Spring 2019 Undergraduate 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.

PORT 300: Brazilian Culture: Diversity, Conflicts and Challenges
11:00-12:15, MW, 4025 Wescoe

Course Description:

This is an interdisciplinary survey course on Brazilian culture and society from the colonization to the present. Students will read texts from areas such as Brazilian history, politics, economy, architecture, literature, cinema, religion, and music, as well as watch films and videos related to them. The course will link Brazil’s colonial past to its current state of affairs, with an emphasis on the cultural and ethnic diversity of the country, particularly in relation to race, class, and gender.

PORT 347 / 785: Brazilian Studies: Afro-Latin American Cultures
Luciano Tosta
12:30-1:45, MW, 2600 Wescoe

Course Description:

This is a survey course about the history of the Afro-descendant communities in Latin America with an emphasis on the cultural productions of these groups, particularly music and film. We will analyze how Afro descendants have represented themselves and been represented in literature, cinema, and music. We will also 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, Peru, and Argentina, and see the role that African identity has played in the formation of these national cultures.
Besides reading some novels and viewing a few movies, students will read selected texts from fields such as history, anthropology, sociology, religion, education, and cultural studies in order to acquire a comprehensive and thorough picture of the African heritage in Latin America.


PORT 471: Brazilian Culture and Civilizations
9:30-10:45, TR, 2600 Wescoe

SPAN 302: The Spanish Inquisition (HIST 325/JWSH 315)
Patricia Manning and Luis Corteguera
9:30-10:45, TR, 4008 Wescoe

Course Description:

Fulfills CORE Goal 4.2 A broad historical study of the Inquisition in Spain and the Americas from 1478 to its afterlife in today's popular culture and film. Topics include anti-Semitism, the use of torture, censorship, adultery, and sexuality. Assessment will be based on quizzes, participation, mid-term and final exams and two papers.The course readings are in English and the course is taught in English.*  No prior knowledge of the topic is required.Co-taught by Professors Luis Corteguera (History, lcortegu@ku.edu) and Patricia Manning (Spanish & Portuguese, pwmannin@ku.edu)
*Since the course is taught in English, it does not count toward the Spanish major or minor.  It does count toward junior/senior hours and KU Core Goal 4.2.  

SPAN 324: Grammar and Composition

9:00-9:50, MWF, 4012 Wescoe

10:00-10:50, MWF, 4012 Wescoe

11:00-11:50, MWF, 4012 Wescoe

1:00-1:50, MWF, 4012 Wescoe

2:00-2:50, MWF, 4012 Wescoe

SPAN 326: Spanish for Healthcare Workers
9:30-10:45, TR, 4012 Wescoe

SPAN 340: Text Analysis & Critical Reading
9:00-9:50, MWF, 1001 Wescoe
Omaris Zamora
9:30-10:45, TR, 4034 Wescoe​
Jonathan Mayhew
11:00-12:15, TR, 4034 Wescoe

12:30-1:45, MW, 113 Fraser

Patricia Manning
1:00-2:15, TR, 4034 Wescoe

Course Description:

This course provides an introduction to the basic terms and techniques of textual analysis in different literary genres (narrative, poetry, and drama) and other media. The main objective is NOT to give an overview of the history of Hispanic literatures, but to help students acquire the analytical skills and technical vocabulary necessary for subsequent courses in literature and cultural production. Students will effectively use basic analytical vocabulary appropriate for literary and cultural studies, including vocabulary pertinent to the forms/genres of cultural production. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between texts and their historical, social and cultural contexts and further develop their writing skills as it pertains to creating arguments of literary criticism through literary analyses and close readings. 

