Special Topics Courses

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Speaking Up/Out: Women Writers and Feminist Social Movements in Contemporary Latin America – Prof. Laura Demaría

The feminist song “The rapist is You”—originally performed by the collective “Las Tesis” in Valparaiso (Chile)—has become a global hymn to protest violence against women. The performance was based on the work of anthropologist Rita Segato, whose studies have exposed power structures and the systematic violations of women’s rights. By reading contemporary women writers, and by working on feminist social movements, this course will explore what Segato has defined as “the war against women”

 

Mexican Women Writers – Prof. Ryan Long

By providing them the opportunity to engage with a variety of different types of texts written by women in Mexico from the colonial period to the present, this course will help students understand better the related topics of power, gender, and literature. The poetry of Sor Juana, the essays of Rosario Castellanos, the theater of Sabina Berman, and the prose fiction of Guadalupe Nettel; these are just a few examples of texts students will read, analyze, interpret, and consider in social and historical context. Topics addressed in conjunction with the study of these and other texts include: social structures that impede and allow women to write and publish; the visibility and invisibility of women writers in literary histories; critical reception of women writers; the relation of literary expression to feminist movements in Mexico; debates around the category of women’s writing; and the possibilities and challenges presented by describing shared or distinctive themes and formal characteristics in texts written by women.

 

Queer Spain – Prof. Mehl Penrose

This course will explore discursive representations of Spaniards who in some aspect did not present themselves as heteronormative or who were judged as raro (queer) by society. Putting a critical lens to art, drama, fiction, film, and journalism, we will interrogate what it means to be “(ab)normal” in terms of gender expression, sexuality, and anatomical sex in Spanish society at critical junctures in history. One of the principal purposes of this course is to define what “queer” means from a current critical perspective and how criticism can serve as a tool to analyze cultural discourse. We will also examine how the historical debates regarding genitalia, masculinity, femininity, and sexuality evolved from a moralist perspective to a medico-legal one over time.

 

Central American Diasporas – Prof. Ana Patricia Rodríguez

This course focuses on Central American Diasporas in the context of modern Central American societies, histories, (geo)politics, social and revolutionary movements, and cultural and literary production. It offers students an opportunity to learn more about Central America and its diasporic communities within and beyond the isthmus. Located between oceans, continents, and worldviews, the Central American isthmus has been a site of dispersion and cross-pollination of flora, fauna, peoples, cultures, and stories within and outside of the region. Covering El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panamá, Belize, and their translocations, we will study representative Central American texts and critical diasporic literature in relation to exile, (im)migration, war, genocide, violence, transnationalism, globalization, among other topics.

 

Filth and Literature in the Hispanic Caribbean-A Contemporary Introduction – Prof. Juan Carlos Quintero-Herencia

This course will discuss, literary, musical and theoretical texts, which represents the complex relationship between bodily and sensorial excess and aesthetic representation in contemporary Hispanic Caribbean. Specifically, the course will introduce the student within the different ways a text or cultural object uses and re-interprets several images of "filthiness" (asquerosidad) in a contemporary context. Certain Caribbean texts and performances have been censored for supposedly being foul, dirty, obscene, for inducing corruption in the minds of its readers or showing a distorted image of their communities. The frontiers between order and disorder, purity and dirtiness are always historical and a matter of agitated and nuanced discussions. Subjectivity and sensibility are locations marked by issues of race, class, power and gender.  With this in mind, the course will explore some of the most important contemporary interventions around sex, language and corporeality in the Hispanic Caribbean, from literary texts, vedetteʼs performances, salsa lyrics, cultural stereotypes to reggaetón or trap, among others. The main goal of the course is to understand both, the body and the cultural sensorial specificity of the Caribbean.  Students will be expected to participate actively in class, write short essays and complete miscellaneous assignments. The course will be conducted in Spanish. A large component of class time will be dedicated to the critical reading and discussion of the texts. Please come fully prepared to participate, having read, listen or watch the material carefully. This course contains images and words that some people may find disturbing. Student and adult discretion is advised.

