Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses: Spring 2014

HISP 2160M-S01 Early Modern Madrid: The Cultural Creation of a Court Capital

Professor Laura Bass

Thursday 3:00-5:20 

A city is not only made of buildings and streets but also texts and images that shape the way people understand and inhabit the urban environment. This seminar focuses on early modern Madrid, created as the seat of Philip II’s court in 1561 and transformed in the following decades into the capital of Spain’s far-flung empire. We will examine the role of culture in that transformation—the primary spaces and technologies of literary and artistic production, as well as its multiple genres and forms (e.g., novelas, plays,relaciones de fiesta, prints, maps,paintings). Primary sources will be complemented by readings in history and theo 

HISP 2250L-S01 Gender/Genre: A Study of the Realist Novel

Professor Julia Chang

Friday 3:00-5:20

This seminar will examine the emergence of the realist novel and its contribution to nation building during Spain’s transition to modernity. At the same time, we will trace the novel’s curious engagement with gender by examining realism’s obsession with troubled female protagonists. To what extend do these disturbed women allegorize the anxieties around progress and modernization? Throughout the class we will consider how gender is imagined, regulated, performed, and transformed in relation to nation, class, race and sexuality. Students will become familiarized with various approaches to the study of novel as well as theories of gender and sexuality. 

HISP 2350E–S01 Novela latinomericana contemporánea 

Professor Julio Ortega

Wednesday 3:00-5:20

Estudiaremos la constelación de novelas fundamentales (Pedro Páramo, Los ríos profundos, Rayuela, La muerte de Artemio Cruz, Cien Años de soledad entre otras) que configuran un sistema literario hecho de innovación formal, ampliación de la lectura, y puesta en crisis de la representación.


Past Semesters:

Fall 2013


HISP 2030D-S01, “15th Century Sentimental Romances and La Celestina”


Prof. Mercedes Vaquero

Monday 3-5.20, Rochambeau 107

The fifteenth-century sentimental romances establish narrative innovations and a literary climate that lead inevitably to the creation of the "novel". With their insistent portrayal of the sufferings of love, romances by Padrón, Flores, San Pedro, and Rojas represent an essential step in the evolution of the modern novel.

HISP 2520I-S01, "Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz in Her Literary Context"

Prof. Stephanie Merrim

Friday 3-5:20, Marston Hall 209

Intensive study of Sor Juana's major writings in a variety of genres; comparisons with other writers of her extended literary milieu.  Beyond Sor Juana, readings include Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, Mme. de Lafayette, María de Zayas, and more. 

HISP 2350O-S01, “Latin America Reviewed”

Prof. Michelle Clayton

Wednesday 3-5.20, Rochambeau 107

This seminar explores the practices, theories, and tropes which frame our understandings of post-independence Latin America. Readings will establish a counterpoint between figurations of the continent in early discovery accounts and nineteenth century travel narratives, turn-of-the-century poetic remappings, and twentieth century novelistic reworkings of earlier tropes. Texts by Rivera, Carpentier, Arguedas, Cortázar, Piglia, Saer, Aira and others.

HISP 2620A-S01, “Entre nosotros: La familia en la literatura y el cine españoles (1942-2009)”

Prof. Sarah Thomas

Thursday 4-6.20, Sayles Hall 200

This course reflects on the representation of the family in Spanish literature and film since the Civil War. Themes we will explore include: the family as a space for the formation of identities and subjectivities; the symbolic relationship between family and nation; religion; gender roles and the concepts of maternity, fatherhood, and childhood; monstrous families and the specter of incest; modern "found" families constructed outside biological bonds. Texts and films by Sender, Buero Vallejo, Delibes, Cela, Laforet, Buñuel, Borau, Almodóvar, Saura, among others.

Spring 2013

Mester de clerecia

HISP2030G – CRN 24385 – Mercedes Vaquero

This course will focus on different works of "mester de clerecía" from the 13th and 14th centuries, and provide an overview of current thinking regarding their nature and origin, while at the same time seeking to interrogate many of the prevailing assumptions and received ideas of Spanish literary historiography. Works and topics will include: Libro de Alexandre (ideologies of power), Libro de Apolonio (the intellectual hero), Berceo's works (hagiography, clerical poetry, the rise of literacy), Poema/Libro de Fernán González (epic hero), and Libro de buen amor (seduction manual/spiritual guide).

The History of Wonder in Colonial Spanish American Lettres

HISP 2350H - CRN 23973 - Stephanie Merrim

The notion of wonder (asombro, maravilla) played a determining role in the Spanish and Creole writings of the Spanish American colonial period. The volatile aesthetic of wonder raises and implicates such important issues as otherness, exoticism, category crisis, and identity formation. A studies course examining the role of wonder in New World historiographic and literary writings of the 16th and 17th centuries.



Fall 2012

Canonical Literature of the Spanish Golden Age

HISP2160L - CRN 16555 - Laura Bass

This seminar is intended to deepen understanding of canonical literary works of 16th- and 17th-century Spain selected from the Golden Age prelimin exam list. Critical readings of texts in their social, historical, and cultural contexts will be accompanied by critical reflection on why we read these works in the first place—that is, on canon formation—and on the genealogy and validity of the "Golden Age" as period descriptor. We will study various aspects of book history including print and manuscript culture, regulation of the book trade, practices of reading, concepts of authorship, and debates about poetic language as well as the value of imaginative literature.

Poetics of the Avant-Garde in Latin America

HISP2350M - CRN 16513 - Michelle Clayton 

This course traces the shocks and flows of avant-garde activities through Latin America in the first decades of the twentieth century. We will explore manifestoes, poetry, artworks, and film from Argentina, the Caribbean, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru, from creacionismo through Brazilian modernismo, ultraísmo and estridentismo, poesía afroantillana and tecnoindigenismo, with occasional detours into Iberian experiments. Authors will include Vicente Huidobro, Oliverio Girondo, César Vallejo and Pablo Neruda. Our reading will take into consideration three overlapping backdrops: regional and continental debates over culture and politics; contemporary experiments among the European avant-gardes; and local developments in technology and mass culture.

Biography, Autobiography and the Representation of the Subject in 19th Century Latin America

HISP2350N - CRN 16566 - Aldo Mazzucchelli

The 19th Century was the century of the Self. In Latin America the construction of the Nation ran parallel with the construction of a new image for the individual, and both were produced in writing. We will discuss some of these narratives of the self, biographies, autobiographies, journals, personal memories and letters. Readings from Francisco de Miranda, Simon Bolívar, Juana Manuela Gorriti, Esteban Echeverria, Eugenio María de Hostos, Domingo F. Sarmiento, Teresa Wilms Montt, Rubén Darío, José Martí and others.

Teoria y Práctica Poética en Cesar Vallejo

HISP2350G - CRN 14983 - Julio Ortega

Seminario dedicado a estudiar en profundidad la poesía hermética de Vallejo. Analizaremos su práctica poética así como su teoria del poema a través de la evolución de su obra y pensamiento.