Reed College Catalog
The Spanish department offers a balanced program leading to a major in Spanish language and literature. First- , second-, and third-year Spanish language classes emphasize all aspects of Spanish, speaking as well as reading, writing, grammar, and the cultural context of the language. All courses are conducted in Spanish. In the second year, emphasis on composition increases, and readings are drawn from a variety of genres. The third-year classes focus on certain problem areas of Spanish language in concert with an investigation of selected topics in Spanish and Spanish American culture. Primary readings in the literature courses are in the original language. The first priority in the upper-division courses is always an informed and accurate reading of each literary text, but this also implies a consideration of the artistic, historical, and cultural context of works, as well as questions of literary history and theory.
Students who major in Spanish are encouraged to select courses from a variety of periods in both Peninsular and Latin American literature and to enhance their studies with appropriate coursework in other areas, such as other literatures, humanities, history, art, and linguistics. They should also consult with the department to explore options for studying in a Spanish-speaking country.
For majors and nonmajors alike, the Spanish House provides an additional opportunity to practice and learn Spanish in an everyday setting.
Students who have studied Spanish before coming to Reed and who wish to enroll in Spanish courses should take the Spanish placement examination given every year during orientation week.
Students majoring in other departments in the Division of Literature and Languages may fulfill the divisional requirement with any of the third- or fourth-year courses.
Requirements for the Major
- A minimum of six units of literature at the 300 and 400 level. These must include at least two courses in Peninsular Spanish literature and at least two courses in Spanish American literature. At least one course in Peninsular literature and one course in Spanish American literature must cover pre-20th-century texts.
- Competence in Spanish equivalent to Spanish 321.
- Spanish 400.
- Spanish 470.
Recommended but not required:
- Spanish 321.
- French, and/or Latin, and/or another foreign language.
- Humanities 210 and/or 220.
- Latin American history.
Majors in Spanish are encouraged to spend time in a Spanish-speaking country. Reed has study-abroad options in Ecuador at the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito and the Pontífica Universidad Católica del Ecuador; in Argentina at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales and the Universidad de San Andrés; in Spain at the Universidad de Barcelona, at the Universidad de La Rioja in Logroño, and through the Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain Program in Madrid; and, in Costa Rica at the Universidad de Costa Rica, in concert with Lewis & Clark College. These programs are not limited to Spanish majors. The department also helps students select study-abroad programs in other parts of Latin America and in Spain on an individual basis. See the “Off-Campus Study” section of this catalog for more information.
Spanish Language and Introduction to Literature
Spanish 110 - First-Year SpanishFull course for one year. A balanced study of written and oral aspects of Spanish. Includes an introduction to reading. Conference.
Spanish 200 - Spanish for Advanced BeginnersFull course for one year. Students in this yearlong course will cover the same material taught in Spanish 110 and 210, but at a highly accelerated rate. A balanced study of and practice with written and oral aspects of Spanish, this course is designed to prepare students for introductory courses in literature and culture at the 300 level. Prerequisites: placement exam or interview and consent of the instructor. Students with no prior background in Spanish should take Spanish 110. Conference.
Spanish 210 - Second-Year SpanishFull course for one year. An intermediate-level study of grammar, composition, conversation. Emphasis on reading: essays, theatre, short stories, and poetry. Prerequisite: equivalent of one year of college Spanish. Conference.
Spanish 311 - Advanced Language and Culture: Latin American Theater and SpectacleFull course for one semester. This course is designed to refine and enhance language skills in concert with an investigation of selected topics in Spanish and Latin-American cultures. They include a focused consideration of problem areas of Spanish language and an introduction to various rhetorical forms. In addition to oral practice in class, students will write numerous short essays. The topic for fall 2009 is Latin-American theater and spectacle. Conference. Prerequisites: Spanish 200 or 210 or equivalent with the consent of instructor. Applicable to Group D.
