Spring 2018 Graduate Courses

Below you will find a list of courses offered within the department. For the dates and times of a specific course, please see the online Schedule of Classes. Course locations are subject to change. To view course previews, click here.


PORT 611: Accelerated Basic Portuguese for Spanish Speakers I
Antonio Simōes
1:00-2:45, TR, 338A Strong

Course Description:

PORT 611 Accelerated Brazilian Portuguese (BP) for speakers of Spanish is a first-year language course. It is designed to cover in one semester the equivalent of a one-year basic language program, with much less class contact hours than a regular first-semester language course. Such an ambitious plan is only possible if students work outside class according to the assignments for this class. Therefore, students are expected (1) to have Advanced Mid-level or higher language skills in Spanish, in ACTFL’s scale; (2) interview native speakers of Brazilian Portuguese either with their means or through internet programs like SpeakShake; (3) speak in Portuguese during classes; (4) do all the assignments in the course, and (5) have regular attendance and engaged participation in class discussions.

Although the assignments in this class may initially be very demanding to students who never took Portuguese, they may become more comfortable afterward, because of the student’s knowledge of Spanish. Successful students in this course will reach at least an intermediate-low language proficiency level in BP, but it is not uncommon for some to reach advanced-low or advanced-mid language proficiency level in ACTFL’s scale. It follows naturally that the overall mission of this course is to provide students with adequate training to become proficient in BP at least at the Intermediate-low level, in ACTFL’s scale. 


PORT 785: Brazilian Studies: Afro-Latin American Cultures
Luciano Tosta
11:-12:15, TR, 1001 Wescoe

Course Description:

This is an interdisciplinary survey course about the history of the Afro-descendant communities in Latin America with an emphasis on the cultural production of these groups. We will analyze how Afro-descendants have represented themselves and been represented in literature, cinema, and music. We will discuss how they have used art as a form of self-and political-expression. Students will acquire a solid view of the history of race relations in countries such as Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, and Argentina, and see the role that African identity has played in the formation of these national cultures. This course is taught in English.


SPAN 739: Spanish Drama of the Golden Age
Robert Bayliss
2:30-3:45, T, 2600 Wescoe

Course Description:

This course will approach early modern Spanish theater in light of current scholarship and the critical tradition that informs it. We will examine comedias as both early modern and contemporary theatrical spectacles, as playscripts with post- performance publication histories, and as “screenplays” adapted for contemporary televisual, cinematic and digital consumption. This process will involve a critical examination of the very notion of a “Spanish Golden Age” and its persistence in the diverse cultures of the Hispanic world. In addition to studying all of the canonical texts included in the M.A. Reading List, we will expand our perspective by including peripheral and non-canonical voices (especially women playwrights) in our analysis. Evaluation of student learning will include 2-3 short analytical essays (5-7 pages each), as well as oral presentations of secondary readings. 


SPAN 785: Mexico + Theater & Performance
Stuart Day
5:00-6:15, MW, 2600 Wescoe

Course Description:

The “plus” in the course signifies Mexicans in the US. To begin, we will cover the basics of theater and performance theory, and then each unit of the course interrogates the same theme: “Divas and Dreamers.” This course is taught in English by experts from a variety of departments at KU and includes two lectures by our “2017 LATR Woodyard Lecturer,” Gastόn Alzate, an expert of Mexican political cabaret performance. Spanish Professor Stuart Day will organize the course and teach the majority of the class sessions. The following guest professors will teach 1-4 classes each: Rafael Acosta, Santa Arias, Robert Bayliss, Henry Bial, Marta Caminero- Santangelo, Iris Fischer, and Margot Versteeg. Each class begins with a 15-minute review of the previous class (by students). The grade is based on informed participation (50%) and a final paper (50%), which will be crafted piece by piece during the semester. Most readings will be available in English, and we will accommodate students who do not know Spanish. 


SPAN 961: Seminar in Medieval Literature: Translation in Late Medieval Iberia
Isidro Rivera
3:00-4:15, MW, 2600 Wescoe

Course Description:

“The violence of translation resides in its very purpose and activity: the reconstitution of the foreign text in accordance with values, beliefs, and representations that pre-exist it in the target language, always configured in hierarchies of dominance and marginality, always determining the production, circulation, and reception of texts.” –– Lawrence Venuti, “Translation as a Social Practice: or, The Violence of Translation,” Translation Perspectives 9 (1996): 196.

This seminar will focus on the activity and practice of translation in late medieval Iberia with a special emphasis on early printed texts produced for Iberian readers. Central to this seminar will be Venuti’s concept of translation and practice as exemplified in his articles and book, The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation. (Routledge, 1995). In addition the seminar will utilize Coldiron’s Printers without Borders: Translation and Textuality in the Renaissance (Cambridge, 2015) and Francomano’s The Prison of Love: Romance, Translation, and the Book in the Sixteenth-Century (Toronto, 2018) to ground Venuti’s theories within a larger European context.

The course will follow a seminar format in which students will take an active role in structuring and planning essential aspects of the class. Each student will write one long analytical/research paper on an original topic related to the course and will be responsible for oral reports on secondary materials and for directing one class session. The research paper should reflect theoretical and research interests of the individual members of the seminar.

Primary texts to be read:

Camus, La historia delos nobles caualleros Oliueros de Castilla y Artus d’Algarve (Burgos, Fadrique de Basilea, 1499) Jean d’Arras, Ystorya de la linda Melosina (Tholosa, Parix and Cleblat, 1489)
La passion del eterno principe Jhesu (Burgos, Fadrique de Basilea, 1493)
La vida y historia del rey Apolonio (Zaragoza, Hurus, 1488)
San Pedro, Diego, Carcer d’amor. translated by Bernadí Vallmanyà. (Barcelona: Rosenbach, 1493). 


SPAN 985: Archival Entanglements of the Imperial-Colonial Iberian World
Santa Arias
4:00-7:00, T, 2600 Wescoe

Course Description:

As Ralph Bauer and Marcy Norton has recently explain, the semantic field of the word “entanglement” makes it an apt metaphor for thinking methodologically about cultural history and colonialism. There is no doubt that history, neatly tied to cultural production, needs to be examined as an intricate web of strands of knowledge that were further confused and regenerated with imperial and national projects put in place to order and control territories. One of these projects of the imperial colonial world is the archive. This course will unpack the entangled meanings and significance of the archive, about territory, nature, cities, and race in the colonial Americas. I will examine the impact of archival projects, and the rewriting of colonial history focused on these key aspects.

In this course, students will:

  • Learn to identify and use theories and approaches to examine the entanglements found in colonial texts. These theories and approaches include space and place, environmental humanities, and postcolonial and decolonization.
  • Be exposed and taught to navigate physical and digital archives
  • Enhance critical reading of primary sources and writing on enduring questions concerned with the significance of archives to examine the nature and expansion of territories, perception and exploitation of nature, construction of race, and development of cities with a solid foundation on the history, geopolitics, cultural traditions.
  • Understand the importance of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to the study of literary and cultural studies.

Primary Sources:

Cristóbal Colón, Bartolomé de las Casas, Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, Mapa Sigüenza, Lorenzo Boturini Benaducci, Alexander von Humboldt, Buffon, Hipólito Unanue, Quadro de historia natural, civil y geográfica del Perú, El Mercurio Peruano, Francisco José de Caldas y el Semanario del Nuevo Reyno de Granada

Secondary Sources:

Ralph Bauer and Marcy Norton, Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Antonio Cornejo Polar, Anna More, Rolena Adorno, Stuart Elden, Doreen Massey, Alfred Crosby, Mauricio Nieto 


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