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Spanish and Portuguese, Deparment of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Upcoming Graduate Course Descriptions

For a complete list of graduate courses:
Hispanic Literature and Culture
Hispanic Linguistics
Lusophone Literature and Culture

Spring 2015 Courses

Portuguese 408/697A - Brazilian Film & Fiction
Daphne Patai

The principal aim of this course is to introduce students to Brazilian culture through selected films and readings (fiction and scholarly articles). By focusing on how filmmakers and writers represent key aspects of Brazilian society past and present, the following major themes will be explored: the colonization process; culture contact between Europeans and native Brazilians; slavery and the resistance to it; economic and political development; immigration and internal migration; life in the backlands; the dictatorship and its aftermath; urban problems. A second aim of the course is to study the development of Brazilian cinema through the past sixty years, especially the movement known as cinema novo. A third aim is to develop analytical skills and writing abilities.

Portuguese 597P - Portuguese & Brazilian Modernism
Francisco Cota Fagundes

This course is open to both advanced undergraduate and graduate students. It is the first time at UMass Amherst that Portuguese and Brazilian Modernisms are offered together. Although it is well known that Portuguese Modernism (1915…) was largely an attempt to “Europeanize” Portuguese letters, and that Brazilian Modernism (1922…) was in great measure an effort to “Brazilianize” Brazilian letters, the issue is much more complicated (or simple) than that. Without denying the huge differences between the two Modernisms, there are also a number of ideological and esthetic similarities – and a coterie of great writers on both sides of the Atlantic whose students will profit from studying together. It is no accident that both Modernisms are considered, and with good reason, the most originality minded of the two literary movements in their respective countries. Representative poetical and prose works of the most representative authors of Portuguese Modernism and of the first phases of Brazilian Modernism will be the focus of the course. Portugal: Fernando Pessoa; Sá-Carneiro; Almada Negreiros. Brazil: Oswald de Andrade, Mário de Andrade, Manuel Bandeira, Cecília Meireles, Carlos Drummond de Andrade. Undergraduate students will be expected to do a take-home exam and a 7-10 page paper. Graduate students will be expected to do a series of short analytical papers plus a grad student-level research paper. Prerequisites: a native-like reading knowledge of the language, a strong interest in poetry and fiction; and, preferably, a substantial background in literary studies.

Spanish 558 - Spanish American Essay
Luis Marentes

This class studies the different manifestation of the Spanish American essay, paying particular attention to the way this genre has been used to imagine an American identity.

Spanish 597T - Catalan Film Festival
Guillem Molla/Barbara Zecchi

(Offered in combination with the Catalan Film Festival). 1 credit, Pass-Fail. Spanish cinema started in Catalunya with two important schools: the realistic school led by Fructuós Gelabert; and the fantastic trend represented by Segundo de Chomán. After the silence forced upon Catalan cinema during Franco's dictatorship in the 40's and 50's, it started to regain an important role in the film industry with the Barcelona School in the mid 60's. Presently Catalan Cinema enjoys a strong recognition thanks to the works of well-known Catalan directors such as Bigas Luna, Ventura Pons and Isabel Coixet, among others. This class meets once a week for three hours and students are in charge of twenty minutes film introductions as well as discussion moderation; attendance is mandatory. Films are shown in the original language (Catalan or Castilian) w/ English subtitles.

Spanish 597EC - Escritura Creativa
Margara Russotto

Curso/Taller/Laboratorio de escritura creativa en español. Dirigido a estudiantes con dominio del idioma, pasión literaria, e interés en desarrollar su propia escritura y capacidades creativas. Es un lugar de encuentro donde se practica la constante ejercitación con las palabras mediante la escritura y la reescritura, entendiendo la creación como un camino de conocimiento estético y a la vez de autoconocimiento y autodeterminación. Abierto a estudiantes de los Five Colleges, de cualquier otra institución, y provenientes de cualquier disciplina. Contenido latinoamericano: 55% DICTADO EN ESPAÑOL.

Spanish 597EP - Editorial Theory for Digital Environments
Albert Lloret

This course offers an introduction to the theoretical problems of representing texts in digital environments. As we address current practices and rationales in digital text editing, we will discuss key issues in editorial theory (such as the definition of what a text is, its relationship to the work, the status of the author, and the ways in which the materiality of texts conditions their preservation). Particular attention will be paid to the textual production of medieval and early modern Iberia. Applied components of this class include reviewing digital editions, planning editorial projects, and editing short texts. Taught in Spanish.

Spanish 697 - Prosodic Acquisition
Meghan Armstrong

This course will focus on prosodic acquisition from a variety of perspectives. Students will be familiarized with general concepts in the study of prosody/intonation as well as the study of pragmatics. Through readings, students will explore first language prosodic acquisition, second language prosodic acquisition and finally prosodic acquisition in special populations (e.g. children with Autism Spectrum disorder, William’s Syndrome and Specific Language Impairment). Special attention will also be paid to methods in observing prosodic development. Background in phonetics/phonology preferred, but not obligatory.

Spanish 697WF - Women & Film
Barbara Zecchi

A close examination of the evolution of Spanish cinema by women directors through the viewpoint of gender and feminist film theories. This class will highlight women's mainly gynocentric cinematic scope and engage several of the most recurrent topics that shape women's films (such as violence against women, the depiction of the female body, and the rejection of traditional female roles, among others) in comparison with how these same themes surface in hegemonic cinema (i.e. both Hollywood and Spanish male-authored production). Furthermore this class will outline the historical evolution of female cinema: 1) Film-makers who worked before the Civil War and were silenced by Francisco Franco's dictatorship, 2) Those who had to negotiate their production within the regime's censorship, and 3) A third group that, in democracy, contributes to a "boom" of women behind the camera. By tackling the so-called gender-genre debate, this class will analyze how each group uses (or subverts) different male-dominated cinematic forms (such as neo-realism, the road movie, the film noir, etc.), thus shaping a female discursive "difference" in each period. Taught in Spanish.