teaching

Spring 2019

SPN 662 Flesh, Bodies, and Consumption

In the Western imaginary, Latin America has been intrinsically linked to abundant natural resources, mythical and monstrous creatures, sensuality, and danger. Latin America is a place of consumption: to consume and be consumed. This course examines what “consuming” means as a trope and ideological construct that connects cosmic, epistemological, and material realities. Colonial era cannibals, 19th century vampires, captives, and sexual deviants, and 20th century market speculators all share a drive to consume resources, bodies, and knowledge. We will read literary works in tandem with autobiography and memoir, as well as critical theory and historiography. This course will focus primarily on the 19th century era of nation-formation and the advancement of Liberal ideologies of social and economic value in Latin America, but it will also link early tropes of natural abundance to contemporary ecocriticism and activist interventions regarding capitalist extractivism. Thus, this course aims to trace the conceptual and practical significance of consumption in order to better understand how flesh, bodies, and discourse converge in Latin American thought.

Course Syllabus

SPN 311 Spanish Conversation & Composition

Fall 2018

HUS 271 Queer Latina/x Feminisms

This course examines the artistic and cultural production of Latina and Latinx writers, activists, and artists, from an intersectional queer feminist perspective. Readings and class discussion will focus on the strategies and enactments of embodied resistance to hegemonic norms as articulated through a history of negotiating multiple vectors of oppression. We will ask not only what it means to be Latina/x, but also what historical and geographically specific encounters make Latina/x identities and communities possible, and ultimately, what the problems and possibilities might be for such a contested form of identification and political praxis. Focusing on the contributions of women, feminist scholars, and queer and two spirit peoples, this course frames the understanding of race, gender, class, nationality, ability, and sexuality as intersectional relations that both inhabit and contest the context of US imperialism in the present.

Course Syllabus

Spring 2018

SPN 312 Intro to Literary Studies

This course will introduce students to major works of prose, poetry and film by contemporary Latin American writers and artists. In addition, it seeks to develop critical skills of literary and cultural analysis with regard to these works, and to improve students’ writing and speaking abilities. Finally, it will situate major currents in Latin American social thought with contemporary concerns regarding class, race, gender, sexuality, and colonialism. Thus, this course interrogates more than simply what literature is, or how one studies it, but how literature and the literary circulate through and in doing so shape the contemporary moment.

Course Syllabus

SPN 435 Monsters, Cannibals, and Cyborgs

What makes us human and what are the limits to our humanity? For that matter, who counts as “us” in the previous sentence? This course discusses the question of the human by interrogating three key figures: the monster, the cannibal, and the cyborg. We will do so by reading 19th, 20th, and 21st century Latin American fiction in conjunction with medical, criminological, and theoretical texts in an effort to understand how monstrosity intersects with the development of national identity, gendered bodies, sexual practices, race, and humanness from the colonial period to today. By focusing the course around figures and figurations of monstrosity, one central aim is to show how the monster develops, transforms, and endures in cultural production. That is, this course looks at the life and afterlife of monsters, what makes them monsters, and what makes us, too, monstrous. A second goal will be to interrogate the formal qualities that make art, literature, and film monstrous. Thus, we are interested in not simply what a monster is, but how monstrosity can be expressed. Another way of framing this question, then, is not what a monster looks like, but what does a monster see when it gazes upon us?

Course Syllabus

Fall 2017

HUS 271 US Latino Literature/Culture

In this course we will examine literary and cultural production that express some of the fundamental social, political, and ideological issues affecting Latino populations in the US. In particular, we will analyze poetry, essays, the novel, short stories, film, and contemporary social media including blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. We will discuss what it means to be Latino/a, what historical and geographically specific differences there are between different types of Latinos/as, and ultimately, what might the problems and possibilities be for such a concept. We will briefly historicize the relationship between early Spanish/Hispanic immigrants to the US, and then focus on the second half of the 20th century to today. We will explore the principal genealogies of Latino/a literatures, cultural context and diasporas, as well as the role of gender, sexuality, race, and class in the formation of individual and collective identities in the US.

Course Syllabus

SPN 612 Thirst: Sex and Being

This course will investigate diverse ways of desiring, sexuality, and being. It is about the
appetites that populate our lives—on which we depend for survival—, as well as those that have inspired historical moments of conflict. Thirst in this course is as much about lived experiences of desire as it is about historical structures of race, class, gender, and colonialism. Our inquiry into this thirst will focus on 19th and 21st century Latin American prose, and will also incorporate feminist, queer, post-and de-colonial texts from both the US and Latin America. The thirst is real.

