can take a seminar after one advanced course (numbered 050 to 089) or with permission of the instructor. Only one seminar in the major will count for two credits.
  • A minimum of four of the eight courses must be taken at Swarthmore College. Only two courses taken abroad may count toward the major.
  • Majors must maintain a balance in their overall program, taking advanced work in different historical periods from Spain and Latin America.

Acceptance Criteria

For admission to the course major, the student needs a minimum of B level work in courses taken at Swarthmore taught in Spanish or the required introductory-level literature course (SPAN 022 or 023), demonstrated ability and interest in language and literature, and a minimum C average in course work outside the department.

Prerequisite: SPAN 004 or its equivalent is the language prerequisite for entering the Spanish major. It does not count as one of the 8 credits required for the major.

Thesis / Culminating Exercise

Along with development of analytical literary and cultural abilities, majors are expected to reach an advanced level of linguistic proficiency. The Spanish comprehensive exam has oral and written components, both entirely in Spanish.

In their senior year, majors will re-write one of the best term papers they wrote for courses in the section. The new research paper will: a) deepen the original analysis; b) enhance the critical work on which it is based to include ample documentation; and c) increase the paper’s length to at least 25 pages, plus bibliography. The first draft of this paper will be turned in to Spanish faculty at the end of the fall semester. The final version will be turned in at the end of April. The oral examination is based on the content of the written essay and on overall course preparation. This essay—and the student’s overall course preparation—will provide the basis for the oral examination in May, conducted exclusively in Spanish. The Spanish language ability of majors, as exhibited in this paper and the oral examination, will be part of the final evaluation.

Course Minor

Requirements

  • Completion of at least one semester of study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country in a program approved by the Spanish section. Only two courses taken abroad that pertain to the curriculum of the section may count towards fulfillment of the minor. To ensure full immersion, all courses taken abroad must be taken in Spanish. In special cases, depending on the student’s language proficiency, this requirement may be fulfilled with a summer-long study abroad program identified and approved by the section. For summer programs, only one relevant course taken abroad may count towards fulfillment of the minor. Only advanced language courses taken abroad may receive Spanish credit but will not count toward the minor.
  • Upon returning from study abroad, students are expected to register in a one-credit advanced course in the section.
  • All minors must take a total of five courses and/or seminar offerings numbered 008 and above. Only one of these may overlap with the student’s major or other minor. Note that AP and IB credits will not count towards the minor.
  • Students may count only one of the following towards their minor: 008, 010 and 011. SPAN 006A, SPAN 024 and courses in English translation will not count toward fulfillment of the minor.
  • All minors must take either SPAN 022 or 023, except in special cases when the section waives this requirement or approves a similar course taken abroad.
  • All minors are strongly encouraged to take seminars offered by the section. Seminars count as one credit toward the minor.
  • To graduate with a minor in Spanish, a student must maintain a minimum grade of B in the discipline, and a C average in course work outside the department. Candidates to the minor must prove their ability and interest in the language, cultures and literatures of the Spanish-speaking world.

Prerequisite: SPAN 004 or its equivalent is the language prerequisite for entering the Spanish minor. It does not count as one of the 5 credits required for the minor.

Honors Major and Minor

Requirements

Candidates for the major or minor in Spanish must meet these requirements to be accepted into Honors:

  • A “B” average in Spanish coursework at the College.
  • Completion at Swarthmore of either SPAN 022 or 023 (except in cases when the section waives this requirement or approves a similar course taken abroad) and one course numbered 050 to 089.
  • Completion of one semester of study in a Spanish-speaking country in a program approved by the Spanish Section. In special cases, depending on the student’s language proficiency, honors minors may fulfill this with a summer-long study abroad program identified and approved by the Spanish section.
  • Demonstrated linguistic ability in the language.
  • Present fields for external examination based on either two-credit seminars offered by the section, or the combination of two advanced courses numbered between 050–089 that form a logical pairing.
  • All majors in the Honors Program must do three (3) preparations for a total of six units of credit while all minors must complete one (1) preparation consisting of two units of credit.

The Honors Exam for Majors and Minors

Majors will take three (3) three-hour written examinations prepared by external examiners, as well as three (3) half-hour oral exams based on the contents of each field of preparation.

Minors will take one (1) three-hour written examination prepared by the external examiner, as well as one (1) half-hour oral exam based on the contents of the written examination and their overall preparation in the field presented.

All Honors exams will be conducted exclusively in Spanish.