SPAN 346: Transatlantic Hispanic Cultures
Robert Bayliss
11:00-12:15, MW, 1001 Wescoe

Araceli Masterson
1:00-2:15, TR, 4012 Wescoe

Veronica Garibotto
2:30-3:45, TR, 4034 Wescoe

3:00-4:15, MW, 4012 Wescoe

SPAN 424: Advanced Composition and Grammar
Araceli Masterson
11:00-12:15, TR, 1001 Wescoe

Rafael Acosta
12:30-1:45, MW, 4025 Wescoe

2:00-3:15, TR, 4025 Wescoe
3:00-4:15, MW, 113 Fraser


SPAN 428: Advanced Spanish Conversation
10:00-10:50 MW, 1001 Wescoe
11:00-11:50, MW, 123 Fraser

12:00-12:50, MW, 123 Fraser

SPAN 446: Spanish Culture

Robert Bayliss
3:00-4:15, MW, 4025 Wescoe

Course Description: 

This course will approach Spanish culture through a variety of discourses (literary, filmic, televisual, journalistic and cyber-digital) in an effort to better understand how Spanish nationalism(s) and national identity are articulated today. Understanding this complex cultural landscape will also entail understanding how it came to be so complex, so we will also study how nationalism and national identity have evolved since the beginning of the twentieth century. Students will collaborate to research various aspects of this topic, including peripheral nationalisms, immigration, membership in the European Union and feminism. All required materials will be made available on Blackboard.

SPAN 451: Early Modern Spanish Studies
Patricia Manning
2:30-3:45, TR, 4012 Wescoe

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 literary texts published in Spanish prohibited by the Inquisition and later reissued in an expurgated version.  The first-person narrators of these fictional autobiographies are often isolated from mainstream society by race, class, and profession.  In order to contrast these characters with the elite classes, each week we will study a painting that visually depicts the powerful.  

In addition to Lazarillo de Tormes, we also will read a number of the classic works of the genre such as selections from Francisco de Quevedo’s El buscón and later innovations on the genre by Miguel de Cervantes and María de Zayas.

In this literary environment, upper-class poets frequently wrote vituperative poetry about their literary rivals.  We will also consider some of the many examples of insulting poetry in written in seventeenth-century Spain and the meaning of such behavior in early modern Spanish society. 

Assessment will be based on active participation in class discussions, periodic quizzes on reading materials, writing assignments, including a final research paper, and an in-class exam. 

SPAN 463: National Traditions in Spanish America: Representing the Present in Argentine Literature and Film
Veronica Garibotto
11:00-12:15, TR, 4012 Wescoe

Course Description:

This course centers on one primary question: How do Argentine film and literature represent the present? Some of the secondary questions that will help us answer this primary question and that will thus be important in our class discussions are: What strategies do literary and filmic texts use to convey the idea of present? For whom and what for do they convey this idea? Is “representation” a semiotic or a political concept—in other words, when we “represent” something or someone, do we “speak about” or “speak for” something or someone? Is it indeed possible for film and literature to represent the present or are their narratives always necessarily about something that has already happened? What is “present”? Is “present” a moment, a day, a minute, or should it be conceived as a broader temporal framework? In order to elucidate these issues, we will 1) read theoretical texts that help understand what “present” and “representation” mean and how different media approach these two categories 2) analyze narratives and films belonging to four important moments in Argentine history (the radical 1960s and 1970s, the dictatorship (1976-1983), the neoliberal 1990s, and the post-crisis (2001-today), and 3) study historiographical and sociological texts to understand the key elements in these four moments.

Pre-requisite: A grade of “C” or better in Span 340.

Objectives and expected outcome

On completion of the course, students will have accomplished:

  •  A panoramic view of the history and culture of Argentina from the 1960s to 2018.
  • A preliminary insight into the relations among culture, history, politics, and representation.
  • Further insight into the differences between literary and cinematic discourses.
  • Development of critical reading and research skills.
  • Development of writing and oral skills in Spanish.​

SPAN 463: Writing and Re-Writing History in Latin America
Stuart Day
12:30-1:45, MW, 4034 Wescoe

Course Description: 

