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Past Graduate Courses

Previous Graduate Courses that fulfill LACS Cluster Requirements

 

Spring 2021

HIST 492-0-22: Race and Capitalism: The Caribbean in World History

W 10:00-12:50
Lina Britto

For generations of historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and cultural critics, the Caribbean has been a topic of debate and research—not to mention a source of inspiration and inquiry for fiction writers, essayists, poets, filmmakers, and artists—due to its depth and intricacy, and its centrality to world history. Slavery, and emancipation; colonialism, and imperialism; republicanism and revolution; nationalism and decolonization, are some of the historical categories of analysis that seen from a Greater Caribbean perspective complicate easy periodizations, clear-cut imperial boundaries, and ready-made gender and racial constructs.  

This course introduces graduate students to this complexity, and the generations of scholars who have contributed to Caribbean studies with a profusion of theoretical and interpretative lenses. We will start with the cornerstone of the scholarship: What is the Caribbean? Then, we will consider specific topics, and the variety of approaches in their study in order to examine multiple frames and bridge the different linguistic, and imperial areas.  

The goal is dual. From a humanistic point of view, we will seek to comprehend what roles people living in this region played in some of the major historical transformations of the last four centuries and the formation of a capitalist world system. From an academic perspective, we will bridge different fields, i.e. African Diaspora, Latin America, U.S., Atlantic, and Global History; and engage with classic books and the most influential recent works published in English.

MUSICOL 435: Latin Baroque

M 2:00-4:50
Drew Davies

Course Description:

This graduate seminar focuses on the music of colonial Latin America, late 16th through early 19th centuries, and the performance practices that have developed for it over the past 30 years. Within an interdisciplinary context that involves visual art, Latin American history, baroque poetry, and religious studies, students will critically engage music genres such as the villancico, including pieces by composers such as Hernando Franco, Francisco López Capillas, Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla, Juan García de Céspedes, Manuel de Sumaya, Antonio de Salazar, Santiago Billoni, and Ignacio Jerusalem. One case study will be Jerusalem’s Al combate, a ceremonial ode written for King Charles III and first performed at the University of Mexico, and today the most substantial piece of secular music surviving from New Spain. We will engage primary, unedited sources from Mexico City Cathedral, but also consider evidence about indigenous and European oral traditions. Finally, the class will situate the revival of these repertoires since the 1980s within the contemporary history of the early music movement, and explore how performers reimagine the colonial past as a way to foster ideas of community and diversity in early music practice, regardless of historical authenticity. As such, the Latin Baroque is a contemporary construction. Knowledge of Spanish is very helpful.

SPANPORT 401/LATIN AM 401/COMP LIT 488: The Letter in Latin America

M 2:00-4:50
Jorge Coronado

Course Description:

This course has three goals. First, it seeks to familiarize students with Latin American intellectual traditions in the modern period. In order to do so, it surveys a representative selection of pivotal figures in three different, and crucial, historical moments: the post-revolutionary 19th century and its responses both to Independence and an emerging neocolonial order; the frenetic 1920s and 30s and the articulations of a properly Latin American identity and culture; and the late 20th century, which has witnessed an attempt to reckon with the failure of the revolutionary projects of the mid- century. Second, within and across these historical constellations, the course will analyze prominent conceptual paradigms that have defined intellectual discourse in the region, such as mestizaje, hybridity, and heterogeneity, focusing particularly on their evolution and metamorphoses. As we consider the advent and waning of elite, lettered production’s influence and power to shape national and regional conceptualizations, we will pay special attention to how alterity  and coloniality inflect the region’s intellectual production. Third, the course considers the critical discussions that, based on these primary texts, have articulated varieties of Latin Americanisms in multiple disciplinary formations. Readings will be derived from a list of primary texts with supplements from critical sources.

Winter 2021

ART HIST 440-1: Studies in Baroque Art: Empire of Cities

F 2:00-5:00
Jesús Escobar

Course Description: 

This seminar will examine recent and past scholarship on the built environment of the transnational and transatlantic Spanish Habsburg monarchy (c. 1500 to c. 1700), with special consideration given to spatial theory and comparative history as tools for reimagining an architectural history of the political domain. Following an introduction to important writings by Fernand Braudel and Henri Lefebvre, the seminar will focus on key cities of the empire including Santo Domingo, Cuzco, Seville, Madrid, Naples, and Mexico City. We will consider monuments and public spaces in each of these places as products of a vast network of people, ideologies, and aesthetic principles that circulated in multiple directions. Each week, the seminar will meet synchronously for two hours and asynchronously for one hour. Students will write weekly responses to readings and prepare two or three presentations that will be posted for viewing and commentary by all members of the
seminar. Reading knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese would be beneficial but is not required.

