Program in Comparative Literature

Jason Borge


Associate ProfessorPh.D., University of California, Berkeley

Associate Professor of Latin American Film and Literature

Courses


ILA 389 • Cult Politics Music/Sound-Wb

45035 • Spring 2021
Meets T 5:00PM-8:00PM
Internet

This is a new seminar. 

Course Description:

Music and sound have played an especially key cultural, political and social role in Latin America. In the 19th century and early 20th centuries, vernacular musical idioms emerged that would form the backbone of identity projects through the hemisphere, starting with vanguard movements of the 1920s.  The emergence of urban mass media in the first half of the 20th century led to what Michael Denning has called an explosion of decolonizing "audiopolitics." In the early sound era of the 1930s and 1940s, film industries in Mexico, Argentina and Brazil proved instrumental in promoting nationalist-populist platforms to reinforce--and sometimes parody and criticize--what Ana M. López has called "pedagogical" narratives about race, gender and social class. In the 1960s and 1970s, a new generation of writers and filmmakers would place music at the service of revolutionary agendas sometimes at odds with the very institutions (commercial radio, television) through which vernacular music had long thrived. In the globalized, neoliberal era of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, music and sound have served diverse functions, yet their centrality to print and media cultures and society-at-large remains.

In this comparativist, interdiscipinary graduate seminar, students will analyze hemispheric cultural production that makes the politics of national soundscapes a central thematic focus: from 1920s negristamelopoetics and musical melodramas of the 1940s and 1950s, the jazz writing of Julio Cortázar to late 20th and early 21st century reconfigurations of urban aurality. Focusing on the transnational, intra-hemispheric dimensions of audiopolitics, we will draw from a diverse array of theoretical perspectives, from music, sound, and media studies to scholarship on transnationalism, critical hemispherism, and global citizenship.  

Grades will be based on participation, two presentations, and one final research paper (20-25 pages).

Primary readings/viewings (tentative):

Machado de Assis, "Um homem célebre" (1883)

Nicolás Guillén, Motivo de son(1930)

Mário de Andrade, selected works

Alejo Carpentier, selected works

El tango en Broadway(Louis Gasnier, 1934)

Salón México(Emilio Fernández, 1949)

Orfeu Negro(M. Camus, 1959)

Julio Cortázar, Rayuela(selections; 1963)

Nosotros la música(Rogelio París, 1964)

Andrés Caicedo, Que viva la música(1977)

Buscando a Chano Pozo(Rebeca Chávez, 1987)

Caetano Veloso, Verdade Tropical(1997)

Buena Vista Social Club(dir. Wim Wenders, 1999)

Chico y Rita(dir. Fernando Trueba & Javier Mariscal, 2010)

O Som ao Redor(Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2012)

Theoretical/critical readings (tentative):

Jacques Attali, Noise

Josh Kun, Audiotopia

Michael Denning, Audiopolitics

Ana María Ochoa, Aurality

Michael Chion, Audio-Vision

Simon Frith, Performing Rites

Lisa Shaw, Brazilian National Cinema

Ana M. López, selected essays about cinema and music

Robin Moore, Music and Revolution

Jason Borge, Strange Riffs

Dylon Robbins, Audible Geographies in Latin America

POR 328C • Intro To Lit/Cul-Wb

43730 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM
Internet
GC

Overview of Luso-Brazilian literatures and cultures, including the arts and popular expressions from a multidisciplinary perspective. Among the regions studied are Brazil, Portugal, and related areas in Africa.

SPC 320C • Music/Power/Polit In Lat Am-Wb

44300 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM
Internet
GC

Significant issues in Iberian or Latin American societies and cultures.

Topic 1: Jewish Voices from Latin America. An introduction to Jewish writers from Brazil and Latin America, with an emphasis on those whose works portray the situation of the Jewish communities in their respective cities and countries.

Topic 2: Mediascapes: Literature and Media in the Caribbean. Analyzes the relationship between literature and media technologies in contemporary Caribbean cultures.

LAS 328 • Spectacular Brazil

39250 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 10
GC (also listed as PRC 320E)

In this course, students will be introduced to Brazil through an analysis of a wide array of cultural texts, primarily fiction film, but also literature, popular music, art & photography, history, and journalism. The reading/viewing and the course itself will focus on the global, historical, thematic, and performative aspects of Brazilian culture, challenging simplistic notions of naive exoticism, racial harmony, and violence frequently associated with the nation. We will discuss how culture as spectacle—in the sense of performance, but also creative artifice, deceit, resistance, and manipulation—has encompassed a large range of societal phenomena, from slavery to carnival, soccer to electoral politics, the sertão to the favela.