Through a variety of examples (fiction and non-fiction) of past and present events in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico, this class will open a space in which to explore how history is written and re-written in different contexts. Based on the analysis of short stories, plays, poems, de-classified CIA documents, political speeches, movies, documentaries, historical accounts, and political cartoons, we will look at the varying ways in which specific events are portrayed. For example, the Mexican movie La ley de Herodes presents a parody of post-revolutionary Mexico—a parody government officials censored because it contradicted their official view of history. The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, to give another example, began to march weekly in Buenos Aires to protest the disappearance of their children during the Argentine Dirty War. In doing so, they supplemented and subverted the official history of the military government in Argentina in the 1970s and 80s. As we read and view multiple accounts of events that are significant to our understanding Latin America, we will have the opportunity to reflect on our own roles as readers (and writers) of history.

In additional to short writing assignments, students will compose a final paper on the portrayal of a specific event as seen through multiple perspectives. For instance, a student could analyze a poem, movie, and political speech that present different ideas regarding migration to the United States. I will work with each student closely as they choose a topic for this final project.

SPAN 464: US Latinx Literature, Culture, and Performance
Omaris Zamora
1:00-2:15, TR, 4025 Wescoe

Course Description:

Representative literature Latinx writers living in the United States. Study of chronicles, diaries, autobiographies, and testimonials. The diaspora experience and the cultural affirmation of identity as portrayed in the novel, short stories, drama, and poetry. This seminar offers a critical and literary analysis grounding for Latino writing in the United States which is generally considered a product of the later twentieth century by surveying Latino literature from the late nineteenth century to the present. We will read writings and view films and performances from Puerto Rican, Mexican/Chicano, Dominican, and other Latinx artists. We will explore themes of migration, race, gender, and sexuality. 

SPAN 520: Structure of Spanish
Antonio Simoes
9:30-10:45, TR, 4012 Wescoe

Course Description:

In SPAN 520 we cybertravel in the linguistic, sociocultural and geographic worlds of today’s Spanish. We discuss how Spanish is spoken and written in different social classes and norms, as well as in different geographical areas and situations. It is a course on the MorphoSyntax and Pronunciation of Spanish. In Morpho-Syntax we will survey the grammar and use of the verbal aspects Imperfect and Preterit, the Subjunctive, Ser-Estar-Haber, Subject and Object Pronouns, from both a prescriptive view (traditional classroom grammar) and descriptive view (the Spanish language as it is actually used). It is an introductory course in Hispanic Linguistics. We will compare the contemporary Spanish language spoken in Spain, Caribbean, the Americas and other areas, in different social, cultural and situational contexts. It is in this sense that we will travel in the Hispanic Worlds. Class discussions are in Spanish.


SPAN 540: Indigenismo y Colonialidad
Santa Arias
11:00-12:15, MW, 2600 Wescoe

Course Description:

This course will examine the construction, perceptions, and articulations of indigenous identity in the Americas during the colonial period. The cultural politics of indigeneity have become increasingly relevant in Hispanic literary and cultural studies as First Peoples around the globe continue to struggle for rights, essential resources, and defense and protection of ancestral lands and water resources. Students will analyze a wide-ranging set of foundational cultural texts (chronicles, códices, and poetry) and contemporary renditions of the period in film. The primary goal is to explore how these cultural products encapsulate the political, social and cultural histories and experiences of indigenous nations who resisted and negotiated a position in colonized territories. This course aims to reflect on the social history and cultural traditions across the hemisphere. Themes of the course will highlight native cosmologies, conquest and accommodation, indigenous subjectivity, religion and spirituality, the centrality of nature and place, migrations and displacements, violence and war, and memory and empowerment. As a capstone, this course culminates the learning experience of KU majors in Spanish. It will help assess their learning with an integrative approach cutting across disciplines to explore a central aspect of the cultural history of the Americas. Students will complete the required capstone project to demonstrate their best research, analysis of literature, application of relevant scholarship and theories, and advanced level writing.


Calendar of Events


♥ Every Donation Matters.

Give to Spanish & Portuguese