Not all courses listed below are offered each year.
1000 SERIES - LINGUISTICS
A detailed study of the external and internal history of the language. Topics treated: a brief outline of factors involved in linguistic evolution and language formation; fragmentation of Hispano-Latin into several Romance dialects; preliterary Spanish; medieval Spanish; formation of the literary language and the evolution of modern standards. The main features of the phonetic evolution from Latin to Spanish are studied with emphasis on the formation of speech sounds and the factors which spearheaded the mutations. It should be noted that the references to Latin are of a general nature and no formal knowledge of this language is required.
This course is designed for future teachers of Spanish who wish to strengthen their grammatical background. We will review traditional topics of Spanish grammar such as the verbal and pronominal systems, the two copula verbs, and issues on subordinate clauses. The course will focus on reflection on grammatical structures and detailed analyses of structures based on current analytic approaches to grammar. It will help students develop critical thinking and acquire conceptual tools to develop pedagogical strategies in the foreign language classroom, including basic form oriented lessons and error analysis.
Target audience: MA and Ph.D. students who have not taken a comparable course; not recommended for graduate students in Hispanic Linguistics.
Explore the foundations of the Spanish simple and complex sentences, with particular interest in grammatical topics of pedagogical interest. This course provides an introduction to the formal analysis of language applied to the basic grammatical construction of Spanish, covering topics in Spanish morphology (the analysis of word structure), Spanish syntax (the analysis of sentence structure) and semantics (the study of sentence and word meanings). Classroom activities focus on the analysis of actual language use, and the explanations for why speakers do what they do, rather than on prescriptive or stylistic approaches to grammar. Students will prepare a research project on one aspect of Spanish grammar of potential pedagogical interest.
SPANISH 1082H: Sociolinguistics of Spanish (L. Colantoni)
This course is conceived as an introduction to the study of linguistic variation across the Spanish speaking world. It covers the central issues in phonological, morphological, and syntactic variation, analyzed from a geographical as well as from a social point of view.
SPANISH 1083S: Microvariation (L. Colantoni / A. Pérez-Leroux)
This course examines the place of the Spanish language in linguistics typology (macrovariation) as well as language-internal variation distributed along register/social/geographical dimensions (microvariation). The goal for students is to develop empirical research on a theoretically relevant dimension of phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic or semantic variation in Spanish.
This seminar focuses on the study of the basic structure of sentences and the relations between structure and meaning within a generative framework. The focus will be on central topics on the syntax of Spanish, which include the properties of Spanish subjects, transitive-intransitive alternations, clitics, causative constructions, the dative alternation and other types of dative arguments. The course presupposes some familiarity with formal linguistics and basic grammatical notions.
Prerequisites: LIN 100Y, LIN232 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.
This seminar focuses on the internal structure of words and sentences. It will serve as an introduction to the main topics and theoretical discussions in Spanish morphology and aspects of syntax. Some of the topics to be covered include noun and verbal morphology, and opaque clitics. The focus on syntax will be on the structure of the verbal phrase, case theory and movement. The course presupposes some familiarity with formal linguistics and basic grammatical notions.
This graduate course complements other graduate courses in Spanish linguistic by covering the two other core areas of grammar: morphology and syntax. It also serves as the descriptive and theoretical basis for courses on acquisition and applied linguistics.
Prerequisites: LIN 100Y or permission of the instructor.
This course aims to provide students with theoretical background and experimental experience in second language speech learning. After providing a brief overview of second language (L2) models of speech learning and discussing the factors affecting L2 speech perception and production, the course will focus on the effects of phonetic training on the perception and production of L2 segmentals and suprasegmentals with L1-L2 language pairs that will include Spanish as the target language or the native language. The course will include a laboratory component in which students will develop skills in experimental design and data analysis.
This course is an introduction to semantics both from a formal and an experimental perspective. We will discuss a variety of topics in dialects of Spanish and Portuguese, including bare nominals, definiteness, genericity, adjectives, ser and estar, modality and number in the nominal and verbal domain. Students will gain a solid understanding of the core issues in formal and experimental semantics and will be introduced to the design and realization of a project in this field.
