We're pleased to highlight a variety of new courses for the Autumn quarter! For a full list of cross-listed courses, please see our Autumn 2019 Course List.

HIST 17105 (LACS 17105, CRES17105)
Race and Racism in the Americas
Mauricio Tenorio

TR 12:30-1:50PM

This course seeks to explore the variegated ways the idea, and the consequences, of race has affected the history of the Americas from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century. The course emphasis comparisons and different forms of racisms in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Cuba, and Brazil.


LACS21001/1 (HMRT 21001, HIST 29304, LLSO 21001)
Human Rights: Contemporary Issues
Susan Gzesh

M 3:00-4:20PM
W 3:00-4:20PM Discussion UNDERGRAD
W 4:30-5:50PM Discussion GRAD

This interdisciplinary course presents an overview of several major contemporary human rights problems as a means to explore the use of human rights norms and mechanisms. The course addresses the roles of states, inter-governmental bodies, national courts, civil society actors including NGOs, victims, and their families, and other non-state actors. Topics are likely to include universalism, enforceability of human rights norms, the prohibition against torture, U.S. exceptionalism, and the rights of women, racial minorities, and non-citizens.


SPAN 21619 (LACS 21619, GSNE 21619, TAPS 25219)
From Lorca to Lin-Manuel Miranda: Staging Latinidad
Isaias Fanlo Gonzalez

TR 11:00-12:20 PM

In this course, we will delve into ten significant theatre plays written in the last century by Spanish, Latin American and Latinx playwrights. We will examine how latinidad, with its multiple definitions and contradictions, emerges in these plays; and also, which questions these works pose regarding the different historic and cultural contexts in which they were written. As a discipline that aims to explore and embody social practices and identities, theatre has become a place where these questions articulate themselves in a critical manner. A physical space where bodies and languages explore, sometimes through its mere unfolding on the page and the stage, unforeseen limits of class, identity, and ethnicity. Each week, we will discuss one play and one or two significant critical essays, and the discussion will be conducted through a set of questions and crossed references. To which extent does the domestic exploration and the all-women cast of Lorca’s La casa de Bernarda Alba resonate in Fornés’ Fefu And Her Friends? How does the experience of immigration affect the characters of Marqués’ La carreta, and how do Chiara Alegría Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda echo this foundational fiction in In the Heights? How was the success of plays such as Valdez’s Zoot Suit or Cruz’s Anna in The Tropics received within the Latino community, and how did it affect the general reception of Latino plays?
PQ: Taught in English. Readings available in both English and Spanish. Spanish majors and minors must do the readings and/or writings in Spanish.


FREN 21719 (LACS 21719)
Histoire, Superstitions et Croyances dans le roman francophone des XXe et XXIe siècles
Michele Kenfack

TR 9:30-10:50AM

L'Afrique et les Antilles sont généralement présentées comme des régions hautement superstitieuses, figées dans les croyances et les traditions. La littérature apparaît comme le lieu privilégié où se reflètent ces éléments culturels. Les écrivains africains et antillais (plus précisément d'Haïti, de Martinique, de Guadeloupe et de la Guyane française) analysent, questionnent, reformulent des récits, mythes et légendes tirés d'une tradition avant tout orale. A leur suite, nous essayerons de remonter aux origines de ces croyances et superstitions. Nous naviguerons entre essais théoriques et récits linéaires pour mener une réflexion critique, et formuler des réponses à un certain nombre de questions, notamment : Croyances et superstitions sont-elles uniquement les vestiges d'un héritage oral ? Comment se rattachent-elles à l'histoire de ces peuples ? Quelle perception [sociale] suscitent-elles ? En tant qu'éléments du récit, quels effets provoquent-elles chez le lecteur ? Soulignent-elles des objectifs spécifiques d'écriture ? Nous examinerons également les rapports entre ces deux notions et celles d'identité et d'altérité. Les auteurs plus particulièrement étudiés seront Mariama Bâ, René Depestre, Jean-Roger Essomba, Véronique Lordinot, André Paradis, Gisèle Pineau, Jacques Roumain, Simone Schwarz-Bart et Véronique Tadjo.
Note: FREN 20500 or 20503. This is an introductory-level course. Taught in French


