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Current New & Special Courses

New and special topics courses in Spanish and Portuguese for the 2021-2022 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 Spanish minor and the Hispanic Studies major (newly revised). If you have questions about a specific course, feel free to email the professor teaching the course.

Block 3

SP312. Maya literature, culture, and history. The course will trace key characteristics of Mayan cultural productions in Central America and Mexico, with a focus on contemporary expressions. We’ll explore the region’s colonial past and its legacy in the present, focusing on its extractive nature, the ongoing exploitation of Maya people through processes of racialization, and the current interaction of culture and tourism. We will also explore the complex interactions of indigenous, national, and regional identity. Taught abroad as part of the CC in Latin America program in Mérida, Mexico. Prerequisite: SP201 (SP304 and/or SP305 preferred) and COI. Professor: Andreea Marinescu

Block 4

SP370. Genre Studies: Testimonio and the politics of subaltern representation in the Américas. This course examines testimonio as a unique genre that developed in Latin America and North America in the wake of social and political struggles of marginalized communities starting in the 1960s. Testimonio embodies the tension between subaltern voices and hegemonic culture, between genre and disciplinary boundaries, such as autobiography and literature or art and politics. We will explore the ways in which testimonio seeks to communicate and legitimize the urgency of political action in the wake of social and political disasters – military dictatorships, civil wars, forced migration. Throughout the course we will discuss topics such as individual and collective identity formation, authority and mediation, revelation and secrecy, orality and performativity, memory and forgetting. Prerequisite: SP306.  Professor: Andreea Marinescu

Half block

PG199. Brazilian Music and Language.  This course will introduce students to some of the musical traditions of twentieth and twenty-first century Brazil as well as basic communication in Portuguese language.  Students will explore traditions such as forró, samba, bossa nova, tropicália, MPB, sertaneja, batucada, funk, among others.  Course may be taught in Portuguese depending on enrollment and prior language experience of students. No prerequisites. .5 unit. Professor: Naomi Wood.

Block 5

SP350. 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: SP306. It is also highly advisable to have taken at least one advanced Spanish literature course. Professor: Carrie Ruiz.

Block 6

SP316. Afro-Latin American Literature and Culture. What is the role of Afro-Latin American literature and culture in the 20th century? In this course, we will answer these and other questions related to Afro-Latin American culture. We will study how Afro-Latin American literature and films have tried to de-construct canonical literature and national narratives in Latin America. Hence, Afro-Latin American writers, songwriters, and filmmakers use the notion of decolonization, either to confront or counteract it. We will delve into Afro-Latin American cultures in Paraguay, Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico. In this course, the students will read poetry and narrative written by noncanonical Afro-Latin American writers, such as Lilia Ferrer from Venezuela, Virginia Brindis de Salas, and Cristina Cabral from Uruguay, as well as Ashanti Herrera and Manuel Zapata Olivella from Colombia. Prerequisite: SP306. Professor: Ángela Castro

Block 8

PG316. Afro-Brazilian Culture Through the Arts. This course takes an arts-centered approach to learning about Brazilian history and contemporary social issues in the northeast region of the country. The course will be taught in English, but all students will be required to study Portuguese language in tandem with the course content. Students will live with host families and will engage in daily classes, workshops, and field trips. Some of these include: Afro-Brazilian percussion and dance workshops, graffiti tours, conversations with museum curators, capoeira practice, and more. Taught abroad in Salvador, Brazil. Prerequisite: COI.  Professor: Naomi Wood

Report an issue - Last updated: 08/11/2021