Course Syllabus

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Course Syllabus

HU3294--Topics in Hispanic Literature

Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Spanish American Literature

Canons, Culture, and Everyday Life

Department of Humanities

Fall 2014

Instructor Information

Instructor: Carlos M. Amador, PhD

Assistant Professor of Spanish and Culture Studies

Office Location: Walker Arts and Humanities Center 322

Telephone: Office – (906) 487-3257


Office Hours: TR 10:00am – 12:00pm or by appointment

Course Identification

Course Number: CS1000-R01

Course Name: HU3294--Topics in Hispanic Literature

Course Location: 120A Walker Arts and Humanities Center

Class Times: Tuesday/Thursday 1435-1550


  • You satisfactorily completed HU3292 or HU3293 at Michigan Tech

  • You scored 631 on the MTU language placement exam [check with instructor if unsure] as a non-native speaker of Spanish and plan to obtain advanced placement credits upon satisfactory completion of this course (with B or better)

  • You scored 4 or higher on the College Board AP Test in high school

  • You have already filed for a Minor or International Minor in Spanish, and plan to complete 3294 as part of the requirements.

  • You plan on earning distribution credits in modern language toward graduation (up to 15) [**NOTE: Native speakers of Spanish are not eligible for this option]

  • You plan on completing the World Cultures requirement with the modern language option (at least two ML courses + UN1003 in spring). [**NOTE: Native speakers of Spanish are not eligible for this option.]

Course Description/Overview

This course surveys canonical Spanish-American literature and film beginning at the turn of the twentieth century, continuing through our current day. This course seeks to explore how literature and film intersect to imagine and reimagine Spanish-American “everyday life”—those series of practices, opinions, and emotions we have on a daily basis. We will explore how the most widely praised and studied cultural products represent the daily lives of what Spanish or “Latin Americans.”

Course Learning Objectives

Students at the end of this course will be able to

  1. Understand and explain how Spanish-American literature critiques and represents everyday life and its historical moment.

  2. Read Spanish-American literature and film at the level of textual practice: i.e., genres, motifs,

  3. Critically reflect on Spanish-American cultural products from the students’ own subject position.

  4. Develop information literacy skills through the analysis of Spanish-American literature that are transferable to other disciplines.

  5. Understanding of Spanish-America’s singular contributions to global culture through literature and film; analyzing its political and ethical dimensions.

Course Resources

Course Website(s)

  • Canvas <>

Required Course Text

  • Chang-Rodríguez, Raquel, and Malva E. Filer. Voces De Hispanoamérica: Antología Literaria. Boston: Heinle Cengage Learning, 2013. Print

  • All other texts will be supplied via your Canvas site.

  • All readings unless otherwise noted will be taken from Voces de hispanoamérica

Grading Scheme

Grading System

Letter Grade


Grade points/credit



93% & above




87% – 92%


Very good


82% – 86%




76% – 81%


Above average


70% – 75%




65% – 69%


Below average


60% - 64%




59% and below




Incomplete; given only when a student is unable to complete a segment of the course because of circumstances beyond the student’s control.


Conditional, with no grade points per credit; given only when the student is at fault in failing to complete a minor segment of a course, but in the judgment of the instructor does not need to repeat the course. It must be made up by the close of the next semester or the grade becomes a failure (F). A (X) grade is computed into the grade point average as a (F) grade.

Grading Policy

Grades will be based on the following:

Précis x 4


Group wiki page + group oral Presentation


Individual wiki + oral presentation


Short papers x 3


Midterm Exam


Final Exam


In-class work/participation


Attendance quizzes




Assignments and grade percentages

All work is to be done in Spanish as is all class participation. As this is not a language course, our focus will be on textual analysis, community-based learning, and class discussion. Speak Spanish in class as fearlessly as possible, and the outcomes will be positive. Writing assignments will be graded primarily for content and not for grammatical accuracy unless it is a significant impediment to the comprehension of your work.

Précis x 4 (20%)

The précis is an assignment designed to visually structure arguments and literary analysis. Each précis will be modeled in class and designed to help organized your final short paper.

Group wiki page + group oral presentation (10%)

Working in small group, you will produce a wiki-like entry on a writer,text, literary movement, historical period, or other cultural phenomenon relevant to the class. Upon completion, your group will produce a 3 minute oral presentation in Spanish.