LATIN AM 401-0-20/AF AM ST 480-0-20/PERF ST 515-0-20: Black Caribbean Waters: Decolonizing the Archive

T 5:00-7:50
Elondust Johnson, Ramon Rivera-Servera

As the “first stop” of the Black Atlantic slave trade, the Caribbean comprises an archipelago of rich sites that tell the history of colonization, syncretism, and resistance. Notably, aesthetic practices from ritual performance to visual culture expand the archive beyond the more recognizable forms due, in part, to the conglomeration of Afro-diasporic subjects (Latinx, Haitian, Jamaican, Bahamian, Trinidadian, etc.) who create black art that speaks to their specific geopolitical concerns. Migrants to the U.S. as well as social and cultural exchanges between U.S. African American and Caribbean communities add another texture to aesthetic practices of the Black diaspora as this ebb-and-flow between the African continent, Caribbean, and U.S. confounds stable notions of “blackness.” This course will engage the various histories of Caribbean art in transnational contexts, cohabitation between African American and Caribbean communities, and the tensions that animate this rich archive. Translation will shape our framework for understanding a cultural geography that includes Anglophone, Spanish, French, and Dutch-speaking black and brown artists and a wide range of aesthetic forms and politico-economic contexts.  Guest artists and scholars based in the U.S. and the Caribbean will provide contexts to these histories and practices and reflect on the role of the archive in securing the legacy and future of Black art.

SPANISH 348-0: Readings in Latin American Short Fiction

TTh 11:00-12:20
Lucille Kerr

Some critics have suggested that the Latin American short story in the twentieth century might have made an even more significant contribution to world literature than the celebrated novels of the Boom (1960s- 1970s). For example, the argument goes, it is Jorge Luis Borges's short fiction that actually initiates the "new" narrative currents with which Latin American literature has become identified since the sixties. Likewise, one might argue that it is Julio Cortázar's short fiction--even more than his "revolutionary" novels--that will stand the test of time. Indeed, these and other well-known writers associated with the "género fantástico" (e.g., Horacio Quiroga, Luisa Valenzuela, Rosario Ferré) are among the "masters" of the Latin American short story who have also taught us how to read and think about narrative more generally. Within the context of the Latin American tradition, we will focus on the short story as it has been written and theorized by Latin American writers, considering as well proposals from beyond the region (e.g., Poe) and reading models offered by literary critics and theorists of narrative fiction and the fantastic. Where possible, film adaptations of works will be considered along with the original literary texts. Emphasis on close reading and analysis.

SPANPORT 495-0: Practicum in Scholarly Writing and Publication

Th 2:00-4:50
Lucille Kerr

Workshop intended to help students to design, research and write a scholarly article. Required for all SPANPORT graduate students in their second year.

Fall 2019

ANTHRO 490: 

M 6:00-9:00
Mary Weismantel

Course Description: 

The terms "new materialism" and "the ontological turn" have recently surfaced within theoretical conversations in a number of fields - philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, history and art history, to name only a few. In this class, we will survey these conversations from an anthropological point of view. The readings will give you an overview of these new theoretical developments, but our focus is also on method: how to apply these ideas in your own research, whether your project is ethnographic, archaeological, or historical. The syllabus is organized around [somewhat] concrete topics such as "things", "animals", "bodies", "senses", and "substances". Each week, we will read excerpts from influential theorists who explore these topics, paired with examples of published research that uses these theories, as well as some older studies that address the week's topic from other theoretical perspectives. In addition to a term paper, readings, and participation in discussion, there will be some short weekly creative assignments to let you try your hand at some ontological work.

NOTE: Many of the readings for this class are about Latin America and/or by Latin American authors, but if a student intends to take this class for credit towards the LACS certificate, they must commit to doing both their class presentation and final paper on a Latin American and/or Caribbean topic.

HISTORY 492: Atlantic Worlds

Th 5:00-7:50
Paul Ramírez

Course Description: 

This topics seminar is for graduate students with research interests in the Atlantic world, roughly spanning the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. A proliferation of edited volumes, journal issues, dissertations, and historical monographs has aimed to demonstrate connections and continuities in the early modern Atlantic and in the process reorient the field away from its conventional northern Atlantic focus to demonstrate African, Amerindian, and Iberian influences. What is the current state of the field, an inherently comparative, transnational, transcultural, and oceanic approach to the past? In what ways is the scholarship most persuasive? What insights and analytical frameworks can scholars of Latin America, Africa, Europe, or the United States glean from this turn in Atlantic history? Seminar participants will read recent examples of this scholarship, with an eye toward prevailing trends, methodologies, and topics and ongoing debates about chronology, scope, and concepts, e.g., region, empire, nation, subject, citizen, slavery, feudalism, capitalism, commodity, ecosystem, sovereignty, and revolution.

SPANPORT 415: Objects of Desire

Th 2:00-5:00
Nathalie Bouzaglo

Course Description:

Contact department for details

SPANPORT 480: Topics in Latin American and/or Iberian Literatures and Cultures
Topic: Seeing, saying, witnessing: testimonial figures from Latin America

W 2:00-4:50
Lucille Kerr

Course Description:

Focus on how Latin American testimonial narratives theorize as well as dramatize witness figures and scenes of witnessing that exceed the critical concepts and proposals otherwise brought to bear on testimonial materials; how specific testimonial texts not only construct but also interrogate their own witnesses. Reading and discussion will be anchored in close reading. The class will be conducted in English. Advanced reading knowledge of Spanish required (English translations of required Spanish originals will also be available, as needed). Primary materials comprise both verbal and visual materials; secondary materials offer critical, theoretical, and historical frameworks for close reading and discussion

Winter 2019

COURSES TBA

Spring 2019

 

