Department of Spanish and Portuguese

ILA 385T • Teaching Practicum

show description

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 • Interaction And Sla

44080 • Koike, Dale
Meets TH 9:00AM-12:00PM BEN 1.118
show description

Objective: This course assumes familiarity with theories of second language acquisition and research design at some level. The course objectives are: 

1. to understand issues and theories of second language acquisition that approach language learning from the perspective of the role of interaction and dialogue; and

2. to examine how these issues and theories of second language acquisition can be applied in the classroom learning situation.

 The course will follow a seminar style format, in English, with active dialogue between students and professor on assigned topics.  After examining some current theories and approaches to interaction in second language acquisition, students will analyze and discuss related current studies in Spanish or English second language acquisition. 

Texts: The background text is yet to be determined.The separate articles will be in digital form and posted on Canvas.  

Requirements of the course: Each student is expected to participate actively in class discussions and to come to class prepared by reading and criticizing the readings beforehand.  The final grade is based on the following categories:

Grading system:
Research paper 40%

Paper presentation 10%

Semester exam 10%

Article presentation 10%

Data analysis 15%

Class discussion and preparation 15%

Students will write a research paper on an original research project of about 20 pages in length and will do three preparations.  One presentation is a summary of and response to an assigned article, to be presented in class (15 minutes).  The second is a short paper on a topic related to the course (outside of class). The third is a class presentation of the term paper (20 minutes). 

ILA 387 • Afro-Latinos: Polit/Cul/Memory

44085 • Arroyo Martinez, Jossianna
Meets T 9:30AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.104
(also listed as AFR 381, LAS 381)
show description

This course is an AADS course and is taught in English


Migration of Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Caribbeans to the United States was present since colonial times. In the XIX and XX centuries these populations build communities, cultures and forms of social interaction that are key to contemporary discussions of the African diaspora. This seminar focuses on the historical, social and political roles that Afro-Latin@s have played in the configuration of contemporary diaspora theories, archives, politics and culture. We will discuss how language, and culture influence their views on race and racial solidarities, as well as the common struggles of these communities.  Our discussions will emphasize the lives and identity negotiations of black Cubans, Dominicans, Haitians, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and Central Americans born in the United States. We will analyze their politics of intersectionality (race, gender and sexuality) and their stories of radical activism from the end of the nineteenth-century to the voices of contemporary authors, performers and Afro-Latin@ activists.  We will also analyze some videos and documentaries in class. The class will be taught in English. Spanish reading knowledge might be required for some of the readings.


Grillo, Evelio. Black Cuban, Black American (PDF)

Moreno Vega, Marta. When the Spirits Dance Mambo.

Thomas, Piri. Down these Mean Streets.

The Afro-Latin@ Reader. History and Culture in the United States. Edited by Miriam Jiménez Román and Juan Flores. (Duke UP, 2010).

Hunger. Roxanne Gay

Additional readings on PDF will be posted online by Prof. Arroyo-Martínez.


1 oral presentation in class (of one article in class)-20%

A written review in style of a journalistic/theoretical piece (Op.Ed) related to contemporary Afro-Latino themes (2-3 pages double space) (20%)

Oral participation in the seminar (20%)

Final essay of 12-15 pages on the topic of your interest (40%)

ILA 387 • Creative Non-Fiction Writing

44090 • Polit, Gabriela
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 381)
show description

Background: In the long term, the course is designed as a pilot to explore the possibilities of opening an MA in creative non-fiction writing in Spanish in our Department. Such a program will give our department a new profile and will attract people from other colleges within UT (journalism, social work, health profession, psychology) as well as new students. The possibility of such a program has been discussed with Dean Flores who expressed his interest and suggested that we begin with a MINOR in our undergraduate program (in progress). The idea of such a program has been received positively among colleagues from the English Creative Writing program as well as professors from other units. The initiative will be developed in collaboration with LLILAS.

Innovation: The idea of a course in creative non-fiction stems from the need to enable students to link their current academic projects with concrete problems that affect their immediate social reality. Such a course will open the possibility for them to write about issues that they study (such as migration, music, indigenous people, inequality, violence (etc.), in a rigorous language that is not necessarily academic. Such a course offers the possibility for them to become not only scholars, but also public intellectuals able to engage in contemporary discussions on current events, with the required language and skills that such a field requires.

Given the profound and dramatic challenges that the Humanities are currently facing within the educational institutions, a course in creative non-fiction writing has the advantage of providing students with resources to achieve an interesting professional profile. It will enable them to foresee an alternative path to the academic job market, (i.e. editorial jobs in publishing presses, or in journalism platforms and/or traditional media outlets that work in Spanish such as the NYT) and offer them a (better) well-rounded profile for such a market

In the last years, several students have incorporated an ethnographic component in their research projects. Our department has not offered a training in such area. This course will familiarize them –from a creative perspective- with ethnographic methodologies and will offer students the tools to improve their writing skills. The course will make students aware of the importance of observation and listening as needed skills in the field, and will train them to better overcome the challenges found in the writing process.