The basic concepts and analytic tools of linguistics applied to the study of Spanish, with a focus on the Spanish phonological, morphological, and syntactic systems. Theoretical discussion and practical exercises in analytic techniques.
This course offers a survey and analysis of Second Language Teaching Methods and provides a basic introduction to current theories of Second Language Acquisition. The aim of the course is to provide the fundamentals of pedagogical theory and to incorporate it to the empirical knowledge that a student might have, be that of a teacher of second language or that of a learner, in order to develop teaching strategies and the ability to critically analyze pedagogical materials such as language textbooks and other teaching resources. Special emphasis will be given to the role of the teacher as a learner of teaching and the impact that class activities and content have on the teaching and learning of Spanish as a foreign language.
This course deals with the major theories of second language learning and with the primary approaches to second language pedagogy, specifically as they apply to the learning and teaching of Spanish as a second language in North America. Among the topics treated will be: 1) the neurology of language, 2) first vs. second language learning, 3) the role of the first language in second language learning, 4) the relevant research on primary and secondary bilingualism and its implications for the teaching of Spanish, 5) the nature and role of errors in language learning, 6) the major linguistic theories applied to the classroom, 7) the major trends in second language methodology.
This course will be an introduction to research on language acquisition from the perspective of generative grammar. We will explore the first and second language acquisition of aspects of Spanish syntax that are determined by lexical structure and lexical parameters. Students will be expected to participate in class discussion and activities and to present a report and a research paper on an experimental study on a topic to be determined in consultation with the instructor.
This course will deal with the psychological, sociological, cultural and pedagogical aspects connected with bilingualism. It will look at how bilingual competence is acquired in childhood (natural) settings, in later periods of development, and in school situations. The difference between natural and tutored forms of bilingualism will be investigated and pedagogical implications will be derived from such a difference.
This course is intended to provide students with practical experience in undertaking laboratory research in Romance phonetics and phonology. This will be accomplished by having students undertake an experimental study of a phenomenon of their choice. Each class will involve an hour-long seminar, followed by an hour of hands-on experience in the lab. Discussion will center on foundational papers in experimental approaches to the study of segmental and prosodic phenomena.
The goal of this course is to discuss different approaches to the study of prosody, focusing mainly on the auto-segmental and metrical model of intonation. The course will cover a range of topics, such as phonetic realization of pitch accents, the inventory of pitch accents and boundary tones, and the phonetic correlates of broad, narrow and contrastive focus. Particular attention will be paid to the interaction of prosodic and syntactic structures. Cross-dialectal characterizations of Spanish intonation will be compared with findings for other Romance languages. This course will have a laboratory component in which students will become familiar with aspects of standard annotation systems for intonation, such as the Tonal and Break Indices (ToBI).
This course is a guided introduction to the experimental research process, including hypothesis formulation, experimental design, data gathering, statistical analysis of data and writing in the social sciences. Students will conduct a full-sized study on the acquisition of Spanish or another Romance language. The course aims to explore implications of syntactic theory for language development. Background in graduate level syntax or morphology is required.
This course will look at the major changes from Latin into the Romance languages, focusing on the first attestations of the changes in texts of the early period of Romance. There will also be a contrastive analysis of the major Romance languages in order to establish a hierarchy of differences and similarities in phonology, grammar, and vocabulary.
This course is designed to introduce students to laboratory approaches to phonetics and phonology using examples from Romance, particularly French and Spanish. We will begin by providing the necessary theoretical background to undertake experimental studies via an overview of laboratory phonology, Optimality Theory, the phonetics-phonology interface, and phonetic theories of speech production and perception. Once presented, these theories will be illustrated with topics in first and second language acquisition, and sound variation and change.
This course follows on JRL1103 and is intended to provide students with practical experience in undertaking laboratory research in Romance phonetics and phonology. This will be accomplished by having students undertake an experimental study of a phenomenon of their choice. Each class will involve an hour-long seminar, followed by an hour of hands-on experience in the lab. Discussion will center on foundational papers in experimental approaches to the study of segmental and prosodic phenomena.
