Department of Spanish and Portuguese

ILA 380 • Intro Thry & Rsrch Of Lit/Cul

45140 • Borge, Jason
Meets T 5:00PM-8:00PM BEN 1.118
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Course Description:

This course is intended to give first-year PhD students a grounding in the main theoretical bases and trends in the field of Latin American and Iberian cultural and literary studies.  Beginning with a brief overview of 20th century literary theory, we will quickly move on to currents that have proven central to cultural analysis from the 1990s to the present day, including key contemporary concepts such as race and postcoloniality, gender and sexuality, biopolitics and necropolitics, affect, the posthuman, intersectionality, and trans/nationalism, with a particular focus on Latin American and Caribbean perspectives.  As a survey of the field, this course is meant to help graduate students develop a breadth of theoretical knowledge with which to approach future elective courses in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and beyond, and to begin to develop their own theoretical frameworks within their fields and disciplines.   

While the course will approach the study of culture from a perspective of interdisciplinarity, inevitably it will reflect the instructor's background in postcolonial and Latin American cultural and media studies.  While acknowledging the importance of literary theory and literary studies in the emergence of cultural studies, the course will ultimately fold the latter into the former.  Each week, theoretical readings will be paired with cultural production from Latin America, Iberia, and related diasporas, ranging from short fiction and poems to films, television episodes, and music videos.  Through Canvas, students will write and be graded on a weekly summary and brief application of the theoretical concept at hand.  In the last weeks of the course students will develop, present, and submit a short paper and bibliography on their own emerging theoretical approach and how it applies to a specific object of cultural analysis.  

This course will be offered in English, and cross-listed with Latin American Studies. 

Theory categories and readings (provisional): 

Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, and Psychoanalysis

John Story, "Structuralism and Post-Structuralism" from Cultural Theory and Popular Culture:  An Introduction

Michel Foucault, "Method"

Slavoj Zizek, "From reality to the real"


John Storey, "Marxisms," from Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction

Antonio Gramsci, "Hegemony, intellectuals, and the state"

Stuart Hall, "The rediscovery of 'ideology': return of the repressed in media studies"

Postcolonialism, Postcoloniality, Decolonization

Gayatri Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak?"

Aníbal Quijano, "Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America"

Catherine Walsh and Walter Mignolo, On Decoloniality[selections]

Race and Culture

Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks[selections]

Stuart Hall, "What is this 'black' in black popular culture?"

João H. Costa Vargas, Introduction to The Denial of Antiblackness

Borders, migrations, and diasporas

Walter Mignolo, Border Thinking[selections]

Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/la frontera[selections]

Brent Hayes Edwards, Prologue to The Practice of Diaspora

Gender, Sexuality, and Intersectionality

Judith Butler, "Imitation and Gender Insubordination"

José Esteban Muñoz, Disidentifications[selections]

María Lugones, "Toward a Decolonial Feminism"

Biopolitics and necropolitics

Giorgio Agamben, Introduction to Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life

Achille Mbembe, “Necropolitics” from Biopolitics: A Reader

Empire and its Others

Antonio Negri & Stephen Hart, Empire, prologue

Néstor García-Canclini, Imagined Globalization [selections]

Macarena Gómez Barris, The Extractive Zone[selections]

Affect and memory


ILA 385T • Teaching Practicum

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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 • Linguistics Code-Switching

45145 • Toribio, Almeida
Meets M 9:00AM-12:00PM BEN 1.118
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Course Description: This is graduate-level, research-oriented seminar is intended to present an in-depth treatment on the prevailing conceptual and empirical issues in the study of code-switching, the alternating use of linguistic codes within the same segment of discourse. This linguistic behavior has generated wide interest in the past years, as is made manifest in the wealth of code-switching research reported at professional meetings and published in trade journals. This course will prove of broad appeal and substantial importance for students with specializations in syntax, phonetics/phonology, language acquisition, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics. The material discussed will be organized and presented around five themes: Conceptual and methodological considerations in code-switching research; Social aspects of code-switching' Structural implications of code-switching; Psycholinguistics and code-switching; Formal models of code-switching.

