Graduate Course Descriptions

Not all courses listed below are offered each year. For courses that are currently offered, please see Current Graduate Courses.



SPANISH 1053H: History of the Spanish Language

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.

SPANISH 1080H: Descriptive Grammar of Spanish (M.C. Cuervo / A.T. Pérez-Leroux)

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.

SPANISH 1081H: Structure of Spanish (M.C. Cuervo)

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 in Spanish (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.

SPANISH 1088H: Spanish Syntax (M. C. Cuervo)

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, clitics, argument structure alternations, and the syntax of the noun phrase and complex clauses. The course presupposes some familiarity with formal linguistics and basic grammatical notions.

Prerequisites: LIN 100Y, LIN232 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

SPANISH 1089H: Spanish Morphosyntax (M.C. Cuervo)

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 compliments 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.

SPANISH 1090H: Second Language Speech Learning (A. Rato)

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.

SPANISH 1091H: Second Language Acquisition of Portuguese and Spanish (A. Rato)

The course introduces students to the main findings, theoretical models, and research methods in the field of second language acquisition and it surveys general issues such as the role of internal (e.g., native language, age) and external (e.g., input, context of learning) factors on second language development. The principal aim of the course is to promote discussion and critical reflection about the acquisition of Portuguese and Spanish as non-native languages and analyse phonological, morphosyntactic, semantic and lexical aspects in the linguistic performance of bilingual speakers and learners of Portuguese and Spanish as a second language. The experimental component of the course provides students with experience in designing and carrying out studies in second language acquisition.

SPANISH 1092H: Portuguese and Spanish Semantics (S. Lima)

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.

SPANISH 1093H: Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics (M.C. Cuervo)

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.

SPANISH 1094H: Spanish Bilingualism

This course will explore a range of topics (in phonology, morphology and syntax) of heritage language acquisition and attrition among hispanophone and lusophone speakers. The course aims to explore implications of linguistic theory for the study of bilingual populations.Students will conduct and report on an empirical study on a topic to be determined in consultation with the instructor.

SPANISH 1097H: Second-Language Teaching and Methodology

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.

SPANISH 1101H: Topics on the Acquisition of Spanish (A. Pérez-Leroux)

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.

SPANISH 1102H: Topics in Bilingualism

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.

SPANISH 1104H: Experimental Approaches to Sound Variation and Change (L. Colantoni)

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.

SPANISH 1105H: Spanish Intonation (L. Colantoni)

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).

SPANISH 1150H: Directed Research in Hispanic Linguistics

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.

JRL 1100Y: Introduction to Romance Philology

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.

JRL 1101H: Topics in Romance laboratory phonetics and phonology I: Theory (J. Steele)

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.

JRL 1106H: Topics in laboratory Romance phonetics and phonology II: Experimental approaches (L. Colantoni)

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.



SPANISH 2016H: Medieval Spanish Narrative (Yolanda Iglesias)

Este seminario se concentra en el estudio de tres tipos de textos narrativos cuya interacción permite explicar y extraer leyes, costumbres y normas de la sociedad Medieval española. En primer lugar, estudiaremos el discurso legal a través de las Siete Partidas redactado durante el reinado de Alfonso X el Sabio (1221-1284) con el propósito de unificar su reino. A continuación, veremos cómo por medio de las Cántigas de Santa María se propaga la normativa legal en Castilla propuesta por el rey Sabio. Finalmente, nos concentraremos en La Celestina (1499) de Fernando de Rojas jurista de profesión y en la literatura de castigos y sentencias medievales con el fin de analizar y poner en contexto las manifestaciones literarias de la vida política, civil y penal de la Edad Media.

SPANISH 2018H: Poetics of Early Drama (Y. Iglesias)

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).

SPANISH 2050H:Adaptations of La Celestina (Y. Iglesias)

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.

SPANISH 2052H: Graphic Legacy of Celestina: Visual Culture & Social Studies (Y. Iglesias)

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.

SPANISH 2060H:Literature and Society of Castille in the late Middle Ages and Early Renaisance (Y. Iglesias)

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.

SPANISH 2121H: Politics of Affect (S. Munjic)

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.

SPANISH 2135H: Aspects of Picaresque in 16th and 17th Century Spanish Prose (Staff)

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.

SPANISH 2150H: Defining Journeys in the Spanish Empire (S. Munjic)

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).

SPANISH 2152H: Cervantes' Don Quixote (S. Munjic)

This seminar will encourage a close reading of Don Quijote (1605/1615) while keeping in mind its medieval and renaissance literary intertexts, and the influence of the literary and socio-cultural debates and events that inform the text. Established and current scholarship will be critically examined to promote inquiry on the textual issues and a reflection on the state of the Quijote studies.

