Skip to Content

Romance Languages Course Descriptions: 2018/2019


101 = course being offered (bold & underline)

Course Catalog  Fall 2018 Winter 2019 Spring 2019 Min Maj
407, 407/507  407/507 407/507 407/507
410, 410/510  410/510
608  608
620 620
623 623

Courses that combine materials from two or more of the Romance Languages are taught under the course number RL 407/507. Each professor who proposes an RL course has compelling reasons for choosing the materials, languages, and periods his or her course will cover, and that information is posted well in advance along with the course description (e.g., French Period 1 + Italian Period 1). No exceptions will be made to the announced languages and periods the course will cover.

FALL 2018

RL 407/507 Digital Cultures- Massimo Lollini
The emergence of a reality organized around the Internet is provoking a profound crisis of identity in which the older principles of self-orientation and communitarian identification lose their effectiveness. What concepts, what methods do we need to understand the “knowledge space” in which we live an increasing part of our life? How can we orient our individual and professional identity within it? This course will study the reconfiguration of literary studies in the context of the transformation introduced by the use of Internet and digital technologies in our cultural, personal, professional, and social identity. At the same time, it will develop digital literacies in using and creating digital artifacts that will complement in a practical dimension the theoretical insights discussed in the first part of the course. Students will engage in new ways of reading, writing, translating and interpreting literary texts in a hypertextual and digital environment; they will at the same time appreciate the increasing interdisciplinarity of knowledge in Digital Humanities.

Digital Cultures is divided in four modules. In the first one we will study in a speculative perspective the key terms in digital cultures: space and time, cyberspace, collective intelligence, network, hypertext, virtuality and actuality. In the second module we will engage the cognitive dimension of the computer technology focusing on digital research, topic modeling, textual analysis, close and distant reading. In the third module, we will address and perform the remediation of literature in social and new media. The last module will focus on the dark side of Internet and address question of ethics, privacy and surveillance.

Finally, we will also discuss the future of the book and examine a variety of digital projects focused on the literature and culture of Medieval, Early Modern and Modern times, including (but not limited to) the Oregon Petrarch Open Book, the Geospatial Visualisation for the Study of Boccaccio, the Pico Project, the Galileo Library project, the KinoLab project; the Navigli Project, and the ARTFL Encyclopédie project. Students will have the option of choosing specific didactic activities and concentrating their work in one RL language and one specific literary period. MA periods 1-2-3-4. Guest lectures by Marya Bottaro (UO), Allison Cooper (Bodwin College), Art Farley (UO), Colin Koopman (UO); Crystall Hall (Bodwin College), Serena Ferrando (Colby College), Michael Papio (University of Massachusetts) Massimo Riva (Brown University), Jeff Staiger (UO).

RL 407/507: Mediterranean Ecologies: The North- Garvin
This interdisciplinary course bridges the arts and the sciences, introducing you to human-land relationships across Northern Italy and France.  Together, we will explore the Green Humanities in the greater Mediterranean: we will analyze documentary filmmaking inspired by activist winemakers from Piedmont to the Pyrenees.  We will read investigative reporting on the Vajont dam disaster and compare government responses across borders.  Our regular speaker series brings UO scientists into the classroom: for example, you will be able to discuss Serenella Iovino, Bruno Latour, and Michel Serres’ humanist approaches to climate change with technical experts on the topic. Materials emphasize ecocriticism and performance art, because these forms of theory and theater craft compelling stories to support sustainability across government and industry.  So too do assignments: you will create an online portfolio exploring environmental themes, including a weekly photojournal, a mini-podcast series, and a Youtube video. This is the place for you to deeply interact with your favorite parts of the course materials, and to go further in asking the big questions: How do people and places affect one another?  How should governments prepare for natural disaster?  How can art, film, and literature promote sustainable practices in industry?  By the end of this course, you will be able to speak about ecological phenomena in vivid, human terms.

RL 410/510 Literary Translation (Theory and Practice)- Gladhart
Theories and practices of literary translation are profoundly interconnected. The questions and challenges we encounter in translating literary texts have vital implications for our work as literary scholars: engaging in (and thinking about) translation gives us insight into the rich complexities of what we are doing as readers. The practice of translation also enhances and refines language skills in both the source and target language. In translating, we become more accomplished readers and writers, cultivating both our analytical skills and our creative expression. This course is grounded in the belief that theory and practice can most productively be explored together and in a dynamic, collaborative context. We will be considering translators’ approaches to the promises of and obstacles to cross-cultural communication and understanding. We will be paying particular attention to how social, historical, cultural, regional, and generic contexts inform our decisions as translators. We will be concerned with relationships between content and style—nuances of tone, voice, register—and will also be negotiating tricky territories mapped out between clarity and obscurity, domestic and foreign, fidelity and experimentation. The work for this course will include close readings and analysis of selected literary texts alongside their translations; critical readings of translators’ introductions and notes; analysis of (and production of) book reviews of literary translations; reading and discussion of seminal texts in translation history and theory. Students will work throughout the term on individualized translation projects in small, collaborative, language-specific workshop groups. (MA Period 4) *req for Graduate Certificate of Translation Studies

Required Texts:
Esther Allen and Susan Bernofsky, eds. In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means. Columbia UP, 2013. [IT]
Martha Collins and Kevin Prufer, eds. Into English: Poems, Translations, Commentaries. Graywolf Press, 2017. [IE]
Lawrence Venuti, ed. The Translation Studies Reader. Third Edition. Routledge, 2012. [TSR]
Note: The Translation Studies Reader is required for graduate students, recommended for undergraduates.

