Department of Spanish and Portuguese

ILA 380 • Intro Thry/Rsrch Of Lit/Cul-Wb

43565 • Polit, Gabriela
Meets T 5:00PM-8:00PM • Internet
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Course description

This course is designed with two specific goals in mind. On the one hand, the objective is to familiarize students with the corpus (and the history) of literary and cultural theories and contemporary criticism, as developed in Iberian-America. To this end –and given the obvious limitations of covering such a broad production of thought in a single semester- students will read some of the major theoretical works. The approach in class will be practical. Students will read short literary works (essays, short-stories, crónicas), and will learn to analyze these texts with the theoretical tools at hand.

On the other hand, this course should serve to guide students in a process of professionalization in order to boost their performance and improve their profile during their years at graduate school. A time in the semester is committed to discuss strategies to work on these aspects of the profession.

Each week students are required to write a reaction essay (ONE PAGE double spaced) about the readings. This should be posted in CANVAS discussions, no later than WEDNESDAY 9 am. No reaction essay for the first session.


Book Review or Annotated bibliography                    15%

Students will choose a book of any genre (fiction, non-fiction, theory) and write a book review of 1000 words.

Class Presentation                                                       15%

Students will choose a topic (preferably related to their final paper) and have a 20-minute presentation in class.

Weekly Discussion                                                      10%

Final Paper                                                                   60%

Students will write a 15 pages-long final paper on the topic of their choice. MLA style.

Students are required to meet with the professor to discuss the topic in the middle of the semester.

Suggested Material (theory)

Marxism and Literature. Raymond Williams (selections)

 “History of Sexuality II” M. Foucault

 Orientalism. Edward Said 

The field of literary production.Pierre Bourdieu

Eco-criticim in Latin America. (selections) Gisela Heffes

Judith Butler. Precarious Life. (selections)

Adriana Cavarero Inclination. (selections)

“La paradoja del arte político” Rancière. 

Aurality. Ana María Ochoa

An Archive of Feelings. Ann Cvetkovich

Making Race and Nation. Anthony Marx

 “Para una teoría literaria posthumanista”. Yelin, Julieta.

 "The Avatar and Online Affect".  Hillis, Ken.

The novels and movies to be analyzed during the semester will be posted in the syllabus.








ILA 385T • Teaching Practicum-Wb

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Mentorship and pedagogical training by working one-on-one with a faculty member on the development and design of an undergraduate, upper-division level course in their area of specialization.

ILA 386 • Heritage Languages-Wb

43575 • Koike, Dale
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM • Internet
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Course Description

Objectives: This course focuses on heritage languages, with particular attention to the Spanish context. It examines heritage speakers as well as learners of the heritage language, a topic that has emerged in the last decade as extremely important given the vast emigration around the world, the growing number of such speakers in places such as the U.S., Spain, and Latin America, and the need to address heritage language learners in language programs, all reflecting the increasing diversity of the populations in the U.S. and abroad.  Our objectives are to:

  • understand issues related to heritage language speakers and learners in second and third language learning situations (e.g. agency, identity, learner strategies, processing approaches, attrition, revitalization),
  • view how current theories of sociolinguistics and language acquisition need to be reworked in view of these issues;
  • and examine how these issues can be understood for their societal impacts in the case of sociolinguistic aspects, and in the case of acquisition, how they can be addressed in second and third (and even fourth) language contexts.

Expectations:The course will follow a seminar style format, in English, with active dialogue between students and professor on assigned topics. Students will analyze and discuss related current studies in heritage language acquisition and relates issues. Each student is expected to participate actively in class discussions and to come to class prepared by reading and criticizing the readings beforehand. 
            Students will write a research paper on an original research project of about 20 pages in length, and will do two presentations in class. One presentation is a summary of and response to an assigned article (15 minutes). The second is a class presentation of the term paper (15-20 minutes). There is also a short essay to be completed.

Grading system:

Research paper                       40%

Paper presentation                  10%

Article presentation                 10%

Short essay                            25%

Class discussion and
preparation                             15%




ILA 386 • Romance Syntax-Wb

43580 • Toribio, Almeida
Meets M 9:00AM-12:00PM • Internet
(also listed as FR 392K, LIN 393)
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Course Description

Romance Syntax is intended to provide an overview of the major grammatical structures across multiple modern Romance languages. The course covers a broad array of themes, including word order, clitics, pro-drop, and agreement, among other topics, beginning with traditional description and cross-linguistic comparisons. The course additionally presents seminal works from a range of scholars that highlight the importance of the Romance languages in the development of syntactic theories.

The course assumes no prior knowledge of syntactic theory.

