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Graduate Courses | FALL 2017


Graduate Courses to be offered in the fall semester of 2017. Should you have any questions, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Graciela Montaldo.


  • Research & Professional Development Workshop I (SPAN GR6100) | Tuesdays, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. | All LAIC first-year Ph.D. students must register
  • Colloquium in Latin American & Iberian Cultures I (SPAN GR9045) | Thursdays, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. | All LAIC first-year Ph.D. students must register
  • Didactics of Spanish Language and Culture (SPAN GR6000) | Fridays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. | All LAIC second-year Ph.D. students must register


  • Race, Gender, and Affect in a Brazilian Perspective (SPAN G6004) Ana Paulina Lee Mondays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

This graduate seminar will examine affect, mood, taste, and feeling as critical sites in Brazilian studies about race and gender. Particular attention will be paid to the “affective turn” in critical race and queer theory. We will examine a number of issues related to affect theory, beginning with, what is affect? Can we study affect historically and geopolitically? How is affect racialized or gendered? What can affect theory bring to cultural memory studies? By drawing on theories of affect, cultural memory, food studies, historical, and anthropological studies about racial and ethnic formation, we will discuss how affect illuminates the intersecting realms of aesthetics, politics, ethics, and cultural memory; and plays out across bodies in mundane and spectacular ways.

  • Latin American Cultural Discourse and the Neoliberal Turn (SPAN GR6115) | Carlos J. Alonso | Tuesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

This course attempts to take the pulse of contemporary discourse on culture in Latin America in the last twenty-five years.  Its premise is that the commodification of culture that has been one of the hallmarks of neoliberalism has had a profound effect on the nature of that discourse, given that the concept of culture was from the outset the bedrock of cultural discourse in the region.  We will examine a number of works that are written from within the discursive crisis just described, each of which addresses it in its own fashion.

The overarching contention is that whereas in the past, the principal category around which that discourse revolved was, writ large, cultural identity and its vicissitudes, in the new critical dispensation the concept of the market has become the dominant trope around which cultural production is articulated—that is to say, the market has become the assumed backdrop and metaphoric fountainhead for that critical and rhetorical production.

  • Blood/Lust: Staging the Early Modern Mediterranean (CPLS GR6454) | Patricia GrieveWednesdays, 12:10 – 2:00 p.m.

This course examines, in 16th and 17th century Spain and England (1580-1640), how the two countries staged the conflict between them, and with the Ottoman Empire; that is, how both countries represented national and imperial clashes, and how the concepts of being “Spanish,” “English,” or “Turk” often played out on the high seas of the Mediterranean with Islam and the Ottoman Empire. We will consider how the Ottoman Empire depicted itself artistically through miniatures and court poetry. The course will include travel and captivity narratives from Spain, England, the Ottoman Empire, and the Barbary States.

  • Expanded Architectures, Transatlantic Misencounters: Intermedial Circulations of Le Corbusier in Spain and Latin America (SPAN GR6006) | Alberto Medina | Wednesdays, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Between 1928 and 1929, Le Corbusier traveled for the first time to Spain and Latin America. Despite the scarcity of his built works, he was already an undisputed emblem of modern architecture. His extraordinarily influential ideas had been avidly incorporated and reproduced by many authors with the desire to be identified as “Modern.” Not only architects but also painters and writers saw in the Swiss icon the incarnation of the Avant-Garde. The mutual contact between le Corbusier and the South was, nevertheless, far from a harmonic dialogue between different models of modernity across the Atlantic. Instead, prospects became dynamic misencounters with both sides systematically failing to fulfill each other’s expectations.

The establishment in Europe had accused Le Corbusier of an excess of modernity and had just rejected his ambitious project for the Society of Nations. Conversely, influential German Avant-Garde architects were criticizing him for bourgeois and reactionary tendencies. Le Corbusier travels to the South not only in search of new markets for his work, but also for new sources of legitimacy. There, he still was, or at least he thought he was, undisputedly “Modern.” Quite often, in Spain and Latin America, his lectures were not sponsored by architectural institutions but rather by groups with wider artistic and pedagogic interests. It was thus that, after his first contacts in Paris with Latin American figures such as Tarsila do Amaral or Vicente Huidobro, Le Corbusier got in contact with the artists and intellectuals around Victoria Ocampo’s Amigos del Arte in Argentina, the environment of the Residencia de estudiantes in Spain, including names such as Dalí, Lorca, Moreno Villa, or the Anthropophagic Movement in Brazil. This course traces those intermedial and geographic transits of Le Corbusier’s ideas and images as a privileged field to question transatlantic circulations of the Avant-Garde, but also as a space of “expanded architecture,” in which spatial ideas were transferred from urbanism, architecture, and design to literature and the visual arts.

Philosophical and Scientific Fictions

Some of our fields of inquiry will be: Iberian Studies, Mediterranean Studies, Medieval Theory and Philosophy, Manuscript Studies, and History of the Book. We will investigate these fields in dialogue with the construction and development of pre-modern disciplines.

We will focus on mainstream views of intellectual creation, including poetics, rhetorics, dialectic, problem-creation, the lie as an intellectual fabrication, narrative of the self, oneirocriticism, legal fiction, sacred and lay exegesis, miracles, fables, and poetry with music. The survey covers two parts (scientific discipline versus experience) that hinge on the particular and even central problem of the narrative of the self—and in a way we will be traveling back and forth between discipline and experience trying not to disentangle them too much. This focus—perhaps a bit obscure for now—will become more evident as we read the different texts.

My suggested and recommended readings cover many other texts from the Antiquity to the (very) Early Modern period. In this sense, I aim to forge a broad intellectual context for a set of Iberian texts that might be considered within a theoretical survey of Medieval Iberian cultures.

Last Updated 2 years ago


LAIC, « Graduate Courses | FALL 2017 », Blogs, Columbia University | LAIC, Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures (online), published on April 16, 2017. Full URL for this article

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