2000 SERIES - LITERATURE
A study of the development of the narrative tradition in Spain throughout the period when culture was understood as a book written by God. This half-course begins with the jarchas and ends with Celestina. Traditional, new critical and structuralist-post- structuralist techniques will be used in analyzing the works.
Este curso está concebido bajo una doble perspectiva: una visión teórica que revisa los aspectos fundamentales de la novela sentimental, La Celestina y el género celestinesco; y otra práctica, que se acerca a las obras literarias a partir de su análisis crítico. En primer lugar, estudiaremos el origen, características, personajes y definición del género sentimental tanto antes como después de La Celestina. Como representantes del género analizaremos Tractado de amores de Arnalte y Lucenda de mediados del siglo XV y Penitencia de amor de principios del siglo XVI. En segundo lugar, analizaremos La Celestina en función de sus ediciones, autoría, género, ejes temáticos, argumento, personajes, intención de la obra, parodia de la novela sentimental e influencias. Finalmente, veremos el género celestinesco desde su nacimeinto y definición (imitaciones y continuaciones de La Celestina), características, personajes y las influencias de La Celestina y de la novela sentimental. Como representantes del género analizaremos La Segunda Celestina (continuación), La Comedia Serafina (imitación) y La Lozana andaluza (imitación).
La Celestina ha presentado problemas desde siempre para quienes han querido llevarla tanto al teatro como a la gran pantalla. El objetivo del seminario es analizar y entender el por qué de los problemas que siempre han existido y, que todavía existen, al representar y adaptar cinematográficamente y teatralmente el texto de Fernando de Rojas. Para ello, examinaremos de qué forma directores y guionistas han tratado con dichas dificultades y, en particular, la forma de acercamiento e interpretación del texto. Finalmente, propondremos una serie de soluciones que sirvan de herramientas para directores y guionistas.
In this course, we will study the graphic legacy of La Celestina. We will analyze five centuries of visual culture associated to the narrative of this significant medieval text within the framework of film and social studies. We will start providing analytical tools to study the book, films and literary imagery. Second, we will analyse images from film and television adaptations as well as images that show indirect influences of La Celestina. We will pay special attention to stage and costumes, physical characteristics of the actors in specific roles, and covers used to promote the films. Traditional and new critical techniques will be applied to our narrative analysis of the text and images.
This course is designed under a double perspective. First it presents an historical overview of the fundamentals of Castilian society in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, and of the major social issues during this important historical moment. Second, it provides a look at these social issues through the analysis of a selection of literary texts representative of this period. A main objective of the course is to illustrate the most significant social changes that occurred between late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, and how some literary works are unique historical documents for the study of this period. Texts studies include medieval poetry, La Celestina, and other works by the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Este seminario tratará la estética de la pasión en la cultura occidental desde la época clásica hasta la primera modernidad, con el enfoque especial en la selección de literatura castellana desde el siglo XV al XVII. La exploración de la retórica de la pasión pondrá énfasis en las operaciones de las estructuras del poder en la representación del amor, concepto clave para entendimiento de literatura premoderna. Aparte de la poesía y prosa medieval y aurisecular, se leerán textos filosóficos y médicos que forman parte de los discursos institucionales del período estudiado. Estos textos se pondrán en diálogo con teorías contemporáneas para examinar las maneras en las cuales los discursos sobre la sexualidad, el amor y el género llevan a la conceptualización de la subjetividad masculina y femenina en la cultura premoderna las cuales repercuten hasta el presente.
An introduction to the world of the pícaro and an examination of the manifestation of picaresque life in the literature of 16th-century Spain. An analysis also of the awareness of authors that a new--and indefinable--form of literature was being formed. The picaresque and a question of genre. Analysis of texts and an examination of the birth of a new "hero." A consideration of the picaresque as the origin of a new epic: that of the bourgeoisie.