Course prerequisites: graduate coursework in language structure. Students from a wide range of language interests are encouraged to attend. We will review significant contributions in the codeswitching literature, and pursue original analyses of new data in class discussions.


ILA 386 • Spn In Contact Indigenous Lang

45150 • Romero, Sergio
Meets W 5:00PM-8:00PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 392S)
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Course Description: This seminar examines the multiple modalities of contact between Spanish and indigenous languages of Latin America. It considers lexicon, phonology, morphology, syntax, and discourse, bringing also into focus the socio-cultural situation of colonialism in which contact phenomena have occurred in the last five hundred years. The majority of case studies to be examined involve contact situations between Spanish and Andean languages (especially Quechua), and Spanish and Mesoamerican languages (Mayan and Nahuatl), but other language contact scenarios will also be considered. 

ILA 387 • Caribbean Networks At Origenes

45155 • Salgado, Cesar
Meets W 12:00PM-3:00PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as C L 386, LAS 381)
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Course Description:

Octavio Paz and Vicente Aleixandre once considered the Havana literary journal Orígenes “the best of its kind in our language." Published from 1944 to 1956 by poet-writer José Lezama Lima and translator-essayist José Rodríguez Feo, Orígenesfeatured works by poets of international renown such as T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and Saint-John Perse and by the circle of young local poets eventually known as Grupo Orígenes. After the Cuban Revolution and up to this day, most origenistawriters—Lezama Lima, Virgilio Piñera, Cinto Vitier, Fina García Marruz, María Zambrano, Lorenzo García Vega, Gastón Baquero, Eliseo Diego, and Lydia Cabrera, among many others—came to be recognized as canonical or cult authors, in and out of Cuba.

This course will evaluate the Orígenesconstellation of authors and publications as an ever-changing network of artists and intellectuals confronting the challenges and consequences of some of the most polarizing political events in the hemisphere following the Mexican Revolution. It will review lasting questions raised by the Orígenes project about the role of art and poetry during the Spanish Civil War, WWII, the Cold War, the Cuban Revolution, and post-1989 globalization, and about anti-normative expressions of sexuality, religion, gender, race, and national and cultural ontopolitics in print, visual, and virtual modes of dissemination. Depending on student interest and choice, we will review Orígenes-like polemics in a selection of rival cohorts and journals in its past, present, and future, both archipelagic and diasporic, regional and global, print and virtual. Among these options are:  in Cuba, Jorge Mañach’s Revista Avance, Nicolás Guillén’s Gaceta del Caribe; José Rodríguez Feo’s Ciclón; Guillermo Cabrera Infante's Lunes de Revolución; Roberto Fernández Retamar's Casa de las Américas; Nancy Morejón and Jorge Mario's Ediciones El Puente, andthe post-Soviet samizdat Revista Diaspora(s); in exile, Reinaldo Arenas' Mariel (New York), Octavio Armand's 

Escandalar (Venezuela), Belkis Cuza Malé's Linden Lane (New Jersey-Dallas), Jesús Díaz's Revista Encuentro and Antonio José Ponte’s Diario de Cuba(Madrid); in the Dominican Republic, Alberto Baeza Flores’ La poesía sorprendida and Brigadas dominicanas; in Haiti, the Revue Indigène;in Martinique, Aimé Césaire and René Ménil’s Tropiques; in Puerto Rico Indice, Nilita Vientós Gastón’s Asomante y Sin Nombre, Rosario Ferré’sZona Carga y Descarga, Guajana, orNómada.

