Updated Course Descriptions for Fall 2021

 All classes listed are available for Fall 2021. This page is documenting updated course descriptions for Fall 2021, not all available classes for the semester may be listed. Please see The KU Catalog for a full list of courses.

Spanish 429 Banner. Shows two men speaking and listening, and word collage of phonetic terms

SPAN 429: Spanish Phonetics & Phonology University of Kansas Fall 2021

Instructor: Professor Antônio R.M. Simões, Ph.D.

Office: WES 2638

Phone: 785.864-0285

Department: Phone: 785-864-3851

E-mail: asimoes@ku.edu

Course Materials Textbook required: None. All the information for this class will come from the Glosario and the instructor’s materials in Blackboard or yet from reliable internet sites. If you feel that you must have a textbook, buy this one as soon as possible: Sonidos en contexto, by Terrell A. Morgan. Yale University Press: 2010. ISBN 978-0-300-14959-3. I often consult this book, and students can use it confidently for their projects and presentations.

Course Description:

SPAN 429 is a social-cultural analytical and practical study of Spanish pronunciation (Phonetics & Phonology). Its overall objective is to understand the basics of the physical features of Spanish sounds in comparison to English, and the phonological processes that form syllables, words, and sentences in authentic contexts. Students are expected to apply what they will have learned from class discussions to their classroom interactions and oral presentations. Phonetics and Phonology are powerful tools to improve listening and speaking skills in Spanish or any other language. In addition to the study of Phonetics and Phonology, we will also survey some of the regional pronunciation features of Spanish like the seseo, lleísmo, yeísmo, ceceo, zheísmo, different types of distinción, and other features depending on how the class progresses. Class discussions are in Spanish.

SPAN 440: The Spanish Golden Age

Instructor: Professor Robert Bayliss

Email: rbaliss@ku.edu

Course Description:

Philip III Equestrian Statue at Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain

The notion of Spain’s “Golden Age” of cultural production (roughly 1500-1700) will be the point of departure for this course, which will investigate the ways in which the so-called literary “classics” of the era have been used and adapted in subsequent centuries in both Spain and Latin America. The primary focus will be on peninsular Spain and the many appropriations of Golden-Age classics, especially since 1898, for purposes of bolstering political causes, negotiating local and national identities, and making money. We will read a series of primary texts from the “classical” Spanish canon, supplemented by secondary critical readings, and then follow their fate through the centuries as they are adapted to a variety of media, including film and television. We will also study Golden Age-themed historical fiction written in the 20th and 21st centuries to broaden our understanding of how the contemporary Spanish-speaking world (mis)understands its cultural history. This course fulfills the 400-level Peninsular Spanish literature requirement for the Spanish major and the 400-level literature requirement for the Spanish minor.

SPAN 451: Early Modern Spanish Studies: The Pícaro, Race and Gender in Early Modern Spanish Society

Instructor: Professor Patricia Manning

Email: pwmannin@ku.edu

Course Description:

The pícaro first hit the literary scene circa 1554 with the publication of Lazarillo de Tormes.  So provocative was the social critique delivered by this mock first-person autobiography, that Lazarillo was one of the few texts published in Spanish that was prohibited by the Inquisition.  Race, religion, social class and gender play significant roles in marginalization of the characters in this fictional first-person autobiography.  Although some works in other genres that we will study-like poetry and visual culture-idealize the state of race, gender and religious relations, others follow in the footsteps of the picaresque and problematize them. Course readings will include:

  • Poetry by Luis de León, Francisco de Quevedo, Lope de Vega and others
  • Lazarillo de Tormes
  • Enriqueta Zafra, forthcoming graphic novel version of Lazarillo
  • An entremés (a short play) written for Juan Rana
  • María de Zayas, "El castigo de la miseria"

1554 cover of La Vida de Lazarillo

In addition to active participation in class discussions, course work will include one brief paper, two longer papers (including a final research paper), a presentation in small groups and a mid-term exam.

SPAN 463: National Traditions in Latin America: “The Latin American Road Movie”

Instructor: Professor Verónica Garibotto

E-mail: garibotto@ku.edu

Course Description: 

"The Latin American Road Movie" - This intensive eight-week course explores the ways filmmakers have employed the road movie genre to address the reconfiguration of the geographical, sociopolitical, economic, and cultural landscape of contemporary Latin America. The traveling narrative of the road movie and its focus on crossing borders—physical, metaphorical, theoretical—is ideal to reflect upon new forms of national and transnational identities across the region. Several scholars (for instance, Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark, The Road Movie Book) consider the road movie a US genre and claim that, when imported by other national cinemas, it merely reproduces US dreams and anxieties. Our course’s starting point is that Latin American road movies have distinctive features that speak to particular issues, tensions, and values of the region and its nations and cultures. We will discuss Argentine, Colombian, Cuban, Ecuadorian, Mexican, UK-Mexican, Uruguayan, and US-Central American road movies in order to understand these particular issues, tensions, and values. We will pay special attention to how filmic road trips have allowed for an exploration of racial, class, gender and sexuality-based representations in Latin America and the US.