Individual wiki page + oral presentation (10%)

This is an individual wiki page on a cultural product or phenomenon discussed in class that will be accompanied by a 3 minute oral presentation.

Short Papers—2-5 pgs (20%):

Three short papers will take a position on the relationship of a text or film to a particular mode of analysis, or historical/cultural situations. To be written in Spanish.

Midterm Exam (10%):

Your midterm exam will include text identification; objective questions on culture, genre, history, etc. taken; and a textual analysis essay.

Final Exam (15%):

The final exam is a cumulative exam in the same format as the midterm.

In-class work/participation (10%):

Students must prepare the assigned texts before class to receive a satisfactory participation grade. In-class work includes a variety of activities designed for learning as a community. In-class assignments include activities that will involve limited preparation. I will issue a weekly grade on Canvas based on my evaluation of your in-class performance.

Reading Quizzes (5%):

There will be a series of short quizzes most weeks on the reading to be done on a 3x5 notecard. You will receive one point for doing the quiz and one point for answering the question correctly.

Attendance and Participation

Your participation grade is based on:

  • Use of Spanish in class. It is essential that you make the effort to express yourself at all times in Spanish, this includes during group work and speaking with your classmates

  • Willingness to volunteer in whole class activities and to participate and cooperate in pair and group work.

  • Level of preparedness. It is mandatory that you come to class on time and prepared, with assigned pages read in advance and assignments completed.

Students who miss more than three classes without university-approved excuses will lower their final grade by half a grade; those who miss more than four will lover their grade by a full grade. There will be no passing grade for students who miss more than 30% of classes. Any student with 7 unexcused absences will not be allowed to take the Final Exam. Excessive tardiness will also result in a grade reduction

A simple email note or a verbal communication does NOT qualify as an officially excused absence. An OFFICIALLY EXCUSED absence is one that is authorized in writing by a doctor, another instructor, a coach for a university-sponsored event, a university program director, a work supervisor, or the Dean of Students. If you know in advance that you will not be able to attend class or complete an exam or quiz, it is your responsibility to make prior arrangements with me and to complete the required assignments in a timely manner. No exam make-ups allowed for anyone without a university-approved (official) excuse.

Collaboration/Plagiarism Rules/Class Conduct

Most of the in-class work done in HU3292 will be collaborative; it is imperative that you come prepared to work with your classmates. Plagiarism will be strictly dealt with according to the Academic Integrity Code of Michigan Tech. Please consult the following link for information:

Cell phones, Blackberries, iPods, PDAs, or any other electronic devices are not to be used in the classroom. Information exchanges on these devices during class are also prohibited and violate the Academic Integrity Code of Michigan Tech.

University Policies

Student work products (exams, essays, projects, etc.) may be used for purposes of university, program, or course assessment. All work used for assessment purposes will not include any individual student identification.

Michigan Tech complies with all federal and state laws and regulations regarding discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. For more information about reasonable accommodation for or equal access to education or services at Michigan Tech, please call the Dean of Students Office, at (906) 487- 2212 or go to or the Student Disability Services Office

Please submit any disability services documentation by September 12th, 2014. Any documentation received after that date will be accepted on an individual basis. Please contact me via email or come to my office hours to discuss accommodations.

Office Hours and Grade Appeals

I am always available during office hours or by appointment to discuss any aspect of the course. You may appeal your grade for any reason. Grade appeals are to be done during office hours or by appointment exclusively. Reevaluation of your work does not guarantee a higher grade, but can also result in a lowering of your assignment grade.

Note: The syllabus and course schedule may be revised during the semester to accommodate the needs of students or the instructor.