SPANISH 2160H: Transatlantic Hispanic Baroque (S. Munjic)

Study of the seventeenth-century Transatlantic Hispanic world that, after the epoch of the discovery and expansion in the sixteenth century, faces economic and political downfall. This downfall is accompanied by a social and spiritual crisis that results in the culture of baroque. Readings include classical theories of the baroque, of the 20th-century Latin American neobaroque, and of postmodernism. These theories serve as a backdrop to the reading of a selection of literary texts by such authors as Cervantes, Góngora, Quevedo, Sor Juana, Sigüenza y Góngora, Gracián, Zayas and Calderón, and a selection of 20th century neobaroque Latin American authors.

SPANISH 2187H:   Comedy and the Comedia in Early Modern Spain (in Spanish) (S. Rupp)

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).

SPANISH 2284H:  Narrative & Political Transition in Spain (R Davidson)

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."

SPANISH 2291S:   The Urban Experience in Spain (R Davidson)

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

SPANISH 2292H:   New Ruralism and Spain (R Davidson)

Over the past twenty years, cultural studies in Spain have primarily focused on cities and the urban experience. This interdisciplinary course will take a new tack and explore both theoretical conceptions of “the rural” and cultural production and practices related to it. From early twentieth-century literary engagements with Spain’s rural areas through to conceptual art dealing with themes of ruin and decay, and more recent insights from tourism and food studies, this course will challenge established notions of rural cultural production. At the same time, given the rise of regionalism beyond traditional nationalisms, the course will pay close attention to the Spanish state’s plural nature. Genres and areas of study will include: essay, poetry, novel, documentary, feature film, gastronomy and tourism studies.

SPANISH 2304H Latin American Cinema (E. Jagoe)

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.

SPANISH 2305H: Auteurism in Spanish Cinema (R. Davidson)

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."

SPANISH 2352H: Modern Spanish Drama and its Traditions (S. Rupp)

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 2404H: The Latin American Novel

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.

SPANISH 2410H: Latin American Literature and Science (S. Antebi)

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.

SPANISH 2415H: Disability and Latin American Cultural Production (S. Antebi)

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.

SPA2424H: Spanish American Poetry and Poetics (N. Rodríguez)

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.

SPANISH 2425H: 21st Century Latin American Art and Culture (E. Jagoe)

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.

SPANISH 2802H:   The Politics of Errantry in the Hispanic Caribbean (N. Rodríguez)

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.

SPANISH 2850H: Nineteenth-Century Latin American Literature (E. Jagoe)

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.”

SPANISH 2900H: Issues in Literary Theory and Hispanic Texts

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.

SPANISH 2905H: Latin American Cultural Theories (N. Rodríguez)

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.

SPANISH 2929H: Early Modern Spanish Pastoral and Beyond (S. Munjic)

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?

SPANISH 2940H: Pursuing the Post-Revolution: Lit. and Philosophy of Mexicanidad (S. Antebi)

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.

SPANISH 2947H: Transparency and Politics in Contemporary Mexican Literature (S. Antebi)

This course focuses on a corpus of recent literature by established and emerging Mexican authors. Readings are framed through the malleable concept of transparency, understood in aesthetic terms as a quality allowing for the penetration of light, and unobstructed visibility, but also as a political concept, a position or strategy of revealing or purporting to reveal complete, accessible truths. In the political sphere, the notion of transparency has achieved currency as a defining discourse of public life, particularly in response to potential or real accusations of violence, and subsequent obfuscations. In this context, language and action become situated in relation to demands for evidence, and for particular modes of self-revelation. Literary works, such as the novels and other texts to be studied in this course, participate in a related, overlapping dynamic, in which narrative voice and aesthetics negotiate their proximity and affect vis à vis the histories and worlds that shape them.

JOS 5109H: Cervantes and Renaissance Humanism (S. Rupp)

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).



SPA3000H: Directed Research in Hispanic Literatures

SPA 3300H: Hispanic Literature and Linguistics Research Forum (Faculty on rotation)

This course seeks to develop students writing and presentation skills in order to allow them to disseminate their research more effectively. It will expose students to the research tools available in each discipline and will train them to find support for their research and to disseminate it in academic and non-academic venues. The course seeks to create an interdisciplinary environment, mimicking the one found in most language departments, where students have to discuss their research with an educated but heterogeneous audience.





Our students typically benefit from the possibility of taking courses (for credit or as auditors) in other graduate units and collaborative programs. The links below can be followed to find information on graduate course offerings from some of these units. Enrolment in courses from other units is done with the approval of the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, Spanish, and of the cognate unit.

Book History and Print Culture

Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies

Centre for Medieval Studies

Comparative Literature