Graduate Courses Fall 2013
(See also courses taught in previous semesters)
Didactics of Spanish Language and Culture
José Ruiz Campillo
F 1:10- 4:00pm
A course on the didactics of language that covers general questions about teaching methodology and the teaching of Spanish specifically. The course is composed of fifteen units that will address the following abstract and practical issues among others: the epistemology of language teaching and learning as reflected in the various methodologies, general and applied linguistics, the role of the teacher and the student, the planning of a curriculum, the preparation of syllabi, the evaluation of textbooks, the focus on form, and the cultural component of language teaching. Each topic will be accompanied by a bibliography, both in English and Spanish, produced by specialists from the United States, Latin America and Spain. Weekly class sessions will be complemented by class observation of student performance by the instructor.
Microliteratures and Literacy
T 1:10pm - 3:55pm
(Cross-listed in ICLS as CPLS 86148) Fields and keywords: Iberian Studies; Medieval History and Culture; Comparative Literature and Society; Manuscript Studies; History of the Book; History of Reading; Pre-modern theory (commentary, exegesis, hermeneutics, biblical interpretation, legal interpretation, etc.); Conversion; Translation.
Primary sources: Boethius, Averroes, Maimonides, "Aristoteles Latinus" (Latin translations of the Arabic aristotelian tradition and used in medieval European universities), Dhuoda, Hugh of Saint Victor, Ramon Llull, don Juan Manuel, Juan Ruiz, Peter of Portugal, Gomes Eanes de Zurara, Carlos of Navarra, Alonso de Cartagena, Enrique de Villena Juan de Mena, Joan d'Avinyó, fra Anselm Turmeda, Vicent Ferrer, Christine de Pizan, Teresa de Cartagena, Estefanía de Requesens, Isabel de Villena. *We will read some of the primary sources in their manuscript form; materiality, therefore, will also be a part of the "primary source." ** All our primary sources exist as well in translation.
Secondary sources (among others): Jacques Derrida ("Plato's Pharmacy"), Roland Barthes (Leçon), Michel Foucault (On the Government of the Living), Karl Marx (Eighteenth Brumaire), Edgar Allan Poe (Marginalia), Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire), John Dagenais (The Ethics of Reading in Manuscript Culture), Daniel Heller-Roazen (Philosophy before the Law), Ivan Illich (In the vineyard of the text), Mary Carruthers (The Book of Memory; The Craft of Thought), David Greetham (Margins), Jonathan Ray (After 1492), Paola Tartakoff (Between Christian and Jew), Tom Burnes (Reading the Qu'ran in Latin Christendom), Julian Weiss (The Poet's Art), Baruch Spinoza (Tractatus Politicus Theologicus), Henri de Lubac (Medieval Exegesis), Miriam Bedos-Rezak (When Ego was Imago), Roger Chartier (Inscription and Erasure).
General description: In this seminar, we will study the theory and practice of commentary during the Middle Ages. We will examine theological, political, historical, legal, and literary commentaries, as well as more philosophical texts about theories and practices of commenting. We will also focus on the manuscript and its materiality as part of the theory of commentary (production of the margin, interlineal commentary, the manuscript as a site of mediality). We will address an important question - How can the study of medieval theories and practices of commentary contribute to some of our current debates about the humanities and the social sciences, hermeneutics, theology, and politics? In this sense, we will also read our primary sources not as inactive objects from the past, but as active elements of culture that, to paraphrase Marx, “weigh like an Alp on the brains of the living generations.”
Mysticism and the Avant-Garde
R 1:10pm - 3:55pm
The so called avant-garde movement in pre-war Spanish literature combines the assimilation and adaptation of foreign European trends with a renewed interest in the Spanish classics. If some influences as that of Góngora have been profusely explored and documented, some others remain in relative obscurity. This course will focus on a specific dialogue ubiquitous in the Spanish avant-garde, that between the new forms and subjects and those of Spanish mysticism. A context of rapid change, radical innovations in everyday life (transportation, urban environments, media) make necessary the conception of new models of subjectivity. But the fascination of the new coexists with a nostalgia for trans-historic, specifically "Spanish" modes of identity building. The catholic up-bringing of the new writers and their interest for spiritual literature of the Golden Age are not only an excuse for a possible retreat from the traumatic novelties of modernity. The mystical canon, paradoxically, will be seen as an aesthetic and conceptual repertoire through which it may be possible to "domesticate" the threat of modern alienation but also as a useful tool to make sense of it.