Tópico y lecturas

Tarea y lecturas


martes 2

Week 1: Modernities and Modernismo

Introduction to the course, class policies, and general overview of Hispanic American Literatures, Modernities, and Modernismo

Nuestra América

en clase en grupos

jueves 4

Más modernismo

Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera—La duquesa Job, De blanco, Para entonces

Rubén Darío—El velo de la Reina Mab, A Roosevelt,

Sigmund Freud—The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

Learning stations activity en clase

Vida cotidiana

martes 9

Week 2:Early Feminism, Naturalism, The transition to new national modes

Delmira Agustini

Alfonsina Storni

Learning stations

Agustini—Nocturno, El intruso

Storni: Todo

jueves 11

Baldomero Lillo

Précis #1 instructions

Tú me quieres blanca; Peso ancestral; Hombre pequeñito

Baldomero Lillo

martes 16

Week 3

Criollismo, Posmodernismo, and National Avant-Gardes

Horacio Quiroga

Carlos Pezoa Véliz

Précis #1

Quiroga—El hijo, Insoñación, El vampiro

Pezoa Véliz--Voces

jueves 18

Gabriela Mistral

Vicente Huidobro

Group #1-3 Wiki + Presentation due 18 septiembre

Mistral—Pan, Los sonetos de la muerte

Huidobro—Arte poética (Canvas) + todo del libro


martes 23

Week 4. National Avant-Gardes continued: Surrealismo, Urban Writers, and “Good Literature vs. Bad Literature”

César Vallejo

Jorge Luis Borges

Andre Bretón

Group #2 Wiki Presentation due

Short paper #1

Vallejo—Trilce, Los heraldos negros, Masa

Borges—Borges y Yo, El Sur

jueves 25

Roberto Arlt

Oliverio Girondo

Ricardo Piglia—Borges y Arlt

Henri Lefebvre—Critique of Everyday Life

Roberto Arlt Pequeños Propietarios, El placer de vagabundear

Oliverio Girondo—Apunte callejero, Milonga

Ricardo Piglia—Borges y Arlt

Henri Lefebvre—Critique of Everyday Life

martes 30

Week 5: National Avant-Gardes continued: Indigenismo, Negrismo, and Transnational life

Nicolás Guillen

Précis #2

Guillen—Todas las lecturas


jueves 2

José Carlos Mariátegui

Mariátegui—El problema del indio

martes 7

Week 6: The Road to the Boom: The transformation of narrative possibility

José María Arguedas

Juan Rulfo—El llano en llamas

Short paper#2

jueves 9

Nicanor Parra: Poemas y Anti-Poemas


martes 14

Week 7: The Boom: New Histories, Global Exchanges, and the new Hispanicamericanismo

Preparar preguntas para el midterm

Jueves 16

Midterm exam—Thursday October 16, 2014

martes 21

Week 8. The Post-Boom: The "Real" Explosion of Hispanic American Literature

2 semanas Manuel Puig: El Beso de la mujer araña

Group #4-6 Wiki + Presentation

jueves 23

Manuel Puig: El Beso de la mujer araña

Précis #3

martes 28

Manuel Puig: El Beso de la mujer araña

Short paper #3 due

jueves 30

Héctor Babenco Kiss of the Spider Woman (film)

martes 4

Week 10: Queers, Exiles and Anti-Exiles, and New Histories of Everyday Life

Luisa Valenzuela—Los censores

Raúl Zurita: Purgatorio y Anteparaíso

Valenzuela—Los censores


jueves 6

Pedro Lemebel: Loco Afán

Nestor Perlongher: Cadáveres



martes 11

Week 11: The new historical moment—globalized literature a

Roberto Bolaño: Putas asesinas

Damián Tabarovsky: Literatura de izquierda

Précis #4

Lecturas en Canvas

jueves 13

Samanta Schweblin: Cabezas contra el asfalto

Alberto Fuguet: Introducción a la antología de McOndo, Sobredosis

Lecturas en Canvas

martes 18

Week 12: Genres—Science Fiction, Horror, and the continuing relationship of visual media to literature

Mike Wilson: Selecciones de Zombie

Juan Terranova: El masacre del equipo de Voley

Nicolás López--Aftershock

Lecturas en Canvas

jueves 20

Lucián Rojas—Zombie Dawn

Short paper #3


24-1 diciembre

Semana del día de acción de gracias/Thanksgiving week

(Watch films during this week: TBA

martes 2

Extrema ficción


jueves 4

Presentaciones finales/Wiki pages

Presentaciones finales/Wiki pages (Tentativo)

Mandatory Attendance

martes 9

Presentaciones finales/Wiki pages

Mandatory Attendance

jueves 11

Último día de la clase

Presentaciones finales/Wiki pages

Mandatory Attendance

Martes 16

Final exam period—TBA

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