 

Literature, Art and Film for Millennials: The Digital Don Quixote – Prof. Hernán Sánchez

100 well-known authors from 54 countries voted Don Quixote (1605, 1615) by Miguel de Cervantes the “most meaningful book of all time”. Widely acknowledged as the first modern novel, Don Quixote tells the story of a middle-aged Spanish gentleman who obsessed with the chivalrous ideals found in romantic books, decides to take up his lance and sword to defend the helpless and destroy the wicked. The course will analyse Don Quixote in relation to the Don Quixote’s universal impact in in the visual arts, film, music and popular culture.

 

Visions and Fictions – Prof. José María Naharro

This course presents an overview of Spanish Cinema from the end of the XIX Century through present day Spain. The course explores the production of literary and cinematic texts in their sociohistorical, political, religious and cultural contexts and development. This interdisciplinary course covers topics such as political, historical, religious, racial, ethnic, gendered/sexual, cultural, and ethno-geographic.

 

Love, Science, Religion and the Pursuit of Criollo Independence in 18th-Century Mexico – Prof. Eyda Merediz

This course will explore the 18th century from the periphery of traditionally studied centers of Enlightenment. By focusing on pre-independence Mexico, we will study the emergence of alternative scientific and religious discourses in an American context that leads to social and political changes at the onset of the 19th-century. Students will watch the Mexican telenovela Alborada (2005-6), which fictionally explores many of the topics that are relevant for the course, and read a variety of materials on the following subtopics: imperial designs, cultural production, inquisitional realities, medical discourse, individual and political rights, criollo consciousness, etc.

 

Bright Middle Ages – Prof. Carmen Benito-Vessels

The period that precedes the Renaissance has been traditionally labeled as the "dark" Middle Ages and it’s common to associate evil, brutality and barbarian lifestyle with the time span comprised between the 5th and the 15th centuries.  This undergraduate seminar does not intend to embellish the truth nor to minimize the hardships of life and death at the time of the Crusades. In fact, an objective timeline of historical events that marked that period as middle will be provided, and the central question to be addressed in this class is “Middle of what”? As we try to answer it, we will be able to examine many “modern” aspects of the Middle Ages.  Some of them have been highlighted since the beginning of the 20th century, and, in many ways, they justify a view of the Middle Ages as a bright and "modern" period in which --overcoming despicable difficulties and lack of facilities-- the most precious treasures of our times were intellectually conceived, manufactured, built, and written.

 

The Usable Past: Reflecting on Archives in Contemporary Fictions and Films from the Southern Cone – Prof. Laura Demaría

Che Guevara on a t-shirt, Eva Peron in a Broadway musical, Bolivar as trans on a postcard, Gabriela Mistral on a peso bill, Pablo Neruda as a postman’s friend, Frida Khalo as a feminist icon, Artigas in a blues band … This list can continue. Nevertheless, what all these cultural appropriations have in common is that the present has used the past to inscribe a functional narrative for that time. This course will not ask if we can know past events as they really happened, but rather it will explore how contemporary fictions and films from the Southern Cone construct usable cultural archives for their present. Also this seminar traces the ways in which contemporary authors, filmmakers, and visual artists reflect on the past in order to critically read their present. Concentrating on the past as both the subject of fiction and as a force for inscribing fiction, this seminar inscribes an approach to time that moves away from a linearity.

 

Central Americans in the DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) – Prof. Ana Patricia Rodríguez

This course explores the history, migration, and cultural representation of Central Americans in the DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) in the larger context of the United States. We will ask how and why this region is home to one of the largest concentrations of Central Americans, especially Salvadorans, in the nation, as well as examine the diaspora as a transnational process. We will study novels, short stories, poetry, spoken word/performances, films, music, photography, zines, social media, and other interdisciplinary re/sources and engage one-on-one with local and international artists, activists, and community orgs. Students should expect to participate in a community engagement project.