Since almost all of the journal and print materials for this class will be consulted virtually, a good part of our reflection will deal with how digitalization initiatives related to Orígenesand other journal networks in the Antilles and Greater Caribbean are reshaping and galvanizing the academic field. We will reflect about how “distant reading” programing and online data searches could be used to set new agendas for historical research and esthetic analysis about journal-and-cohort dynamics. Finally, with the help of the LLILAS Benson Curriculum Digital Humanities Curriculum Redesign Grant (if won), we will capitalize on the Benson Collection’s recent purchase of origenistapoet Eliseo Diego archives to think up and propose digital, publishing, curatorial, and material display projects that can invigorate further the study of Orígenesand/or other Caribbean Journal Networks (CJNs).


One class presentation/book review on chosen scholarship on Orígenes or other CJNs for tentative publication in E3W Review (10%); digital research proposal based on materials from the Eliseo Diego archives or other relevant resources at the Benson or the Ransom Center(10%); short reading presentation assignments (15%); seminar participation (15%); 15-18 page research paper/possible conference presentation with preliminary draft (50%).


Journals (digitally accessible through Blackboard)

Required (Cuba):

Verbum (1937)

Espuela de Plata (1939-1941)

Poeta, Clavileño, Nadie Parecía (1941-43)

Orígenes, revista de literatura y arte (1944-1956)

Gaceta del Caribe (1944)

Ciclón (1956-1959)

Optional (Cuba):

Revista Avance (1927-30)

Lunes de Revolución (1959-1961)

Ediciones El Puente (Havana)

Revista Mariel (New York)

Escandalar (Venezuela)

Revista Diaspora(s)

Journal choices from the rest of the Caribbean will be decided in consultation with class participants



José Rodríguez Feo, Mi correspondencia con Lezama Lima [Co-op]

Jose Lezama Lima, Paradiso, La expresión americana [Co-op or Internet]

Cintio Vitier, De Peña PobreLo cubano en la poesía [Co-op Custom Publishing]

Virgilio Piñera, Poesía y crítica, La carne de René [Co-op Custom Publishing, Co-op)]

Ernesto Cardenal, En Cuba (digitalización de seleciones en Canvas)

Lorenzo García Vega, Espirales del cuje, Los años de Orígenes [Co-op Custom Publishing, Co-op]

Fina García Marruz, La familia de Orígenes [Co-op Custom Publishing]

Antonio José Ponte, El libro perdido de los origenistas [Co-op]

Angel Escobar, Abuso de confianza (1992) (Canvas or Amazon)


Jesus Barquet, ed. Ediciones El Puente en la Habana de los años 60

Revista Diaspora(s), edición facsimilar (2012)

Reading Packets:

Packet #1: Anthology of critical articles on Orígenes [P1, Jenn's Copies]

Packet #2: Reader with articles on methodologies in the Digital Humanities relevant for processing and analyzing CJNs (Caribbean Journal Networks) such as Orígenes.

Choice of scholarly studies for presentations:

 Ben A. Heller, de Assimilation/Generation/Resurrection. Contrapuntal Readings in the Poetry of José Lezama Lima (2000); Thomas Anderson, Everything in its Place: The Life and Works of Virgilio Piñera (2006); Juan Carlos Quintero Herencia, Fulguración del espacio. Letras e imaginario institucional de la Revolución Cubana (2002); Adriana Kanzelpolsky, Un dibujo del mundo: extranjeros en Orígenes (2004); Rafael Rojas, Motivos de Anteo. Patria y nación en la historia intelectual de Cuba (2008); Nancy Calomarde, El diálogo oblicuo: Orígenes y Sur: Fragmentos de una escena de lectura latinoamericana (1944-1956) (2010); Eduardo González, Cuba and the Fall: Christian Text and Queer Narrative in Lezama Lima and Reinaldo Arenas (2010); Sergio Ugalde Quintana, La biblioteca en la isla. Una lectura de la expresión americana de José Lezama Lima (2010); James Buckwalter-Arias, Cuba and the New Origenismo (2010); Amaury Gutiérrez Coto, El grupo Orígenes de Lezama Lima o el infierno de la trascendencia (2012); Juan Pablo Lupi, Reading Anew: José Lezama Lima's Rhetorical Investigations (2012); Jorge Luis Arcos, Kaleidoscopio. La poética de Lorenzo. García Vega (2012); Duanel Díaz, Límites del origenismo (new edition, 2015); Marta Hernández Salván, Mínima Cuba (2015); Jaime Rodríguez Matos, Writing of the Formless: José Lezama and the End of Time (2017); Juan Pablo Lupi and César A. Salgado, eds., La futuridad del naufragio; Orígenes,estelas y derivas(2019); Ingrid Robyn, Márgenes del reverso. José Lezama Lima en la encrucijada vanguardista(2020)