sed
Del lat. sitis.
1. f. Gana y necesidad de beber.
2. f. Necesidad de agua o de humedad que tienen ciertas cosas.
3. f. Apetito o deseo ardiente de algo.
(RAE)

thirst

2. The one hoe (or man-slut) who will do anything to get laid, or even touched, by another. They are THE thirst. It lives within many, but usually, there’s one embodiment of the sickness that really wants it. For people of the same gender, the thirst is an embarrassment (because, of course, the thirst gives a blow to the integrity of their gender). For those desired by the thirst, it is a plague. Do not catch the plague! Ignore the thirst! (Urban Dictionary)

thirst

1a: a sensation of dryness in the mouth and throat associated with a desire for liquids; also: the bodily condition (as of dehydration) that induces this sensation
b: a desire or need to drink
2.: an ardent desire: craving, longing a thirst for success
(Merriam-Webster Online)

Course Syllabus

Spring 2016

On leave

Fall 2016

SPN 321 Advanced Spanish Grammar and Composition

This is a course about writing. What is writing? What does it mean to write something? How can we express ideas and how can we write in ways that convey not only content, but a sense of style and form? This is a course about writing, but it will revolve around this juncture of content and form. We will practice writing different types of texts: tweets, essays, fiction, autobiography, history, among others. We will work on translating not just language, not just English-Spanish, but also translating ideas and types of writing.

Course Syllabus

SPN 435 Latin American Masculinities

This course investigates the gendering of “men” and the performance of masculinity in Latin American literature and culture from the early 20th century to today. Readings will engage gender and sexuality, feminism, and the politics of representation, in addition to queer and trans* studies. This course will revolve around questions of family and domesticity; labor and activism; politics and aesthetics of masculinity in Latin America. To do so, we will engage theoretical and historical writing as well as artistic expressions (fiction, film, mass media), and we will produce our own work on “masculinity”.

Course Syllabus

Spring 2016

HUS 254 Latin America Today

This course proposes to study the events of today by tracing the social, political and economic structures of the past. On the one hand, the region under study is comprised of a dramatic variety of cultures, geographies and politics. On the other, it shares a history of colonization from “discovery” to independence to modernity based on its particular geographic and historical location. In order to interrogate this conjunction, we will pay special attention to the social groups that are often marginalized from the pages of “the official history”: Indigenous communities, Afro-Latin organizations, gay, lesbian, and trans activism, immigrant groups. We will pay special attention the discourses of belonging and (dis)identification that mark their relationships with the region, as well as the ways in which “Latin” America becomes a concept in relationship with these groups in the context of globalization. Thus, race, class, gender, sexuality, and coloniality are some of the central concepts that we will utilize; we will draw on historical, journalistic, artistic, and literary works that help us theorize not simply what Latin America is, but why it is, and how it has become that.

Course Syllabus

SPN 405 Yo: Technologies of Self in Latin America

What does it mean to write the self? To record the self? What forms, what methods, what mechanisms does one dispose of to write as an individual connected to society? What is the relationship between narratives of nation building, told from the perspective of Latin America’s founding fathers, and today’s media-soaked selfie culture? This course focuses on autobiographical narratives in an effort to describe how the self becomes possible as a concept and as a form. This focus on self questions familial relations and cultural norms as it asks what technologies (writing, film, photography, social media) have to do with the imaginary of the “yo” in contemporary Latin America.

Course Syllabus

Fall 2015

SPN 662 Bad Romance: Gender, Sexuality and Kinship in Latin America

This course examines canonical novels of the nineteenth-century Latin American literary
tradition (1865-1910), uniting close textual readings with a critical overview of the changing scholarly perspectives on the fields of gender, sexuality, and kinship studies. We will trace the formation of disciplinary logics of ‘romance’ in this period, focusing on how it informs structures of masculinity and femininity, desires, affects, and eroticisms aimed at consolidating national traditions post Independence. In doing so, we will reflect on the ways in which Latin American foundational narratives rely on—and negotiate with—particular forms of romantic attachments that are understood through the lens of the family. In addition to our primary sources, we will read a variety of critical and theoretical texts, from structuralist anthropology to queer theory and kinship studies, in order to question the methods of interpreting the literature and culture of this period. This course will introduce students to major literary movements (Romanticism, Naturalism), the study of the kinship as a mode of representation, and will examine the boundaries between writing, family, and desire in Latin America.

Course Syllabus

SPN 312 Introduction to Literary Studies

This course will introduce students to major works of prose, poetry and film from the
contemporary period of Latin American history. In addition, it seeks to develop critical skills of literary and cultural analysis with regard to these works, and improve students’ writing and speaking abilities. Finally, it will situate major currents in Latin American social thought with contemporary concerns regarding class, race, gender, sexuality, and colonialism.

Course Syllabus

Spring 2015

SPN 532 Latin American Queer

This course surveys the development of queer practices and representations in Latin America from the early 20th century to today. We will analyze normative models of kinship relations, gender roles and sexualities, and the multiple forms of resistance and deviation from those norms that have shaped a specifically Latin American Queer. Readings will be drawn from juridical and hygienic texts, literature, film, and more recent theoretical interventions.

