Courses

Fall 2019

Spanish Language and Culture through Cinema
A course designed to improve speaking abilities while learning about Hispanic cultures and cinema in context. The course aims to provide the students with lexical and grammatical tools to allow them to engage in formal and informal discussion on a variety of topics informed by the films provided. Additionally, there will be several writing exercises throughout the semester that will help students improve their writing abilities. By the end of the course, students should have a better command of all linguistic skills, especially listening comprehension, fluency and accuracy in their speech.
Instructors: Gorka Bilbao Terreros
Studies in Spanish Language and Style
SPA 207 seeks to develop advanced language skills and raise cultural awareness by studying language in its contexts of use. An exciting selection of literary and cinematic productions from the Hispanic world provide the basis for a critical discussion of cultural meanings and social relations, while offering the chance to explore difference registers and styles. SPA 207 students tackle original writing assignments that enhance their ability to express complex ideas in Spanish and hone their oral skills with debates, role-plays and projects that encourage independent learning and invite participation and collaboration.
Instructors: Mariana Bono
Topics in Cinema and Culture: White Men Gone Wild in Colonial Latin America
An exploration of films made in the last fifty years featuring "descents into savagery" and the colonial, alphabetic texts that inspired them. Topics to be discussed, among others: primitivism and progress; coloniality; media and mediation; race and gender; intercultural dialogues; healing practices; community-based performances. Films shown with English subtitles.
Instructors: Nicole D. Legnani
Topics in Latin American Literature and Ideology: The Fiction of Mario Vargas Llosa
Mario Vargas Llosa, who received the Nobel prize in 2010, is the most important living writer in Latin America. His novels offer a unique perspective on 20th century Latin American history and politics, and deal with issues that include: dictatorship, Marxism, the conflicts between rich and poor, the left and the right, and gender stereotypes and dynamics. This seminar will offer an overview of his political fiction.
Instructors: Rubén Gallo
Topics in Latin American Modernity: The Culture of the Cuban Revolution
After Fidel Castro marched into Havana in January 1959, a cultural revolution followed the political one: literature, the arts, architecture, film, and dance sought to break with the past and proposed new, utopian ways of artmaking. This seminar will offer an overview of some of the most important cultural productions of this era, including films, novels, political essays, and architectural works, which ended by the early 1970s with the rise of censorship.
Instructors: Rubén Gallo
Topics in Luso-Hispanic Cultures: Brazilian-Iberian Countercultures
This course seeks to explore Brazilian and Iberian experiences of counterculture in a cross-cultural perspective that considers specific local developments and Transatlantic exchanges. The seminar discusses events and traditions from the 1960s to the present through a wide range of literary, political and artistic materials. Among the topics to be addressed are authoritarian and post-authoritarian regimes, resistance and encryption, memory and loyalty, utopia and emancipation, revolution and revolt, politics, biopolitics and the popular.
Instructors: Germán Labrador Méndez, Pedro Meira Monteiro
Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Culture: Women in Medieval and Early Modern Spain
An investigation of the literary, medical and philosophical treatment of women in medieval and early modern Spain. We will consider works by both male and female authors, thus enabling us to compare ways in which women saw themselves with the ways in which they were seen by men. The cult of women as well as misandry and misogyny, and debates centering around such crucial matters as childbirth, witchcraft and the evil eye will be explored.
Instructors: Marina S. Brownlee
Witchcraft, Rituals and Colonialism
This course will explore witchcraft and rituality in the Americas through accusations and identity claims. We will look at how witchcraft has been used in colonial and imperial contexts to control, sanction, and extract power from women and marginalized groups in different periods, as well as how people make claims to witchcraft and rituals as a way to thwart domination. Topics include: shamanism in Latin America, the Mexican Inquisition, Afro-Latinx and Caribbean diasporic religious systems, and the contemporary social media ritual activism of "bruja feminisms." Students will be introduced to theories of race, gender, and sexuality.
Instructors: Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús

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