Special Majors

Students have the possibility of designing a special major, such as Spanish and Latin American Studies; Spanish within comparative literature; Spanish and linguistics; etc.

Special Major in Spanish and Educational Studies

The Spanish Program prepares students who wish to pursue a special major in Spanish and educational studies, and also those who are seeking certification to teach Spanish in primary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the 45 states with which Pennsylvania certification is reciprocal.

Requirements for the Special Major in Spanish and Educational Studies

  • Complete six courses in Spanish. None of those courses may be taught in English.
  • A student may only count one of these courses for the major: 008, 010 or 011.
  • Complete a minimum of five courses in Educational Studies.
  • In consultation with the Spanish adviser, as a culminating exercise, develop a set of original teaching materials with the following criteria:
    • Focus on a grammar topic and a specific aspect of language acquisition, such as listening comprehension, speaking skills, discrete reading or writing.
    • Incorporate a variety of class exercises or activities.
    • Take into account different learning styles.
    • The total volume of this portfolio may be the equivalent of a 15–20 page paper.

Note: The special major itself does not constitute preparation toward certification.

Requirements for the Special Major in Spanish and Educational Studies with

Teacher Certification

In addition to the requirements of the Educational Studies Department (Introductionto Education; Educational Psychology; Adolescence; one additional course in educational studies; and Curriculum and Methods/Practice Teaching), including LING 001, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete the requirements for the Spanish major. No course taught in English, however, may be included among their 8-credit total.
  • By the middle of the fall semester of the senior year, complete 10 hours of observation of language classes in the Spanish Program in consultation with the Spanish adviser.
  • Under the guidance of the Spanish adviser, write a short paper on the relevance of observed pedagogical approaches to a K-12 Spanish classroom.
  • In consultation with the Spanish adviser, as a culminating exercise, develop a set of original teaching materials with the following criteria:
    • Focus on a grammar topic and a specific aspect of language acquisition, such as listening comprehension, speaking skills, discrete reading or writing.
    • Incorporate a variety of class exercises or activities.
    • Take into account different learning styles.
    • The total volume of this portfolio may be the equivalent of a 15–20 page paper.

Application Process for the Major or the Minor

In addition to the process described by the Dean’s Office and the Registrar’s Office for how to apply for a major/minor, we recommend you to meet with the Spanish faculty to discuss your plans.

If after applying you are denied admission to the major/minor, you may apply again once you have addressed the recommendations made by the Spanish section. If your application is deferred, the Spanish section will make a decision immediately after you have taken the necessary steps to address the reasons for being deferred.

Off-Campus Study

Study abroad is an enriching intellectual experience when it is fully integrated into the student’s overall academic experience at Swarthmore. Since the principal educational advantages of study abroad are in-depth cross-cultural exposure and language learning, the best study abroad programs are those that maximize these benefits by fully immersing students in the host country’s culture and society. This goal can only be effectively achieved by choosing full immersion study abroad programs. Pursuing academic coursework in English in a Spanish-speaking country does not comply with the academic goals and mission of the Spanish section.

The Spanish section encourages students to choose programs that build on previous language study. In order to be better prepared for academic work in Spanish, we recommend that students take a writing course in Spanish (010, 011, 022, 023) at Swarthmore prior to going abroad.

Upon returning from abroad, majors or minors must enroll in an advanced literature course in the section.

Courses

Students wishing to major in Spanish should plan their program in consultation with the department. Spanish is the only language used in class discussions, readings, and assignments in all courses, except in LITR courses. Students must have taken SPAN 022 or 023 before they can take an advanced literature or film course in Spanish unless they receive special permission from the instructor. Courses numbered 50 to 89 belong to the same level of complexity, requiring the same level of preparation. The numbering does not imply a sequence.

SPAN 001–002. Intensive First Year of Spanish

Students who start in the SPAN 001/002 sequence must complete SPAN 002 to receive credit for SPAN 001.
Note: SPAN 001 is offered in the fall semester only. Students must take SPAN 001 before proceeding to SPAN 002. This course is intended for students who begin Spanish in college. The first year of Spanish is designed to encourage the development of communicative proficiency through an integrated approach to the teaching of all four language skills—listening and understanding, reading, writing, and speaking. It also fosters awareness of the Spanish-speaking world through authentic cultural materials (films, music, news) and information, thus deepening the student’s living understanding of the multi-faceted Spanish-speaking world.
1.5 credits.

SPAN 001.

