Current Graduate Courses
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Graduate Course Descriptions – Spanish and Portuguese – Spring 2014
Span 338: Studies in Colonial Literature
Topic: Natural Law and Natural Rights in Colonial Literature
T 3:10-5:30 Furman 319
This seminar explores the reassessment that the notion of natural law underwent after Columbus's arrival to the Indies, and traces its influence on the main tenets of major writings from Colonial to Independence times. Emphasis will be put on its literary representation in chronicles, poetry and sermons. Readings from Columbus, Cortés, Vitoria, Las Casas, Bernal Díaz, Ercilla, Inca Garcilaso, António Vieira, Sor Juana, Clavijero and Bolívar among others.
SPAN 352: Issues in Hispanic Cinema
Topic: Transatlantic Voyages
M 4:10-6:30 Buttrick 201
A study of the pervasiveness of transatlantic travels in contemporary Spanish and Latin American cinema and its possible connection with those primordial historical expeditions that fated the destinies and the profiles of the two sides of the Ocean. A tentative list of movies to examine includes "Nadie hablará de nosotras cuando hayamos muerto" (Díaz Yanes), "El cuarteto de la Habana" (Fernando Colomo), "Amores perros" (González Iñárritu), "Y tu mamá también" (Cuarón), "Flores de otro mundo" (Bollain), "Princesas" (León de Aranoa), "La puta y la ballena" (Puenzo), "Plata Quemada" (Piñeyro), "Todo sobre mi madre" (Almodóvar), "Lugares comunes" (Aristarain), "La virgen de la lujuria" (Ripstein), "El espinazo del diablo" (Del Toro) y "Aunque estés lejos" (Tabío).
SPAN 372: 20th and 21st Century Spanish Literature
Topic: Alterity in Contemporary Spain
F 1:10-3:30 Furman 319
This seminar explores the concept of alterity in contemporary Spain through a critical examination of twentieth and twenty-first century narrative. We will analyze how Otherness is remembered, negotiated, and employed to construct national identities, primarily through contrast and negation. Texts may include novels by Ángeles Caso, Benito Pérez Galdós, Juan Goytisolo, Najat el Hachmi, Donato Ndongo, Lourdes Ortiz, José Ovejero, and Manuel Rivas and two films, 14 kilómetros (dir. Olivares 2007) and Extranjeras (dir. Taberna 2003). In addition, we will read complementary theoretical works by Sara Ahmed, Hannah Arendt, Judith Butler, Homi Bhabha, Paul Gilroy, Gayatri Spivak, Timothy Brennan, and Raymond Williams.
Grades will be determined through class participation, a 15-minute presentation, and a final essay.
SPAN 389: Special Topics in Spanish American Literature
Topic: Life and Works of the Cuban Slave Poet Juan Francisco Manzano
R 3:10-5:30 Furman 319
In this seminar, we will study the life and works of the Cuban slave poet Juan Francisco Manano, the only slave in Spanish America to write his autobiography. Manzano taught himself to read and write at a time in which slaves were forbidden a formal education. Manzano wrote poems, an autobiography, and a play. He wrote with difficulty, and there are corrected versions of his works, some significantly different from the original. We will consider the different versions of Manzano's autobiography, and situate his writings within the context of the antislavery narratives, with works such as Anselmo Suárez y Romero's Francisco, Féliz Tanco y Bosmeniel's Escenas de la vida privada en la isla de Cuba, and Cirilo Villaverde's Cecilia Valdés, among others of the period. We will also study the impact Manzano had on the abolitionist movements in England, France, and the United States. Indeed, Manzano is a foundational writer of Cuba's literature and culture.
PORT 102: Intensive Elementary Portuguese (4 hrs) Available for AUDIT only.
01 MTRF 10:05-10:55 Buttrick 312
02 MTRF 12:10-1:00 Buttrick 312
An accelerated introduction to reading, writing, speaking and listening. Emphasis on practical usage. Open to students with prior study of another Romance language or by permission of instructor.
PORT 200: Intermediate Portuguese
MWF 1:10-2:00 CA 104
Intermediate Portuguese 200 is a course offering for students who have taken Portuguese 102 or have acquired Portuguese background elsewhere and wish to continue studying the language. The course is designed to offer a review of grammar through the use of music and other cultural elements (film, television programs, web resources, etc).
PORT 205: Introduction to Luso-Brazilian Literature
TR 1:10-2:25 Furman 302
Portuguese 205 is an introduction to Luso-Brazilian literature through the reading and analysis of literary texts and other cultural productions (such as films and music). Prerequisite: Port 201 or 203.