SPANPORT 425: Exile and Diaspora in Caribbean Literature and Film

T 2:00-5:00
Emily Maguire

This course will explore how the experiences of exile and diaspora (both political and economic) have helped shape Caribbean literature and film. We will examine a diverse array of texts – poetry, novels, short stories, films and critical essays – produced in Spanish and English both in the Caribbean and in the United States by writers of Puerto Rican, Dominican and Cuban origin. As we read, we will use exile and diaspora as lenses through which to interrogate other aspects of Latinx-Caribbean cultural production. How are these experiences portrayed, and what role have they played in the construction of identities, both personal and collective? How have these situations shaped the development of Caribbean communities (both physical and literary) within the continental U.S.? Should exile and diaspora be seen as patterns connected to globalization, thus serving to complicate our idea of what is Caribbean, or can they in fact be seen as fundamental to the construction of Caribbean-ness? We will look at how these movements shape the treatment of race and gender in these works, and we will analyze the role of nostalgia and humor in the navigation of different cultural and geographic spaces.

Spring 2019

HIST 492: Modern Latin America Field Seminar

W 10:00-12:50
Lina Britto

Course Description: 

Modern Latin America Field Seminar introduces graduate students to some of the principal topics, debates, and literatures about the region's history since independence to the neoliberal turn. It covers the most important economic, political, social, and cultural questions. It also analyzes the methodological strategies used by historians while writing about the different countries. The course does not pretend to be inclusive of all historical approaches. Rather, it aims to introduce students to many of the most relevant historiographical discussions to overcome narrow North American points of view about the neighbors to the South. Ideally, the course will help students who are being trained to become instructors to examine how Latin Americans view themselves, and understand the region's histories under different lenses and directions than the United States and Europe.

FRENCH 493: Postcolonial Thought in the Francophone World

Time TBA
Doris Garraway

Course Description: 

TBA

SPANPORT 425: Exile and Diaspora in Contemporary Caribbean Literature

T 2:00-4:50
Emily Maguire

Course Description:

This course will examine how the experiences of exile and diaspora (both political and economic) have helped shape Caribbean literature. We will examine a diverse array of texts, poetry, novels, short stories, films and critical essays produced in both Spanish and English in both the Caribbean and in the United States by writers of Puerto Rican, Dominican and Cuban origin. As we read, we will use exile and diaspora as lenses through which to interrogate other aspects of Latinx-Caribbean literature. How are these experiences portrayed, and what role have they played in the construction of identities, both personal and collective? How have these situations shaped the development of Caribbean communities (both physical and literary) within the continental U.S.? Should exile and diaspora be seen as patterns connected to globalization, thus serving to complicate our idea of what is Caribbean, or can they in fact be seen as fundamental to the construction of Caribbean-ness? We will look at how these movements affect the treatment of race and gender in these works, and we will analyze the role of nostalgia and humor in the navigation of different cultural and geographic spaces.

Readings will be drawn from the work of the following authors: Édouard Glissant, Antonio Benítez Rojo, Arjun Appadurai, Christina Sharpe, Rubén Ríos-Ávila, Ana Lydia Vega, Luis Rafael Sánchez, Pedro Pietri, Reinaldo Arenas, Manuel Ramos Otero, Mayra Santos Febres, Aurora Arias, Josefina Báez, Antonio José Ponte, Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, Rita Indiana Hernández, Frank Báez, and Urayoán Noel, among others.

Readings will be in English and Spanish. Class discussion will be in Spanish.

Winter 2019

AF_AM_ST 445: Historicizing Race in Latin America

M 2:00-5:00
Sherwin Bryant

Course Description: 

Contact department for course description.

SPANPORT 480: Circulating Anarchism and Marxisms in the Andes

T 2:00-4:50
Jorge Coronado

Course Description: 

In the late nineteenth century, anarchist and Marxist thought filtered into the Andes through two principal avenues: radical political activists and elite intellectual circles. While the initial points of entry of these socio-critical discourses were the region's ports and cities, they quickly found their way to the most recondite parts of the region. This course proposes to investigate the shape that anarchist and Marxist thought took upon its contact with Andean societies through to its later development among various actors and at diverse sites, from 1890-1950. How did basic notions of class, commodity, and revolution, shift when faced with realities of indigenous social formations and history? What transformations were introduced into received Marxism and anarchism when they were transmitted into oral, regional Spanish as well as Aymara and Quechua? How did Marxists and anarchists conceptualize semi-feudal societies and their economies? How did they engage indigenous social formations and cultures? What modifications did working-class and indigenous activists introduce into the new critical discourses they encountered? Finally, the seminar will consider the reflection on European critical-theoretical traditions that their reception and immediate modification in Latin America constitutes.

MUSICOL 435: Latin Baroque

M 2:00-4:50
Drew E. Davies

Course Description:

This graduate seminar focuses on the music of colonial Latin America, late 16ththrough late 18thcenturies, and the performance practices that have developed for it over the past 25 years. Within an interdisciplinary context that involves visual art, Latin American history, and religious studies, students will critically engage the villancico and other liturgical music genres, including pieces by composers such as Hernando Franco, Francisco López Capillas, Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla, Juan García de Céspedes, Manuel de Sumaya, Antonio de Salazar, Santiago Billoni, and Ignacio Jerusalem. We will engage primary, unedited sources, but also consider evidence about indigenous and European oral traditions. Finally, the class situates the revival of these repertoires since the 1980s within the contemporary history of the early music movement, and explores how performers reimagine the colonial past as a way to foster ideas of community and diversity in early music practice, regardless of historical authenticity. Reading knowledge of Spanish is helpful but not required.