 

Culinary Landscapes: Food, Sabor and Image in Hispanic Caribbean Texts – Prof. Juan Carlos Quintero-Herencia

Relevant Hispanic Caribbean literary, musical and historical texts display their images in a culinary space. Images of food, but more specifically, of sabor (flavor, taste: a knowledge coming from flavor) work as metaphors, and as landscapes or seascapes, for the configuration of a singular aesthetic and political experience. Specifically, the course will discuss the corporeal and sensorial realities excited by this culinary imaginary. Issues of identity, race, gender, politics, and literary representation will be discussed, problematized and questioned. Furthermore, during this class we will put in motion our own critical skills while reading or listening to texts or cultural objects produced in a Hispanic Caribbean society. Students will be expected to participate actively in class, give an oral presentation, write short essays, a final research paper and complete miscellaneous assignments.

 

 

Paradise Lost: Cuban Cinematic Culture – Prof. Eyda Merediz

In 1959, two events rocked the world. An American company, named Mattel, Inc. lunched in March a fashion doll inspired by a German model, the paradigmatic Barbie. Three months before on the first day of the year, the triumph of the Cuban Revolution placed a small Caribbean island in the middle of the Cold War between the two Superpowers and at the avant-garde of Third World Decolonization Politics. More than fifty years later, both Barbie and the Cuban revolution have adjusted to the market after seeing a decrease in sales while being subjected to countless parodies. Only vintage collectors seem to uncritically enjoy both. This course will explore the cinematic journey of the Cuban revolution from socialist utopia to bitter disillusionment. Taking as point of departure the national postulates of an “Imperfect Cinema” and the different theorizations of “New Latin American Cinema,” the course will concentrate on the emergence and development of Cuban cinematic culture that has taken place during the revolution. Our objective is to explore how art and politics collide to reveal contested visions of a social process.

 

Keeping the Study of Spanish Exiles Alive in our Hearts – Prof. José María Naharro

Exile is a global and political phenomenon that touches nations throughout history. It is humanly disastrous, and displaces millions of refugees, identified by international conventions since 1922. Many displacements have also shaped intellectual legacies: Picasso's "Guernica," or our 1956 Nobel for Literature Laureate, Juan Ramon Jimenez's poetry. Some confuse expulsions based on religious faith prior to exiles after the formation of nation-states. The former had widely plagued Europe's monarchies, and the latter touched democracies during the rise of totalitarianisms that led, among other conflicts, to the Civil War against the Second Spanish Republic, and the fleeing of about half a million Spaniards (1936-39). Latin America, and particularly Mexico, welcomed close to 50,000, while the USA was restrictively accepting emigres. Therefore, it was a cataclysm with local and international Italian Fascist and Nazi plotting roots, the dismal Non-Intervention Society of Nations policies, and the US arms embargo. An anticipation of WWII. The course explores cultural and memory expressions of Spain's exiles.

 

Cervantes: Don Quixote – Prof. Hernán Sánchez

100 well-known authors from 54 countries voted Don Quixote (1605, 1615) by Miguel de Cervantes the "most meaningful book of all time" in a poll organized in 2002 by editors at the Norwegian Book Clubs in Oslo. Widely acknowledged as the first modern novel, Don Quixote tells the story of a middle-aged Spanish gentleman who obsessed with the chivalrous ideals found in romantic books, decides to take up his lance and sword to defend the helpless and destroy the wicked. Seated upon his naggy horse Rocinante and accompanied by his loyal squire Sancho Panza, Don Quixote sets out on the roads of Spain seeking adventure and glory. The course will consist in a chapter by chapter commentary of Don Quixote. The novel will be commented at the literal and historical levels, as well as in its symbolical and widely anthropological dimensions. We will attempt to establish a dialogue between Don Quixote and the cultural traditions of Europe, United States and Latin America. We will also take into consideration Don Quixote’s universal impact in music, popular culture and the visual arts.

 

Detective Fiction in Latin America – Prof. Ryan Long

This course focuses on Latin American detective fiction, including novels and short stories. It will analyze genre as well, for example, the difference between police procedurals and thrillers. Detective fiction’s origins are not Latin American, so the course will also include texts from other traditions, such as the US, English, and French. The course’s goals include introducing students to some of the key moments in the development of detective fiction; helping to understand how detective fiction is practiced in Latin America; identifying shared and distinct themes; and discussing the relations among fictional works, social and political topics, and history.