The radical renovation of subjectivity at the core of Golden Age mysticism is perceived as a useful antecedent for challenges to the new context, a means of attempting to turn "familiar" the radical defamiliarization of modernity. Conversely, the new tools of the avant-garde will be used in a process of "restoration" of a national trans-historical essence in an environment of progressive internationalization of cultural values. After a theoretical framing (writings on mysticism by Heidegger, De Certeau, Benjamin, and others), the course will be structured as a series of dialogical readings combining texts by classical authors (Teresa de Jesús, Miguel de Molinos, Juan de la Cruz and Ignacio de Loyola) with "avant- garde" writings by figures such as Gómez de la Serna, Jarnés, Giménez Caballero and Azorín.
Visions from Afar from Nearby
M 1:10pm - 3:55pm
Between the 15th and the 17th centuries the expansion projects -and in particular the Iberian ones - stimulated an unprecedented fertile tension between the distant and the close, in geographical, historical and visual terms. Each session of this graduate seminar will be devoted to specific episodes - how to make a Jesuit mapamundi in Beijing (Matteo Ricci)? how to illustrate local plants and fruits in Mexico (Francisco Hernandez) or Goa (García da Orta, Cristovao de Acosta)? how to transform into copper plates the pages of the chronicles describing remote places for an European public (from the India of De Maares to the "Indies" of Las Casas through De Bry or Cornelis Claesz, but also Athanasius Kircher' China Monumenta)? We will study also a number of textual and visual documents explicitly conceived to cross the ocean (Diego Muñoz Camargo from Tlaxcala, Guaman Poma de Ayala from Lucanas, both authors' textual and visual works aimed to reach Spain), or the artistic "recipes" written in Spain but then used and reinterpreted by the Andean painters to prepare the colors and paint their canvases. From the Brazilian reframing of landscape or genre painting in Eeckhout's or Frans Post's masterpieces, to the display of farness through the objects of a Wunderkammern in Prague, or Naples, we will investigate how between the 15th and 17th centuries, new ways of making both remoteness and proximity visible were used and invented, tools that range from new challenges of ekphrasis to precise optical techniques of capturing.
SPAN 86333 (cross listed as CPLS G6333)
East/West Frametale Narratives
W 1:10pm - 4:00pm
Frametale narratives, the art of inserting stories within stories, in oral and written forms, originated in East and South Asia centuries ago; tales familiar to Europe, often called novellas, can trace their development from oral tales to transmitted Sanskrit and Pahlavi tales, as well as Arabic and Hebrew stories. Both Muslim Spain and Christian Spain served as the nexus between the East and Europe in the journey of translation and the creation of new works. Through readings and films, and employing the theoretical concepts of Homi Bhabha (liminality, hybridity, third space) and Etienne Balibar (frontiers and the nation), as well as selected readings of Fernand Braudel and others on the Mediterranean world, the course examines the structure, meaning, and function of ancient, medieval, and early modern frametale narratives, using as theoretical frame in three ways: 1) Theory and practice of frames. Frames are not neutral; they can be narrative seductions, guiding and even strongly manipulating how we read the stories that follow; they can be used to reflect the intersections of orality and literacy. In order to understand their enduring power, we also explore the idea of literary frames through some contemporary films. 2) The exploration in their cultural contexts of topics such as the literary figures of the anti-hero and the trickster, precursors to the picaresque, women in the courtroom, the conflict of chance and human agency, monstrous births as political prophecy, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish relations in medieval and early modern Mediterranean cultures, the sexual frankness of the novella form, and gender politics. 3) How are narratives formed? The course traces the development of the short tale/novella from its ancient Asian origins through the seventeenth century, when Cervantes’ literary experiments gave new life to the novella form, and the Spanish writer María de Zayas challenged Cervantes’ views on love and marriage in her own highly regarded collections of novellas; we move to the present with the study of three contemporary films. But before they became complex and entertaining narratives, many of the well known tales had their “bare bones” origins in joke books, laws and legal theories, conduct manuals, collections of aphorisms and other wise and pithy sayings, misogynist non-fiction writings, and Biblical stories.
Although the works are available in English translations, lectures will refer to meanings in both English and the original languages; students who can read the original works in Spanish, Italian, French and/or Latin are encouraged to do so.
Supervised Individual Research
Seminar on Literary and Cultural Theory
W 4:10pm - 7:00pm
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to a set of theoretical questions and problems and to discuss the place of theory in literary and cultural studies. What does "theoretical thought" mean? The course will examine main authors and categories of the history of criticism, with texts organized into two sections. The first section will produce a discussion of categories and problems of the literary institution that will imply critically reviewing some keywords: culture, literature, author, intellectual, fiction, reading, genre, discourse. This section will evince a historical scope of theoretical problems. The second section will contain texts that will focus on different areas of literary and cultural reflection and on their relationship with each other. Within the frame of Modernity we will see how literature as an autonomous practice plots its links with culture, State, politics, hegemony, institutions, mass culture, and other exclusions. We will conclude by considering the problem of centers and peripheries in the production of theoretical knowledge.
(See also courses taught in previous semesters)