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Romance Languages Course Descriptions: 2017/2018


101 = course being offered (bold & underline)

Course Catalog Spring 2018  Fall 2018 Min Maj
399 399
407, 407/507 407, 407/507  407/507
410, 410/510  410, 410/510  410/510
607 607
608 608  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.


 SPRING 2018

RL 407/507 Idea of Europe- Gould
The Idea of Europe is a team-taught, multi-disciplinary course that explores the meaning(s) of Europe past and present, and the conundrum that is European identity. Guest faculty from a variety of disciplines on campus (humanities, social sciences and the arts) lecture weekly on the European legacy as we explore cultural, historical, political and social institutions that continue to inform our ideas of Europe today.

While the overall framework is historical, the course is a creative investigation into different perspectives, texts, issues, and disciplinary assumptions—often incompatible or competing—that shape “Europe” as an object of study. Each lecture and selected readings open an aspect of Europe from antiquity to the present. While the course is taught in English, it may bear credit for all degree programs in Romance Languages. Individual exploration of original materials in the European languages is encouraged. Students will be required to keep a reaction journal and to complete a term paper or project on some aspect of Europe.

Faculty from various disciplines and areas of expertise will offer lectures and selected readings to explore certain aspects of Europe over time. Students are not expected to demonstrate mastery of the different topics presented in these lectures and readings, and may reflect on the material from different disciplinary perspectives. But the lectures and readings are designed to challenge students beyond their comfort zone of familiarity and knowledge, opening them up to a variety of perspectives or “ideas” of Europe.

RL 623: Authenticity- Moore & Rigoletto
As a concept, authenticity acquires special currency and moral force in the modern era. Its
significance is connected to the emergence of the concept of the individual in 18th century
Europe. Its premise is the belief that down deep, behind all the social masks that we wear and the roles that we play in our everyday interactions, there is an original, unspoiled core: the true self. For Jean-Jacques Rousseau, this original, unspoiled core is the endpoint of a journey, an
experiment in truth telling against society’s settled views on moral behavior and public
appearance. In Jean Genet’s theater, truth and falsehood explode; equivocation, illusion and roleplaying interrogate social roles, dress, language, and space to expose image-building and
appearances. For Martin Heidegger, the category of authenticity implies an incessant movement
of becoming, of making one’s self-hood. It is a search, which constitutes also its meaning. The
course will address the relation between this philosophical tradition (and some of the problems
that it raises) and more recent feminist and race consciousness movements and intellectual
interventions (e.g. Diane Fuss’s Essentially Speaking, Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism,
Franz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks).

The term authenticity is also frequently used to refer to objects whose undisputed origin can be
traced and whose authorship can be established beyond reasonable doubt. Walter Benjamin
famously argued that in the age of mechanical reproduction the criterion of authenticity ceases to be applicable to cultural practices and objects: multiple copies replace the unique existence of the original, while technical reproduction replaces the work of the artist/creator. Benjamin’s theory may equally apply to photography, cinema and a wide range of new media. Starting from
Benjamin’s premise about the presumed ontological impossibility of authenticity in an age in
which cultural products and artworks are (re)produced through technology, the speaker series
will address whether (and how) within the context of modernity and beyond (e.g. the era of new
media and the post-digital age) we can we still make sense of the pervasive appeal of this
category in artistic and cultural production – from Bazin’s enthusiastic appraisal of the ontology
of the photographic image, to more recent media narratives of coming out (e.g. The Vanity Fair
Issue ‘Caitlyn Jenner: the full story’), and to the promotion of ‘original’ ethnic cuisines within
increasingly globalized food markets.



No courses offered.

FALL 2018

RL 407/507 Digital Cultures- Lollini
Course description TBA

RL 407/507 Mediterranean Ecologies North- Garvin
Course description TBA

RL 608: Workshop on Teaching Methodology– Wacks
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.   

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