 

Fall 2018

SOCIOL 476: Sociology of Immigration

W 9:00-11:50
Héctor Carrillo

Course Description: 

This graduate seminar will survey the recent sociological literature on immigration. We will focus on a range of topics that include: the evolution of sociological immigration theories; the social construction of immigrants and "expats," as well as the tension between these two categories; the social construction of refugees and asylum seekers; the structural factors that propel and hinder transnational migration; the entrenchment of international borders in the era of globalization; the shifting understandings of immigrant incorporation in host societies; the emergence of transnationalism as a framework for understanding the links that immigrants maintain with their home countries; and the effects of shifting attitudes on immigration policies. We will link transnational migration to a wide range of related sociological issues, including race, economics, nationalism and nativism, culture, religion, crime, gender, sexuality, and social stratification and inequality.

ANTHRO 490: The Global Life of Things

Th 2:00-4:50
Mark Hauser

Course Description: 

This class examines how things, including commodities, precious objects and ordinary goods connected worlds and shaped the everyday life of people. The course is structured between theoretical framings of global goods that consider scale, context, and materiality and the practical considerations of tracing objects through human networks of exchange, commerce, colonialism and consumption. As such methods addressed in this class include object histories, compositional analysis, and commodity chain analysis. By focusing on material exchanges through the archaeological record, this class provides a venue to explore three interrelated questions: what systems of the world objects carry within them, how do these objects shape human circuits of commerce and trade; how objects mediate between global economic forces and the fluid identities of individuals as they are drawn into global circuits.

HIST 492: General Field Seminar (Colonial/Early Modern)

Th 5:00-7:50
Paul Ramirez

Course Description: 

This field seminar is intended for graduate students with research interests in early modern (colonial) Latin America, roughly spanning the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. More than a survey of the region, the primary goal will be to provide a foundation for future study and reflection and explore the state of play in the field, the "hot" and "cold" topics, issues, and debates. Which of these are perennial, which have been resolved or left behind, and how have academic disciplines other than history contributed to the field? Possible readings include Ernesto Bassi, An Aqueous Territory; Thomas Cummins and Joanne Rappaport, Beyond the Lettered City; Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra How to Write the History of the New World; John Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World; William F. Hanks, Converting Words; Tamar Herzog, Defining Nations; María Elena Martínez, Genealogical Fictions; Ann Twinam, Purchasing Whiteness.

Spring 2018

ART_HIST 430-0-1: Studies in Renaissance Art:  Maps and the Early Modern Transatlantic World

W 2pm – 4:50pm
Jesús Escobar

Course Description: 

Maps represent territory. Maps claim ownership. Maps sometimes lie. Are maps works of art? This course will explore the making, use, and display of maps in the early modern period, all the while considering their intended meaning as objects at the intersection of science, art, and power. Course reading assignments will trace the rise of cartography as a scientific as well as humanistic pursuit in late fifteenth-century Europe and pay particular attention to the production of maps in the context of transatlantic exchange and colonialism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, taking into account indigenous mapmaking traditions in the Americas. Additionally, we will consider the role of maps in the study of early modern cities. For research topics, students will work with an original period object so as to better understand the ways in which maps were experienced by early modern viewers, whether as fold-out pages in books, single sheet prints that might be illuminated and framed, or in an array of larger formats including painted fresco cycles in galleries meant to be discussed and interpreted.

Please note: Participants must be available from 12:30 to 1:45pm for travel prior to class meetings that will be held at the Newberry Library in Chicago and the MacLean Collection in Lake Forest.

COMP_LIT 390-020/ PHIL 390-0-21/ SPANISH 397-0-1:  Topics in Comparative Literature: On Debt

MWF 11:00am - 11:50am
Rocio Zambrana

Course Description: 

Debt is a social relation. It has received cosmological, theological, and economic articulation for centuries. Yet, at its core, debt is a form of social binding, hence a social bond. This course will examine debt as an economic, social, and historical relation in order to consider its critical function, thereby exploring the very idea of a critique of debt. We will read texts by Nietzsche, Marcel Mauss, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, David Graeber, Maurizio Lazzarato, Eletra Stimilli, among others. We will also consider ancient and contemporary articulations of debt forgiveness, relief, or cancellation (as articulated, for example, by Strike Debt or the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt). This will give us an opportunity to refer to cases of debt in Latin American and the Caribbean. 

COMP_LIT 488-0-1/ PHIL 410-0-21/ SPANISH 480-0-1: Special Topics in Comparative Literature: Toward a Decolonial Critical Theory

W 2:00pm - 4:45pm
Rocio Zambrana

Course Description:

This course will consider key texts in Frankfurt School Critical Theory alongside Decolonial Thought and Decolonial Feminism. Discussions will consider conception of critique at work in these texts in order to construct a decolonial critical theory of society. Readings will include texts by György Lukács, Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Aníbal Quijano, Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Santiago Castro-Gómez, María Lugones, Yuderkis Espinosa-Miñoso, and Gloria Anzaldúa.  