Spanish 312 - Advanced Language and Culture: Spanish Civil WarFull course for one semester. This course is designed as a continuation of Spanish 311, to refine and enhance language skills in concert with an investigation of selected topics in Spanish and Latin-American cultures. It includes a focused consideration of problem areas of Spanish language and an introduction to various rhetorical forms. In addition to oral practice in class, students will write numerous short essays. The topic for spring 2010 is the Spanish Civil War. Conference. Prerequisites: Spanish 200 or 210 or equivalent with the consent of instructor. Applicable to Group D.
Spanish 321 - Theory and Practice of Hispanic LiteratureFull course for one semester. This course is designed to give students a theoretical, historical, and cultural framework for the more advanced study of Spanish and Spanish American literature. It will include considerations of genre, reception, and critical theory. Students will be responsible for undertaking close readings of the texts as well as research projects. Prerequisite: Spanish 210 or equivalent. Conference.
Early Modern Literature and Culture
Spanish 343 - Don Quixote and Narrative TheoryFull course for one semester. This course will consist of a close reading of Cervantes’s masterpiece in conjunction with the works of theorists such as Michel Foucault, Gyorgy Lukács, Ruth El Safar, Leo Spitzer, and Robert Alter, who have written about Don Quixote in the development and exploration of their various “theories of the novel.” To better understand the context of Don Quixote, we will begin with a careful consideration of political, cultural, and historical aspects of the Spanish Golden Age. We will end the semester with student presentations that focus on adaptations and appropriations of Don Quixote in modern narrative. Conducted in English. Students taking the course for Spanish credit will meet in extra sessions. Prerequisite for students taking the course for Spanish credit: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference. Cross-listed as Literature 344.
Spanish 353 - Chronicling AmericaFull course for one semester. The early chronicles of the exploration and conquest of the “New World” initiate Spanish American literature and have left an enduring mark as well on the development and transformations of this literary tradition. This course focuses on the chronicle form at two critical junctures. In the first part of the course, we trace the constitution of a particularly Spanish American colonial discourse through a reading of early chronicles, including Columbus’s letters, mestizo and ladino histories, and chronicle-novels. The second part of the course examines how problems raised by these early works are taken up in recent texts that lay claim to, parody, or shatter the chronicle form. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2009-10.
19th- and 20th-Century Literature and Culture
Spanish 360 - Literature, State, and Nation in 19th-Century Latin AmericaFull course for one semester. This course examines the relationship between literature and politics understood in the framework of an intellectual history of 19th-century Latin America. The selected texts reflect the range of different meanings that the concept of nation takes on, according to the distinct context and junctures in which it is evoked. The first part of the course focuses on discourses about the nation that are primarily concerned with questions of culture and identity, as well as with mythical-symbolic import. Discussed in this light are neoclassical, romantic, and naturalist poetics. Representative genres read include poetry, short stories, novels, and essays by Olmedo, Heredia, Bello, Echeverría, Mármol, Gómez de Avellaneda, Issacs, Matto de Turner. The rest of the term is devoted to a tradition of republican thought that addresses institutional and juridical problems. Readings include letters, essays, and speeches by Bolívar, Artigas, Lastarria, Sarmiento, Alberdi, Bilbao, de Hostos. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2009-10.
Spanish 364 - Regionalism, Nationalism, Decadence: 19th-Century Peninsular LiteratureFull course for one semester. Developing out of the “costumbrismo” movement of the midcentury, Spanish realist narrative played an important role in articulating regional differences and giving these differences narrative play. At the same time, however, these representations taxed the claims of realism to represent a coherent national whole. This course examines experimentation within narrative realism: What paradigm of the “real” drives the representation? What is excluded? What forces cannot be assimilated and threaten its disintegration? How does a growing sense of national decadence generate new literary forms? Beginning with examples of “costumbrista” texts, we will study works by central Spanish novelists like Clarín, Galdós, Castro, Pardo Bazán, and Valle-Inclán within a broad range of theoretical approaches to realism. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference.