This seminar examines a twofold definition of “journey” within the specific boundaries of the Transatlantic Spanish Empire. First, how do we define the meaning of journey in narrative representations, and second, how does the process of a journey facilitate the author/reader to redefine the limits of genre, knowledge and identity? Narrative explorations of pilgrimage and travel will be studied through a selection of readings such as: voyages of discovery (Columbus’ Diarios); shipwreck narratives (Cabeza de Vaca’s Naufragios), the picaresque (Lazarillo de Tormes); Byzantine romance (Cervantes’s Persiles y Sigismunda); pastoral poetry (Góngora’s Soledades), and an oneiric journey for enlightenment (Sor Juana’s Primero sueño).
A study of Cervantes' works in the principal genres of Renaissance literature, excluding the novel. Texts for discussion include the Galatea, the Novelas ejemplares, the Persiles, and the dramatic corpus. Classes and seminars will address such topics as the influence of pastoral literature and the picaresque, the persistence of romance, and the development of Cervantine drama.
Intensive study of Don Quixote, with reference to its intertextuality in relation to the literature of medieval and Renaissance Iberia and to its position in literary history as the first modern novel. Classes and seminars will centre on areas of current research in Cervantes studies: the influence of humanist thought and of Renaissance literary theory, the structure of Cervantine irony and parody, psychological approaches and questions of gender.
This seminar will explore thematic, ideological and aesthetic issues that underlie the composition of early modern verse. Through the lens of contemporary scholarship on such topics as armas y letras, ekfrasis, imitation, and originality, and with the aid of theoretical apparatus on intertextuality, we will read the representative Hispanic poets of the period, such as Garcilaso de la Vega, Lope de Vega, Francisco de Quevedo, Luis de Góngora, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Since poetic activity in early modern Spain was framed by the values embodied in the concepts of gender, national, linguistic and class identity, this seminar will invite reflection on the relationship of politics and aesthetics at play in the complex task of writing lyrical poetry.
Study of the Spanish comedia in relation to such European antecedents as Roman New Comedy and to earlier Iberian forms of comic drama (farses, dramatic eclogues, interludes). The genre will be analyzed as a comic form, with reference to the stable conventions and techniques of comedy. Readings from the major Spanish dramatists of the period (Lope, Cervantes, Tirso, Ruiz de Alarcón, Calderón, Moreto).
This course will undertake a comparative study of two major dramatists of the Golden Age, through detailed discussion of seven selected plays. The works chosen for analysis will allow us to examine the main sub-genres of the comedia, with reference to their sources in popular traditions, in sacred and secular history, and in the codes of heroism and of honor. Some attention will be given to the dominant trends of current opinion on Golden Age drama, but the principal intent of the course will be to offer informed commentary on the texts of the plays. Students will be expected to participate in class discussion, and to present a report and a research paper on a topic to be determined in consultation with the instructor. Reading list: Lope, Peribáñez y el Comendador de Ocaña, Lo fingido verdadero, El caballero de Olmedo, El castigo sin venganza; Calderón, El alcalde de Zalamea, El mágico prodigioso, El mádico de su honra.
An examination of the concept of 'transition' as it applies to the artistic and political spheres in Spain following the death of Francisco Franco and the reestablishment of democracy. Topics discussed will include: treason; the role of violence both during and after the dictatorship; 'capital' cities in transition; narrative approaches to memory; and artistic responses to the post-transition or desencanto.
Authors studied: Martín Gaite, Goytisolo, Atxaga, Mendicutti, Marsé, Llamazares, Rivas, Loriga and Etxebarría."
This course will examine the Spanish urban experience between the late 1800s and the present day. While our main focus will be on treatments of the city in novels, our literary approach will be further informed by considerations of other media as well as by theories relating to urbanism and architecture. Each student will be responsible for a seminar presentation and a research project. Spain's principal metropolises, Barcelona and Madrid, will be the primary (although not exclusive) subjects of this course.
