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Fall 2023


Course Title Day/Time Instructor
PORT 210-0-1 Icons, Legends, and Myths in Brazil MW 12pm-12:50pm Gomes da Silva, Mirella
SPANISH 231-0-1 The "New" Latin American Narrative [taught in English] TTh 11am-12:20pm Kerr, Lucille
SPANISH 260-0-1 Literature in Latin America before 1888 MWF 1pm-1:50pm Nunez, Alicia
SPANISH 261-0-20 Literature in Latin America since 1888 TTh 9:30am-10:50am Bouzaglo, Nathalie
SPANISH 261-0-21 Literature in Latin America since 1888 MWF 9am-9:50am Fierro, Alfonso
SPANISH 395-0-1 Haunted Infrastructures of Modern Mexico  MWF 11am-11:50am Fierro, Alfonso
SPANISH 395-0-2 Literature and Revolution in Latin America 20th Century MW 12:30pm-1:50pm Gotera Osorio, Johan
HUM 325-4-20 Refugees/Migration/Exile W 2pm-4:30pm Molina, Michelle

Course Descriptions

PORT 210-0-1: Icons, Legends, and Myths in Brazil

Representations in graphic materials, documentaries, film, theater, folklore, narrative fiction, and popular music of historical, literary, and popular figures in the national imagination. May include English or Portuguese discussion sections. Prerequisite: PORT 201-0, PORT 202-0, or sufficient score on placement exam. Prerequisite for English section: none. 

SPANISH 231-0-1: The "New" Latin American Narrative [taught in English]

So, what's "new" about the New Latin American Narrative? The course approaches this question by considering several key trends in Latin American literature in the second half of the twentieth century. Focusing on novels, short fiction, and testimonial writing & film, we will study representative works from the so-called pre-Boom, Boom, and post-Boom decades (1940s-50s, 1960s-70s, 1980s). Although the new narrative is often identified with Boom novels (such as One Hundred Years of Solitude) and with the Boom era overall—when Latin American literature "exploded" onto the world stage--we will take a broader view to consider the diverse types of narrative representing “new” currents in the region. Reading and discussion will focus on formal aspects of narrative and on cultural and historical contexts that shaped the production and reception of new narrative works by well-known figures. Primary texts: Borges’s and Cortázar’s “fantastic” fictions and essays on narrative poetics; Fuentes’s revolutionary Boom novel about 20th-century Mexico (The Death of Artemio Cruz); Ferré’s irreverent feminist stories about Puerto Rican society and culture; Valenzuela’s ironic dramatic fictions about political repression in Argentina; García Márquez’s documentary-testimonial tale about an exiled filmmaker’s covert return home during the Pinochet era (Clandestine in Chile: The Adventures of Miguel Littin). Secondary materials will provide literary, historical, and cultural contexts for primary works.

SPANISH 260-0-1: Literature in Latin America before 1888

Survey of pre-Hispanic, colonial, and romantic traditions in Latin America. Focus on authors and texts such as Popul Vuh, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and Martín Fierro. Prerequisite (may be taken concurrently): SPANISH 204-0.  Prerequisite (may be taken concurrently): SPANISH 204-0.

SPANISH 261: Literature in Latin America since 1888

This course provides an overview of some of the major trends in Latin American literatures since 1888, while at the same time offering opportunities to improve students’ oral and written Spanish.  The course will emphasize various literary styles and ideological constructions that, in different ways, reflect the complexity of Latin American writing.  While introducing students to the social and historical context in which the works were written, the course will focus on the following issues: the cultural and political dimensions of literature; the representation of class, gender, and race; the formative impact of nationalism and internationalism; and the concern for finding autochthonous modes of expression. Prerequisite (may be taken concurrently): SPANISH 204-0.

SPANISH 395-0-1: Haunted Infrastructures of Modern Mexico

Since the end of the 19th century, large-scale infrastructure projects such as trains, dams, and roads have transformed the landscapes, ecologies, and cultures of Mexico. Usually, these projects have been officially cast as material symbols of Mexico’s modernization and development, works that promise a “better” future. Meanwhile, through the use of forms such as the realist novel, the travel journal, the avant-garde manifesto, the experimental film, or the futurist poem, literature and art have examined how these projects bring with them profound and haunting social transformations. They have thus approached infrastructures with fascination, but also with caution, disappointment, or fear. In this class, we will explore experimental forms of literature, art, and film that address infrastructural development in modern Mexico from different angles and in changing political circumstances. We will also discuss contemporary social struggles, conflicts, and movements related to large-scale infrastructure projects in Mexico today.

SPANISH 395-0-2: Literature and Revolution in Latin America 20th Century

This course explores the debate on literature and revolution during the second half of 20th century Latin America. The analysis focuses on Cuba, 1959, year of the triumph of the Cuban revolution, as an epicenter that spreads the revolutionary ideas that ignited revolutionary movements all over Latin America; tacks back to the texts of Bolivar and Martí, mentor figures for many revolutionary projects, to explore the cultural changes that outline the era of political changes in the second half of 20th century. We will pay close attention to the process of politization of life that occurred during the heyday of revolution till the development of the new state and revolutionary hegemony. We will resort to literary texts written during the revolutionary era to explore the impact of revolution on them and how writers respond to the new political horizon, especially in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. We will explore how literary texts sustain, defy, or even ignore the reinvention of life and social relations characteristics of those times, and also how politics in turn defy literature.

HUM 325-4-20: Refugees/Migration/Exile

Refugees/Migration/ Exile: Digital Storytelling Workshop In this course, students will research a case study from among the many refugee and migration crises that have dominated the news cycle in recent years. The final project is a short video about your case study. To develop your research projects, the class foregrounds different methodological approaches: 1) To move beyond journalism, we will conduct primary and secondary historical research to understand the complex historical roots of each case study. 2) We will analyze and practice forms of ethnographic writing to better situate and describe the lived experiences of migration and exile, both past and present. 3) We will pay attention to various forms of media, whether print culture, sound, or visual media, to interrogate but also experiment with contemporary modes of narrating and conveying human experience in the digital age. Our work in class will be collaborative, thus a key prerequisite is that you are mature and self-motivated. You do not need to have prior research experience, but you need to demonstrate a desire to dig into your topic and hone your ability to write deeply informed, rigorous, and nuanced arguments and to think about creative ways to bring rigorous historical and ethnographic detail to visual storytelling.