SPN 379C • Capstone Seminar In Lit & Cul

44825 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BEN 1.104
GCIIWr

This course is designed to introduce students to popular music and sound & media cultures in Latin America. Through an examination music history, song lyrics, film musicals, mediascapes, and literary representations of popular music and sound cultures, students will become familiar with the ways in which various musical idioms (tango, samba, salsa, etc) have impacted societies at large. Specifically, we will analyze how popular music and more generally sound media in Latin America (radio, records, cinema, festivals, etc.) have played a central roles in the expression of national identity, social justice, race, gender, and sexuality. We thereby place music and sound in the context of larger cultural, political, social, and technological trends in the region, from the 19th century until today.

Requirements: For their final projects, students will choose a topic dealing with some specific aspect of music and sound in Latin America. Since this course has a writing component, students will focused on the writing process (in Spanish) to a greater degree than in other upper-division courses. This means that the final research paper will become the focus of the semester's work. At different point over the course of the semester, students will be asked to submit a detailed paper topic proposal, a bibliography, and a first draft of the paper, along with other smaller assignments, culminating in a final presentation and the submission of the final paper.  

ILA 389 • Critical Pan Americanism

43865 • Fall 2019
Meets TH 5:00PM-8:00PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 381)

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

The term pan-Americanism has, for more than century, problematically evoked intra-hemispheric solidarity based on supposedly common shared colonial ties, geopolitical imperatives, business interests, and other discourses of trust, friendship or propinquity linking different states, parties and other entities within the region.  This new graduate seminar will work from the premise that the pan-American paradigm has guided much more Latin American intellectual and cultural production than has generally been acknowledged. Accordingly, we will interrogate diverse cultural practices in light of recent scholarship shedding important new light on the concept.  Through an analysis of both canonical and marginal texts from different media-- print culture, cinema, popular music, photography, and other cultural practices--the course will draw out and carefully study hegemonic as well as critical expressions of hemispherism:  from foundational texts of the 19th and early 20th centuries (Bolívar, Sousândrade, Martí, Rodó, et al) to Hollywood "Good Neighbor" films and Brazilian chanchadas[musical comedies]; from state-sponsored radio broadasts and advertising campaigns to anti-imperial pop art, free jazz, and protest music and poetry of the 1960s and 1970s.  We will be especially attentive to the spaces of dissidence (political, racial, sexual) within pan-American and pan-Latin American literary movements, cultural projects, and other related organizations and expressions. 

This course is designed to develop theoretical and analytical tools related to cultural and postcolonial studies from a (mostly) global South/Latin Americanist perspective.  It is meant to appeal to a fairly broad array of Latin Americanists and US Americanists from different disciplines across the humanities.  At the same time, we will cover many literary and cultural works that should be of use to PhD students in Latin American and Iberian Literatures and Cultures.

GRADING:  

Final grades will be based on regular class participation, two oral presentations, and a final research paper.  Reading knowledge of Spanish is required; basic knowledge of Portuguese is recommended. Though written work for this course may be submitted in Spanish, Portuguese, or English, the seminar will be conducted in English. 

Tentative literary/cultural readings:

Simón Bolívar, "The Angostura discourse" (selection, 1819)

James Monroe, "The Monroe Doctrine (1823)

Sousândrade, "The Wall Street Inferno" (1870)

José Marti, "Our America" (1891)

José Enrique Rodó, Ariel(1900)

Rubén Darío, "To Roosevelt" (1905)

Manuel Ugarte, "An open letter to the President of the United States" (1913)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "The Good Neighbor Policy" (1933)

Weekend in Havana(dir. Walter Lang, 1941)

It's All True(incomplete; dir. Orson Welles, 1942)

Saludos Amigos(dir. Walt Disney, 1942)

Hollywood es así(dir. Jorge Délano, 1944)

Gabriela Mistral, "The infantilism of the North American" (1944)

John F. Kennedy, "The Alliance for Progress" (1961)

José Agrippino de Paula, PanAmérica[1967, selections]

The Hour of the Furnace, part 1 (dir. Octavio Getino & Pino Solanas, 1968)

The Blood of the Condor(dir. Jorge Sanjinés, 1969)

