Spanish and Portuguese
- An investigation of the literary, medical and philosophical treatment of women in medieval and early modern Spain. We will consider works by both male and female authors, thus enabling us to compare ways in which women saw themselves with the ways in which they were seen by men. The cult of women as well as misandry and misogyny, and debates centering around such crucial matters as childbirth, witchcraft and the evil eye will be explored.
Brazilian society has become one of the most urbanized in the world. At the same time, many of the more widely circulating images of the country pertain to natural landscapes. In this course we study how ideas of city and nature have been constructed in opposition and complementarity, focusing on the 18th and 19th centuries.
From Artemidorus in antiquity to Freud in modern times, dreams and nightmares have been a perennial human concern. This course will explore political, philosophical, medical and psycho-sexual representations of dreams and nightmares by such authors as Cervantes, Zayas, Calderón, Cela, Martín Gaite, Muñoz Molina, Bolaño, Piglia and Vargas Llosa.
Early Modern Spain exhibits a variety of fascinating obsessions and addictions resulting from extreme and rapid political, social, and economic changes. Addiction to sex crimes, to transgendering and tobacco offer some of the most spectacular accounts of the period. The advent of mass culture produced by print technology, tabloid journalism, and public theaters leads to the rise of the "vulgo" which the elite seek to control and condemn.
This seminar is conducted as a workshop to train students in the methodology of archival research. We work with the papers of Latin American writers housed at Firestone Library, especially with recent acquisitions of letters and manuscripts by Cuban writer Severo Sarduy. Theoretical readings include texts by Derrida, Barthes, Murat, Freud, and others. Students are encouraged to publish the result of their semester-long research.