HIST 492-0-22: Topics in History: Caribbean in the Modern World

Th 9:30am - 12:20pm
Lina Britto

Course Description:

This course introduces graduate students to the major themes and debates of Caribbean history from a global perspective: slavery, and emancipation; colonialism, and imperialism; nationalism and revolution. Students will read some of the major books and essays by historians, anthropologists, and literary critics; and watch some of the classic movies by filmmakers in order to dissect the Caribbean as a unit of historical analysis. These themes will be studied from a variety of approaches and perspectives in an attempt to bridge the different linguistic and imperial Caribbean. We will also consider different frameworks, from area and hemispheric studies, to transnational history and Atlantic World.

SPANPORT 410-0-1: Topics in Early Modern Literatures and Cultures: Introduction to Colonial Latin America: Narrative, History, Theory

M 2:00pm - 4:50pm
Laura Leon Llerena

Course Description:

This course offers a critical overview of the epistemological practices and ideological underpinnings that shaped the multi-faceted process of colonialism in what we call today Latin America. Focusing on indigenous, mestizo and European texts produced from the late fifteenth century to the late seventeenth century, we will explore the diverse power struggles, strategies of negotiation, and misunderstandings that underlie the production of the foundational textual knowledge in and about America. Key to this course is the debate on the social and political consequences that the introduction of the European technology of writing had on Native American societies. A fundamental tool for colonial administration and Christian evangelization, alphabetic writing fostered both spaces of incorporation and of exclusion of indigenous peoples. We will analyze how writing shaped a particular notion of literary canon and of archive that tied knowledge to alphabetic writing, while framing indigenous peoples as objects to be analyzed, but not as subjects who produced knowledge. The colonial concept of literacy and the more recent postcolonial critical redefinitions of it will guide this approach. This course also aims to frame the debates on colonial literature beyond the axis of literacy. For that, we will discuss how the concept of legibility can allow us to have a better understanding of the process of marginalization of native pre-Hispanic modes of inscription and communication, but also of native uses of alphabetic writing. Going from colonial texts to theory, this course intends to familiarize students with major contemporary critical theories and debates that have led to a productive destabilization of terms and concepts such as indigeneity, indianness, discovery, conquest, colonization, empire, mestizaje, hybridity, and otherness. Readings will be in English and Spanish. Class discussion will be in Spanish. All written work should be done in Spanish.

Fall 2017

ENGLISH 471-0-20 – Studies in American Literature: Border Literature 

M 2pm – 4:50pm
John Cutler

Course Description: 

The US-Mexico border has been the site of intense cultural conflict since the mid-nineteenth century. It marks both the connection and the division between two nations, and many of our most fraught conversations concern whether the border should be a bridge or a wall. As an entry point into these conversations, this course will survey literature and film centering on the US-Mexico border. Students will become familiar with the history of the border, beginning with the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848 and extending through NAFTA and up to the current political climate. Together we will consider how the border has become such a potent site for contemporary mythmaking, a flashpoint for anxieties about race, labor, gender, and sexuality.

HISTORY 405-0-20 – Seminar in Historical Analysis: Borderlands 

T 2pm – 4:50pm
Geraldo Cadava

Course Description: 

We will read recent works about borders and borderlands around the world in order to compare the similarities and differences between them, and to gain an understanding of "borderlands" history as a field of study and methodological approach. The themes we will explore include the demarcation of borders at different times and places; the ethnic and national groups that come together in cooperation and conflict along internal, regional, or international boundaries; and border architecture. We also will address different legal regimes and differential power relations in border regions; immigration, citizenship, human rights, and sovereignty; nationalism, transnationalism, and internationalism; openings and closings of borders; and the multiple meanings and locations of borderlands. For your final assignment, you will write a 10-page essay about how your current research agenda (your 570, 580, dissertation projects) might incorporate a borderlands approach. Other than that, I expect you to attend each session, and come prepared to engage your classmates in a conversation about the weekly readings.

SPANPORT 480-0-1 – Topics in Latin American and/or Iberian Literature and Culture

Th 2pm – 4:50pm
Cesar Braga-Pinto

Course Description:

In this course, we will discuss works by Brazilian writers ranging from the abolition of slavery (1888) and the proclamation of the Republic (1889), to the 1920’s avant-garde movements. We will be particularly interested in understanding the debates on modernity and imitation of French culture at the turn of the century, and the extent to which post-1922 Modernism, and the anthropophagic movement in particular, represented a solution for the anxieties and aspirations of the writers of the period. The course is organized in conjunction with the conference Beyond Anthropophagy: Cultural Modernities between Brazil and France (October 20th). Reading knowledge of Portuguese or Spanish is helpful, but not required.

Spring 2016

SPANPORT 415-0-1 – Studies in 19th Century Literatures & Cultures
Tu 2pm – 4:50pm
University Library 3322
Professor Elisa Marti-Lopez

Course Description: Graduate seminar (taught in Spanish). Examines narratives of adultery from late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Latin America that reveal the contradictions and complexities in the construction of the national culture.