Cildo Meirelles, Coca-Cola Project(1970)

Eduardo Galeano, The Open Veins of Latin America[1973; selections]

Ariel Dorfman. How to read Donald Duck: imperialist ideology in the Disney comic(1975)

Tentative secondary readings:

Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism[selections relating to pan-movements] (1951)

Arthur Whitaker, The Western Hemisphere Idea: Its Rise and Decline (1954)

Andrew Ross and Kristin Ross, eds., Anti-Americanism(2004)

Deborah Pacini Hernandez, Héctor Fernández-L'Hoeste, and Eric Zolov, eds. Rockin' las Américas: the global politics of rock in Latin/o America(2004)

David Luis-Brown, Waves of decolonization: discourses of race and hemispheric citizenship in Cuba, Mexico, and the United States(2008)

Antônio Pedro Tota, The seduction of Brazil: the Americanization of Brazil during World War II (2009)

Gisela Cramer and Ursula Prutsch (eds.), ¡Américas unidas!: Nelson A. Rockefeller's Office of Inter-American Affairs (1940-46) (2012).

Stephen Park, The Pan American imagination: contested visions of the hemisphere in twentieth-century literature (2014)

Nancy Rosenblum, "Good Neighbor Nation," from Good Neighbors:  The Democracy of Everyday Life in America(2016)

Jesse Lerner & Rubén Ortiz-Torres, eds. How to read El Pato Pascual : Disney's Latin America and Latin America's Disney(2017)

 

 

 

SPN 328C • Intro To Literatures/Culs

44465 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BEN 1.102
GC

Overview of Iberian and/or Latin American literatures and cultures, including the arts and popular expressions, from a multidisciplinary perspective. Among the regions studied are Spain; North, Central, and South America; the Caribbean; and related areas in Africa.

LAS 328 • Gringomania: U.S. In Lat Am

39600 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GDC 6.202
GC (also listed as SPC 320C)

Please check back for updates.

PRC 320E • Spectacular Brazil

45425 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 1.202
GC

Focuses on significant issues in Brazilian society and culture.

Topic 1: Samba to Hip Hop: Brazilian Popular Music. Examines the role of popular music in relationships of power with subordination and the impact of music as a form of cultural expression.

Topic 2: Global Brazil: Immigration and Diaspora in Brazilian Culture. Examination of twentieth-century literature, films, and other cultural artifacts that capture the multicultural reality of Brazilian society and challenge the image of Brazil as a unified, harmonious, racially-mixed nation. Subjects include contemporary textual and visual representations of the Brazilian diaspora in the United States and Europe.

Topic 3: Afro-Luso-Brazilian Worlds. Study of the myths and realities in the Afro-Luso-Brazilian worlds and the connections and contrasts between them.

 

ILA 389 • Cinema/Sound/Cities In Amer

45765 • Fall 2017
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 381)

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Music and sound have played an especially key cultural, political and social role in Latin America. This is particularly true since the simultaneous emergence of large urban centers and new mass media in the first half of the 20th century. In the early sound era of the 1930s and 1940s, film industries in Mexico, Argentina and Brazil proved instrumental in promoting populist political platforms, often using spoken and singing voices and urban music forms such as mambo, tango and samba to reinforce--and sometimes parody and criticize--what Ana M. López has called "pedagogical" narratives about race, gender and social class. In the 1960s and 1970s, a new generation of filmmakers would place music at the service of revolutionary agendas sometimes at odds with the very institutions (commercial radio, television) through which vernacular music had long thrived. In the globalized, neoliberal era of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, music and sound have served diverse functions, yet their centrality to film culture and society-at-large remains.

In this comparativist graduate seminar, students will analyze hemispheric cinematic production (particularly in Mexico, Cuba, Brazil and the United States) that makes the politics of urban landscapes and soundscapes a central thematic focus: from Hollywood musicals and tango, samba and "rumbera" melodramas of the 1940s and 1950s to late 20th and early 21st century reconfigurations of urban aurality.  Focusing on transnational, media-saturated cities like Havana, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles, we will draw from a diverse array of theoretical perspectives, from sound studies and urban spatiality to studies of transnationalism and global citizenship, not to mention current film and music scholarship.

GRADING: 

Grades will be based on participation, two presentations, and a final research paper (18-25 pages). 