Objectives and expected outcome:

On completion of the course, students will have accomplished:

  •  A panoramic view of the connections between the road movie genre and the construction of national and transnational identities in Latin America.
  • Further insight into contemporary Latin American culture.
  • The ability to analyze, think, and write critically about films.
  • Further development of research and professional skills.
  • Further development of oral and discussion skills.
  • Improvement of their linguistic and cultural competence in Spanish.

SPAN 520: Structure of Spanish

Instructor: Professor Antônio R.M. Simões, Ph.D.

Phone: 785.864-0285

E-mail: asimoes@ku.edu

Course Description:

Textbook: En otras palabras: Perfeccionamiento del español por medio de la traducción, segunda edición, Patricia V. Lunn and Ernest J. Lunsford, Georgetown University Press; 2013, 130 pages. ISBN-10: 1589019741, ISBN-13: 978-1589019744.

Additional Readings (not required):

 Investigación de gramática, 2nd. Edition, Patricia V. Lunn and Janet DeCesaris, Cengage Learning, 2006. ISBN-10: 141301996X, ISBN13: 978-1413019964

• Gramática española: Variación social, Kim Potowski and Naomi Shin, Routledge, 2018

• Introducción y aplicaciones contextualizadas a la lingüística hispánica, Manuel Díaz Campos, Kimberly L. Geeslin and Laura Gurzynski-Weiss, Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN-13: 978-1118990216

• Introducción a la lingüistica hispánica, Manuel Díaz Campos, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-470-65798-0

• Latin American Spanish, John Lipski, Longman, 1996 ISBN-13: 978-0582087606 ISBN-10: 0582087600

• Sociolingüística y pragmática del español, segunda edición, Carmen Silva-Corvalán and Andrés Enrique-Arias, Georgetown University Press, 2017, ISBN: 9781626163959 (1626163952)

• Introducción a la lingüistica hispánica, José Ignacio Hualde, Antxon Olarrea, Anna María Escobar. Second edition (2009) Cambridge University Press. Soft back, if possible, ISBN:9780521513982

• Language and culture, by Claire Kramsch. Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN-10: 0194372146 

• The Handbook of Hispanic Linguistics (2012), Editors José Ignacio Hualde, Antxon Olarrea, Erin O'Rourke. Wiley-Blackwell ISBN: 978-1-4051-9882-0

• Spanish/English Contrasts – A Course in Spanish Linguistics, Second Edition, by M. Stanley Whitley. Georgetown, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 408 pp. ISBN: 9780878403813 (0878403817)

• An Introduction to language, by Victoria Fromkin, Robert Rodman and Nina Hyams (2007). Thomson Wadsworth (7th Edition)

Course Description:

SPAN 520 is a course on the structure of the Spanish language. It deals with grammar through translation from Spanish to English and from English to Spanish, as presented in the textbook. The course still deals with the structure of Spanish and it is based on socio-cultural interpretations of the normative and descriptive grammars. Although it is a grammar course that uses Linguistics approaches to study Spanish, it is tailored for undergraduate and graduate students with little or no previous experience in Linguistics analysis.

SPAN 540: Colloquium on Hispanic Studies: Print Culture in Late Medieval Castile

Instructor: Professor I. J. Rivera

Email: ijrivera@ku.edu

Course Description:

This course will examine the role of print culture in late fifteenth-century Castile and the dynamics of readership and cultural production in this period. This course will introduce students to:

1. Critical exploration of the relationships between readers and literary production during the early years of print

2. Examination of how early texts constructed cultural and national identity

3. Research methods used in the study of early printed books

Our literary readings will include the following texts:

Cronica del muy esforçado cavallero el Cid Ruy Diaz campeador

D’Arras, Jean, Historia de la linda Melosina

San Pedro, Diego de, Cárcel de amor

illustration of men working old printing press

Supplementary readings will provide the necessary historical, bibliographical, and theoretical background for the analysis of the primary texts. In addition, this course will utilize the resources of the Spencer Research Library to introduce students to the methods and tools used in the study of early printed books. Each student will write research paper on an original topic related to the course and will be responsible for oral reports on secondary materials. The research paper should reflect theoretical and research interests of the individual members of the colloquium. Prerequisite: SPAN 424 and six hours of 400-level Spanish literature courses. For more information, contact Dr. Rivera at ijrivera@ku.edu.

SPAN 762: The Spanish Novel Since 1939: Spanish Civil War & Memory

Instructor: Professor Margot Versteeg

Email: versteeg@ku.edu

Course Description:

La Guerra civil española (1936-39) fue sin duda el episodio más dramático y transcendental en la historia de España en el siglo XX. Tuvo un inmenso impacto nacional pero también repercusiones internacionales. Para los españoles, este evento traumático determinó su experiencia de la modernidad. Para numerosos hombres y mujeres de fuera de España fue un momento importante en la lucha contra el fascismo.