Course description: The course has two components. One is the reading and discussing of some classic works to understand the writing technics and styles. The other is designed as a workshop that combines the students’ writing exercises with commentaries and group discussions linked to writing methodologies.

Early in the semester (by the 3th week) students will have to choose a topic. During the semester each student will develop ideas regarding this topic. The final product of the course would be a creative non-fiction piece of 4000 words that resembles journalistic piece.


Rodolfo Walsh Operacion Masacre

John Hersey Hiroshima

Maria Moreno Banco a la sombra

Guy Talese “Frank Sinatra has a cold”

Elena Poniatoska La noche de Tlatelolco.

Alberto Salcedo Ramos La eterna parranda

Texts on Methodology

Shirly Brice Heath and Brian V. Street. On Ethnography 

Roberto Scherrer Periodismo Narrativo.

Liliana Villanueva Las clases de Hebe Uhart

William Zinsser On Writing Well

We will have a skype session with journalist Cristian Alarcón

Javier Auyero will offer a short seminar on ethnography.  


20% of their grade is based on the progress of their work. (In the process it  will be determined how much they improve in the elaboration of their story)

60% is based on the active participation in the workshop (it is important that each student comments the work of their fellow students)

50% of the grade will be the final product.




ILA 387 • Critical Indigenous Studies

44095 • McDonough, Kelly
Meets TH 9:00AM-12:00PM MEZ 1.104
(also listed as LAS 381)
show description

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The rapidly emerging discipline of Critical Indigenous Studies links the study of/by Indigenous peoples to colonial critique. It seeks to identify, understand, and potentially disrupt past and present asymmetrical structures and relations of power as they relate to Indigenous experiences and epistemologies. Equally, the discipline is committed to creating Indigenous-based methodologies to engage with Indigenous aesthetics and philosophies, as well as to solve complex problems they confront on a daily basis. With a transhemispheric approach, in this interdisciplinary seminar we will analyze key concepts and analytic tools that are the motor of the discipline, including the term “indigeneity” itself, rights, sovereignty, self-determination, race, gender, identity, and sexuality to name a few. We will consider legal, political, and economic concerns as well as the social and affective. By bridging state-of-the-art Critical Indigenous Studies methods, concepts, and theories from and about Abiayala with those of Turtle Island (together currently known as “The Americas”) we will recognize commonalities while also attending to specificities. We will pay particular attention to the role of researchers—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—in the field, both problematizing academic interventions as manifestations of coloniality and imagining different, perhaps decolonizing, approaches to our scholarship. Readings include excerpts from monographs and article-length pieces in Spanish and English. The class will be conducted in Spanish (thus a working knowledge of Spanish is required), although students from outside departments may participate in English.


Commentator & Moderator            10%

Book Review                                10%

Concept Annotated Bibliography    20%

Method Annotated Bibliography     20%

Theory Annotated Bibliography      20%

Meta-Summary                            20%

ILA 387 • Queer Cine In Lat Am/Spain

44100 • Perez, Jorge
Meets T 9:00AM-12:00PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 381)
show description

Course Description:

In this course, we will focus on films produced within Latin America and Spain that have been received as examples of queer cinema by transnational spectators and/or critics. We will reflect upon what makes a particular film “queer” and what role film production, distribution, and exhibition have in the process. We will also question if the notion of “queer” and “queer cinema” can (or cannot) be applied to the contexts of film production in Latin America and Spain, and what kind of political project that entails. We will examine constructions of sexuality, gender, race, and nation (and how they intersectionally interact) in a variety of films and explore how transnational queer cinemas can both participate in and resist dominant ideas about these constructions. Students will learn (though some might already be familiar with it) to incorporate formal film analysis into an analysis of the politics of cinema.

Learning outcomes:

  • Broad knowledge of key genres, films, and directors of Latin American and Spanish cinema.
  • Awareness of the potential of cinema as a narrative tool that has an impact in the (de)construction of social imaginaries, ideologies, and identities, especially in relation to gender and sexuality.
  • Familiarity with analytical and theoretical tools to study films.
  • Developing research and writing skills in order to produce an article-length paper that meets disciplinary standards for a potential publication.
  • Thinking about designing their own courses by participating in a collaborative creation of one portion of the class.


Latin America:

Tan de repente(Diego Lerman, Argentina, 2002)

XXY(Lucía Puenzo, Argentina, 2008),

A contracorriente(Javier Fuentes, Perú, 2009)

Pelo malo(Mariana Rondón, Venezuela, 2012)

Dólares de arena(Laura Guzmán e Israel Cárdenas, República Dominicana, 2014),

Cuatro lunas(Sergio Tovar, México, 2014)

Una mujer fantástica(Sebastián Lelio, Chile, 2017)


La mala educación(Pedro Almodóvar, 2004)

20 centímetros(Ramón Salazar, 2005)

Fuera de carta(Nacho García, 2008)

80 Egunean(Jon Garaño and José Mari Goenaga, 2010)

Pieles(Eduardo Casanova, 2017)

Theoretical Readings

Selections from the following books/authors:

Paul Preciado, Testo Yonki.

Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”

Ann Kaplan, “Is the Gaze Male?”

Jack Halberstam, The Queer Art of Failure.

Lee Edelman, No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive.

The Transgender Studies Reader.

Alexander Doty, Making Things Perfectly Queer.

Héctor Domínguez-Ruvalcaba, Translating the Queer

Paul Julian Smith, Queer Mexico

Gustavo Subero, Queer Masculinities in Contemporary Latin American Cinema

Debra Castillo and Andrés Lema, Despite All Adversities: Spanish-American Queer Cinema

Chris Perriam, Spanish Queer cinema

Ruby Rich, New Queer Cinema

Juett and Jones, Coming Out to the Mainstream: New Queer Cinema in the 21st Century


ILA 388 • Cultural Tropicalities

44105 • Roncador, Sonia
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as C L 382, LAS 381)
show description

Course Description: Despite Brazil’s centrality in a vast range of discourses about the tropics, the nation has remained a marginal player the mainstream (anglophone) academic research about the hermeneutics of tropical nations, societies and their environments.  In recent years, however, we have seen an emergence of studies of the transnational imaginings of the Brazilian tropics, or Brazilian cultural “tropicalities” (David Arnold), in eco-criticism, environmental history, post-colonial and cultural studies, cultural geographies, and so on. One of the anticipated contributions of these studies involves expansion of the field’s canon, which has majorly represented other formerly-colonized regions in Africa, Asia and the Brtish and French Caribbean (Nancy Stephan).

Cultural Tropicalities thus proposes to explore the less-studied yet prolific cultural and intellectual production about the Brazilian tropics, by way of historically-contextualized analyses of a variety of discourses—namely, fiction, essays in tropical medicine and geography, memoirs and travelogues, film and photography. Although thematically structured, this seminar will provide a historical overview of key concepts and myths comprising the New World tropics—from Montaigne’s tropical paradise and Montesquieu’s dystopian tropics to Humboldt’s writings. Besides analyzing the interfaces of these foundational imaginings with post-independence Brazilian nationalist narratives of mestiçagemand cultural autonomy/uniqueness, the seminar will also examine the ways the shifty tropical hermeneutics of Brazil mobilized 19th and 20thcentury debates and politics of mobilities and acclimatization, epidemic diseases, violence and de-forestation. Finally, this course will engage with key utopianisms or doctrines of Brazilian culture and society, such as Gilberto Freyre’s lusotropicalism, Oswald de Andrade’s cultural canibalism, and the kitsch politics of Caetano Veloso’s Tropicália.

Cultural Tropicalities ultimately proposes to demonstrate the centrality of Brazil, and the New World in general, in the global meanings, simbology, memory, and knowledge of the inter-tropical cultural zone. Drawing from new imperial studies (Ann Stoler, Cristiana Bastos) and biopolitics theory (Biopolitics Reader), the course also proposes to politically frame the Brazilian tropical hermeneutics.

This seminar is intended to appeal not just to doctoral students in our program, but also more broadly to graduate students in Latin American studies, comparative literature, and Brazilianists from all fields. Although reading knowledge of Portuguese is highly recommended, this seminar will be taught in English.

Primary Works (provisional):

Louis Agassiz. A Journey in Brazil(& photography)

Aluisio Azevedo. O cortiço; Araripe Junior “Estilo Tropical”

Oswald Andrade. Manifests; O Rei da Vela

Claude Lévis-Strauss. Tristes tropiques

Gilberto Freyre. O mundo que o português criou(& Margot Dias’s Filmes Etnográficos)

Caetano Veloso. Verdade Tropical

Davi Kopenawa. A queda do céu

ILA 394 • Suprvsd Prep Of The Qual Paper

show description

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

ILA 395 • Supervised Prep Of Diss Fields

show description

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 Dissrtn Propsl

show description

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

(also listed as LAS 398R, WGS 398R)
show description

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

ILA 399W • Dissertation

(also listed as ILA 699W, ILA 999W, LAS 399W, LAS 699W, LAS 999W)
show description

Supervised writing of the dissertation for the doctoral degree.

ILA 699W • Dissertation

(also listed as ILA 399W, ILA 999W, LAS 399W, LAS 699W, LAS 999W)
show description

Supervised writing of the dissertation for the doctoral degree.

ILA 999W • Dissertation

(also listed as ILA 399W, ILA 699W, LAS 399W, LAS 699W, LAS 999W)
show description

Supervised writing of the dissertation for the doctoral degree.

  •   Map
  • Spanish and Portuguese

    The University of Texas at Austin
    BEN 2.116
    150 W. 21st Street, Stop B3700
    Austin, TX 78712-1155
    Advising & Registration: 512-232-4506/512-232-4503; Graduate Coordinator: 512-232-4502