Tentative list of films and topics: 

New York/Los Angeles:  Voices of (Dis)enchantment

El tango en Broadway (dir. Louis Gasnier, 1934)

Hollywood es así (Jorge Délano, 1944)

Mexico City I:  Streets and Cabarets

Distinto amanecer (Julio Bracho, 1943)

Víctimas del pecado (Emilio Fernández, 1951)

La ilusión viaja en tranvía (Luis Buñuel, 1954)

Mexico City II:  Gringo Strains

Los caifanes (Juan Ibãñez, 1967)

Güeros (Alonso Ruizpalacios, 2014)

Havana I:  Revolutionary Notes

Guys and Dolls (dir. Joseph L. Mankeiwicz, 1955)

Cuba baila  (dir. Julio García Espinosa, 1960), or Nosotros la música (dir. Rogelio París, 1964)

PM  (dir. Sabá Cabrera Infante & Orlando Jiménez-Leal, 1961)

Havana II:  Echoes of the Cold War

Buena Vista Social Club (dir. Wim Wenders, 1999)

Suite Habana (dir. Fernando Pérez, 2003)

Rio I:  Marvelous Music

Carmen Miranda, "Aquarela do Brasil," from The Gang's All Here

Rio Zona Norte (Nelson Pereira dos Santos, 1958)

Orfeu Negro (Marcel Camus, 1959)

Rio II:  Marvelous Noise

Copacabana Mon Amour (Rogério Sganzerla, 1970)

Cidade de Deus (dir. Fernando Meirelles, 2000)

Sao Paulo I:  Paulista symphonies

São Paulo, Sinfonia da Metrópole (1929)

São Paulo, Sociedade Anónima (Luis Sérgio Person, 1965)

São Paulo II:  Sounds of Megalopolis

Discos Durval (dir. Anna Muylaert, 2002)

Saudade do Futuro (dir. César Paes, 2000)

New York:  Salsa Latitudes

Our Latin Thing (Leon Gast, 1972)

El cantante (Leon Ichaso, 2007)

New York/Havana:  Outernational Forays

Buscando a Chano Pozo (Rebeca Chávez, 1987)

Before Night Falls (Julian Schnabel, 2000)

Chico y Rita (dir. Fernando Trueba, 2010)

Minor Soundscapes

O Som ao Redor (dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2012)

Siembra (dir. Ángela Osorio Rojas & Santiago Lozano Álvarez, 2015)

 

 

 

LAS 370S • Latin Amer Film And Culture

40494 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 303
GC (also listed as SPN 350K)

Taught in Spanish. Overview of Latin American cinema from the silent era to present, with an emphasis on the last forty years. Subjects covered include: the development of the film industry (particularly in Argentina and Mexico in the 1930s and 1940s); the "New Wave" of Latin American cinema in the 1960s; and contemporary trends. 

LAS 370P • Brazilian Film And Culture

40522 • Spring 2017
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM JES A207A
GC (also listed as POR 350F)

Please check back for updates.

LAS 370S • Film/Music In Latin America

40380 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CLA 1.108
GC (also listed as SPN 350K)

Music has played an especially crucial political and social role in Latin America. This is particularly true since the emergence of new mass media in the early 20th century. In the early sound era, film industries in Mexico, Argentina and Brazil proved instrumental in promoting populist political platforms, often using popular music forms such as mambo, tango and samba to reinforce--and sometimes question--national myths about race, gender and social class. In the 1960s and 1970s, a new generation of filmmakers would place music at the service of radical, sometimes revolutionary agendas. In the globalized, neoliberal era of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, music has served diverse functions, yet its centrality to film culture and society-at-large remains. This course will focus primarily on Latin American cinema and secondarily on other cultural expressions (stories, poems, lyrics, music videos, comics, etc.) that make the politics of music a central thematic focus: from melodramas of the 1940s and 1950s to rock- and rap-inspired pictures of the early 21st century. 

ILA 387 • Gringo Identities

44880 • Spring 2016
Meets W 1:00PM-4:00PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 381)

Course Description: This new course will approach Latin American cultural production through one of the region’s pivotal and enduring tropes:  the stranger.  Since the early 20th century, filmmakers, writers and artists have exploited the outsider—the North American tourist, the European explorer or immigrant, the CIA agent, the Hollywood star—to come to terms with the complex realities of modernity, from the vagaries of international politics to the seductions of mass culture.  Through an analysis of a diverse range of cultural texts, from film and fiction to fine art and comics, students will examine how Latin American identity projects have been conditioned by hegemonic others, often (but not always) constructed as ambiguous Northern colonizers and invaders, modernizers and contaminators. 