ILA 387 • De-Colonizing Arts And Acts

45160 • Carcamo-Huechante, Luis
Meets TH 5:00PM-8:00PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 381)
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The objective of this seminar is to study both colonizing and decolonizing practices in the realms of literature, the arts and media in the Southern Cone and the Andean regions of “Latin America” (Abiayala), from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Specifically, the seminar focuses on the role of media in the deployment of colonial processes, decolonizing countercurrents, and especially the clashes and entanglements between the two by both criollo and Indigenous agents. Media analyzed will include literary works, photography, comic book magazines, songs, radio, audiovisual media, performance and digital technologies, bringing together and interweaving questions of language and representation, listening practices, sound and visual cultures. The seminar will offer the opportunity to situate and discuss media within systemic structures of power and relations, considering racial, ethnic, gender, linguistic, cultural, political, technological and historical dimensions.  Exploring the broad issues of settler colonial state formations, heteronormative patriarchal oppression, destructive and extractive capitalism, and the local and global environmental crisis, as well as engaging anti-colonial, anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal Indigenous responses will be critical to our seminar discussion. Methodologically and theoretically, course readings will draw from recent literature in sound studies, media theory, decolonizing methodologies, native feminism(s), queer/cuir indigenous studies, critical race approaches and critiques of capitalism through emancipatory lenses, as intersectional ways to discuss material and symbolic practices of colonial/capitalist power relations, decolonizing experiences and Indigenous agency that performatively take place in the realm of literature, the arts and media regimes. 

Note: Conducted in Spanish. Writing assignments in Spanish or English.

ILA 387 • Writing Creative Non-Fiction

45165 • Polit, Gabriela
Meets T 9:00AM-12:00PM BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 381)
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Course description

This course is designed to give students the possibility to write about the issues they study (i.e. migration, music, indigenous people, inequality, violence, etc.), in a rigorous language that is not academic. This course seeks not only to strengthen the student’s formation as scholars, but also as public intellectuals able to engage in contemporary discussions on current events, with the required language and skills that such a field requires. This course has the advantage of providing students with resources to achieve an interesting professional profile.

This course will familiarize them –from a creative perspective- with research methodologies and will offer students the tools to improve their writing skills.

During this semester students will explore the different structures and devices that support a first-person narrative (el yo narrativo),they will discuss about doing interviews and class discussions will bring awareness of the importance of observation and listening as needed skills to write.

The general objective is to train students to better overcome the challenges found in the writing process.

The course is taught in Spanish


The course has two components. One is the reading and discussing of works to understand the writing technics and styles (close reading). 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-4th week) students will have to choose a topic. During the semester each student will develop ideas regarding this topic and will hand out 2 drafts and a final version of the story. The final product of the course would be a creative non-fiction piece of 4000 words that resembles journalistic piece.

We will have the visit of journalist Patricia Nieto we will have a conversation with journalist and writer Sabrina Duque via skype.

Texts on Methodology

Liliana Villanueva Las clases de Hebe Uhart

Telling True Stories. Non-fiction writer’s guide from the Neiman Foundation at Harvard University


10% 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)

30% is based on the active participation in the workshop (it is important that each student comments the work of their fellow students)

60% of the grade will be the final product.

This syllabus is subject to change.


Primera persona.Margarita García Robayo

Luces en el cielo. Fernanda Melchor.