 

The Sublime and the Grotesque in Spanish Romantic Plays and the Visual Arts – Prof. Mehl Penrose

This course explores the notions of the sublime and the grotesque in theatrical works as well as in the visual arts of the Romantic period in Spain. The course examines the origins and definitions of the sublime and the grotesque. We will question how emotional states could affect both creator (author, artist) and consumer (reader, viewer). We will also focus on the ways in which the fantastic, strange, and incongruous—lo grotesco-- informed artists’ and authors’ approaches to the sublime in their works.

 

North American Neomedievalism. The US East Coast and 16th c. Spain – Prof. Carmen Benito-Vessels

We will study the voyages, settlements and exploration to the US East Coast between 1521 and 1572, which were sponsored by two Spaniards, Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón and Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. Both of them were guided and defeated by two Native American Indians: Francisco Chicorano and don Luis de Velasco. They are my “four characters in search of an author”. Their voyages subsequently resulted in a territory named “Tierras de Ayllón” or “Lands of Ayllón” --from Florida to the Chesapeake Bay--.  In these Lands of Ayllón were located the settlement of Chicora and the Missions of Ajacán and San Miguel de Gualdape. Ayllón ultimately reached today’s Winyah Bay, South Santee River, Perris Island, and the Chesapeake Bay. We will also read about the role of a colony named Santa Elena (1565-1587, Tybee Island, South Carolina) and a Mission named Ajacán (Virginia 1570), both were established by Pedro M. de Avilés, the founder of Saint Augustine. In 1529, Portuguese cartographer Diego Ribero included Ayllón’s discoveries to show the extent of Spanish presence in the Americas’ East Coasts (from the Chesapeake Bay to Patagonia, Argentina).  It was with the help of Ayllón’s and Ribero’s maps that the French and British colonists were guided in their navigations, quests, and further mapping explorations. Jamestown was founded in the vicinity of former Ajacán. The history and even the geographical location of these Spanish establishments paralleled geographically and anteceded chronologically those of the British colony at Roanoke (1585) and the eventual establishment of Jamestown (1607). 

 

Guita = Money: Reflecting on Neoliberalism and Contemporary Southern Cone Culture – Prof. Laura Demaría

There is always money; it is everywhere, no matter what we do. Even time and space have been monetized, while, capital and commodities are constantly being exchanged. Art, books, authors, and music, play a key role in the global market. This seminar will explore how neoliberalism and its market-driven economy have shaped Latin American culture of the last decades. Particularly, we will explore how contemporary cultural artifacts are inscribed into a value system that quantifies the unquantifiable, that is to say, a system that only values a book or an artist based on sales. Under this logic, Isabel Allende is one of the most influential Latin American literary figures of our time. In this class, we will work with a variety of cultural artifacts from Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay films, chronicles, music, newspapers.

 

Latina/o Communities and Language Struggles – Prof. Ana Patricia Rodríguez

This course explores the relationship between Latina/o communities and their language “choices,” negotiations, and struggles in the United States, starting with the Spanish conquest of North America in the 1500s and extending through the 21st century. We will examine the origins of Spanish and Spanish-speakers in U.S. territory, the arrival of English and English speakers in the U.S. Southwest, and the current resurgence of Spanish and Latin@ cultures in the United States. We will study novels, poems, music, art, and films, among other texts, representing the experiences of U.S. Latinas/os. Students will participate in a collaborative community engagement project.