Offered each fall.
1.5 credits.
Fall 2014. Gras-Velázquez, Chindemi Vila.

SPAN 002.

Offered each spring.
1.5 credits.
Spring 2015. Gras-Velázquez, Chindemi Vila.

SPAN 002B. Intensive Spanish for Advanced Beginners

SPAN 002B is intended for those students who have had at least a year of Spanish but have not yet attained the level of SPAN 003. This intensive, accelerated course covers the materials of SPAN 001 / SPAN 002 in one semester, allowing for the review of basic concepts learned in the past. It encourages development of communicative proficiency through an interactive task-based approach, and provides students with an active and rewarding learning experience as they strengthen their language skills and develop their cultural competency. Engaging, award-winning short-subject films from various Spanish-speaking countries are integrated into the lessons, serving as springboards for the vocabulary, grammar, and cultural topics presented. After completing this course, students will be prepared to take SPAN 003 and further advanced courses.
Offered each fall.
1.5 credits.
Fall 2014. Gras-Velázquez, Vargas.

SPAN 003. Intensive Intermediate Spanish

SPAN 003 is an intensive third semester Spanish course for students who seek to develop fluency and accuracy in order to express, interpret, and negotiate meaning in context. The course presents a functionally sequenced grammar review and expansion that builds on basic concepts. Special emphasis will be placed on the basic skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—as building blocks toward proficiency and communication.
Offered each semester.
1.5 credits.
Fall 2014. Buiza, Chindemi Vila.
Spring 2015. Buiza, Chindemi Vila.

SPAN 004. Intensive Advanced Spanish

This course is designed for students who have already learned the basic aspects of Spanish grammar. Through careful attention given to literary texts, films, and cultural media, the students develop further their writing and oral skills in Spanish. The course focuses on providing myriad opportunities for students to integrate an advanced understanding of grammar with communication-oriented activities, therefore allowing for the expression of advanced concepts and ideas in speech and writing that will enable students to take upper-level Spanish courses in literature and culture.
Note: Students who receive a final grade of “B-” or below in SPAN 004 need to take SPAN 008 as the next course in language sequence. Students who receive a final grad of “B” or higher in SPAN 004 may continue to SPAN 010 or SPAN 011.
Offered each semester.
1.5 credits.
Fall 2014. Valencia, Vargas.
Spring 2015. Valencia, Vargas.

SPAN 006A. Spanish Communication Workshop

An exciting course that effectively stimulates lively conversational Spanish. This course meets once a week for 1.5 hours; the class will be divided into small groups to facilitate discussion. The aim of the course is for the student to acquire well-rounded communication skills and socio-cultural competence. The selected materials (newspapers, movies, music, literature, etc.) seek to stimulate students’ curiosity and engagement with the ultimate goal of awakening a strong desire to express themselves in the language.
Note: Upon returning from abroad, Spanish majors and minors must enroll in a one-credit Spanish course. This course is not appropriate for native speakers. SPAN 006A can be taken only once.
Prerequisite: SPAN 004 or the equivalent or permission of the instructor.
0.5 credit.
Spring 2015. Vargas.

SPAN 008. Spanish Conversation and Composition

Recommended for students who have finished SPAN 004, have received a 5 in the AP/IB exam or want to improve Spanish oral and written expression. This is a practical course for writing and rewriting in a variety of contexts, and it will prepare the student to write at an academic level of Spanish. It includes a review of grammar and spelling, methods for vocabulary expansion, and attention to common errors of students of Spanish living in an English-speaking society. Films and literary texts will serve as a stimulus for advanced conversation with the goal of improving fluency and comprehension in Spanish.
Prerequisite: SPAN 004 or the equivalent or permission of the instructor.
Offered each semester.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Fall 2014, spring 2015. Martínez.

SPAN 009. First-Year Seminar: A New World: Conquests, Encounters and Dialogues in and around Latin America (W)

(Cross-listed as LITR 009S)
In this first-year seminar we will explore the New World that resulted from the “discovery,” colonization and exploitation of Latin America by the Europeans, particularly the Spanish. The encounter between the “Old” and the “New” Worlds was a two-way exchange in which new cultures emerged from the ruins of those destroyed, and the way of conceiving of the world and the self was utterly transformed for all involved. We will read texts by Europeans who encountered others and imposed upon them, but also texts by the defeated, where they tell their side of the story. Furthermore, we will pay special attention to those subjects in between different worlds, from Florida and Peru to Mozambique and Japan. Readings include texts by Columbus, Cortés and Las Casas; Aztecs, Mayans and Incas; and More, Montaigne and Shakespeare. In English.
Writing course.
Eligible for LASC Credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Valencia.