Authors and critics studied may include: Pérez Galdós, Mendoza, Martín-Santos, Rodoreda, Torres, Chacel, Sagarra, Ors, Espina, Gómez de la Serna, Sagarra, Simmel, Benjamin, Kracauer, Lefebvre, Harvey, Davis, and Soja
A critical examination of the artistic production of Luis Buñuel and a consideration of such issues as his relationship with the surrealist and vanguardista movements and the Spanish Generation of 1927, his filmic interrogations of the generic conventions of the Mexican melodrama of the 1950's, his cinematic adaptations of literary works, the conflation of forms of high art and popular culture in his films of the 1960's and 1970's. The primary textual material will be Buñuel's films, but some attention will also be paid to his early literary experimentations in both poetry and prose, and to his critical writings.
This course will investigate the principal films and directors of Argentina, Mexico, and Cuba. In each case the representation of national history and identity together with the relation between cinematic production and economic and social conditions will be examined. Latin American cinema has responded to revolution, military dictatorship, the restoration of democracy, the effects of economic change on rural and urban demographics, and the marginalization of minority populations. We will also consider how a recent focus on themes of gender, identity, race, and community have contributed to an increase in the transnational and cosmopolitan reception of Latin American film.
This seminar will examine the notion of auteurship in cinema as it relates to Spanish film production. We will consider different Spanish film auteurs, including Buñuel, Berlanga, Bardem, Saura, Martin Patino, Almodovar, Bigas Luna, Miro, and Medem. Specific consideration of how the socio-cultural horizon of their respective periods and spectatorship contribute to their status as "auteurs" will be made, in addition to analyses of such fundamental elements as mise-en-scene and thematic preoccupations in their cinema. This seminar will have a strong theoretical component and will contribute to students' "film literacy."
Major works of twentieth-century Spanish drama, studied in relation to influential plays from the formative period of the Spanish theatrical tradition (1580-1680). Parallel readings of modern and early modern plays, with a focus on modernist forms of drama, theatre and the visual arts, and the dramatic uses of popular traditions. Particular attention will be given to early modern precedents for modernist experimentation with the genres and techniques of Spanish theatre. Playwrights to be studied will include Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderón, Valle-Inclán, Lorca, Alberti, and Buero Vallejo.
SPANISH 2402H: Detective Fiction in Latin America (R. Sarabia)
From the metaphysical detective fiction to the hard-boiled model, this seminar will study exemplary texts from contemporary Argentina, Cuba, and Mexico. The course will inquire how specific genres of detective fiction correspond to particular issues of organized crime, class and ethnic difference, corruption, violence, and urbanization. There will be a selection of short fiction and novels by Jorge Luis Borges, Cristina Feijoó, María Luisa Valenzuela, Leonardo Padura Fuentes, Justo Vasco, Vicente Leñero, Subcomandante Marcos, and Paco Ignacio Taibo II.
The narratives selected for this course are deeply involved with matters of the relationship between literatures and the world and they bear witness to a crisis in the mimetic contract that affects: 1) the connections between the work and the referential world; 2) the relationship between different levels and components of fictions, and 3) the ongoing dialogue with other works. Readings will include "foundational" fictions by Macedonio Fernández and María Luisa Bombal, both canonical and marginal works of the 60s by Julio Cortázar and José Emilio Pacheco, and the narrative of the 90s by Diamela Eltit.
In this seminar we will explore points of contact between scientific and literary discourse in Latin America of the twentieth century and beyond. Topics will include the role of scientific method in literary representation, medical discourse in literature and aesthetics, the popularization of quantum physics, the rise of cybernetics and the digital, and the problem of disciplinary boundaries. Readings focus primarily on novels of Mexico and Argentina.
This course proposes a series of encounters between critical models derived from Latin American literary and cultural studies, and from the field of Disability Studies. We will consider the ways in which these models change and mutually illuminate one another through their possible points of contact. Discussion will focus not only on the long history of representations of disability and corporeal difference in Latin America, with emphasis on Mexico, but in addition on the processes of interaction between bodies and the production and circulation of discourse and cultural objects. Readings attend to the shifting and politically charged concept of disability, and to the specificity of national literary and cultural histories, through attention to the history of the medicalized body, Otherness and the tropology of monstrosity, disability as socially constructed, the literary and cultural representation of corporeal difference, and the complex and volatile boundaries of identity categories. In addition to theoretical readings, the course focuses on contemporary and twentieth century Mexican narrative and cultural production, and may include works by Mario Bellatin, Cristina Rivera Garza, Carlos Fuentes and Inés Arredondo.