Over the course of the semester, students will interrogate identitary models focused on strangeness and foreignness, by such theorists as Julia Kristeva, Sarah Ahmed, Édouard Glissant, and Kwame Anthony Appiah.  In addition, we will explore how these concepts dialogue with others common to Latin American cultural studies, such as mestizaje, mestiçagem, hybridity, cultural cannibalism, mimicry/mimesis and créolisation.  Specifically, we will examine how figures unique to the Americas—the gringo, the pocho, the güero, the “galego,”— emblemize geopolitical imperialism, the ambiguity of the frontier, and the myriad cultural manifestations of posthegemonic Empire (Negri & Hardt, Beasley Murray).

Although this is fundamentally a comparative course with a transnational scope, the majority of the texts will center on Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the US Southwest. The course will be taught in Spanish. 

Course grades will be based on two oral presentations (40%), a final research paper (40%) and general participation (20%). 

Required reading and viewing , grouped thematically (provisional): 

Colonial strangers

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Naufragios [selections]

Hans Staden, The True History and Description of a Country Populated by a Wild, Naked, and Savage Man-munching People [selections]

Cabeza de Vaca (dir. Nicolás Echevarría)

Hans Staden (dir. Luis Alberto Pereira)

Gringos, near and far

H.A. Wise, Los gringos [selections]

“De los ambiciosos patones,” “De las margaritas,” “De la persecución de Villa,” “De la extranjera” [corridos]

Justo S. López de Gomara, Gauchos y gringos: (bosquejo de costumbres argentinas en un acto y en verso)

Teutonic incursions

Florencio Sánchez, La gringa

Jorge Luis Borges, “Deutsches Requiem”

El médico alemán (dir. Lucía Puenzo)

Endgame of anti-imperialism

José Enrique Rodó, Ariel [selections]

Miguel Ángel Asturias, Week-end en Guátemala

La hora de los hornos (dir. Octavio Getino and Pino Solanas)

Celluloid seductions

Nicolás Olivari, El hombre de la baraja y la puñalada [selections]

Hollywood es así (dir. Jorge Délano)

Carlos Fuentes, Diana

Border anxiety

Octavio Paz, “El pachuco y otros extremos”

El rey del barrio (dir. Gilberto Martínez Solares)

José Antonio Villarreal, Pocho

The Black Gringo, and other oxymorons

Julio Cortázar, El perseguidor

El perseguidor (dir. Osías Wilenski)

Sampayo and Muñoz, Billie Holiday [graphic novel]

Chicano revisions

José Ángel Gutiérrez, A Gringo Manual on How to Handle Mexicans

Zoot Suit (dir. Luis Valdez)

Ruis, “México y los gringos” [comics]

Jailhouse rock

Parménides García Saldaña,"El rey criollo"

José Agustín, La nueva música clásica

The Last Elvis (dir. Armando Bo)

LAS 370S • Latin Noir: Film/Crime Lat Am

39570 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BEN 1.124
GC (also listed as SPN 350K)

Taught in Spanish.  Important themes in Iberian or Latin American societies and examines their treatment in audiovisual and media production. Students will be able to analyze the language of audiovisual and media cultures and discuss their implications

LAS 328 • Gringomania: U.S. In Lat Am

39640 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BEN 1.124
GC (also listed as SPC 320C)

Since the 19th century, the United States has had an especially pervasive and crucial influence on the Latin American imagination, as North-South “contact zones” have become increasingly more fluid in an age of migration, mass media, and globalization. This course, therefore, will approach Latin American culture through one of the region’s enduring figures and obsessions. Through an analysis of a range of cultural texts—primarily fiction and poetry but also film, music and essays--students will explore how Latin American writers and artists have used the United States and “gringo” tropes not just to come to terms with international politics, popular culture, crime, technology and race, but also to talk about themselves.

LAS 370S • Latin Amer Film And Culture

39745 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.202
GC (also listed as SPN 350K)

This course will provide students with an overview of Latin American cinema from the perspective of cultural history. As a survey of film production in the region, we will be watching a wide selection of pictures, from the early sound era to contemporary cinema. Specifically, through a combination of close viewing and supplementary texts, we will study how the medium develops from fledgling industries in the early 20th century to the more sophisticated studio systems (particularly in Argentina and Mexico) of the 1930s and 1940s; later in the semester, we will see how the "New Wave" of Latin American cinema in the 1960s planted the seeds for the vital mode of expression that the cinema has become in the last decade. As we analyze each chronological stage of Latin America film, we will examine how historical trends and foreign industries (particularly Hollywood) have impacted the medium in the region.