SPANPORT 430-0-1 – Topics in Latino/a Literatures & Cultures - Tracing Latinidades
Th 2pm – 5pm
University Library 4646
Professor Frances Aparicio

Course Description: This graduate seminar will explore the diverse and multiple significations of the critical concept of Latinidad/es within Latino USA. While referring to a sense of collectivity, Latinidad/es also signals the tensions within, the horizontal hierarchies that structure different national communities of Latin American descent, and the power differentials within our population. We will explore both the fellowships and frictions that the term suggests, as well as the multiple social affiliations as these are inscribed in scholarship, fiction, and memoirs. Readings will focus on the geocultural urban spaces of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, examining interlatino power dynamics and intralatino/a subjectivities.

Winter 2016

SPANPORT 450-0-1: Topics in Cultural Studies

Nociones de lo andino: región y cultura 1827-2015

W 2pm – 5pm
Univ. Library 3322
Professor Jorge Coronado

Course Description: This seminar explores the notion of ‘lo andino’ as it has been elaborated in Andean and Andeanist lettered and other cultural production from the Independence to the current moment.  Given the exceptional diversity of the notion’s manifestations over this long period, we will focus on its articulation within three particular areas: literature, anthropology and archeology, and mass culture.  Within these areas, we will attend to the notion’s historical development, its utility in theorizing an idea of region in counterpoint to nation and globe, as well as its designation of particular political, social, and consuming subjects and circuits.  A reading knowledge of Spanish is required. Primary figures to be studied may include Mariano Eduardo de Rivero y Ustariz; Juan León Mera; Manuel González Prada; Federico More; Julio C. Tello; Arturo Poznansky; José María Velasco Maidana; José Carlos Mariátegui; Elena Izcue; Jorge Icaza; Gamaliel Churata; José María Arguedas; Agustín Cueva; Fausto Reinaga; Jorge Sanjinés; Alberto Flores Galindo; Sara Castro-Klarén; Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui; Freddy Mamani


SPANPORT 455-0-1: Comparative Studies in Latin American and/or Iberian Literature & Culture

Brazilian Literature and Anthropology

Th 2pm – 4:50pm
Univ. Hall 121
Professor Cesar Braga-Pinto

Course Description: In his Tristes Tropiques (1955), Claude Lévi-Strauss refers to Jean de Léry's History of a Voyage to the Land of Brazil (1578) as the "breviary of the anthropologist.” Indeed, since the Renaissance, accounts of the native cultures of Brazil (sometimes utopian, sometimes nostalgic and melancholic) have played a central role in Western epistemologies, as well as in the construction of the modern Brazilian nation and aesthetics. By studying ethnographic and fictional narratives about Brazilian indigenous peoples, this course is intended first, to understand the role played by ethnographic accounts in the construction of nationality in Brazil (and in Latin America in general) and, second to understand the role of the imagination in 20th anthropological writing. We will analyze, for example, how the Brazilian lettered elite responded to the image of Brazil that was constructed by Europeans as an exotic space, and how they incorporated it into their projects of nation building (from 19th-century Romanticism to Modernist Avant-gardes and beyond). In addition, we will discuss how indigenous cultures remain a heterogeneous space in the national and global imagination, and the political consequences of this contradiction in contemporary societies. Readings will include travel narratives, novels, poems, essays, ethnographic accounts and films. Essays by Montaigne, Jacques Derrida, Frank Lestringant, Michel de Certeau, Silviano Santiago, James Clifford, Johannes Fabien, Philippe Descola, Viveiros de Castro, among others. Assignments for the first class will be posted on CANVAS. Taught in English.


SPANPORT 495-0-20: Practicum in Scholarly Writing and Publication

Tu 2pm - 4:00pm
Professor Lucille Kerr

Course Description: This seminar course explores Iberian and Latin American cultural and political issues in relation to particular representational techniques, prominent literary traditions, subject-and national-making practices, and varied forms of writing literary texts. Topics vary. Workshop intended to help students to design, research and write a scholarly article. Required for all graduate students in their second year.

Fall Quarter 2015

ANTHRO 490-0-23 – Topics in Anthropology - Materialisms and Materialities
M 7pm – 9:30pm
Anthro Seminar Room 104
Professor Mary Weismantel

The terms ‘new materialism’ and ‘the ontological turn’ have recently surfaced within theoretical conversations in a number of fields – philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, history and art history, to name only a few. Latin Americans and Latin Americanists are deeply involved in these conversations, most notably through the influential writings of the Brazilian anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro. In this class, we will survey these conversations from an anthropological and Latin Americanist point of view. Our focus is less on theory than method: how to operationalize these ideas in your own research, whether that research is ethnographic, archaeological, or historical. Each week, we will read excerpts from influential theorists, paired with examples of published research projects that use these theories in some way. Most of these examples are either archaeological or ethnographic studies from/of Latin America; authors may include Viveiros de Castro, Phillippe Descola, myself, Bill Sillar, Gastón Gordillo, and Eduardo Kohn.

