PhD Course Descriptions

Fall 2017

SPAN-GA 1120.001Foreign Language Teaching Methodology

Day/Time: Monday, 1:15 – 2:15pm

Room: TBA

Instructor: Jabier Elorrieta

 

SPAN-GA 2968.001Performance and Politics

(This course originates in Performance Studies.)

Day/Time: Monday, 3:30 – 6:15pm

Room: TBA

Instructor: Diana Taylor

 

SPAN-GA 2978.001Introduction to Latin American Literature

Day/Time: Monday, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Room: 405, 19 University Place

Instructor: Eduardo Subirats

Muy pocas categorías de la crítica literaria de nuestra academia son capaces de abrir una mirada hermenéutica a lo que ha constituido el núcleo creador de la novela y la poesía latinoamericanas del siglo veinte. Aprenderse el manual de Eagleton, por citar un caso, es la garantía de que nunca se comprenderá nada. Subcategorías como realismo mágico son verdaderos testimonios de una ignorancia corporativamente sancionada. Ningún análisis inteligente debería ocultarse su real objetivo: la irrelevancia de la literatura y su reciclaje como mero soporte del aprendizaje lingüístico o como documento pseudosociológico de los cultural studies.

Mi seminario abrirá perspectivas diferentes a este mean stream. Partirá de una reflexión estéticos, general y ampliamente ignorados. Y a continuación reflexionará en torno a un puñado de obras clásicas y normativas de la literatura latinoamericana del siglo veinte, claramente diferenciadas de la producción comercial de ficción: Macunaíma, Pedro Páramo, Hombres de maíz, Los ríos Profundos, Grande sertão: veredas, Yo el Supremo… Desde un punto de vista metodológico señalare tres perspectivas fundamentales: (a) teoría de la razón colonial; (b) reconocimiento de las memorias mitológicas descartadas por los misioneros coloniales y sus sucesores; (c) la relación intrínseca de todo proyecto literario y artístico con un proyecto de transformación humana.

 

SPAN-GA 2967.001Audible Geographies

Day/Time: Wednesday, 2:00 – 4:00pm

Room: 223, 19 University Place

Instructor: Dylon Robbins

How does what you listen to shape your sense of self?  How do we relate to each other through music?  And how does music cross linguistic, political, social, and ethnic boundaries?  This course will take up some of these questions as it explores a few historical instances in which music has traveled extensively, finding listeners in a wide array of places.  We will revisit the reception and performance of different musics in the Americas and beyond to consider how rhythms and compositions were resituated in different contexts, with particular concern for their roles in bridging between members of diasporas.  Throughout the course, we’ll listen to musical examples from Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, New Orleans, New York, Senegal, and the Ivory Coast, while reading interventions by critics and musicians regarding these musics, their contexts, and their theoretical implications.  We will discuss and explore different approaches to music and signification through readings in media theory and sound studies. This course will be conducted in English, yet key readings will be assigned in Spanish and Portuguese.  Written work may be completed in any of the three languages.

 

SPAN-GA 2966.001Seminar in Theory: Culture and Politics

Day/Time: Wednesday, 5:00 – 7:00pm

Room: 223, 19 University Place

Instructor:  Sibylle Fischer

In this seminar we will interrogate the notion of “the political” in the realm of cultural production and cultural agency.  The aim of the seminar is to develop an understanding of how to interpret, assess, and engage theoretical argument. We will read canonical pieces in the history of critical theory, from Marx to decolonial theory, feminism, and critical race theory. Some sessions will be devoted to keywords (invoking the tradition of Raymond Williams) such as “public sphere,” “post/modernity,” “archive,” “liberal imagination,” “politics of form,” “reflection theory,” “performativity,” and “coloniality.” Students are invited to submit suggestions for keywords before the start of the semester.  There will be substantial writing assignments from week to week (2-3 pages), but no final essay.  The class will be taught in English, readings in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

 

SPAN-GA 2976.001Poetry, Affects, Politics

Day/Time: Tuesday, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Room: 405, 19 University Place

