Current New & Special Courses

New and special topics courses in Spanish and Portuguese for the 2024-2025 academic year.

In addition to our regular offerings, we are happy to share the course descriptions for new and special topics courses offered this academic year. These courses count for the minor and the two majors (Hispanic Studies and Romance Languages) in our department. If you have questions about a specific course, feel free to email the professor teaching the course.

Block 2

SP307. Maya Yucatec Territories, Resistance, and Activism.

In this course, we will delve into how Maya Yucatec artists, producers, community members, and activists have historically challenged settler colonial nation-states and their allied forces; the oppression and dispossession of native lands; erasure and genocide. We will analyze a variety of media such as literature, photography, art, songs, film, and digital technologies to emphasize listening, visual, bodily, and sensory practices. With this approach, students will have the opportunity to situate and discuss media productions within systemic structures of power and relations. Finally, students will examine how producers intricately interweave racial, ethnic, gender, linguistic, cultural, political, technological, and historical dimensions in their works. Taught abroad as part of the CC in Latin America program in Izamal, México. Prerequisite: SP305 and admission into the 2024 CCLA Program. Professor: Jessica Sánchez Flores.

Block 3

SP360. Studies of Periodization: The Monstrous Baroque

Often a society is best understood through an analysis of the monstrous figures it creates. Through this course we will analyze images and metaphors of the monster in the cultural productions of Baroque Spain, the period corresponding to the 17th century, in order to understand the Spanish society of the time. In viewing the monstrous body as a metaphor for the cultural body, we will examine the construction of gender, social identity, and the grotesque. Through such an examination, we will come to identify, analyze, and question the ideological parameters that governed that time. The cultural products to be studied will include theater plays, novellas, emblem books, poetry and paintings. In addition to the primary materials, the discussions will be informed by historical, socio-cultural, and theoretical readings in order to contextualize the Baroque period and its “monstrous” representations. The course will be conducted entirely in Spanish. Prerequisite: Completion of Spanish 306. It is also highly advisable to have taken at least one advanced Spanish literature course. Professor: Carrie Ruiz.

Block 4

PG308. Bahian Social Movements.

This co-taught course focuses on social movements with roots in Afro-Diasporic knowledges and arts from the early twentieth century to the present. From the early roots of samba music and dance to Abdias Nascimento and the Teatro Experimental Negro (TEN), Tiffany Odara and trans-rights in Candomblé, and queer painter and street artist Ani Ganzala, students will learn about the history of key social movements and debates through the proliferation of Afro-Brazilian arts-activism in the northeastern region of Brazil. Students are not required to speak advanced Portuguese but will be continue language study through ongoing courses and bilingual reading options. Taught abroad as part of the CC in Latin America program in Salvador, Brazil. Prerequisite: admission into the 2024 CCLA Program. Professors: Naomi Wood and Feva Omo Iyanu.

Block 5

SP 316. Topics in Hispanic Literature and Culture: Indigenous Feminisms in Abiayala

Abya Yala, a term in the Kuna language refers to the continent known today as 'the Americas’. Indigenous women, along with queer, trans, and two-spirit individuals in Abiayala, have played a pivotal role in activism and resistance against settler colonial powers and their allies. The primary emphasis will be on the life experiences and ways of knowing of Indigenous individuals and Native feminist thought. We will examine literary and cultural works created by scholars, artists, activists, and movements within the context of Abya Yala, while also considering the transnational dialogue and exchange that occurs as Indigenous bodies constantly move across borders and territories. The course covers various topics, including environmental care and justice, reproductive justice, gendered violence, cultural reclamation, rematriation, and Indigenous futurisms. Prerequisite: SP306. Professor: Jessica Sánchez Flores.

Block 7 & 8

SP303. Oral Practice and Written Expression for Spanish Heritage Learners.

Course designed for heritage speakers who have been exposed to Spanish at home and via community experiences and cultural traditions. Students will expand their Spanish language proficiency in writing, reading, oral production and listening comprehension through engagement with Latino/Hispanic artistic productions relevant to their bilingual experiences in the U.S. Ultimately, we aim to raise students' critical awareness regarding their role in their community and address the sociopolitical realities of Spanish in the U.S. Prerequisite: COD. (2 Units) Professor: Jessica Sánchez Flores.

Block 8

SP370. Genre Studies: Afro-Colombian Cinema.

This class will study Afro-Colombian cinema and films showcasing stories from the Pacific region and northern Colombia. Some of these films are pioneers in what's known as "the emergence of Colombian cinema" or "El surgimiento del cine colombiano." Throughout the course, we will analyze the director's role, misconceptions surrounding identities, social stereotypes, and the significance of the "visual" in shaping national history and representations. Prerequisite: SP306. Professor: Ángela Castro.



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