Modern Languages and Literatures
New Course For Fall 2013
Spanish 148: Center vs. Periphery? The Literatures and Cultures of Contemporary Spain
Instructor: Nicole Altamirano, Visiting Assistant Professor
This course explores the concept of “Spanishness” in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as Spain attempts to juggle its disparate identities and write itself out of its marginalized status within the European context. Our examination of a country still wary of its nationalist past will focus on the literature and culture of Spain’s core, Madrid, and the “peripheral” autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Basque Country, and Andalusia. Drawing upon a variety of media, we will consider the extent to which Spain, as declared in the recently-retracted new lyrics of its national anthem, speaks “with a distinct voice and a single heart.”
Prerequisite: Spanish 101 or higher, or permission of instructor.
Students have the option of writing either two 4-5-page essays or one 8-10-page essay with works cited and will take a mid-term and a final. In addition, after each reading the students are expected to write a brief commentary on an aspect of the work that has drawn their attention. These entries may be collected at any time.
Grades: 35 % essay(s), 20% mid-term, 25 % final, 20% participation (attendance, class discussion, assignments, and quizzes)
New Course: Spanish 153 - Spring 2013Political and Social Leadership in Latin America in the 21st Century
Catalog Description:This course will introduce students to central issues in political and social leadership in Latin America. Over the past decade Latin American nations have experienced often tumultuous change as political power has shifted from traditional white male elites to an increasingly diverse set of stakeholders. In today’s context, such phenomena include the presence of leaders of indigenous descent and female presidents as well as social movements spearheaded by the urban poor, peasants, and students. By examining several specific case studies, the course will seek to contextualize the appearance of these collective actors and the strategies employed to achieve their goals.
Instructor: Salvador Velazco, Associate Professor of Spanish
In Latin America, we have witnessed the emergence of new forms of leadership in the social and political landscape. In the twenty-first century, such phenomena include the presence of leaders of indigenous descent (Evo Morales) and female presidents (Dilma Rousseff, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Michelet Bachelet, etc.). In the same way, associated with the rise of leaders from outside the traditional white male elite are socials movements such as those spearheaded by the urban poor (The experience of the “piqueteras” organizations in Argentina), the peasants (Brazil, “Landless Workers’ movement”), the social movement in Mexico against the violence generated by the war on drugs whose leader is the poet Javier Sicilia, among others. We need also to consider the upsurge of the students’ movements (Chile, Mexico) and ecological movements (Mexico, Group of the 100). This course aims to study how and why these processes occur, with a focus on several specific case studies. The approach is interdisciplinary (history, literature, cinema, journalism, and political science). The analysis of essays, biographies, chronicles, speeches, documentaries, newspaper reports, internet websites, among other sources and documents, will allow students to examine the specificities of leadership in today’s Latin America. Students doing a dual major (Spanish with government, history, international relations, Latin American studies, etc.) will find the content relevant and interesting.
Course Goals and Objectives:
- To understand central issues in political and social leadership in Latin America by examining the new forms of leadership that have emerged in the region.
- To enable students to communicate effectively in Spanish, orally and in writing, in issues related to leadership in Latin America.
- To have knowledge of the current wave of social movements in Latin America and to evaluate its strategies of leadership.
- To grasp the differences among social movements and to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of their leadership.
- To write an advanced paper in Spanish articulating themes and debates about leadership in Latin America.
- Active participation is expected and it is evaluated on the basis of contributions to class discussions –comments as well as questions (20%)
- A fifteen to twenty minutes presentation allows student to explore a topic of personal interest (20%).
- Every two weeks students turn in a short essay corresponding to a topic under discussion (3-page essays). These essays allow students to synthesize their understanding of the materials read for class (30%).
- A research paper on a theme or aspect related to leadership in Latin America (8-10 pages paper, 30%).