El otro ZaldumbideSalvador Izquierdo


LamaSabrina Duque.


Llamada Perdida. Gabriela Weiner


Volverse Palestina. Lina Meruane


The Autobiography

Vivir para contarla (Chapter I, 2) Gabriel García Márquez

La entrevista. Rosa Montero.

Katherine Boo

Desarticulaciones.Sylvia Molloy

The other. Sickness



ILA 388 • Brazilian Cultural Theory

45170 • Leu, Lorraine
Meets TH 12:30PM-3:30PM BEN 2.104
(also listed as LAS 392S)
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Course Description:

This course will explore the most influential concepts and themes that have marked cultural production in Brazil. Our starting point is slavery and the way that it established a framework for imagining the nation through the spectacle of raced and gendered suffering. We will continue to examine the inter-relationships between race/ gender/ class and culture at particular historical moments throughout the 20thand 21stcenturies. These include the production of zealous nationalistic myths during the First Republic; Modernity and its discontents in the Modernist movement (Brazil’s “canonized revolution” in the words of literary critic Beatriz Resende); The development of the enduring ideology of racial democracy and how it has naturalized certain meanings of blackness; Developmentalism, Concretism and literary architectonics; The use of culture to make emancipatory demands during the revolutionary 1960s and the military dictatorship; Brazil’s particular theories of the postcolonial and decolonial indigenous thinking; Theories of race in Brazil and Black women’s feminist thought. We end by putting these considerations of race and gender in the context of the rise of the militantly reactionary right under the Bolsonaro presidency.

The seminar has three main goals:

1. introduce some of the most influential topics and theories that have informed contemporary scholarship on the politics of Brazilian literary and cultural production;

2. introduce research approaches and sources;

3. help students develop analytical thinking and writing skills. 

These goals will be met through a combination of reading, discussion, presentations, and research exercises. Over the course of the semester students will develop an original research idea that dialogues with theories discussed in the seminar.

Requirements and grading:

1. active participation in our class discussions (20%)

2. a proposal for an original research project of around 8 - 10 pages double spaced (+ Bibliography); OR a 15-minute conference paper developed from your research; OR a draft of an article for submission to a peer-reviewed journal (around 6,000 words) (60%)

3. presentation of key ideas of proposal, conference paper, or article draft in final class (20%)

In addition to examples from visual culture and popular music that we will discuss in class, key primary texts include:

Assis, Machado de. “O Espelho” and “Pai Contra Mãe.” (Short stories)

Barreto, Lima. Triste Fim de Policarpo Quaresma. São Paulo: Editora Moderna, 1988.

Andrade, Oswald de.  “Manifesto Antropófago,” in Obras Completas de Oswald de Andrade. (Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1978), 27-34. Available online.

Andrade, Mário de. Macunaíma. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, Literatura Brasileira, 2013.

Freyre, Gilberto. Chapter 4, “O escravo negro na vida sexual e da família do brasileiro,” in Casa Grande e Senzala. (Rio de Janeiro: Editora Record, 28ª Edição, 1933/1992), 283-379. Trans. “The Negro Slave in the Sexual and Family Life of the Brazilian,” in The Masters and the Slaves. (New York: Knopf, 1933/1946), 278-403.

Melo Neto, João Cabral de. A educação pela pedra. Rio de Janeiro: Editora do Autor, 1966.

Rosa, João Guimarães. “A terceira margem do rio”, in Primeiras Estórias. (Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 1988), 32-37.

Evaristo, Conceição. Selection of poems.

I provide the readings for the seminar, both primary and secondary, via Canvas.


ILA 394 • Suprvsd Prep Of The Qual Paper

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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 • Supervised Prep Of Diss Fields

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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 Dissrtn Propsl

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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 398T • Suprvsd Teaching In Spn & Por

45195 • Murphy, Melissa
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BEN 1.118
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Course Description: Required for teaching assistants during the 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.

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  • 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