Hispanic Studies 298. Experimental Courses
Visualizing Latin American Culture
The interaction between verbal and visual expression has crucial implications in Latin American culture. Dating back to the colonial chronicles, Latin American artists and writers have combined texts and images for a variety of purposes. Writers, photographers, artists, and filmmakers throughout the twentieth century in Latin America have produced works with any number of political and aesthetic priorities, from testimonials and documentaries to social critiques, ethnographies, and fiction. These often cooperative ventures document revolution, redefine indigenism, comment on mourning and memory, and characterize the explosion of urban space in their specific Latin American contexts.
In this course we will explore relations between verbal and visual forms of expression in Latin American culture, particularly how such combinations cause the reader and viewer, as well as the artists, to reflect more critically on the visual and the verbal as means of representation, contributing to wider debates on the politics of representation.
Love and Madness in Don Quijote
In El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha Cervantes introduces us to a passionate reader of Chivalric novels. As the own author puts it don Quijote read “until his brain dried up and he lost his wits.” Even though don Quijote considers writing himself a chivalric novel, he finally decides to begin on a different project involving the sword rather than the pen. As Anne J. Cruz has argued don Quijote’s final decision is “a transformation of the passive activity of reading into an active mode. Don Quijote internalizes his experience of books and performs them” (77). In this course we will become active readers of Don Quijote’s performance. Through his multiples adventures and his reasonable madness we will discover the heterogeneity of Cervantes’ text, not only in its formal/genre multiplicity but also the historical, cultural and social diversity of the period reflected in the novel.