Spanish 370 - Peninsular ModernismFull course for one semester. After Spain lost its last colonies (Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines) in 1898, it entered into a period of social and political reform that affected literature and the plastic arts. Although this period of political transformation and artistic freedom was shut down by the rise of fascism in the 1930s, for many artists creating during the long years of Franco's dictatorship, it became a point of reference, a "silver age" to rival Spain's "golden age" of the 16th and 17th centuries. Focusing on the period 1900–1930, this course will examine how modernism reacts to late-19th-century realism, proposing a new vision of reality through the use of existing genres and the development of new ones. In addition to the study of texts by Galdós, Valle-Inclán, Unamuno, Pío Baroja, Antonio Machado and Azorín, we will examine works by the architect Gaudí, and artists such as Santiago Rusiñol and Pablo Picasso. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference.
Spanish 372 - Echoes of Spanish Romantic PoetryFull course for one semester. This course will have two objectives: to familiarize students with Spain’s Romantic movement (particularly, its poetry); and to trace, in a partial fashion, how Spain’s Romanticism has influenced posterior generations of Spanish poetry. While we will pay close attention to the sociohistorical contexts of the works to be studied (and to Spanish Romanticism, as it has been defined up to the present), our main focus will be the transmission of a literary tradition. Authors whose works we may discuss include Quintana, Lista, Mora, Espronceda, Zorrilla, Carolina Coronado, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Bécquer, Rosalía de Castro, Machado, Unamuno, Cernuda, García Lorca, Miguel Hernández, José Hierro, Jaime Gil de Biedma, Francisco Brines, Gloria Fuertes, Julia Uceda, and Luis García Montero. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2009-10.
Spanish 373 - The Avant-GardesFull course for one semester. This course will explore the aesthetic revolution waged by the Spanish and Latin American avant-gardes at the beginning of the 20th century. Focusing on manifestos, poems, paintings, films, and theatrical works, we shall consider diverse ways in which Futurism, Ultraism, Creationism, and Surrealism declare war on “bourgeois” art forms. Presenting a utopian view of modernity, these movements react against both the weight of tradition and the alienation of the individual in the industrialized world. Particular attention will be paid to the link between avant-gardist poetics and the different political ideologies, such as communism and fascism. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2009-10.
Spanish 377 - Contemporary Spanish FictionFull course for one semester. Francisco Franco’s death in 1975 marked the end of dictatorship in Spain, though the transition to democracy was hardly smooth. In this course, we will examine Spanish fiction after Franco’s death, paying particular attention to the fictional as a space through which Franco’s legacy may be confronted, and through which a Spanish society may be constructed. The reading of novels and short stories by Martín Gaite, Tusquets, Vázquez Montalbán, Marsé, Javier Marías, Muñoz Molina, Etxebarría, Rivas, and others will be complemented by texts that chronicle and confront the transition (Vilarós, Vázquez Montalbán). Studies on narratology, trauma, memory, and national identity will inform our work on Spanish fiction. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of instructor. Conference. Not offered 2009-10.
Spanish 379 - Short Latin American FictionFull course for one semester. This course focuses on in-depth analyses of short stories and other forms of short fiction by outstanding Latin American writers. The concept of literary genre will be examined along with basic narratological categories. Starting with the canonical texts through which the modernist short story took shape (Darío), the course goes on to study the fantastic genre (Quiroga, Borges, Cortázar, Ocampo), feminine literature (Bombal, Ferré), magical realism (Carpentier, García Márquez), and other manifestations of critical realism (Arlt, Onetti, Rulfo). Attention is directed at micronarrative and the poetics of the fragment–Denevi, Monterroso, Piglia. Primary readings will be complemented by theoretical readings to include Poe, Chejov, Freud, Sartre, Moravia, Benjamin, Todorov, Friedman, Reid, and others. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of instructor. Conference. Not offered 2009-10.