French 470: “Revolutions in Haitian Literature”
We 5:30pm – 7:50pm
Locy Hall 106
Professor Doris Garraway

In this course, we examine the powerful innovations of form, style, subject matter, and ideology that have marked Haitian literature from the early nineteenth to the late twentieth centuries in relation to the cultural legacy of the nation’s revolutionary founding. Against the view that modern Haitian literature has evaded historical concerns in favor of more pressing contemporary social and political problems, we explore how the revolution itself generated a rhetorical, literary, and ideological foundation for the emergence and continuous renovation of an intellectual and aesthetic tradition in Haiti, as well as the degree to which subsequent aesthetic revolutions in Haitian literature have been a response to perceived repetitions of the historical past. Beginning with a reading of foundational Haitian political writings together with theoretical texts by authors such as C.L.R. James, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Sibylle Fischer, Étienne Balibar, Jacques Rancière, and René Girard, we go on to analyze the twentieth-century literary and artistic movements that were catalyzed by the first U.S. occupation of Haiti and the rise of the Duvalier dictatorship. These include Indigenism (Jacques Roumain), Marxism (Jacques-Stephen Alexis, René Depestre), Negritude (Depestre), Magical Realism (Alexis), and Spiralism (Jean-Claude Fignolé). Throughout, we will pay close attention to gender and sexuality in mediating representations of Haitian history, as well as the contribution of women authors (Virgile Valcin, Annie Desroy, and Marie Chauvet) in advancing radical critiques of both neocolonialism and the operations of violence, desire, and domination within Haitian society. Taught in French.

PERF_ST_515-0_SEC1: Seminar: Transnational Flows of Performance
We 2:00pm - 4:50pm
Annie May Swift Hall 110
Professor Marcela Fuentes

This course explores transnationalism through the lens of performance studies. Whereas transnationalism refers to the rapid flow of goods, information, and capital across fluid geographical borders, performance studies provides us with a rich conceptual understanding of embodied culture, the politics of location, and diasporic identities. The class thus offers a unique methodology that combines social and aesthetic theory in the analysis of performance practices engaging transnational aesthetic, social, and political processes. Although the course will be global in scope and reference, particular emphasis will be placed on performances of the Americas.

SPANPORT 415-0-1 – Studies in 19th Century Literatures & Cultures
Th 2pm – 4:50pm
University Library 5322
Professor Nathalie Bouzaglou

Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literatures and Cultures: graduate seminar (taught in Spanish). Examines narratives of adultery from late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Latin America that reveal the contradictions and complexities in the construction of the national culture.

SPANPORT 480-0-20- Topics in Latin American Literature and/or Iberian Literature & Cultures
Tu 2pm – 4:50pm
Univ. Library 4646
Professor Maria Uslenghi

Phantasmagorias of Progress: Exhibitions, Photography and Literary Writing in Turn-of-the-Century Latin America The course will explore how visual culture at the turn of the nineteenth-century became a significant source for articulating modern experience and utopian visions of progress. We will examine specific images/objects /texts but also reach beyond them to include a history of vision, visual experience, and its historical construction. We will discuss the theoretical frameworks that have come to shape this period and its relation to literary modernism: phantasmagoria, spectatorship, technological reproduction, exhibitionary complex, mass media and consumer culture. We will read texts by T. Adorno, W. Benjamin, S. Kracauer, J. Crary, G. Didi-Huberman, K. Silverman, J. Rancière, M. Hansen, M. Doane.


Spring Quarter 2015

SPANPORT 410-0-20: Topics in Early Modern Literatures and Cultures
W 2:00pm – 4:50pm
Instructor: Prof. Dario Fernandez-Morera
University Library 4670

Cervantes and the Rise of the Novel Cervantes' formidable presence can be found in many other European, U.S. American, and Latin American writers, from Fielding, Sterne, Flaubert and Mark Twain to Jorge Luis Borges and Mario Vargas Llosa. The figure of Don Quixote has become one the enduring myths of Western civilization, and it has had an impact on other forms of human creativity, from painting to ballet, to tone poems to plays to musicals to film. This class will focus on Don Quixote and its position in the development of the novel, paying attention to its formal devices, its historical context, and its thematic richness within the narrative genre. Two or three preceding and subsequent narratives will also be read as part of the comparative approach of this class. All works will be read in their original language whenever possible.

SPANPORT 410-0-21: Introduction to Colonial Latin America: Narrative, History, Theory
Tu 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Instructor: Prof. Laura Leon-Llerena
University Library 4722

This course will focus on a careful analysis of primary texts from the late fifteenth century to the late seventeenth century. It aims to dispel generic ideas of colonialism that have dominated discussions of the “colonial” in “post-colonial” debates. We will explore narratives that expose a diversity of processes of negotiation, production of knowledges, power struggles, and misunderstandings in different parts of Spanish America. It offers a reflection on how the gradual construction of the history of what we call today Latin America was shaped by multi-faceted colonialism (practices, narratives) and the challenges that it faced over time. Going from primary sources to theory (and not the other way around), this course also intends to make students familiar with major contemporary critical theories and debates that have led to a productive destabilization of terms and concepts such as discovery, conquest, colonization, empire, mestizaje, hybridity, otherness and sincretism. Readings will be in English and Spanish. Class discussion will be in Spanish.

