Issues in Hispanic Culture: Transatlantic Studies of the Hispanic World [CRN 77179]

Discipline: Spanish
Instructor: Esch
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1640
End: 1800
Field Work: Day 1 - Tuesday, 22 November | Peru
Prerequisites: Reading and writing in Spanish at third-year level needed. Students accepted with Spanish as first language or placement exam evidence of Spanish skill. Download Syllabus

Why do Spanish speakers across the world invoke Allah when making a wish? Why do Cubans pray to Yoruba ocean goddess Yemoja? Why do Quechua in the Andean region celebrate a festival during which a condor fights a bull? The Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean have connected the history and cultures of three continents—Europe, America, and Africa—and have thus shaped the history and cultures of the Hispanic world. Using a comparative transatlantic perspective, this course introduces students to key political and cultural events, concepts, and texts of the Hispanic world starting before the point of contact (1492) and moving into the present. Using historical data and cultural expressions such as movies, paintings, photography, and literature, the course enables students to gain a broad understanding of the both shared and divided history and cultures of the regions now known as Spain and Latin America. The course is taught entirely in Spanish and organized around four modules:

I Environment and Geopolitics

II Cultural Contact and Clash

III Inequalities: Class, Race, and Gender

IV Religion

Field Work

Country: Peru
Day: 1 - Tuesday, 22 November

Students will explore the sights and sounds of a colonial center of power—Lima--and meet with local students and musicians in order to make the abstract concepts studied throughout the semester more tangible. In the morning we will have a guided tour of the colonial city center and a visit to a museum (Museo de la Inquisición y del Congreso or the Museo del Oro in Lima). The afternoon will be spent with local university students sharing inquiries, thoughts, and concerns. The field class will include lunch featuring local cuisine and a concert of Afro-Peruvian or indigenous music, possibly a demonstration and a talk with the musicians. (Alternatively the afternoon could also be spent with an excursion related to mining, possibly a visit to the copper mine Condestable). All activities and tours will be in Spanish. Spanish is the only language allowed during the entire day and speaking English is strictly prohibited. Learning objectives:

  1. Make the abstract concrete.
  2. Practice Spanish at the intermediate/advanced level.
  3. Learn about Peruvian culture during colonial and current times
  4. Exchange ideas with local students
  5. Make a mini concept documentary, a 5-10 minute video made by 1-3 students about one particular topic of the course (key concept or related topic) that incorporates experiences of at least three ports but has its main focus on Lima and explains the topic in a visually appealing, concise and reflective manner in Spanish.
[The final projects will be presented on the last day of the course. Please be aware that you cannot publish these materials online or in any other form, since they would need to undergo IRB approval. The minidocumentaries are only for you and the class.]