ILA 389 • Cultural Politics Of Imitation

46605 • Fall 2014
Meets M 5:00PM-8:00PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 392S)

DESCRIPTION:

The course will examine Latin American culture (particularly cinema) through what critics such as Néstor García Canclini and Nelly Richard have called the “paradigm of imitation,” a prism encompassing a wide range of cultural practices, from appropriation to outright impersonation.  After studying a selection of theories of imitation, ranging from Aristotle to Glissant and Bhabha, we will shift our focus to texts (mostly films, from both Brazil and Spanish America) that exemplify and at the same time challenge the commonly held notion that imitation is by definition a subordinate or even abject colonialist strategy.  As we will see, celebrity and power play prominent roles in generating a rich diversity of Latin American imitative practices, as the pervasiveness of transnational mass culture enables local agents to scramble and resignify metropolitan and hegemonic discourses and institutions in ways that support and at the same time subvert local and national identity projects, often along lines of race and gender.    

Grades will based on two presentations (40% of final grade), participation (20%) and a final research paper (40%).   The class will be conducted in Spanish and Portuguese.  

FILMS:  

Chingolo (Lucas Demare, 1940)

El circo (M. Delgado, 1943)

Hollywood es así (dir. J. Délano, 1944)

Aventurera (dir. Alberto Gout, 1950)

Carnaval Atlântida (dir. Carlos Manga, 1954)

Alias Gardelito (dir. Lautaro Murúa, 1961)

Madame Satã (dir. Karim Ainouz, 2002)

Tony Manero (dir. Pablo Larraín, 2008)

VIPS (dir. Toniko Melo, 2010)

El último Elvis (dir. Armando Bo, 2012)

 

LAS 370S • Intro Spn Amer Lit Snc Mod

41050 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.118
GC (also listed as SPN 325L)

Please check back for updates.

ILA 389 • Pop Vanguards In Latin America

46575 • Fall 2013
Meets TH 9:30AM-12:30PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 392S)

DESCRIPTION:

This comparative course will study the avant-garde in Latin America as a crucial mode of 20th century cultural production encompassing literature, visual culture, popular music and politics.  The seminar will begin with the concept of “vanguard” as it emerged in the early 20th century, paying particular attention to arrival of modern technologies and the concomitant rise of new models of cultural production, based in part on revisionist elaborations of criollismo, négritude, mestiçagem and latinidad.  After examining the importance of both new mass media (particularly film and radio) and local vernacular practices in the development of cultural vanguards in the 1920s, students will study links between vanguardism and populist political regimes of the 1930s-1960s.  Finally, students will analyze the radical projects of the New Latin American Cinema and other “neo-avant-garde” movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and how they at once dialogue with earlier vanguard production and establish a new creative matrix for contemporary Latin American filmmakers, artists, and intellectuals.  

The course will draw primarily from works in Spanish and Portuguese; adequate reading knowledge and oral comprehension of these two languages is required.  Student will be required to two give two oral presentations over the course of the semester, and to turn in one 18-25-page paper at the end of the semester. 

Texts will include the following (subject to change): 

Manuel Maples Arce, "Manifiesto Actual N. 1 (Manifiesto Estridentista)"

Oliverio Girondo, Veinte poemas para ser leídos en el tranvía

Juan Marín, Looping

Oswald de Andrade, "Manifesto antropófago" and other selected texts

Mário de Andrade, Macunaíma (selections)

Nicolás Guillén, Motivos de son

Julio Cortázar, El perseguidor and other selected texts

José Agrippino de Paula, PanAmérica (selections)

Limite (dir. Mário Peixoto)

¡Que viva México (dir. S. Eisenstein)

Los olvidados (dir. Luis Buñuel)

São Paulo, Sociedade Anônima (dir. Luís Sérgio Person)

Memórias del subdesarrollo (dir. Tomás Gutierrez Alea)

Terra em Transe (dir. Glauber Rocha)

La hora de los hornos (dir. Octavio Getino & Fernando Solanas)

El Topo (dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky)

Macunaíma (dir. Joaquim Pedro de Andrade)

La mujer sin cabeza (dir. Lucrecia Martel)

LAS 370S • Contemp Spanish Amer Prose

40515 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.210
GC

Please check back for updates.