SPAN 010. En busca de Latinoamérica

This course seeks to provide students with a critical understanding of Latin America and to introduce its cultural history. Through a multidisciplinary perspective, we will study the interaction of social, political, ethnic, and gender dynamics and its resulting transformations in Latin America. After a study of pre-European contact and Amerindian civilizations, we will examine critically the moment of contact between the Old and the New World and the ensuing conflicts that characterized the three centuries of colonial rule in Latin America. Later, we will focus on the nation building process and the cultural campaigns of turn-of-the-century elites, the causes and consequences of U.S. interventions, the dilemmas of economic development, the rise of state terror, and the lives of transnational migrants today. Lectures and textbook readings provide a panoramic analysis of complex cultural processes (colonialism, transculturation, modernization, globalization, etc.); documentaries and films provide other points of entry as we think through the processes that have shaped Latin America.
Prerequisite: SPAN 004 or the equivalent or permission of the instructor.
Offered each fall.
Writing course.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Buiza.

SPAN 011. Culturas de España

Embark on a cultural journey through Spain! Focusing primarily on transcultural and interdisciplinary perspectives, we will explore topics pertaining to all periods of Spanish history, society, culture, literature, politics, art, music, and film. We will devote special attention to contemporary Spanish film and current events. We will study these aspects in relation to different regions (Cataluña, Andalucía, Galicia, País Vasco, and Castilla) and particular cities (Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla). We will examine how the medieval concept of Spain (“las Españas”) may still apply today with respect to the linguistic, cultural, ethnic, social, and political diversity within the Iberian Peninsula. Other topics for exploration include migration and the emergence of hybrid identities, including those pertaining to culture, gender, and sexuality. Students will develop advanced skills in speaking, writing, and reading in Spanish.
Prerequisite: SPAN 004 or the equivalent or permission of the instructor.
Offered each spring.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Guardiola.

SPAN 022. Introducción a la literatura española

This course covers representative Spanish works from medieval times to the present. Works in all literary genres will be read to observe times of political and civic upheaval, of soaring ideologies and crushing defeats that depict the changing social, economic, and political conditions in Spain throughout the centuries. Each reading represents a particular literary period: middle ages, renaissance, baroque, neo-classicism, romanticism, realism, naturalism, surrealism, postmodernism, etc. Emphasis on literary analysis to introduce students to further work in Spanish literature.
Prerequisite: SPAN 004 or the equivalent or permission of the instructor.
Offered each fall.
Writing course.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Guardiola.

SPAN 023. Introducción a la literatura latinoamericana

This introduction to the study of Latin American literature and related visual documentation will place special emphasis on the changing relationships between aesthetics and politics. We will analyze different genres and artistic styles that emerge within the sociocultural sphere in moments of political crisis, such as the independence from Spain, the Mexican and Cuban revolutions, the dictatorships of the Southern Cone, migration, and other contemporary social processes. Within this framework, we will discuss the work of major writers (Borges, García Márquez, Vargas Llosa, Fuentes, Neruda) as well as emerging writers. Since we will also be mapping the representation of race, class, and gender, close attention will be given to selected works in literary theory, gender and queer theory, and cultural studies.
Eligible for LASC credit.
Prerequisite: SPAN 004 or the equivalent or permission of the instructor.
Offered each spring.
Writing course
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Martínez.

SPAN 024A. Foreign Language Teaching and Pedagogy

(Cross-listed as EDUC 072)
This course has two elements that are developed together throughout the course of the semester. Students can serve the Swarthmore community by teaching a foreign language to local elementary school students in an after-school program that meets two times/week. Students must teach for the entire 6-week session, two days per week (M/W or T/Th). During the evening pedagogy sessions held on campus, we will discuss writing weekly lesson plans, foreign language acquisition in children, teaching methodologies and approaches. We use a common goal-oriented curriculum among all the languages. Students must register for the language or educational studies course that they will be teaching and for a service time (A) M/W or (B) T/Th.
0.5 credit.
Spring 2015. Staff.