Cross-listed with French


Assignments: 50%

Midterm: 25%

Paper: 25%


ILA 387 • Cognitive Cultural Studies-Wb

43585 • Reed, Cory
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM • Internet
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Course Description:

The growing field of cognitive cultural studies operates at the disciplinary intersection of evolutionary psychology, phenomenology, neuroscience, and the humanistic study of literature and culture. Cognitive approaches to literature and culture view all knowledge as embodied, deriving not only from discourse but also from emotional and biological processes of adaptation to the natural environment. This emerging interdisciplinary approach seeks to identify the cognitive bases of literary/cultural discourse, to study the affective aspects of readers’ responses to literature, and to develop a socio-psychological orientation that addresses the effects of literary readings on self and society, thereby building on the important contributions of discursive cultural studies by reintroducing the “evolved human mind” first identified by Raymond Williams.

Literature in the early modern period frequently depicts mind-reading characters who attempt to negotiate an increasingly complex social world during the time in which the modern subject emerges and conceptions of identity and society are first being formed. Focusing on how people think, persuade, and infer the thoughts of others in order to gain social or political advantage, cognitive cultural studies is a particularly appropriate methodology for the study of these dynamics in the early modern world. In this course we will take a cognitive approach to study the formation of social identity, the performance of ethnicity and religion in public theatres, and how critical and/or subversive messages are conveyed in the public arena despite political attempts to silence them, analyzing texts that reflect Spain’s participation in the broader Mediterranean and Transatlantic worlds. In the process, we will consider such theoretical concepts as Theory of Mind, Social and Machiavellian Intelligence, Representational Hunger, and Cognitive Embodiment as ways of understanding how human beings think, feel, and act during a period of controlled mass culture and political hegemony.

Requirements and Grading:

Class meetings will be organized around active discussion and student participation.  The first part of each meeting will concentrate on the dissemination of theory and background information through a brief lecture, leaving the remaining time for textual analysis and discussion. Students will be responsible for literary/cultural readings as well as theoretical and critical works.  Students will prepare two oral reports during the semester: one on a critical or theoretical work and another related to their individual research agendas. A series of workshops at the end of the semester will focus on the production of a conference paper related to the student’s research interests, including the development of an abstract, writing and revision, peer review, and editing. At the end of the semester students will present their conference papers in class, revise them in accordance with feedback, and submit a written version as the final project for the course.

Textbooks and Class Materials:

The following texts are required for this course. Some may be available on line or posted on Canvas:

Simerka, Barbara. Knowing Subjects: Cognitive Cultural Studies and Early Modern Spanish Literature(2013)

Calderón, El médico de su honra

Ana Caro, Valor, agravio y mujer

Cervantes, Don Quijote(selections)

Cervantes, El trato de Argel, El retablo de las maravillas

Claramonte, El valiente negro en Flandes

Bartolomé de las Casas, Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias

Lazarillo de Tormes

Ruiz de Alarcon, La verdad sospechosa

The following texts are recommended, but not required:

Zunshine, Lisa, ed. Introduction to Cognitive Cultural Studies(2010).

Jaén, Isabel and Julien Simon, eds. Cognitive Approaches to Early Modern Spanish Literature(2016)

Additional required critical studies will be posted on Canvas, some of which appear in the following:

Batson, C. Daniel. “The Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis: Issues and Implications” (2012)

Cook, Amy. Shakespearean Neuroplay(2010)

Iacobini, Marco. Mirroring People: The Science of Empathy and How We Connect to Others(2008)

Keen, Suzanne. Empathy and the Novel(2007)

Mancing, Howard, Isabel Jaén, and Julien Simon, eds. Cognitive Cervantes(2012)

McConachie, Bruce. Engaging Audiences: A Cognitive Approach to Spectating in the Theatre(2008)

Zunshine, Lisa, Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel(2006)





ILA 387 • Writ/Gender Span Speak Wrld-Wb

43590 • Lindstrom, Naomi
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM • Internet
(also listed as C L 382)
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Course Description:

This course involves first reading articles on feminist criticism and gender and queer theory, and then selected texts from Spanish America and to a lesser extent Spain that have especially attracted critics who work on gender. We will read the primary texts together with relevant examples of criticism on those works. The purposes of the course are: to read some important works of theory and of Spanish-language narrative, to examine some of the main currents in feminist and gender studies of literature, and to practice evaluating critical studies, including giving peer feedback to other members of the class.

Required Readings:

The Canvas site will include articles on feminist criticism and gender and queer theory, ranging from such pioneering figures as Joan W. Scott to theorists still active today, as well as critical analyses specifically of the primary works read for the course.

Tentative list of primary works (some of these may need to be replaced if available editions cannot be located):

Bombal, La última niebla

Puig, El beso de la mujer araña 

Ferré, Papeles de Pandora

Santos-Febres,Sirena Selena vestida de pena

Preciado, Testo yonqui

(Texts by Preciado are included in both the theoretical readings and the selection of primary works.)

Required Activities and Grading Criteria:

Each member of the class will write a term paper of approximately 4200 words (17 pages), which will analyze a creative work or works from the Spanish-speaking world from a feminist or gender-studies perspective. While all the works read in common by the students in the course are narrative and/or expository prose, the term papers can focus on cultural production in any genre or creative medium. Term paper topics that go beyond these guidelines are welcome, but before proposing such topics students must consult with the instructor to see how their themes can be part of the course.

