Undegraduate Course Information - Fall 2017

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SPA 330 Spanish & Globalization
Dr. Haralambos Symeonidis

This course examines “globalization” and its effect on a world language like Spanish. Expanding on Steger’s book Globalization: A Very Short Introduction (2009), for the purpose of this course we shall define “globalization” as a social process “characterized by the existence of global economic, political, cultural, linguistic and environmental interconnections and flows that make the many of the currently existing borders and boundaries irrelevant”.

In this course we will trace some of these debates and discussions surrounding language issues in a global era, attempting to identify those aspects of globalization of particular interest when it comes to explaining language behavior. We will seek to identify some of the key agents acting as the forces of globalization on language processes and will discuss the nature of this relationship. We will explore how far any discussion and analysis of globalization and world languages are of any particular and specific relevance to an understanding of the case of Spanish and the languages of what is commonly referred to as the Spanish-speaking world. 


SPA 371 Latin American Cinema
Matthew Losada

In this course we will watch Latin American films, discuss their political and cultural contexts and study film analysis more generally. The course will consist of three sections. First we will see a series of Mexican films. We will follow certain themes that run through these works and study how commercial film tells its stories while employing genre conventions to situate its viewers. The second section will cover the more independent, politicized cinema of the 1960s and ‘70s, and may include films from Chile, Cuba, Argentina and elsewhere. We will examine how filmmakers developed new ways of engaging with Latin American reality and transforming their viewers. The final section will consist of more recent work by filmmakers again searching for new forms with which to engage with a reality of normalized economic precarity and the globalization of film spectatorship.

The course is taught in English (with the exception of a discussion section in Spanish for Spanish majors and minors). No prior coursework in film is required and no knowledge of the Spanish language is expected. The films will be viewed outside of class, in Spanish with English subtitles. Those taking the discussion section in Spanish will write their out-of-class assignments in Spanish. SPA 371 fulfills the General Education / UK Core Inquiry in the Humanities requirement.


SPA 400 Special Topics in Hispanic Literature: Poetry
Irene Chico-Wyatt

Spanish 400 is intended to provide students with an overview of both Hispanic Peninsular and Latin American civilization, culture and literature through the analysis of poetry and song.  The first part of the course will be devoted to poetry, starting from the turn of the twentieth century and until present day, and will equip students with the tools and methodology necessary for understanding and analyzing a poetic text. The second part will be dedicated to study the most distinct singer-songwriters of the twentieth century as well as their relation to poetry. While selected readings will provide the basis for stylistic and textual analysis, critical thinking and close analysis of texts will be the primary focus of this class.


SPA 480 Hispanic Kentucky
Ruth Brown

This course is designed to provide students with opportunities to engage with Lexington’s Latino community and to think critically about the cultural, political and socio-economic impact of immigration by Latinos in Kentucky. We will draw on a variety of sources including student’s experiences in the community, non-fiction writing, visual art, cinema, and classroom visitors to inform our study of the history and current experience of los kentuquianos.

As this is a service-learning course students will be required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of service-learning and cultural excursions in the community during the semester in addition to regular class discussions, readings, and assignments. This equates to approximately 1-2 hours/week throughout the semester plus travel time. Please note the majority of our service-learning placements are available during after school hours (3-6pm) Monday-Thursday.  Given these requirements please consider carefully whether you have the time to commit to this course before enrolling.

While many of our assigned materials will be in English, all course assignments and class discussions will be conducted in Spanish.  Pre-requisite: SPA 310

SPA 539 Mexican Cinema
Matthew Losada

This course provides an introduction to the history and aesthetics of Mexican cinema. We will begin by examining the visual construction—primarily in cinema—of the official story of the Mexican Revolution and the lasting image of Mexican identity and the conceptions of masculinity that are central to it. Then we will see how the popular genre cinema—featuring such characters as fallen women and/or wrestlers—treats national identity, before moving on to more critical visions by filmmakers such as Luis Buñuel and Sabina Berman. We will end by examining more contemporary work by Alfonso Cuarón, Luis Estrada and others.

The course will also serve as an introduction to film studies. We will study the basics of film analysis as well as some of the more well-known theoretical approaches to film. It will be conducted in Spanish, although some of the readings will be in English. Films will be in Spanish, most will have English subtitles.


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