SPAN 049. Cervantes’ Don Quixote: The Narrative Quest

(Cross-listed as LITR 049S)
What is it about Don Quixote’s tilting at windmills and acting as if life followed the rules of fiction that has captivated the imagination of so many writers and thinkers ever since it was written in Spain four hundred years ago? This course explores Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1605–1615) through theoretical texts, from Bakhtin to Foucault, from Lukacs to Borges, in order to think about Cervantes’s innovations in narrative technique, the possibility of interpretation, and the nature of fiction and reality. Students will acquire tools of literary analysis and theory. In English.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Valencia.

SPAN 063. Cine Contemporáneo español

Following dictator Franco’s death in 1975, Spain’s transition to democracy was characterised by two distinct singularities: a sudden moral, sexual, and political liberation and, simultaneously, a collective social and political ‘pact of oblivion’, which indefinitely postponed any national reckoning by Spain with its dictatorial past. This course studies the films of post-Franco Spain, which are at once bursting with themes of liberation yet haunted by the ghosts of its recent past. We will chart the development of Spanish culture through the examination and interpretation of 1990s and 2000s Spanish films. Students will become familiar with important Spanish topics such as national stereotypes, European integration, violence, race, sexual identities, and gender relations, as well as relevant concepts in Film Studies such as cinematic genre, gaze theory, and spectatorship.
Eligible for FMST credit
1 credit
Spring 2016. Gras-Velázquez.

SPAN 066. Escritoras españolas: una voz propia

In this course we will explore the work of representative Spanish women writers of the last three centuries in order to study the development of female self-awareness. We will read texts by Carolina Coronado, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Emilia Pardo Bazán, Mercé Rodoreda, Esther Tusquets, Carme Riera, Almudena Grandes, etc. The main objective of the course is to analyze female discourse within the historical, psychoanalytical, metafictional and allegorical realm of the texts to find multiple female voices.
Eligible for GSST credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Guardiola.

SPAN 067. La Guerra civil en la literatura y el cine

A literary and filmic study of different works generated by the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). We will contemplate the antagonistic interpretations of the conflict itself, its roots, and its impact for a better understanding of modern Spain. We will study the themes and questions of the war echoed in Spanish poetry, short fiction, novels, and films from the time of the war up through the present day. Readings will include works by Machado, Cernuda, Hernández, Sender, Matute, Orwell, Laforet, Llamazares, Mendez, etc. Films will include documentaries as well as classic and contemporary features.
1 credit.
Fall 2015. Guardiola.

SPAN 069. Cartografías urbanas

The city as a cultural artifact offers writers myriad narrative possibilities; mere location, cultural symbolism or the link for values and concepts that determine the human being’s place in its own society and historical moment. We will explore cultural representations of the city as an icon of industrialization in the nineteenth century and the declining of the modern city and its narratives in post-industrial and post-colonial times. Cultural cartographies of the city will help us to better understand new urban configurations and subjectivities. The discussion will focus on Madrid, Barcelona and other Spanish cities of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. We will see urban representations in novels by Galdós, Pardo Bazán, Baroja, Laforet, Cela, Rodoreda, Roig, Mendoza and representative films.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Guardiola.

SPAN 070. Género y sexualidad en Latinoamérica

In recent years, sexual minorities achieved major political victories in several Latin American countries, which opened a new social and legal horizon not only for them but also for the society as a whole by strengthening democratic values. This course seeks to analyze the complex socio-political and cultural process that enabled these changes, and to challenge preconceived notions about gender and sexuality in Latin American shaped in the “progressive” center. A selected body of literature, essays and films will allow us to study the cultural politics of gender and sexuality in Latin America. We will explore these issues through theoretical concepts provided by Latin Americanists active in such fields as cultural studies, history, literary criticism, queer studies, and other relevant disciplines.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Martínez.

SPAN 073. El cuento latinoamericano

We will study the modern and contemporary short stories that have transformed Latin American literature and moved its fiction into the forefront of world literature. By focusing on close reading and analysis, we will outline the distinctive characteristics of the Latin American short story and trace its development. We will examine the thematic issues and narrative features that characterize works belonging to Fantastic Literature, Magical Realism, the Boom and Post-Boom, and place them within their particular historical and cultural contexts. Authors will include Horacio Quiroga, Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Rulfo, Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Julio Cortázar, Rosario Ferré, and Ana Lydia Vega, among others. This course offers students a deeper appreciation of regional differences and cultural richness in Latin America as revealed in the short-story genre.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2015. Martínez.