Spanish America has produced a large number of poets of great international importance, including two Nobel Prize winners. This course covers Spanish American poetry in cultural context through the late 19th century Modernismo movement to the Neo-Baroque aesthetics of the late 20th century and the present time. It will focus on key themes in Spanish American culture: postcolonial identity, resistance culture, exile and migration, memory. The authors discussed range from Martí, Vallejo, Neruda and Mistral, to Paz, Mir, Pizarnik, Perlongher and Reina María Rodríguez.
This course is based on the premise that literature and art are produced within a broader cultural context, and that contemporary authors and visual artists draw not only from international theories of aesthetics and form, but also from each others’ production. In the contemporary moment, the distribution and dissemination of images and text through the web and social networking facilitates the interactions and overlaps that create a fertile discourse amongst young cultural producers today. In this class, the students will learn about newly established and up-and- coming writers and artists from Argentina and Mexico, examining not only their work and their online visibility, but also the institutional and discursive structures that facilitate and shape their production. Discussion will be in Spanish and at a high level, since it will involve direct communication with writers and artists from Latin America. Joint undergraduate/graduate.
Ut Pictura Poesis, ekphrasis, visual poetry, calligramme, narrative painting, are terms that refer to a relationship between word and image. The theoretical and critical approach chosen favours integration rather than opposition "word versus image," since temporal and spatial dimensions are wedded to both artistic processes. The selected material included in this course will focus on the analysis of different expressions from the Colonial period to late XXth Century: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, José Tablada, Oquendo de Amat, Vicente Huidobro, Remedios Varo, Frida Kahlo, Cristina Peri Rossi, Mario Vargas Llosa.
This course will examine the rearticulation of local identities and the emergence of alternative subjectivities in contemporary cultural production from Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Analyzing a wide variety of historical, sociological, political, filmic and literary texts, we will explore theoretical debates surrounding the notions of hybridity, race, exile, nationhood and insularism. Such analysis will ultimately help us reconsider the specific poscolonial dilemmas of the Hispanic Caribbean within the larger context of globalization.
Through study of various means of artistic expression--film, the visual arts, literature--this course will attempt to analyze different (and differing) social and cultural constructions of women from the time of the Conquest until the present day. "Representations" will be understood in three different ways: (1) the possibility of speaking in the name of the "other" (woman as "other"); (2) the (re)presentation by women of their own image (autobiography and self-portrature), and (3) as a referential discourse that proposes cultural practices in terms of a mirroring or re-production of social formation. Readings from Sor Juan Inés de la Cruz, Octavio Paz, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Rómulo Gallegos, Alfonsina Storni, Rosario Ferré, Luisa Futoransky, and others.
The nineteenth-century in Spanish America was a time of revolution, independence, nation building, immigration, consolidation, and exclusion. An acute moment of self-fashioning took place in national politics and national culture, as well as on a pan-American level. In this graduate course, we will examine literary production (novels, essays, and poetry) through attention to both the external influences of European thought and practices, as well as the local circumstances and needs that Spanish American writers faced as they created a discourse about their identities. We will analyze the different literary forms available at the time and how authors shaped them in order to write about, variously, indigenous peoples, gender and sexuality, local v. foreign, class, scientific positivism, land, politics, language, the urban and the “interior.”
The term “literary theory” refers to contemporary practices of literary analysis that have been influenced by linguistic studies, and by philosophical and political thought developed since the nineteenth century. Although most of the texts written in these traditions were not meant to serve as instruments of literary analysis, they have nonetheless been adopted for that purpose. Critical trends in literary analysis evolved from these non-literary traditions include Marxism, formalism, structuralism, reader-response and reception theory, deconstruction, psychoanalytic criticsim, feminist and gender studies, postcolonial criticism, new historicism and cultural studies. The seminar is designed to introduce the students to contemporary literary theory through an overview and discussions of some of the most representative texts that have shaped contemporary practices of literary analysis. For the purposes of this seminar, the theories will be tested in reference to Hispanic texts.