Spanish 381 - Literature and Culture of Argentina from Independence to the PresentFull course for one semester. In the framework of an Argentinean cultural history, this course analyzes the relationship between aesthetics, ethics, and politics. A series of 19th- and 20th-century texts, both fictional and nonfictional, will serve to trace the trajectory from a political use of literature to the emergence of an autonomous intellectual sphere. The course is organized around the topics of “civilization and barbarism”; gauchos, frontiers, and “the desert”; the Generation of 1880 and immigration; Peronism and anti-Peronism; and militarism and democracy. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2009-10.
Spanish 385 - Realism and MagicFull course for one semester. For better or worse, “realism” and “magic” have come to be linked with Spanish American literature. This course examines in broad cultural terms the interplay of these two poles in Spanish America and investigates how we might critically appraise their conjunction as realismo mágico. Under the rubric of the “real” and realism are included chronicles, journalism, social realist and naturalist fiction, and testimonios. Magic will be understood in similarly broad terms: witchcraft, the fantastic, the grotesque, the gothic, and the uncanny. Readings in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of instructor. Conference. Not offered 2009-10.
Spanish 387 - Essay, Race, and Nation in Latin AmericaFull course for one semester. This course focuses on an essay tradition that reflects on questions related to modernity. The chronicles of the Cuban José Martí on the United States serve as an introduction to a series of themes and categories: democracy, popular culture, aesthetic autonomy and heteronomy, spiritualism, anomie, consensus, and race, that are relevant to the study of the other authors. The reading of the primary texts—Rodó, Ortiz, Vasconcelos, Blanco, Lugones, Mariátegui, and Arguedas—is accompanied by the study of theoretical essays originating in other traditions: Baudelaire, Tocqueville, Renan, Eagleton, Hobsbawm, and H.L. Gates Jr. The principal axis of this course is the relationship between the aesthetic and the political, tracing an itinerary that goes from the appeal to beauty in consensual practices to their most elitist and authoritarian manifestations. Emphasis is on how the authors formulated a model nation, which stood as an alternative to that proposed by the liberal elite of the 19th century. Readings in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2009-10.
Spanish 389 - Toward a New Mexican NarrativeFull course for one semester. This course analyzes contemporary Mexican narratives in the form of written and visual texts that have been produced from the mid-1980s to the present. Fictional novels, short stories, films, documentaries, performance art pieces, and blogs will help shed light on the most current and innovative aesthetic tendencies in the Mexican nation. The chosen works will aid us in gaining an understanding of the political, economic, and social factors that have contributed to their artistic creation. Topics and issues such as globalization, borders, and environmentalist movements will be addressed. This class will be interdisciplinary, since we will also draw on historical, social scientific, and cultural studies. Readings and video recordings are in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2009-10.
Spanish 390 - Crime and Literature in Spanish AmericaFull course for one semester. The notion of crime constitutes a point of articulation joining religious, philosophical, juridical, journalistic, historiographical, scientific, psychoanalytical, and other discourses. For this reason, it provides a particularly rich point of departure for the study of cultural production. This course focuses on the various ways in which crime has figured in Spanish American writing. Texts may include accounts of transvestite nuns and “deluded” mystics, detective novels, and literary or journalistic treatments of the drug trade and the criminal state apparatus. We will also consider filmic representations of crime. Theoretical readings address the development and function of penal, judicial, governmental, and medical institutions. Readings in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of instructor. Conference.