SPAN 074. Queer Issues in Latin American Literature & Cinema

(Cross-listed as LITR 074S)
This course will map new forms of representation and interpretation at play in a set of queer issues emerging on recent Latin American literature and cinema. Emphasis will be on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender subjectivities. The aim is not merely assembling a corpus of readings around the notion of minority sexualities but to analyze how sexuality is culturally constructed in specific spatial and temporal geographies. We will also investigate the ways in which literary genres are disturbed and redeployed by queer interventions, and how cinema becomes a privileged medium for empowerment and visibility. Taught in English.
Eligible for LASC and GSST credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2016. Martínez.

SPAN 082. México lindo y maldito: Representaciones culturales de la Ciudad de México

This course explores the complex cultural representations of Mexico City, where pre-Columbian traditions meet Western hypermodernity in an atmosphere of ritualized chaos, tumultuous politics, choking pollution, and overpopulation. This course studies literature, urban chronicles, and films that treat Mexico’s megalopolis as their central figure. Readings will also include theoretical texts that will help us understand the different socioeconomic and cultural layers that shape the city and its inhabitants. Main topics to explore include: modernization, neoliberalism, social inequality, urban society, social degradation, and cultural identity.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2015. Buiza.

SPAN 087. Cruzando fronteras: migración y transnacionalismo en el cine mexicano

This course studies Mexican films and documentaries that engage issues of migration and transnationalism. The aim is to understand how these cinematic genres portray the complexities of cultural identity and the social and interpersonal struggles caused by displacement and globalization. We will also look at how some Mexican communities have been transformed by the consequences of migration to the U.S. In addition, the course will incorporate border literature and Mexican music that add different dimensions to the themes explored in the course.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Spring 2015. Buiza.

SPAN 088. Pasados desgarradores: trauma y afecto en la literatura centroamericana de posguerra

This course focuses on contemporary Central American literature. It begins with the revolutionary poetry, narrative of resistance, and testimonio that emerged out of the sociopolitical turmoil of the isthmus during the decades of war, revolutions, and genocide. We will then study the atmosphere of disenchantment during the postwar period and the aesthetic shift in representations of trauma, violence, and disaffection. We will study novels, short stories, poems, films, music, and read scholarly articles to understand the sociohistorical and literary context of the war and the postwar periods in Central America.
Eligible for LASC credit.
1 credit.
Fall 2014. Buiza.

Seminars

Students wishing to take seminars must have completed at least one course in Spanish numbered 030 or above. Students are admitted to seminars on a case-by-case basis by the instructor according to their overall preparation.

SPAN 103. Horacio Castellanos Moya: Centroamérica en las venas

This seminar focuses on the literary work of Horacio Castellanos Moya, one of Central America’s most prominent and controversial writers, whose literature has become internationally recognized. His narrative is often piercingly sarcastic, crude and raunchy and always unsettling. By studying Castellanos Moya’s narratives and self-destructive characters, the course will explore the social disintegration and legacy of violence left by the decades of civil wars in Central America. The course will examine his novels and essays, and will incorporate recent literary criticism and theoretical approaches on trauma, affect, and violence.
Eligible for LASC credit.
2 credits.
Spring 2016. Buiza.

SPAN 108. Jorge Luis Borges

This seminar focuses on Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He devoted his entire life to literature, as a writer but also as an irreverent and subversive reader. None of his lines, none of his declarations happened inadvertently. Hated or held dear, Borges is incessantly quoted. The objective of this course is to read Borges from the double perspective required by his worldwide fame: as a universal writer who transcends national borders, but also as a writer that seeks to reinvent the history and the traditions of his own country, Argentina.
Eligible for LASC credit.
2 credits.
Spring 2015. Martínez.

Spanish Courses Not Currently Offered

SPAN 060. Memoria e identidad
SPAN 061. El “otro” en la literatura y la cultura
SPAN 072. Seducciones literarias-traiciones fílmicas
SPAN 074. Laberintos borgeanos
SPAN 076. La novela latinoamericana
SPAN 077. Latinoamérica queer: cine, literatura y cultura
SPAN 080. Los hijos de la Malinche: Representaciones culturales de la Revolución Mexicana
SPAN 083. Género, historia e identidad: literatura centroamericana escrita por mujeres
SPAN 084. México, 1968: La violencia de ayer y hoy
SPAN 104. La voz de la mujer a través de los siglos
SPAN 105. Federico García Lorca
SPAN 107. Héroes y villanos: el siglo XIX español y la democratización literaria
LITR 075S. Borges: Aesthetics & Theory
LITR 076S. Latino and Latin American Sexualities