 

Puerto Rican Contemporary Culture and Literature – Prof. Juan Carlos Quintero-Herencia

This course is designed to engage the students in a discussion of some of the contemporary debates in the Puerto Rican literary field. How a literary or a cultural text represents its temporal or spatial immediacy? Moreover, can this representation become a meditation on contemporary times? What is an image of the contemporary in Puerto Rico? This course will discuss a selection of literary texts, essays, songs, videos and “especiales”, as a way of opening a conversation on the notion of contemporary times in Puerto Rico.  Specifically, the course will discuss the different ways a text uses and re-interprets images in modern Puerto Rican culture. A collaborative effort is expected from the student by analyzing and critically commenting on the course's texts. Furthermore, during this class we will develop our own critical skills in reading texts written in a Hispanic Caribbean context. Students will be expected to participate actively in class, write short essays and complete miscellaneous assignments. The course will be conducted in Spanish.

 

Prison Narratives in the Americas – Prof. Ryan Long

This course investigates cultural representations of imprisonment and detention, including novels, testimonials, essays, and films. Course materials are drawn from across the Americas, including the US, with special emphasis on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Prison narratives reveal important intersections of subjectivity, state power, and societal norms. The course aims to develop responses to several guiding questions, including: How has privatization influenced prisons and detention centers? How do prisons function as instruments of political and social control? How does the space of the prison influence cultural representations of it?

 

Early Modern US and Early Modern Spain: a Common History – Prof. Carmen Benito-Vessels

We will study the impact of the Spanish Early Modern literature, cartography and architecture in the US Atlantic Coast (Labrador Peninsula to Florida).  The class will depart with the voyages of exploration to the US East Coast of 1521-1526, which were sponsored by a Spaniard, Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón; these voyages subsequently resulted in a territory named “Tierras de Ayllón”.

 

Northern Triangle: El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala – Prof. Ana Patricia Rodríguez

This course explores the discursive construction of the so called "Northern Triangle" of Central America, encompassing primarily El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala and extending into the rest of the isthmus. We will ask how and why this region has been historically represented as a site of violence, insecurity, despair, and e/migration, especially in light of hemispheric economic policies. We will discuss issues of violence, crime, feminicide, impunity, corruption, and human and drug trafficking as well as the struggles for equality, human rights, environmental justice, food security, and access to healthcare, education, and employment in the region. Our texts will include novels, short stories, crónica negra, films, photography, and other interdisciplinary re/sources. Students should expect to participate in a community engagement project.

 

Contemporary Images in Hispanic Caribbean Culture and Literature – Prof. Juan Carlos Quintero-Herencia

What is a Caribbean image? Moreover, can this image become an image on contemporary times? And, how this is possible? This course will face these questions as working hypothesis, not as rhetorical questions foreshadowing predictable and trite answers.  The course will discuss a selection of literary texts, music, videos and blogs, as a way of opening up a conversation on the notion of contemporary times in the Hispanic Caribbean. Specifically, the course would like to meditate on the different ways a literary text or a cultural object produces and, occasionally, re-interprets images of time and history.

 

Violence, exclusion and resistance in South American cities – Daniela Bulansky

This course will address a major problem that affects many people in Latin America. We will examine the construction and representation of violence, exclusion and resistance in South American slums through cultural products such as literary texts, films, music, photographs and graffiti. We will study these issues through different approaches such as ecocriticism and gender studies, among others. Since the mid-20th century, many Latin American cities have experienced the emergence, development and expansion of these informal settlements as an improvised response to the housing problem. People who have been unable to access traditional housing have been forced to build and live in precarious structures that lacked basic services. Names such as "villas miseria" in Argentina, "campamentos" in Chile, and "cantegriles" in Uruguay have changed over time but, regardless of their title, they continue to highlight urban inequality. Students will be expected to participate actively in class, give oral presentations, write a research paper and complete miscellaneous assignments.

 

Mexican Politics in Literature and Film – Prof. Ryan Long

This course focuses on literary and cinematic representations of the most important social and political events and tendencies in Mexico from the beginning of the Revolution of 1910 until the present. We will look at the so-called Novel of the Revolution and some of the most prominent related films. The class will also study the Mexican Student Movement of 1968 and how it has influenced calls for political reform and social movements, such as the struggles for women's rights and equality for sexual minorities. Other central topics will be cultural representations of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, the Zapatista uprising of 1994, the political transition of 2000, and narcotrafficking.