Spanish 393 - Special Topics in Peninsular Literature and Culture
The Spanish Picaresque Novel of the 16th and 17th Centuries: Origins, Evolution, and Consolidation of a Critical Literary Tool
Full course for one semester. This course focuses on the autobiographical narrations of the pícaro, who ironically unveils the lies and hypocrisies of a corrupt society in sixteenth and seventeenth century Spain. We will trace the literary precedents of the picaresque novel in the Spanish Middle Ages and Renaissance in order to identify the defining characteristics of this popular sub-genre of prose. Then we will examine how this satirical discourse is constructed to offer the reader a rich mine of observations concerning every social milieu. Readings include the anonymous Vida del Lazarillo de Tormes y de sus Fortunas y Adversidades, Francisco de Quevedo’s Vida del Buscón llamado don Pablos, Alonso Jerónimo de Salas Barbadillo’s La hija de la Celestina, Miguel de Cervantes’s Rinconete y Cortadillo and La Gitanilla, Juan de Luna’s Segunda parte del Lazarillo de Tormes, and Gonzalo de Céspedes y Meneses’s La Niña de los Embustes, Teresa de Manzanares. Primary readings in Spanish will be complemented by theoretical readings, mostly in English, by authors—Marcel Mauss, Judith Butler, Sigmund Freud, Georges Bataille, Michel Foucault, among others. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Full course for one semester. In this course, we will consider a variety of critical and theoretical approaches to the growing canon of Spanish cinema. From Buñuel’s first experiments to the most recent releases, the films studied will be examined as both aesthetic texts and historical documents–documents that not only have a particular history, but serve to enact national histories as well. Directors whose films we will be discussing include Álex de la Iglesia, Almodóvar, Amenábar, Bardém, Berlanga, Bigas Luna, Bollaín, Borau, Buñuel, Érice, León de Aranoa, Mañas, Martín Patino, Ménem, Miró, Nieves-Conde, Sáenz de Heredia, Saura, David Trueba, and Fernando Trueba, among others. Screenings held outside of class hours. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference.
Spanish 395 - Special Topics in Spanish American Literature and Culture
New Media Culture in Latin America
Full course for one semester. What do we mean when we talk about new media? In this class, we will take this question as a point of departure for examining a series of cross-media aesthetic practices in contemporary Latin America. One assumption of the course is that “new media” refers to an entire “media ecology” underlying all cultural production in the present. This assumption is subject to revision, and the cultural objects we examine will allow us to test it. We will read and view texts of many kinds: printed books, films, digital archives, e-poems, blogs, online games, and installations. We will read texts by theorists of media, literature and the visual arts. This aims at understanding how contemporary Latin American writers and artists contend with the possibilities opened up by new media technologies, how they articulate forms of subjectivity and collective life, and what aesthetic formulas emerge from their efforts. Most readings are in Spanish, with some in English. Others include a combination of the two, which is an increasingly common trait of new media objects in Latin America. Class discussions will be in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference.
The Avant-Garde Imaginary in Latin America
Full course for one semester. This course traces a lineage of avant-garde aesthetics in twentieth-century Latin America. We will examine how the avant-garde imaginary is formative for Latin American literary culture, up to the present. We will begin with readings of the most canonical representatives of the Latin American historical avant-garde and move through a series of works growing out of this tradition. A central question in our discussions will be how writers reframe the political impulses of the avant-garde while articulating their own authorial positions. We will study collections of poetry, which is arguably the central literary genre of the avant-garde and its successors. A number of our texts are pictorial in nature, which also evinces a central characteristic of the avant-gardes: a focus on the visual and an orientation toward multimedia works. Readings are in Spanish, with some theoretical texts in English. Class discussions will be in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference.
The Evolution of Mexican Drama: From Traditional Theatre to Transnational Performance
Full course for one semester. The genre of theatre has allowed for ideological expression as well as reflected social reality. In the case of Mexico, theatre has also served as a tool in the process of nation-building, and as a critique of that same nationalistic discourse. In this course, theatre is analyzed primarily as a sociocultural phenomenon within specific sociohistorical contexts as we study different moments of the Mexican theatre from the 20th and 21st centuries. We will begin with marginal revue and “tent” theatre, continue with vanguard and feminist theatre, and finish with performance art that takes place on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Our readings of the plays are supplemented by genre theory, performance, and cultural studies. Prerequisite: Spanish 321 or equivalent with consent of the instructor. Conference.