Spanish 55: Hispanic Literature, Culture, and Politics
This is an interdisciplinary course that studies through diverse representations in literature and the arts major sociopolitical realities that have shaken and transformed the Hispanic world such as the Conquest, colonialism, the rise of the modern nation states, the Mexican and Cuban revolutions, the Spanish Civil War, Latin America's "dirty" wars, etc. The course will explore the interconnection between culture and politics allowing the student to read culture as a political text and political events as texts. Prerequisite: SPAN 20.
In Summer 2021 - Spanish 55.09: Revoltos/as: Forms of Rebellion and Revolution in Imperial Spain and Spanish America.
An indigenous rebellion helps overthrow a viceroy in Colonial Mexico; a woman in disguise joins the army and receives royal permission to live as a transgender male; a poet openly criticizes court politicians; a painter manages to question Catholic dogmas in his religious portraiture. It may be hard to imagine that there were multiple forms of rebellion and revolution under Absolutism in early modern Europe. But that is of course a prejudice from our modern times that need to be debunked in light of social attitudes towards power documented during that time period. We will explore salient cases from political revolution to subtle resistance in early modern texts and images of Spain and Spanish America. We will unearth impactful political upheavals as well as individual and collective forms of resistance relating gender, race, religion, etc., and forms of anti-establishment sentiment that occurred more often than we could imagine. Dist: ART; WCult NW. Professor Noelia Cirnigliaro.
In Winter 2022 - Spanish 55.06: Slaughterhouses. The Life and Death of Humans and Animals in the Southern Cone.
This course focuses on the slaughterhouse as an image that has haunted Latin American cultures for centuries, especially in the Southern Cone region. The image of the slaughterhouse for a society can be used to define, contrast, compare or put into question our own subjectivity for it highlights the flesh and blood that go into human labor At the same time, the image of the slaughterhouse denounces the abusive nature of power, a regulating force applied to bodies, both human and non-human. Using the image of the slaughterhouse in texts and images spanning 250 years of Southern cone history, we will explore various issues and debates within animal studies, from animal rights and biopolitics to modernization of killing, exploitation of bodies and zones of indetermination between animals and humans. Texts and images include: Echeverría, Lamborghini, Viñas, Walsh, Larra, Kohan, Busqued, Solanas, Sanjines, Foucault, Deleuze, Agamben and Giorgi. Dist.: SOC; WCult: NW. Professor Sebastián Díaz.
In Spring 2022 - Spanish 55.04: Humor and Politics in Latin American Literature, Film and Culture.
Comedy and humor often serve to undermine cultural elitism and denounce social injustice. Many Latin American authors, filmmakers, and artists have used comedy and humor in politically subversive ways, but also as a way to legitimize the cultures and communities of the marginal and disenfranchised. This course will explore several theories of humor as well as Latin American traditions of humor. Dist.: LIT; WCult: NW. Professor Israel Reyes.
In Summer 2022 - Spanish 55.13: Planeta Paraguay. Power and Politics in a "Land Without Evil."
Guarani peoples in what later became Paraguay believed there was a promised land, Yvymara'ey, or the "land without evil". Ironically, ever since the Conquest and through modern times Paraguay struggled with internal and external political powers that contributed to the country's insularity, exploitation, and impoverishment. By the end of Planeta Paraguay students will have stared to explore a lesser-known country from Latin America, to talk about images, texts, and films from some of the main figures of Paraguayan literature and culture. They will be able to discuss and analyze main problems of the ethical and political dimension of representation in Latin America. Students also will gain the disciplinary tools necessary to address such questions within the context of cultural, linguistic, and formal comparisons. Dist.: LIT; WCult.: NW. Professor Sebastián Díaz.
In Fall 2022 - Spanish 55.07: Revolution and Art in Mexico.
This course explores the cultural production of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1940) through an analysis of essays, literature, visual art, and cinema. It focuses on how the revolutionary ethos entered into relation with art, race, gender, religion and socialism in order to conceive a new social order and new forms of cultural imagination. The course content provides a clear understanding of the diverse set of interests and ideas that shaped the revolutionary process and continue to play an important role in contemporary Mexico. At the same time, the close examination of revolutionary representations sheds light on the problematic relations between aesthetics and politics, thought and praxis in modern societies. Works by Orozco, Rivera, Campobello, Vasconcelos, Flores Magón, Azuela, Maples Arce, among others. Dist.: ART; WCult.: NW. Professor Jorge Quintana-Navarrete.
In Winter 2023 - Spanish 55.11: Bullets and Letters: Basque Terrorism and the Arts.
This course will focus on Basque culture produced in response to ETA terrorism. We will study the ideology that governs nationalist discourses, understand the relation between identity and violence, and find in the arts (literature, film, painting, and sculpture) a reason to make the humanities one of the legs upon which peace and reconciliation rest. Documents include interviews and writings by former ETA militants and understanding the final dissolution of the organization in 2018. Dist.: LIT; WCult.: W. Professor Annabel Martín.