LAS 370P • Luso-Brazilian Film

40300 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.210
GC

Please check back for updates.

LAS 392S • Transnationalism Lat Am Cinema

40505 • Fall 2012
Meets T 1:00PM-4:00PM MEZ 1.212
(also listed as SPN 380K)

This course will explore the theme of transnationalism in Latin America primarily through cultural theory and the medium of film.  From its inception in the silent era until the present day, Latin American cinema has continually dialogued with other nations and industries—particularly Hollywood, which has historically depended on Latin American actors, writers and technicians, not to mention the region’s vast symbolic repository of “otherness.”  Using a number of U.S. films as points of comparison and sources of influence, students will examine how Latin American film history (both in Spanish America and Brazil) has been shaped through its constant exposure to foreign cultures and imaginaries. Whether through appropriation of North American and European cinematic models, focus on problems of exile or cultural imperialism, or, more recently, collaboration with international production companies, Latin American filmmakers have elaborated diverse methods of interrogating local and national identities through frequently contentious encounters with their “neighbors,” both near and far.  The course, therefore, traces the evolution of transnationalism as a politically complex, multi-faceted and collective enterprise, manifested not only in the visual language of film, but also through language and popular music—the latter a crucial and often underappreciated source of subjectivity since the beginning of the sound era.     

Students in this course will be expected to watch two full-length feature films prior to each class.  In addition, they will regularly be assigned one or two theoretical/critical readings and the occasional work of fiction and/or poetry, depending on the specific topic.    

Each student will give two presentations over the course of the semester:  the first a 20-minute lecture centering on one of the films they have watched outside of class, and the second a 15-20 minute paper previewing/summarizing their final research paper; the professor will give written feedback on both presentations.  The final research paper will be between 18-25 pages in length, and will focus on some innovative aspect of transnationalism and at least one of the films we have watched during the semester.  

Below is a preliminary list of the films to be covered in the course:

El tango en Broadway (Louis J. Gasnier, 1934)

Allá en el Rancho Grande (Fernando de Fuentes, 1936)

Down Mexico Way (Joseph Santley, 1941)

The Gang’s All Here (Busby Berkeley, 1943)

It’s All True (Orson Welles [Bill Krohn et al], 1942 [1993])

Aventurera (Alberto Gout, 1950)

Carnaval Atlántida (José Carlos Burle & Carlos Manga, 1952)

Guys and Dolls (Joseph Mankiewicz, 1955)

El jefe (Fernando Ayala, 1958)

Orfeu Negro (Marcel Camus, 1959)

Yo soy Cuba (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964)

El perseguidor (Osias Wilenski, 1965)

El Super (León Ichaso & Orlando Jiménez Leal, 1979)

Gaijin--os caminhos da liberdade (Tizuka Yamasaki, 1980)

El exilio de Gardel (Fernando Solanas, 1985)

The Mambo Kings (Arne Glimcher, 1992)

Terra estrangeira (Walter Salles & Daniela Thomas, 1996)

Tudo é Brasil (Rogério Sganzerla, 1997)

Bolivia (Adrián Caetano, 2001)

Babel (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2006)

Sleep Dealer (Alex Rivera, 2008)

LAS 370S • Latin American Film & Culture

40230 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 208
(also listed as SPN 350K)

Please check back for updates.

SPN 381M • Film/Lit/Celeb In Lat Amer

46590 • Fall 2011
Meets TH 1:00PM-4:00PM BEN 1.118

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

 The main purpose of this course will be to introduce students to film in Latin America as a polemical subject, a literary topic, an aesthetic model and as a cultural practice in its own right.  The central theoretical focus of the course will be celebrity and celebrity studies, since fame—what Jesús Martín-Barbero calls the simultaneously hegemonic and “empowering” aperture of celebrity—has consistently been one of the main prisms through which Latin American writers and filmmakers have imagined themselves and their work.  Indeed, the star system (particularly Hollywood, but also those of Mexico, Argentina and Brazil) has arguably functioned as a kind of grey eminence in much contemporary Latin American literary and cultural production.  In this course, therefore, students will read/view and discuss a broad selection of 20th and 21st century Latin American literature and films that foreground cinematic production, mass media, spectatorship and fame.

 

 REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:

 Students’ grades will be based on: active class participation, including exercises such as leading class discussion (40%); and a final research paper (60%).