Instructor:  Perla Masi

This course explores the ways in which lyric poetry intersects with social and political power in modern and contemporary Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. What is the peculiar relationship between poïesis, affects and political action?  17th-century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza defines affect as the ability to affect and to be affected, which can diminish or increase the body’s capacity to act. How does lyric poetry, with its intensification of language and insistence on perception, the senses and passions, testify to the affirmation of joy as a form of resistance to State order? What makes of its creations a work of love, a work that questions the logic of liberal and neo-liberal political economies, and becomes a tool for social, political and cultural change? An exploration of the dialogue between poetry and contemporary political theory, this course draws on recent developments on the field of affect studies to address the relation of emotive experience to public and political life. Our focus will be historical moments in Europe and the Americas where poetics impacted the political debate: the Mexican Revolution (Xavier Villaurrutia), the Spanish Civil War (Federico García Lorca), the Violencia in Colombia (Álvaro Mutis), the Cuban Revolution (Eliseo Diego, Orígenes)  and the 1964 military coup in Brazil (Paulo Leminski). 

 

SPAN-GA 2977.001Art and Power in the Age of Dictatorships: Visual Arts under Fascism in Spain and the Broader European Context

Day/Time: Thursday, 4:00 – 6:00pm

Room: 223, 19 University Place

Instructor:  Dolores Jiménez Blanco

Can art survive under extreme political conditions? In what way can art be used by power? What does art reveal about the political and social environment in which it arises? Should art adapt to a hostile environment or, on the contrary, contribute to change it? These and other similar questions will be raised in this seminar.

To explore this field, we will focus on artistic and cultural developments in Spain during the first years of General Franco’s Dictatorship. We will analyze a period of just over a decade, starting in 1939 with the end of the civil war and the institution of a dictatorial regime, which meant the country’s isolation thanks to its ostracization by the western democracies. The latter then had to go through World War II and its consequences, resulting in different historical tempos.

The role of symbolic images, the precarious survival of avant-gardes, the influence of the regime’s key socio-economic policies on the visual arts, popular culture as a refuge and as propaganda, or resilience, repression and exile as political and personal responses, are some of the subjects to be addressed. To better understand the specific case of Spain, we will extend our vision to what happened in other countries, mainly European, in the 1930s and 1940s. This will allow us to broaden our scope in order to propose a general reflection on the central theme of art and power in the era of dictatorships.

 

SPAN-GA 2978.002Animalidad y política en la cultura latinoamericana

Day/Time: Friday, 2:00 – 4:00pm

Room: 223, 19 University Place

Instructor: Gabriel Giorgi

“¡Estos humanos son como nosotros; la prueba: son prisioneros de los humanos!” dice una rata en el vértigo de una rebelión animal que alcanzará dimensiones planetarias, tal como se narra en La ciudad de las ratas, de Copi. Los presos han dejado de ser propiamente humanos; las ratas hablan: de esa alianza, pacto o devenir surgirá una revuelta que disloca el orden violento y explotador de la ciudad --es decir, el ordenamiento político mismo. Las modernidades latinoamericanas han estado asediadas por la irrupción de una animalidad heterogénea e insistente: desde la constelación prolífica del siglo XIX en torno al bárbaro (el “animal con forma humana”) hasta el “aluvión zoológico” con el que fueron descriptos algunos populismos modernos, desde las figuraciones del “pueblo”, del “pobre” y del “precario” bajo el signo de una animalidad siempre demasiado próxima hasta las inscripciones de mataderos donde se anudan cuerpo y capital, lo animal aparece como una dimension constitutiva de las civilidades latinoamericanas y, a la vez, ilumina sus potencias e insurrecciones más radicales. Desde esa ambivalencia, el animal permite leer recorridos claves en torno lo moderno latinoamericano, y repensar los modos en que desmarca políticamente lo “humano” de sus otros raciales, sociales, sexuales, de género, etc. El seminario busca reunir textos clásicos de la literatura latinoamericana del siglo XIX y XX junto a materiales más recientes, para trazar series y elaborar herramientas críticas en torno a la relación entre animalidad y política. Entre los materiales se incluyen textos de Esteban Echeverría, , Clarice Lispector, Juan José Saer, Martín Kohan, Horacio Quiroga, José María Arguedas, Guimaraes Rosa, Julio Cortázar, Copi, Joao Gilberto Noll, Marosa di Giorgio,  Roberto Bolaño, Nuno Ramos, Roque Larraquy y Ana Paula Maia, entre otros.