This course will examine a long-standing tradition in Spanish American literature: the essay of cultural self-definition. Analyzing seminal texts from 19th and 20th centuries, we will explore the subtleties of a cultural critique that both map and query Latin American culture on its way to modernity. Authors will include: Sarmiento, Martí, Rodó, Mariátegui, Reyes, Henríquez Ureña, Paz, Lezama Lima, González, García Canclini.
The seminar will explore classical, medieval and early modern philosophical, theological and medical theories that influenced representation of emotions and gender in fiction. Against this background, the particular focus is on the so-called "sentimental fiction”, an ill-defined corpus of late medieval Spanish literature that contains some fourteen texts. The purpose of the seminar is to familiarize students with the importance of doctrinal writings for study of medieval and early modern fiction; to draw their attention to the central role that emotions play in these texts; to challenge the existing and offer new definition of the genre, and to open possibilities for innovative research in late medieval and early modern Spanish literature.
The purpose of this seminar is threefold: (1) to become familiar with the nature of the pastoral mode or genre; (2) to explore some tenets of Renaissance Neoplatonism, and (3) to apply this material to the interpretation of Spanish pastoral fiction. A selection of literary criticism, of influential Neoplatonic treatises (eg. Ficino's De amore, Castiglione's El cortesano, Hebreo's Diálogos de amor), and of relevant scholarly criticism will support our reading of representative texts of Spanish pastoral literature, including a selection of poetry (Garcilaso's eclogues, Góngora's Polifemo y Galatea and Soledades), and prose (Montemayor's Los siete libros de la Diana, Lope's La Arcadia, and Cervantes's La Galatea). Finally, what contemporary Hispanic texts rely on pastoral devices? How can the pastoral be read within the binary of civilización y barbarie?
This course engages the problem of its own point of departure: when and where do we locate a Mexican (post)revolution, and with what parameters may we begin to frame it? The question is more than a strictly formal one, because of the many Mexican intellectuals whose work has merged ideological or aesthetic orientations with programmatic reflections on the nature of nationally specific historical time. Through analysis of works by writers and intellectuals of the early to mid twentieth century, such as Alfonso Reyes, José Vasconcelos, Juan Rulfo, and Agustín Yáñez, as well as more recent figures including Roger Bartra, Carlos Monsiváis, Claudio Lomnitz and Sara Sefchovich, we will consider what is at stake politically, philosophically and ethically in these textual negotiations of Mexican time and history.
The scope of this course will be two-fold. We will begin with a survey of the major avant-garde literary movements in Latin-America--Ultraísmo, Creacionismo, Estridentismo--and discuss their relationship of Marinetti's manifestoes of Italina Futurism. We will ask to what degree Latin-American movements share Marinetti's concerns: the representation of technology, the call to revolutionize poetic syntax, the search for a new language capable of representing modenity. In the second part of the course, we will then examine various critical attempts to theorize the avant-garde (Poggioli, Bürger) and discuss their relevance to the study of Latin-American avant-gardes.
A critical reading of Don Quixote, with particular attention to the text's engagement with the thought and institutions of Renaissance humanism. Class discussion will focus first on Cervantes's response to the ethical critique of imaginative literature, and proceed to his treatment of such topics as the theory of war and peace, the education of princes, and the duties of the good governor. Selected episodes from Don Quixote will be studied in conjunction with readings from influential Renaissance authors (Castiglione, Erasmus, Vitoria, Machiavelli).
Books and readers are constant preoccupations in Cervantine fiction. This seminar will examine such issues in detail, with a specific focus on Don Quixote. Our point of departure will be a sequential reading of key episodes from both parts of the novel, centering on the literary genres that inform and shape Cervantes's writing (chivalric and Greek romance, pastoral, epic, picaresque fiction, Renaissance lyric) and on the representation of readers and the reading process in the text. Attention will also be given to literary techniques closely associated with Cervantes: generic mixing, the interplay of narratives and narrative voices, literary parody, the various kinds and uses of irony. Some readings will be drawn from other works of Cervantes, particularly the Exemplary Stories.