The Mexican Political Essay
Jesús Silva-Herzog

MW 4:30-5:50 PM

Alfonso Reyes famously described the essay as a centaur. A hybrid form of expression: part literature and part science. This course introduces students to the rich tradition of the Mexican political essay. Students will discover the value of these open approximations to history, institutions, culture, identity. As a literary form, it may elude the methodological rigors of political science, but it represents a peculiar perspective to understand change and continuity in Mexican history, to question authority and tradition, to offer guidelines to action. We will discuss the value of the essay form as opposed to the academic production of political science. Identity and democracy, the meaning of history and the urgency of action; the role of intellectuals and the nature of Mexico’s contradictions will be considered in the course through the imaginative observations of Emilio Rabasa, Luis Cabrera, Jorge Cuesta, Alfonso Reyes, Octavio Paz, Rosario Castellanos, Gabriel Zaid and other Mexican essayists.
Additional Notes: Discussion will be in Spanish and English. Reading will be mainly in Spanish.


ENGL 25805 (LACS 25805, FNDL 25085)
Popol Vuh, Epic of the Americas
Edgar Garcia

MW 1:30-2:50PM

As one of the oldest and grandest stories of world creation in the indigenous Americas, the Mayan Popol Vuh has been called “the Bible of America.” It tells a story of cosmological origins and continued historical transformations, spanning mythic, classic, colonial, and contemporary times. In this class, we will read this work fully and closely (in multiple translations, with some account of its original K’iche’ Mayan language as well), attending to the important way in which its structure relates myth and history, or foundations and change. In this light, we will examine its mirroring in Genesis, The Odyssey, Beowulf, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and the Diné Bahane’ to consider how and why epics struggle with a simultaneity of origins and historiography. In highlighting this point of tension between cosmos and politics, we will examine adaptations of the Popol Vuh in contemporary political contexts by Miguel Ángel Asturias, Ernesto Cardenal, Diego Rivera, Dennis Tedlock and Andrés Xiloj Peruch, Humberto Ak’ab’al, Xpetra Ernandex, Ambar Past, Patricia Amlin, Gregory Nava, Arturo Arias, and Werner Herzog. As we cast the Guatemalan-born Popul Vuh as a contemporary work of hemispheric American literature (with extensive North American, Latin American, Latinx, and Indigenous literary engagement), we will take into account the intellectual contribution of Central America and the diaspora of Central Americans in the United States today. As a capstone to our class, we will visit the original manuscript of the Popol Vuh held at the Newberry Library in Chicago, thinking carefully about how this Mayan story of world creation implicates us to this day. (Poetry, Fiction)


ENGL 29101 (CRES 29101, GSNE 29103, LACS 29101)
Archive [Yellow] Fever
Sarah Johnson

TR 9:30-10:50 AM

This course examines slavery in the 18th and 19th-century Caribbean through the lens of maladies within and of the archive. The course also provides an introduction in methods of working in historical and contemporary archives. We will read fictional, archival, methodological and theoretical texts to examine fears of contagion and disease on the Middle Passage and plantations of the Caribbean, as well as scholarship on the difficulty of working in archives, especially those of slavery. The class will make two trips to special collections, one to view archival texts from the period and another to find an archival object of the student’s choosing (relevant to their own research interests) that will provide the topic of their final paper. Texts in this course include the work of Saidiya Hartman, Marisa Fuentes, Jacques Derrida, Carolyn Steedman, Christina Sharpe, Simone Browne, Michel Foucault; Richard Ligon, Mary Seacole, Thomas Thistlewood, William Earle. This course is offered as part of the Migrations Research Sequence. (1650-1830, 1830-1940)
Additional notes: This course is part of the 2019-2020 Undergraduate Research Cluster.