Course Syllabus

HUS 254 Latin America Today

This course proposes to study the events of today by tracing the social, political and economic structures of the past. On the one hand, the region under study is comprised of a dramatic variety of cultures, geographies and politics. On the other, it shares a history of colonization from “discovery” to independence to modernity based on its particular geographic and historical location. In order to interrogate this conjunction, we will pay special attention to the social groups that are often marginalized from the pages of “the official history”: Indigenous communities, Afro-Latin organizations, gay, lesbian, and trans activism, immigrant groups. We will pay special attention the discourses of belonging and (dis)identification that mark their relationships with the region, as well as the ways in which “Latin” America becomes a concept in relationship with these groups in the context of globalization. Thus, race, class, gender, sexuality, and coloniality are some of the central concepts that we will utilize; we will draw on historical, journalistic, artistic, and literary works that help us theorize not simply what Latin America is, but why it is, and how it has become that.

Course Syllabus

Fall 2014

SPN 311 Spanish Conversation & Composition

This course is designed to develop students’ communicative abilities in Spanish as well as their knowledge of Hispanic cultures and societies. Students will practice communication through speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Classroom activities are highly interactive and focus on oral communication and written proficiency. For this reason, students will not be required to take a traditional exam but rather demonstrate their communicative abilities through class discussions, collaborative projects, and a series of written activities.

Course Syllabus

HUS 271 United States Latino Literature and Culture

In this course we will examine literary and cultural production that express some of the fundamental social, political, and ideological issues affecting Latino populations in the US. In particular, we will analyze poetry, essays, the novel, short stories, film, and contemporary social media including blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. We will discuss what it means to be Latino/a, what historical and geographically specific differences there are between different types of Latinos/as, and ultimately, what might the problems and possibilities be for such a concept. We will briefly historicize the relationship between early Spanish/Hispanic immigrants to the US, and then focus on the second half of the 20th century to today. We will explore the principal genealogies of Latino/a literatures, cultural context and diasporas, as well as the role of gender, sexuality, race, and class in the formation of individual and collective identities in the US.

Course Syllabus

Spring 2014

SPN 662 Queer fin de siglo: Modernity, Sexuality, and Gender in the Southern Cone (1880-1910)

This seminar examines cultural discourses of modernity, sexuality and gender of the fin de siglo (1880-1910) in the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay). During this period literary works, sociological and psychological texts, and pedagogical treatises worried over sexual ‘inversion’, cultural decadence, and a failed Liberal utopia. Meanwhile, new aesthetic proposals, modernismo, challenged naturalist somatic interests, as revisionist histories sought to rehabilitate old villains. We will approach the intersecting discourses of cultural malaise and renovation by engaging queer theory, kinship studies, intellectual history and literary criticism, paying special attention to the ways in which national interests collide with the expression of queer desires, affects, and eroticisms.

Course_Syllabus

SPN 396 Introduction to Spanish-American Literature II

In this course we will survey a wide range of texts that express some of the fundamental cultural, political, and ideological issues affecting Spanish America. We will take examples from the independence period at the beginning of the 19th century to today in order to comprehend the heterogeneous space that we today call “Spanish America”. In particular, we will analyze poetry, essays, the novel, and short stories, in addition to personal writing like the diary; discuss the development of national literary traditions and the relationship between artistic expression and politics. We will emphasize the relationship between overarching historical periods, but also pay close attention to regional specificities, as well as the role of gender, sexuality, race, and class in the formation of individual and collective identities.

Course Syllabus

Fall 2013

SPN 435 Cosmic Blood: Scientific Discourses in Spanish American Prose

This course investigates the role of scientific discourses in the prose (fiction and essays) of contemporary Spanish America. The texts we will read intervene in the public debates regarding the modernization of the Hispanic nations in the 19th century and early 20th centuries and oftentimes provide a ‘diagnosis’ to a perceived cultural or racial ‘malaise’. The central aim of this course is to familiarize students with the canonical texts that deeply influenced political, social, and intellectual movements of this period and to provide a critical framework with which to understand these debates in context. The role of ‘blood’ as a racial and cultural marker and the ‘cosmic’ identification of a people will be central themes that guide our analysis of the literary and cultural texts that sought to bring Latin America into a new era of science, order and progress.

Course Syllabus

SPN 311 Spanish Conversation & Composition

This course is designed to develop students’ communicative abilities in Spanish as well as their knowledge of Hispanic cultures and societies. Students will practice communication through speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Classroom activities are highly interactive and focus on oral communication and written proficiency. For this reason, students will not be required to take a traditional exam but rather demonstrate their communicative abilities through class discussions, collaborative projects, and a series of written activities.

Course Syllabus

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