This course will explore how feminist theory has influenced the way medieval literature is read. The pluralistic and shifting nature of a feminist theoretical orientation which struggles with the politics of subject and gender identity, race, class, sexuality and the body is particularly apt for the exploration of the medieval literary text whose instability and variability render it resistant to critical authority and open to multiple readings. We will attempt to understand how gender structures medieval thought and its literary expression through selective readings from a variety of feminist theoretical perspectives such as psychoanalytic theory, French feminism, and postmodern theory of the body. The main focus of the course, however, will be on opening up medieval literary texts to new meanings. Texts to be studied will be drawn from a wide crosssection of medieval literary discourses such as epic, romance, courtly lyric, fabliaux, Marian literature, hagiography and drama and will include examples from writings by medieval women such as The Book of Margery Kempe, and Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies.
This course will explore the development of key medieval theoretical ideas about writing, reading, interpretation, imagination and memory. Through close readings of rhetorical treatises, arts of poetry, preaching manuals and textual commentaries written in Latin between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries we will focus on how literary creation was understood to function, the role of style, the nature of authorship, the relationship between texts and readers as well as that of texts and authors, and the ethically charged understanding of how texts are shaped by as well as shape extratextual reality. As a means of deepening our consideration of how such issues were framed by medieval theoretical discussions and put into practice in various forms of medieval writing, we will also read modern theoretical and philosophical treatments of these questions in the works of such theorists as Roland Barthes, Paul Ricoeur, and Paul deMan. Included in our readings of medieval theoretical writing will be such works as Augustine’s On Christian Doctrine,Geoffrey of Vinsauf ’s New Poetics, Matthew of Vendome’s Art of Versification, Boncompagno da Signa’s Wheel of Venus, and Dante’s On Vulgar Eloquence. While many of the texts will be read in translation from the original Latin, reading knowledge of Latin, although not required, would be useful.
In studies of modernity, attention is given to electricity as a new technology that shaped cities and people’s lives in them. Important work has been done on the cultural and social impact of electricity in both Europe and Latin America. This course will investigate that scholarship, taking into account questions of the relations between Europe and Latin America in the electrification of both locations. Our approach to the literary and cultural texts studied will move away from an analysis of thematic concerns towards an analysis of the forms that arise out of the experience of electricity. Electricity’s presence and its ramifications led to new mediatic technologies. Narrative forms in England, France, Spain, and Latin America were necessarily reconceptualized because of innovations in communication, movement, perceptions of time, and daily living. Readings will include literature that deals with topics such as light, telegraphy, streetcars and subways, radio, cinema, architecture and art, spiritualism, mesmerism, medical treatments, and approaches to the body and mind. While we will engage with important scholarship on electricity in Europe, we will focus more on the “peripheral modernities” of Latin America.
This course will engage in close readings of nineteenth-century and fin-de-siècle literature from Europe, the United States, and the Americas in order to pursue “affinities” in various senses. This literature engages in both a critique and an assertion of bourgeois relations of money, love, class, as well as responding to several solidarity movements such as utopian radicalism, socialism, anticolonial thought, anarchism, feminism, vegetarianism, and abolition. A sense of affinity binds these associations and lends a legal, biological, affective, and moral imperative to community and association. When Charles Darwin spoke of the “inextricable web of affinities” in The Origin of the Species, his contemporaries understood this to function as a metaphor through which to think relations of love, friendship, belonging, family, and responsibility. The web of affinities of the period is played out not only in internationalist movements and utopian imaginings, but also in the familial and affective interactions that contoured the realist novel. In reading novels and essays, as well as examining cultural production, we will look at the forms of affinity that get constructed between the different texts themselves and between their readers and consumers.
This course will explore how an understanding of the core issues of postcolonial theory and approaches to alterity may enrich the reading of medieval Iberian literature. The multilingual and multicultural nature of medieval Iberia, forged through successive waves of conquest, reconquest, conversion and exile, has shaped the production of literary discourse in which cultural struggle, questions of identity and power, acculturation and assimilation, and hybridity and syncretism are negotiated.