PORT 233: Modern Brazilian Literature
MWF 11:10-12:00 Buttrick 212
The development of Brazilian literature from the Semana de Arte Moderna to the present. We will explore key aspects of Brazilian Modernism such as the concept of cultural anthropophagy, as well as the tensions between the national and regional identities. Novels, short stories, and poetry by masters of the Brazilian literature will include Mario de Andrade (Macunaíma, Pauliceia Desvairada), Oswald de Andrade (Manifesto Antopófago), Vinícius de Moraes (Nova Antologia Poética), Carlos Drummond de Andrade (A Rosa do Povo), Jorge Amado (Gabriela Cravo e Canela), Clarice Lispector (Laços de Família), Guimarães Rosa (Grande Sertão: Veredas), João Cabral de Melo Neto (Morte e Vida Severina), Nelson Rodrigues (A Vida Como Ela É), and Augusto de Campos (Viva Vaia). Finally, we will explore contemporary authors who recently established themselves in the pantheon of Brazilian literature: Cristovão Tezza (O Filho Eterno, 2007) and Milton Hatoum (Dois Irmãos, 2000 and Cinzas do Norte, 2005).
PORT 294-01: Special Topics in Portuguese Language, Literature or Culture: Soccer in Brazilian Culture
TR 11:00-12:15 Furman 007
Considering the upcoming World Cup in Brazil, this course examines soccer as one of the main components of Brazilian national identity. Soccer is analyzed through the study of literature, cinema, media, and popular culture. Critical texts in diverse areas of humanities and social sciences (sociology, anthropology, literary criticism, etc) will be used.
In addition, Catalan 102 is being offered and may be audited by graduate students:
CTLN 102: Intensive Elementary Catalan Available for AUDIT only.
MWF 10:10-11:00 Furman 209
This course is an intensive introduction to Catalan, a Romance language of some eight million people of northeastern Spain (Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands, and a portion of eastern Aragon), the Principality of Andorra, the Department of Roussillon in southwestern France, as well as the town of Alguer (Alghero) on the island of Sardinia. Emphasis will be on oral/aural communication, grammar, reading and culture. Prior study of another Romance language through the intermediate level is highly recommended.
GRADUATE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS – FALL 2013
SPAN/PORT 301: Literary Analysis and Theory
R 1:10-3:30 Furman 202
This course is intended as a basic introduction to twentieth-century and contemporary literary theory at a graduate level. One of its objectives will be to provide the students with a survey of theoretical models, terminologies and working tools for literary analysis. We will read general introductions and relevant texts of Russian formalism, New Criticism, reader oriented theories, Marxism, structuralism, psychoanalytic literary theory, feminisms, poststructuralism, postmodernism, cultural studies, New Historicism, postcolonial studies, and gender studies. We will complement the theoretical readings with a selection of different pieces of textual criticism.
SPAN 303: The Art of Research and Grant Proposal Writing
R 3:10-5:30 Furman 319
This course will be conducted in workshop format. It is designed to help graduate students write grant proposals for university-wide competitions for research funds, but will cover the area of grantspersonship more generally. The approach to the course will be to focus on each student's own research project. Students will draft and submit for collective discussion different components of their proposals, leading up to the term project, namely grant proposals that are ready for submission to external funding agencies. The course is useful for students planning to apply both for internal University funding (e.g., Vanderbilt College of Arts and Sciences Summer Research Award Program, Penn Warren Humanities Center, Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) summer travel awards [FLAS, Tinker, Simon Collier], and external fellowships and grants (e.g., Fulbright, Fulbright-Hayes, National Endowment for the Humanities). For those planning to enter the academic job market, the course will prepare them for internal faculty and external grant competitions once they are professors in the tenure-track.
In addition, the course will cover topics such as how to prepare manuscripts for submission to journals, how to write abstracts for consideration by conference organizing committees, and how to prepare for entry into the academic job market.
SPAN/PORT 310: Foreign Language Learning and Teaching (Also listed as Portuguese 310)
M 3:10-5:40 Furman 109
Principles and practices of teaching a second language, with concentration on recent interactive and communicative models of foreign language instruction. Goals of the course are 1) to introduce principles of Second Language Acquisition and learning, 2) to critically read relevant literature in the area(s), and 3) to develop FL instructor's awareness through reflective and critical thinking. Classroom observations, journal writing, development of materials, and a small action research project are expected. Required of all entering teaching assistants.
SPAN 343: Early Modern Spanish Drama
Topic: The Comedia and Beyond
T 3:10-5:30 Wilson 127
The course will begin with the frustrated but talented dramatist Miguel de Cervantes, will focus on Lope de Vega and the development of the comedia nueva, and will consider representative works of the neoclassical and Romantic periods. Emphasis will be on reading and discussion of individual plays, a consideration of their multiple contexts, and a survey of dramatic theory from classical antiquity to the present, including performance theory.