HIST 492-0-20: Topics in History: Native Americans 1750-1850
Tu 2:30pm – 5:30pm
Instructor: Prof. Forrest Hylton
Harris Hall L40

Recent issues of William and Mary Quarterly and the Journal of American History note that Atlantic history and Native American history have passed like ships in the night. Similarly, although historians of Africans and people of African descent have re-configured our sense of time, place, and politics in the Age of Revolution, this new historiography either ignores Native Americans or relegates them to the periphery. What explains this invisibility, and what difference does it make if we put Native Americans at the heart of the Age of Revolution? How does Native American history force us to re-think the revolutionary Atlantic, particularly with respect to sovereignty and settler colonial nationalism? Using cases from North and South America, including pastoralists as well as village-based peasantries, this seminar will focus on networks of kinship, trade, diplomacy, and warfare in relation to colonialism and indigenous autonomy.

HIST 492-0-21: Topics in History: Revolution
W 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Instructor: Prof. Paul Gillingham
Harris Hall L40

This course introduces students to major debates in the comparative history of revolution. The global analysis starts in France; proceeds with the spread of revolutionary ideologies in the Americas; returns to Europe for 1848 and 1917; tacks back to the Americas for peasant revolutions in Mexico and Cuba; and then migrates to China and Iran, before ending by considering the revolutions that never happened. En route we will consider not just current scholarship, but also the intellectual history of revolution in the work of Tocqueville, Marx, Lenin, Guevara and Scott. Assessment will be on the basis of short critical essays, blog posts and a final term paper on a topic of your choice.

Fall Quarter 2014

SPANPORT 401-0-20: Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory
Instructor: Prof. Jorge Coronado
Th 2:00pm - 4:50pm
Parkes Hall 224

The Letter in Latin America Course Description: This course has two goals. First, it seeks to familiarize students with Latin American intellectual traditions in the modern period. In order to do so, it surveys a representative selection of pivotal figures in three different, and crucial, historical moments: the post-revolutionary 19th century and its responses both to Independence and an emerging neocolonial order; the frenetic 1920s and 30s and the articulations of a properly Latin American identity and culture; and the late 20th century, which has witnessed an attempt to reckon with the failure of the revolutionary projects of the mid-century. Second, within and across these historical constellations, the course will analyze prominent conceptual paradigms that have defined intellectual discourse in the region, such as mestizaje, hybridity, and heterogeneity, focusing particularly on their evolution and metamorphoses. As we consider the advent and waning of elite, lettered production's influence and power to shape national and regional conceptualizations, we will pay special attention to how alterity, gender, and coloniality inflect the region's intellectual production. Readings will be derived from a list of primary texts with supplements from other sources

Fall Quarter 2013

SPANPORT 480: Topics in Latin American Lit and/or Iberian Lit: Brazil and the Ethnographic Imagination
Instructor: Prof. Braga-Pinto
Th 2:00PM - 4:50PM
Kresge Centennial Hall 2-301

Topic: Brazil and the Ethnographic Imagination

In his Tristes Tropiques (1955), Claude Lévi-Strauss refers to Jean de Léry's History of a Voyage to the Land of Brazil (1578) as the "breviary of the anthropologist." Since then, accounts of the native cultures of Brazil have played a central role in Western epistemics as well as in the construction of the modern Brazilian nation and aesthetics. This course is intended as both a thematic survey of Brazilian lettered culture and an investigation of the development of modern ethnography. Firstly, we will discuss the role of European accounts of encounters with the Brazilian landscape and indigenous peoples in the development of modern ethnography; then we will analyze how the Brazilian lettered elite responded to the image of Brazil that was constructed by Europeans as an exotic space, and how they incorporated it into their projects of nation building (from 19th-century Romanticism, to Modernist avant-gardes and beyond). Finally, we will discuss how indigenous cultures remain a heterogeneous space in the national and global imagination, and the political consequences of this contradiction in contemporary societies. Readings will include travel narratives, novels, poems, essays, ethnographic accounts and films. Essays by Montaigne, Jacques Derrida, Frank Lestringant, Michel de Certeau, Silviano Santiago, James Clifford, Krupat, Walter Mignolo, V. Crapanzano, Viveiros de Castro, among others.

Spanish 415-0 Studies in 19th Century Literature & Culture
Instructor: Nathalie Bouzaglo
Tues 2:00PM - 4:50PM
Kresge Centennial Hall 2-301

Topic: Illicit Passions at the End of the Nineteenth Century in Latin America

The national romance, as a hegemonic project that arose in the nineteenth century, is seen as the inevitable form taken by turn of the century Latin American fictions. This course takes a contrary view, exploring a group of texts that, even when they try to follow the mimetic imperatives of nationalism, question and even reject the erotic-political utopia of the family. We will read novels, cultural products¿newspapers, magazines, legal texts, medical case studies¿and visual artifacts that approach the subject of adultery as a crime of passion and inevitable bourgeois transgression. The idea of the course is to explore these writers' approach to the character of the adulteress. On the one hand, the work of these writers who are also public officials, medical doctors, lawyers, and judges¿strengthens and reflects the fundamental structure of the nation, that is, the family, or the institution of maternity and biological continuity. At the same time, however, they also take risks in fictionalizing proposals that, although sometimes contrary to the writers' intentions, criticize the nation's modernizing projects and foundation. This transgressive space allows us to question the "visibility" of the offense and, above all, its perpetrator to explore the strategies that these fictions "choose" at the moment of adultery's narration, exhibition, and desire.

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