Advanced Spanish: Latin American F(r)ictions in Literature, Films, and Visual Culture.
Friction: n. 1. A state of conflict or opposition between persons, ideas, or interests. 2. The resistance encountered when one body is moved in contact with another.
This course will explore how the intertwining of the notions of friction and fiction have shaped Latin American culture. We will analyze several topics: (post)coloniality, revolutions and dictatorships, political violence, representations of gender and sexuality, construction of contemporary subjectivities, politics of representation, tensions between oral and written cultures, and migration, among others. Starting with an overview of Latin American history and the introduction of some key theoretical concepts, the course will focus on the cultural productions of the 20th and 21st centuries in Latin America, especially of the Andean region, Mexico, and the Southern Cone. We will emphasize, through literary and cultural analysis, several aspects of literary texts, films, paintings, and photographs in relation to their social and historical contexts, while improving oral communication, grammatical, and written skills. Evaluation will be based on active participation in class discussions, preparedness for class, short response papers, brief presentations, and individual conference projects. Weekly meetings with the language assistant are a requirement. This course will be taught entirely in Spanish. It is strongly recommended that students take the Spanish placement test in addition to interviewing with the instructor.