Classes will be taught in Spanish. Reading knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese is required. Class participation and the final paper may be in Spanish, Portuguese or English.

 

TEXTBOOKS AND/OR CLASS MATERIALS (tentative):

Horacio Quiroga, “Miss Dorothy Philips, mi esposa” and other stories

Clemente Palma, XYZ

Jaime Torres Bodet, Estrella de día

Carlos Fuentes, Zona sagrada

Guillermo Villarronda, Poemas a Walt Disney

Clarice Lispector, A hora da estrela

Manuel Puig, El beso de la mujer araña

Alberto Fuguet, Las películas de mi vida

 

El tango en Broadway (dir. Louis Gasnier)

Carnaval Atlántida (dir. José Carlos Burle)

Reportaje (dir. Emilio Fernández)

Cinema de lágrimas (dir. Nelson Pereira dos Santos)

Tony Manero (dir. Pablo Larraín)

LAS 370S • Intro Spn Amer Lit Snc Mod

40670 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GAR 0.120
GC (also listed as SPN 325L)

Description:

 

In this course students will read representative Spanish American texts from the late 19 th to the early 21 st century.  Although students will be exposed to a wide range of literary works, the emphasis will be on short fiction, crónicas, and poetry.  In addition to learning about the main literary genres and artistic trends in the region-including literature's overlap with art, music and film-students will examine how Spanish-American writers have positioned themselves in the popular milieu of the street, the public square, the circus, the brothel, the stadium, etc.  Besides examining common themes like race, gender and violence, we will ask ourselves how these public spaces and practices and "real-life" encounters challenge writers' conception of themselves and, indeed, that of literature itself.  

 

 

Texts:  

 

Required reading assignments will come from Voces de Hispanoamérica (3 rd ed) as well as electronic texts (Blackboard).  

 

 

Grading:  

 

 

Grades will be based on regular and active class participation (20%), one mid-term examination (15%), two papers (40%) and one final exam (25%). Class participation includes regular, on-time attendance and active participation in class discussions; students will receive a participation grade once every three to four weeks. Study questions will be made available on Blackboard at least 24 hours prior to every class.  Students should prepare written answers to these questions, as the instructor will ask for responses in class, and may at any time ask to read and evaluate written responses.

SPN 325L • Intro To Spn Amer Lit Snc Mod

47023 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BEN 1.124
GC

Main literary trends and principal writers in Spanish America since Modernism.

LAS 370S • Latin American Film & Culture

40199 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 208
(also listed as SPN 350K)

Please check back for updates.

LAS 392S • Pop Perf And Lit In Latin Amer

40400 • Fall 2010
Meets T 3:00PM-6:00PM MEZ 1.104
(also listed as SPN 380K)

T 3:00-6:00 PM

MEETS WITH: LAS 392S, 40400

DESCRIPTION:

Since the advent of modern mass culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, live spectacles such as carnival, circus, sporting events, and popular music have continued to play a prominent role in the Latin American imaginary.  One of the main goals of this seminar is to examine the persistence of such popular performance in Latin American and Caribbean narrative, poetry, theatrical expression and cinema in the 20th and early 21st centuries.  Rather than seeking to isolate performance from the literary archive, however, we will also explore how the archive has confronted and assimilated live performance.  In this seminar, therefore, students will study a range of texts (from such authors as Machado de Assis, Nicolás Guillén, Raúl González Tuñón, Julio Cortázar, Bernardo Kordon, Guillermo Meneses, César Aira and Edwidge Dandicat) that deal thematically with different aspects of popular spectacle, reading them as cultural practices emblematic of artistic creativity, political praxis, social, racial and sexual conflicts, and contentious encounters with modernity.

Course requirements:

* Regular class participation (20% of final grade)
* Two presentations on reading assignments (30%)
* One final research paper (50%)

LAS 370S • Circus/Carnvl Lat Am Lit/Film

40629 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM MEZ 1.212
(also listed as SPN 350)

Please check back for updates.

LAS 370S • Intro Spn Amer Lit Snc Mod

40679 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM JES A207A
GC (also listed as SPN 325L)

Please check back for updates.

LAS 370S • Latin American Film & Culture

40907 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM MEZ 1.120
(also listed as SPN 350)

Please check back for updates.

SPN 325L • Intro To Spn Amer Lit Snc Mod

47997 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM PAR 204

Main literary trends and principal writers in Spanish America since Modernism.

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