Después de la sangrente contienda, la Guerra civil ha inspirado gran número de presentaciones culturales (narrativa, poesía, teatro, carteles, tebeos, fotografía, películas, documentales, canciones, etc.).

En este curso indagamos cómo estos diferentes productos culturales creadas en el curso de los años representan los eventos violentos y traumáticos, y cómo los escritores, pero también numerosos historiadores, cineastas y fotógrafos, durante la guerra, la posguerra y después, ajustaron cuentas con la guerra, la dictadura de Franco y la Transición. En especial, y utilizando un corpus teórico proveniente de los estudios culturales, analizaremos la presencia de la violencia como una constante en el discurso cultural de este contexto histórico.

Si bien el curso se concentra en la novela, exploraremos también otras formas culturales tales como el cine, el teatro, la fotografía…

black and white photo of large crowd standing on stairs during Spanish Civil War


  1. Fomentar la reflexión sobre y el análisis de la cultura desde la perspectiva de los estudios culturales.
  2. Ofrecer herramientas y metodologías para el análisis.
  3. Ofrecer un conocimiento profundo de una época determinada en la historia cultural y literaria española.
  4. Discutir en clase una serie de novelas de la lista M.A. Colocar estos textos en un contexto histórico.
  5. Ofrecer a los estudiantes la posibilidad de extender estos conocimientos mediante un proyecto final.

SPAN 785: Introduction to Hispanic Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches in the Humanities

Instructor: Professor Jonathan Mayhew

Email: jmayhew@ku.edu

Course Description:

This course, oriented toward first year PhD and MA students in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese but open to all students in the program, will explore both the historical roots and the current identity of the field of Hispanic Studies, emphasizing the intellectual core of this field as well as the many interdisciplinary paths that available to emerging scholars. The central purpose of the course is to prepare students for success in the graduate program by familiarizing them with the “master narratives” of the field and the various ways in which contemporary scholars reshape and renegotiate these narratives.  

Researchers working today in Spanish and Spanish American cultural and literary studies, like other humanities scholars, typically work at the intersections of more than one discipline. (Thirty or forty years ago, in contrast, we often saw ourselves as specialists in the drama, poetry, or narrative of a particular period.) In almost every case, our research considers works of literature or film (and many other forms of cultural expression) in their historical context. Two factors, then, have changed: the objects of study are defined in more expansive terms, and the interpretive framework is no longer fixed by a single disciplinary paradigm.

As a consequence, students entering this field will need to define their approach to research by defining themselves as intellectuals working at disciplinary crossroads in the humanities. To this end, the course will consist of a series of readings of the work of significant scholars in the field, some of whom happen to be faculty members in our own department, and guest presentations by invited speakers. Students will write reaction papers to the readings, engage in dialogue with one another and with the guest speakers, and work toward a final project oriented toward putting these ideas into practice.   

Topics to be addressed might include the following:

•Current trends in humanities research and pedagogy, such as the various “turns”

 (“the affective turn,” “the performative turn, etc…)

•Inter-artistic approaches, employing visual arts and music.

•Intersections between race, class, culture, language, gender, sexuality, and other categories of identity.

•Addressing the legacy of colonialism.

•Pedagogical and community-based applications of interdisciplinary research.   

•Careers for humanities scholars outside of the academy.

SPAN 985 – Abiayala Rising: Indigenous Literary Traditions of Latin America

Instructor: Professor Ignacio Carvajal

Email: ignaciocarvajal@ku.edu

Course Description:

In his article “For Abiayala to Live, the Americas Must Die: Toward a Transhemispheric Indigeneity,” Emil Keme raises a series of questions, among them: “What does it mean to think about the world from the plurality of our Indigenous experiences?” (47). Through a variety of primary and secondary sources of Indigenous and non-Indigenous authorship, in this course we will explore historical and contemporary approaches to literary and cultural production in Abiayala. Some of the guiding questions we will consider include: What have been and are the main scholarly tendencies in the study and representation of the myriad Indigenous peoples throughout the continent? What can they tell us about literary and cultural expression and interpretation in relation to colonialism, language, land? What is our role in those traditions as non-Indigenous or Indigenous scholars? What purpose can the concept of Abiayala as a locus of enunciation serve? to whom and for whom? What are current and potential intersections between conceptualizations arising in Abiayala and Turtle Island?

The course is aimed to familiarize students with key concepts and intersections in fields like  Hispanic Studies, Indigenous Studies, and Latin American Studies. Students will complete a final project aimed at developing research and writing skills, particularly considering interdisciplinary approaches. Should you have any questions, you may reach out to Ignacio Carvajal at ignaciocarvajal@ku.edu.

Coon, Adam (translator). "For Abiayala to Live, the Americas Must Die: Toward a Transhemispheric Indigeneity." Journal of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association [NAIS], vol. 5, no. 1, 2018, p. 42+.