 

Home, Homelands, and Be/longings in U.S. Latina/o Texts – Prof. Ana Patricia Rodríguez

This course explores the constructions of home, homeland, and be/longing in U.S. Latina/o diasporic texts. We will address the question of how Latino migrants and generations born and raised in the United States perceive, desire, and construct “home” in/outside of the homelands. We will study novels, poems, music, art, and films, among other texts, representing the experiences of U.S. Central Americans, Dominicans, Panamanians, Puerto Ricans, South Americans, Cuban Americans, Mexican Americans / Chicanas/os, and others.

 

What Is a Beach? – Prof. Juan Carlos Quintero-Herencia

What is a beach? How did the beach or the coastline become cultural and aesthetic spaces in the Hispanic Caribbean? How Geography and imagination establish a dialogue? Or, can a geographic map help us understand the imaginary topography produced in the Hispanic Caribbean archipelago? What are the experiences and fantasies, culturally and politically, associated with the beach? This course will examine different island spaces within the Contemporary Hispanic Caribbean archive. Issues of identity, politics, race and power will be discussed through a series of texts, images, music recordings and films from Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The undetermined limits between inside and outside, land and water are always historical and a matter of complex discussions. Subjectivity and sensibility are locations marked by images, bodies and historicity. The main goal of the course is to understand both, the body and the cultural sensorial specificity of the Caribbean. Students will be expected to participate actively in class, write short essays and complete miscellaneous assignments.

 

Literary Representations of Childhood and Youth in Latin America – Prof. Ryan Long

Este curso se enfoca en la representación de la niñez y la juventud en obras de ficción y películas de varias regiones de la América hispanohablante, incluso México, el caribe, los Estados Unidos y Perú. Vamos a leer varios cuentos cortos y novelas, y mirar dos películas, todos los cuales desarrollan de modos distintos los temas de la niñez y la juventud. El objetivo principal del curso es considerar los aspectos compartidos y los aspectos singulares del contenido y la forma de nuestras obras con respecto a los modos en que construyen imágenes de la niñez y la juventud. Además, vamos a considerar los contextos sociales e históricos distintos de las obras. Un tema central del curso es el concepto del desarrollo, tanto individual como colectivo, un concepto que se conecta con el género (genre) del Bildungsroman, también conocido como novela de aprendizaje y novela de formación. Las posibilidades de desarrollo o los obstáculos que lo impiden serán un enfoque importante; y estudiaremos este enfoque con respecto a cuestiones de género (gender), clase social y etnia.

 

Crime, State, and Detective – Prof. Ryan Long

Este curso se concentra en la ficción detectivesca de América Latina, tanto cuento como novela, tanto policial como género negro. La ficción detectivesca tiene sus orígenes fuera de América Latina. Entonces el curso también presentará algunos textos claves de otras tradiciones, la estadounidense, la inglesa y la francesa. Al haber completado este curso, los alumnos deben de poder reconocer y explicar algunos momentos fundamentales de la historia de la ficción detectivesca; comprender cómo la ficción detectivesca se practica en América Latina; poder identificar temas comunes entre varias obras y temas originales de cada obra; y poder discutir la relación entre obras de ficción detectivesca y temas sociales e históricos. Otros objetivos centrales del curso son, desarrollar bien la capacidad de los alumnos de interpretar textos literarios con un énfasis en sus aspectos formales, distinguir y comparar distintos textos, y desarrollar hipótesis, argumentos y conclusiones originales sobre distintos textos, tanto en forma escrita como en el contexto de discusiones en clase. La clase se compone principalmente de discusiones de textos y temas relacionados.

 

Enlightenment Spain – Prof. Mehl Penrose

Este curso tiene como propósito enseñar al alumno las consecuencias de las intersecciones de las clases sociales, los géneros (masculino, femenino, “otro”), las sexualidades (normativas y no normativas) y las razas/grupos étnicos en la España ilustrada para demostrar cómo cada categoría era un rasgo fundamental en la construcción social de los españoles de esa época. En clase analizaremos los fenómenos cambiantes en la jerarquía social, la rigidez creciente en el sistema dicotómico de los géneros, las nuevas nociones sobre en qué consistía el sexo anatómico y las sexualidades y la perspectiva sobre las razas y los grupos étnicos considerados marginados. Indagaremos estos temas en los ensayos filosóficos y médico-legales, en la literatura, en el periodismo y en las artes plásticas.