RL 608: Workshop on Teaching Methodology– Davis
This course is the starting point for pre-professional training in the teaching of Romance languages (French, Italian, and Spanish) to adults. The class readings, lectures, discussions, and portfolio activities will help you to:
• design and implement a complete instructional sequence for new material, with attention to sequencing of activities, learning styles, and modes of communication (presentational, interpretive, interpersonal);
• personalize instruction for a diverse group of learners, with different motivations and interests in language study;
• demonstrate knowledge and understanding of major concepts and the historical context of the field of language learning and teaching in the U.S.;
• utilize effectively and appropriately a range of technologies for the second language classroom; and
• reflect on your own professional practice and by analyzing and evaluating your own teaching and that of your peers.
This class is required of all new GEs in Romance Languages.   



RL 407/507 Holocaust fiction from Italy, Spain and France- Herrmann
This course, one in an ongoing series of seminars and courses devoted to the Holocaust and Nazi persecution in the Romance world, investigates these phenomena from the perspective of fictional literature. We will explore themes including representations of memory, fiction’s capacity to capture “essences” of concentration camp experience, cross generational inheritance of trauma, as well as the controversy surrounding holocaust impostors in literature. We will read, in English translation, texts from Catalan, Spanish, and Italian survivors. We will also look at contemporary French novelistic approaches to the French participation in the round up, deportation and extermination of French Jews and Eastern European Jews living in France. Texts include works by Levi, Amat-Piniella, Cercas, Semprún, and Modiano. (Period 4)

RL 620: Graduate Studies in Romance Languages -Fabienne Moore
Designed as a general overview of graduate study in Romance Languages at UO, RL 620 explores some of the purposes, problems, questions and methods addressed in the diverse and overlapping fields of the Romance languages. We will close read primary sources that pose critical challenges to Romance Language scholars and we will seek how they invite theoretical approaches. The course is organized around the broad question of resistance and revolt within each text. The selection of authors and works is meant to invite discussion of the temporal and spatial links of the Romance World and to raise questions about migrations, exchanges, translations, intersections and networks within what Pascale Casanova has termed “the world Republic of letters.”
Primary sources will include 18th and 19th French women writers, Jorge Isaacs, Césaire, Chamoiseau, Primo Levi, Alejo Carpentier, Vargas Llosa and Picasso’s Sueño y mentira de Franco.
Critical sources will include Robert Dale Parker’s How to interpret literature? as well as selected readings from Genette, Kristeva, Derrida, Foucault, Butler, Sommer, Arendt, Mmembe among others.



RL 407/ 507: Traveling the Portuguese-speaking World- Millar
From contemporary migrant literature to narratives of conquest and colonization, this course explores travel literature from across the Portuguese-speaking world (Europe, the Americas, and Africa). From the Portuguese Empire’s epithet of “The Empire of the Sea” to contemporary narratives that trace the routes of globalization, the Portuguese-speaking world has been marked by both voluntary and involuntary movement of peoples. We will pair selections of canonical texts celebrating colonizing projects such as the Portuguese epic poet Luís de Camões’ <<Os Lusíadas>> (1572) and Brazilian Basílio da Gama’s <<O Uruguai>> (1769) with contemporary revisitings of these texts such as Mozambican novelist Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa’s <<Ualalapi>> (1990). We will examine texts of coerced travel such as the slave trade and contemporary narratives retracing the Middle Passage, as well as units on internal migration in Brazil and immigrant narratives from the former Portuguese colonies in Africa to Europe. We will thoroughly examine the historical contexts of the Portuguese-speaking world including Brazil, Portugal, and the Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa. Prior knowledge of these contexts is not required. Class discussion will be conducted in English. Reading knowledge of Portuguese is helpful, though most texts will be available in translation. Interested students who lack a background in Portuguese language are welcome to come talk to me about accommodating them in this course. MA Periods: 2, 3, 4

RL 623 Misogyny- Psaki, Gladhart
This course will examine the phenomenon of misogyny—hatred of women—in both medieval and modern textualities and cultures. Misogyny is a broad and subtle phenomenon that can illuminate (and be illuminated by) other category-based hatreds such as racism, anti-Judaism, homophobia and xenophobia. Drawing on critical race theory, we will focus on “phobic” rather than “structural” misogyny: that is, on an explicit antipathy toward women articulated in a narrative agenda of discrediting and disadvantaging them both in representation and in reality.

We will begin by reading classical and medieval misogynous writing as an exercise in discourse analysis. What are the thematic constants in misogynous writing? What speakers and audiences do the texts construct, and how? How are we to read these texts? By whom and for whom were they produced? How does the repetition of misogynous conventions affect the authority of the various writers? While working with the (frequently irritating) primary texts, we’ll take a critical look at recent attempts (also often irritating) to come to terms with these writings. What elements of medieval misogyny are still with us, and which are obsolete?

Four guest speakers will visit campus in connection with this seminar, expanding the pool of primary and secondary writing on misogyny and other identity categories. Students will be able to tailor their work in this seminar to existing interests and projects; for example, in addition to the primary texts we read together, each student will present to the class a modern or medieval text not on the syllabus and read in the original language. MA 1, 2, 4

Skip to toolbar