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Current Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses that fulfill LACS Cluster Requirements

Note: This is a preliminary list. Please check CAESAR for up to date course information.

Spring 2018

ART_HIST 430-0-1: Studies in Renaissance Art:  Maps and the Early Modern Transatlantic World

W 2pm – 4:50pm
Jesús Escobar

Course Description: 

Maps represent territory. Maps claim ownership. Maps sometimes lie. Are maps works of art? This course will explore the making, use, and display of maps in the early modern period, all the while considering their intended meaning as objects at the intersection of science, art, and power. Course reading assignments will trace the rise of cartography as a scientific as well as humanistic pursuit in late fifteenth-century Europe and pay particular attention to the production of maps in the context of transatlantic exchange and colonialism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, taking into account indigenous mapmaking traditions in the Americas. Additionally, we will consider the role of maps in the study of early modern cities. For research topics, students will work with an original period object so as to better understand the ways in which maps were experienced by early modern viewers, whether as fold-out pages in books, single sheet prints that might be illuminated and framed, or in an array of larger formats including painted fresco cycles in galleries meant to be discussed and interpreted.

Please note: Participants must be available from 12:30 to 1:45pm for travel prior to class meetings that will be held at the Newberry Library in Chicago and the MacLean Collection in Lake Forest.

COMP_LIT 390-020/ PHIL 390-0-21/ SPANISH 397-0-1:  Topics in Comparative Literature: On Debt

MWF 11:00am - 11:50am
Rocio Zambrana

Course Description: 

Debt is a social relation. It has received cosmological, theological, and economic articulation for centuries. Yet, at its core, debt is a form of social binding, hence a social bond. This course will examine debt as an economic, social, and historical relation in order to consider its critical function, thereby exploring the very idea of a critique of debt. We will read texts by Nietzsche, Marcel Mauss, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, David Graeber, Maurizio Lazzarato, Eletra Stimilli, among others. We will also consider ancient and contemporary articulations of debt forgiveness, relief, or cancellation (as articulated, for example, by Strike Debt or the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt). This will give us an opportunity to refer to cases of debt in Latin American and the Caribbean. 

COMP_LIT 488-0-1/ PHIL 410-0-21/ SPANISH 480-0-1: Special Topics in Comparative Literature: Toward a Decolonial Critical Theory

W 2:00pm - 4:45pm
Rocio Zambrana

Course Description:

This course will consider key texts in Frankfurt School Critical Theory alongside Decolonial Thought and Decolonial Feminism. Discussions will consider conception of critique at work in these texts in order to construct a decolonial critical theory of society. Readings will include texts by György Lukács, Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Aníbal Quijano, Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Santiago Castro-Gómez, María Lugones, Yuderkis Espinosa-Miñoso, and Gloria Anzaldúa.  

HIST 492-0-22: Topics in History: Caribbean in the Modern World

Th 9:30am - 12:20pm
Lina Britto

Course Description:

This course introduces graduate students to the major themes and debates of Caribbean history from a global perspective: slavery, and emancipation; colonialism, and imperialism; nationalism and revolution. Students will read some of the major books and essays by historians, anthropologists, and literary critics; and watch some of the classic movies by filmmakers in order to dissect the Caribbean as a unit of historical analysis. These themes will be studied from a variety of approaches and perspectives in an attempt to bridge the different linguistic and imperial Caribbean. We will also consider different frameworks, from area and hemispheric studies, to transnational history and Atlantic World.

SPANPORT 410-0-1: Topics in Early Modern Literatures and Cultures: Introduction to Colonial Latin America: Narrative, History, Theory

M 2:00pm - 4:50pm
Laura Leon Llerena

Course Description:

This course offers a critical overview of the epistemological practices and ideological underpinnings that shaped the multi-faceted process of colonialism in what we call today Latin America. Focusing on indigenous, mestizo and European texts produced from the late fifteenth century to the late seventeenth century, we will explore the diverse power struggles, strategies of negotiation, and misunderstandings that underlie the production of the foundational textual knowledge in and about America. Key to this course is the debate on the social and political consequences that the introduction of the European technology of writing had on Native American societies. A fundamental tool for colonial administration and Christian evangelization, alphabetic writing fostered both spaces of incorporation and of exclusion of indigenous peoples. We will analyze how writing shaped a particular notion of literary canon and of archive that tied knowledge to alphabetic writing, while framing indigenous peoples as objects to be analyzed, but not as subjects who produced knowledge. The colonial concept of literacy and the more recent postcolonial critical redefinitions of it will guide this approach. This course also aims to frame the debates on colonial literature beyond the axis of literacy. For that, we will discuss how the concept of legibility can allow us to have a better understanding of the process of marginalization of native pre-Hispanic modes of inscription and communication, but also of native uses of alphabetic writing. Going from colonial texts to theory, this course intends to familiarize students with major contemporary critical theories and debates that have led to a productive destabilization of terms and concepts such as indigeneity, indianness, discovery, conquest, colonization, empire, mestizaje, hybridity, and otherness. Readings will be in English and Spanish. Class discussion will be in Spanish. All written work should be done in Spanish.

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