 

Cinematographic Renditions of Colonial Spanish America: Written Texts, Visual Texts – Prof. Eyda Merediz

This course is an introduction to narratives of the colonial period in Latin America from the late fifteenth century to the eighteenth century. The course will examine the dynamics of identity construction of the colonial subject in Spanish America and its intricate relationship to issues of race and gender. We will read travel accounts, crónicas, relaciones, and poetry selections from some of the most known writers of the time. We will also look at cultural differences in colonial Spanish America as seen in visual arts, specifically contemporary films. We will study the manner in which certain colonial texts were "re-written" visually in the twentieth century and what sorts of ideologies underlined in the process of adapting a written text to the screen.

 

Bourgeois Notions – Prof. Mehl Penrose

Este curso indagará las nociones normativas que tenía la sociedad española decimonónica acerca de los papeles y la identidad de género y de la sexualidad de los hombres y mujeres en la novela realista y naturalista.  Investiga las representaciones literarias de las mujeres y de los hombres que en algún modo no se conformaban a las concepciones tradicionales del género y de las normas sexuales, ya fueran el aspecto, el comportamiento público o privado, el habla o los roles masculinos y femeninos. Se estudia la rebeldía femenina contra un orden patriarcal obligando la subyugación y la obediencia de las mujeres a los hombres. También se estudia los hombres que actuaban fuera de un sistema heteronormativo que valoraba la privacidad doméstica como el centro del honor y la masculinidad virtuosa. Se coloca la literatura analizada dentro de un contexto socio-histórico y crítico para mejor comprenderla.

 

Latin American Popular Culture: Telenovelas and the Global Market – Prof. Eyda Merediz

This interdisciplinary course focuses mainly on the Telenovelas as they constitute an intersection between literature and visual culture.  We will explore in depth the following concepts: Art, Literature, Genre, Intertextuality, Popular Culture, Media and Visual Productions, and the Global Market. We will also pay attention to historical processes and ideological choices that are reflected in the creation of a Latin American product that crossed over and beyond contributing to a borderless world. By taking as an example a Telenovela produced locally in Colombia, Café con aroma de mujer (2004), and a sample of national literature from the same country, we will explore both its regional and global appeal in theoretical and concrete ways.

 

Inventing the Natural – Prof. Mehl Penrose

Este curso indagará las siguientes preguntas: ¿Qué es un cuento? ¿Qué factores lo distingue de otras formas narrativas? ¿Por qué y cómo surgió como texto creativo en la España decimonónica? ¿En qué manera nos ayuda la teoría del cuento a entenderlo?

También el curso explorará lo que significa “lo natural” en la sociedad española decimonónica. ¿Cómo cambian las connotaciones de la noción de lo natural respecto a las distintas etapas de la centuria: la pre-invasión e invasión napoleónica, el reino de Fernando VII, la monarquía constitucional, la Revolución Gloriosa, la Primera República o la Restauración?

Finalmente analizará el contexto socio-histórico de España en el siglo XIX. Se enfocará en los siguientes movimientos artísticos y literarios: La Ilustración tardía, el Romanticismo, el Realismo y el Naturalismo.

 

Transatlantic Studies: Cuba and Spain – Prof. Eyda Merediz

Taking as point of departure the postulates of the New Atlantic History and transatlantic studies, our course will concentrate on the history and cultural manifestations resulting from the exchange between two focal points of the Hispanic Atlantic: Cuba and Spain. With a crosscultural, transnational and multiethnic lens, we will read canonical as well as less known texts of historical and literary interest from the seventeenth century to the present to unveil colonial, postcolonial, and neocolonial ties that forever hunt the island and its former metropolis.