Course Descriptions

Major & Minor Course Offerings in Hispanic Studies, Fall 2023

Please email if you have any questions about registering.  Also see our Facebook album with course flyers!

13526   SPAN 332: Healing, Science and Morality in the Hispanic World (Fredrick) 

From the brain surgeries of ancient Peru to Arab and Jewish gynecological medicine in medieval Spain; from Central America, where Mayan community organization plays a central role in Covid vaccination, to research in genetic therapies in Buenos Aires and Madrid, the varied world of Hispanic cultures demonstrates the role of science and healing in all its aspects. In this course we will explore how science, literature and medicine throughout Latin America, Spain, and the Spanish-speaking communities of the American Southwest illustrate life-and-death dilemmas. What are the different responses that Hispanic traditions offer for those in the health professions-patients, doctors, nurses and administrators-and for the challenges we all face on a daily level, regarding our health? This course will involve the student actively in the understanding and importance of moral and ethical dilemmas that define every aspect of our physical and mental well-being, as well as analyze evolving roles of gender and health in the contemporary and historical Spanish-speaking world. 

10812   SPAN 333: Vidas artísticas: Latin American artists on film (Chávarry) 

In this course we will explore the lives and artistic trajectories of six 20th-century Latin American and Latinx artists through their representation in the big screen: painter Frida Kahlo (Mexico), poet Pablo Neruda and folklorist Violeta Parra (Chile), rock pioneer Tanguito (Argentina), salsa singer Héctor Lavoe (Puerto Rico-US) and Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla (US). Starting from their cinematic depictions, we will learn about how their personal lives and careers responded to the political, social and cultural struggles of their respective time and place, and, by doing so, reflect about the role that the artist plays within society. In addition to contextualizing their careers, we will also analyze their artistic production, including paintings, handcrafts, poems and songs, as well as the impact and legacy of these artists after their deaths. This course will also include an online collaboration component with Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile, where we will have the chance to meet and share with students and faculty who, like us, live and study in their country’s South.  

10942  SPAN 367: City Lights! Spanish Narrative in the 20th and 21st Centuries (Divine)

 In this class we will focus on short stories, novellas, poems, and films about life in Madrid and Barcelona in the 20th and 21st centuries in Spain. To look at the cities, we must also look at the “not urban” and how these two understandings of space and place interact and inform each other. How have representations of place changed in the last 100 years? And what are the forces driving that change? To answer these questions, we will look at writers and directors such as Benito Perez Galdós, Antonio Machado, Ana Maria Matute, Luis Garcia Berlanga, Luis Cernuda, Lluis Quilez, Iciar Bollaín, Elvira Navarro, and Ana Iris Simón.  

13529  SPAN 494: Identidad, nación y frontera a través de los procesos transmigratorios entre México y los Estados Unidos (Carrillo Arciniega)

El objetivo de este curso es explorar la identidad nacional y las expresiones de la frontera y las experiencias migratorias a través de la literatura y el cine en siglo XXI. En el curso estudiaremos la identidad, la noción de nación y los contenidos de la frontera como mapa mental lejos del territorio como espacio físico real en donde se dan las interacciones culturales y de negociación temática. Veremos las siguientes películas: Los Olvidados (Buñuel), Sin nombre, Ya no estoy aquí, Bardo (Iñarritu). También leeremos las novelas: José Agustín. Ciudades desiertas, David Toscana. El ejército iluminado, Valeria Luselli, Los niños perdidos, entre otras de autores contemporáneos que han tratado de entender el fenómeno de la migración de México a Estados Unidos.

11984  HISP 252: Animals and Meaty Bodies in the Latin American Imaginary (García) 

Critical Animal Studies emerges from both a concern for the well-being of nonhuman animals and the awareness that racist, sexist, and classist systems share the same logic as anthropocentrism. Posing the question of the animal within the disciplines of the Humanities has brought back critical attention to ethics and difference. In the context of Latin American studies, the animal turn provides another framework with which to examine inherited colonial binaries such the civilized and the barbarous. Using animals as allegorical devices to address the dehumanization of the disenfranchised has been a long Spanish American literary tradition. However, in more contemporary works, animals no longer operate as a metaphor for abjectness in a humancentric drama, but rather destabilize the limits between the animal and the human. This class will explore the question of the animal in a selection of literary and visual works from Argentina and Cuba that foreground animal bodies or humans as consumable meat. 

11991 SPAN 630 Special Topics: Teaching Spanish as a Heritage Language in the US (Silvia Rodriguez Sabater) 

This course explores the field of teaching Spanish as a heritage language from a theoretical and practical perspective, with particular focus on the challenges faced by teachers of Spanish when teaching heritage language learners (HLLs) and addresses these challenges head on. Specifically, we will learn about the profiles and definition of HLLs of Spanish in the US, gain a better understanding of the differences between HLLs and L2 learners, and explore the sociolinguistic situation of Spanish in the US, including the characteristics of US Spanish. We will also learn strategies for the heritage language classroom (placement, differentiated instruction, vocabulary, grammar, register, communication modes, selection of materials, cultural topics, and assessment). Lastly, we will explore the role of the teacher beyond the classroom as an advocate for HLLs. By the end of the semester, the materials and assignments in this course will allow teachers to develop their own lessons, create activities and assessments, and gather resources.

11990  SPAN 490: Page Turners: Celebrity Writers and Best Sellers in Early Modern Spain’s Age of Print (Wise) 

This course explores how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain’s insatiable thirst for books drove an explosion in literary innovation and writing techniques that created some of the most commercially successful genres that are still among the most popular today, including the novel, the romantic comedy, the satire, and the short story. To achieve commercial success, celebrity authors competed to deliver page-turner literature that left their consumers wanting more, and writers were frequently noted in their eulogies for their ability to provoke audible reactions of laughing, crying, and surprise. We will look at the development of print and literary culture, literary consumption, and crowd-pleaser writing styles in the works of authors that reached celebrity status in Early Modern Spain, such as Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Luis de Góngora, María de Zayas, and Francisco de Quevedo.