Feedback: Considerable importance will be given to peer feedback, and students will present their paper topics to the entire class for commentary before submitting the detailed proposal. There will be a second round of peer feedback before the final version of the term paper is due. The instructor will also provide suggestions after reading drafts of the proposal and term paper.

Detailed proposal for paper, 35%

Final version of term paper, 60%

Attendance and participation, 5%

ILA 388 • Hyphenated Brazilians-Wb

43594 • Roncador, Sonia
Meets W 5:00PM-8:00PM • Internet
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Course Description:

As recent scholarship and other forms of social representation demonstrate, Brazil remains a fixture in the global geography of transnational migrations, serving as a host nation for intra-continental refugees and labor migrants, and as the source of a  substantial flow of émigrés. Immigration is not simply a bygone reality in the country--historically circumscribed, on one hand, by the demise of slavery during the last third of the nineteenth century and, on the other hand, by the ultra-nationalist dictatorial regimes of the twentieth century. Hyphenated Brazilians will explore the central symbolic space of such intense flows of bodies and cultural practices, in particular migrants’ stories, which reveal (a) the long disputed debates about national conditions of modernity; (b) the nation’s idealized body politic and debated ‘racial stock’; as well as (c) the controversial nationalist appropriations of race-effacing concepts of miscegenation and multi-culturalism. Drawing from a number of late nineteenth, twentieth and twentieth-first century newspaper reports, novel excerpts, stories, film and digital media, this seminar will analyze immigrants’ negotiations of national identities in a country that has long disavowed both cultural isolation and hyphenated identities.  In sum, while the seminar focuses on the cultural politics of immigration in modern Brazil, it also engages with the reality of contemporary northbound displacements of over a million Brazilians, thereby exploring Brazilians’ navigation and negotiations within transnational racial systems, in order to construct new diasporic subjectivities in the Global North.


Active class participation, including exercises such as leading class discussions (20%); one oral presentation of the final paper proposal (20%); and a final research paper (60%). Instructor will use “plus” and “minus” grades for final course grades.

Although reading knowledge of Portuguese is recommended, this seminar will be taught in English.

Primary Sources (film & literature):

Ferreira de Castro’s A selva(film adaptation: Leonel Vieira’s A Selva)

Lima Barreto’s selected crônicas

Antonio de Alcântara Machado’s selected stories

Samuel Rawet’s Contos do Imigrante

Tizuka Yamazaki’s Gaijin—os caminhos da liberdade

Milton Hatoum’s Dois irmãos

Rejane Zilles’s Walachai

Kathleen Azevedo’sSamba Dreamers

Historical/theoretical materials:

Jeffrey Lesser’s Negotiation National Identity

Ana Paulina Lee’s Mandarin Brazil

Sara Ahmed’s Strange Encounters

Lisa Lowe’s Immigrant Acts

Mae M. Ngai’s Impossible Subjects

Abdelmalek Sayad’s The suffering of the immigrant

Becoming Brazuca: Brazilian Immigration to the United States(ed by C. Jouet-Pastré and L. Braga)



ILA 394 • Qual Paper Suprvsd Prep-Wb

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Supervised preparation for the doctoral degree qualifying paper. Designed to be taken in the same semester the student submits the paper.

ILA 395 • Suprvsd Prep Of Diss Fields-Wb

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Preparation of field lists, and critical summaries of these lists, under faculty supervision. Prepares students for Iberian and Latin American Languages and Cultures 396.

ILA 396 • Suprvsd Prep Of Diss Propsl-Wb

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Supervised preparation for the dissertation proposal for the doctoral degree. Designed to be taken in the same semester the student submits the proposal, typically the sixth or seventh long semester of study.

ILA 398R • Master's Report-Wb

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Preparation of the report required to fulfill the requirement for the master's degree under the report option.

ILA 398T • Suprvsd Tchg In Spn & Por-Wb

43615 • Murphy, Melissa
Meets T 10:00AM-1:00PM • Internet
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Required for teaching assistants during their first semester that they teach. Fundamentals of foreign language teaching methodology, with particular reference to the teaching of Spanish and Portuguese. Presentation of theoretical concepts on which classroom practice is based, in conjunction with teaching under close supervision of the course instructor, individual consultations, reading assignments, and reports.

ILA 399W • Dissertation-Wb

(also listed as ILA 699W, ILA 999W)
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Supervised writing of the dissertation for the doctoral degree.

ILA 699W • Dissertation-Wb

(also listed as ILA 399W, ILA 999W)
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Supervised writing of the dissertation for the doctoral degree.

ILA 999W • Dissertation-Wb

(also listed as ILA 399W, ILA 699W)
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Supervised writing of the dissertation for the doctoral degree.

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