Texts will include:
Miguel de Cervantes, La Numancia, "El retablo de las maravillas"
Lope de Vega, "Arte nuevo de hacer comedias en este tiempo," El caballero de Olmedo, Fuenteovejuna, La dama boba, El castigo sin venganza
Tirso de Molina, El burlador de Sevilla
Pedro Calderón de la Barca, El médico de su honra, La vida es sueño
María de Zayas, La traición en la amistad
Ana Caro, Valor, agravio y mujer
Leandro Fernández de Moratín, El sí de las niñas
Ángel Saavedra, Duque de Rivas, Don Álvaro, o la fuerza del sino
José Zorrilla, Don Juan Tenorio
There will be a reading assignment and a short written exercise for each week. Evaluation will be based on the exercises and class participation (70%) and a final paper of ten to twelve pages (30%). The class will be given in Spanish. The final paper may be in Spanish, Portuguese, or English.
SPAN 375: Studies in Trans-Atlantic Literature
Topic: Poetry in the Era of Memory
F 1:10-3:30 Furman 319
The purpose of this seminar is to work on a highly debatable topic: lyric trends dealing with memory, oblivion, and social responsibility in modern Hispanic poetry. Moreover, the focus of the course is a dialog of temporal and spatial resonances that coverthe twentieth century and expand over the Atlantic to bridge the distance that separates Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. Through pairs of poets such as Xavier Villaurrutia (Mexico) and Federico García Lorca (Spain), Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina) and Luis Cernuda (Spain), Susana Thénon (Argentina) and María Ángeles Pérez López (Spain), and Cristina Peri Rossi (Uruguay/Spain) and Noni Benegas (Argentina/Spain), we will examine ways of telling history beyond narration. The word history here means both historical events and social issues that galvanize the polis and its citizens. The theoretical basis of the course will be formed by reflections on art, poetry and society on behalf of Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and Paul Ricoeur.
Oral presentations on Ricoeur, Bloch, Benjamin, and AdornoA series of four interpretive essays, up to five pages each, on any four out of the eight poets and their works to be discussed throughout the course. Each essay is due the day we discuss the poet and her/his work in class (see reading schedule below).A final research/interpretation essay of up to 6000 words (without notes and bibliography), on any one of the eight poets included in the course.
All essays should be sent as attached Word documents to my email before class.
SPAN 389: Special Topics in Spanish American Literature
Topic: Narratives of Nation Building
W 3:10-5:30 Furman 319
This course examines U.S. and Latin American nationalisms and literatures (primarily prose from the long-19th century) from the perspective of Hemispheric American Studies. Our secondary readings shall encompass theoretical piece from this field as well as from Latin American Studies. Primary texts may include: A. Bello, Silvas americanas; J. J. Fernández de Lizardi, La Quijotita y su prima; S. Morton, Crania Americana (selections); W. H. Prescott, History of the Conquest of Peru (selections), History of the Conquest of Mexico (selections); W. W. Brown, Clotel, or The President's Daughter; D. F. Sarmiento, "Espíritu y condiciones de la Historia en América," "North and South America," Vida de Abrán Lincoln (introd.); M. Peabody Mann, Juanita; J. E. Rodó, Ariel; George Schuyler, Black No More.
01 MTRF 10:05-10:55 Buttrick 304
02 MTRF 12:10-1:00 Buttrick 301
An accelerated introduction to reading, writing, speaking and listening. Emphasis on practical usage. Open to students with prior study of another Romance language or by permission of instructor. [4 hours]
PORT 200: Intermediate Portuguese
MWF 12:10-1:00 Wilson 121
Intermediate Portuguese 200 is a course offering for students who have taken Portuguese 100B, 102 or have acquired Portuguese background elsewhere and wish to continue studying the language. The course is designed to offer a review of grammar through the use of music and other cultural elements (film, television programs, web resources, etc).
PORT 225: Brazilian Culture through Native Materials
TR 11:00-12:15 Furman 325
In this course we will have a historical overview of Brazilian cultural production through the analysis of objects as diverse as sitcoms, soap operas, movies and songs. It will be divided into four main segments: music, cinema, TV and sports. Students will study Brazilian music from the birth of Bossa Nova (1950s) and MPB (Música Popular Brasileira, 1960s) to contemporary musical phenomena such as tecnobrega, funk carioca and sertanejo universitário. We will discuss the development of Brazilian cinema from the Cinema Novo in the 1960s to the retomada in the mid-1990s. In the TV section, we will examine the impact of telenovelas and the role of the mighty Rede Globo in Brazilian society. Finally, beyond the insurmountable importance of soccer, we will also study the development of volleyball as today's second most popular sport in Brazil.