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Romance Languages Course Descriptions: 2019/2020


101 = course being offered (bold & underline)

Course Catalog  Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020 Min Maj
407, 407/507  407/507 407/507 407/507
410, 410/510 410/510
607  607
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 2019

RL 407/507: Mediterranean Ecocriticism- 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: you will be able to discuss Serenella Iovino, Bruno Latour, and Michel Serres’ humanist approaches to climate change with technical experts. 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 607: Racialization and the Category of the Human in the Early Modern World- Middlebrook
This course will develop contexts for modern ideas of race, nation and human-ness by examining the complex of meanings associated with terms such as race, raza, estirpe, nación, nation in early modern England, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Americas. In particular, we will examine the rise of religiously- , ethnically-, racially- and gender-coded tropes of self and other in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and we will explore the relationship of those tropes to the naturalization of the subject as the principal structuring figure for human ag ency, human experience and human being. Primary texts include selections of poetry, drama, prose, sermons and legal writing from England, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Americas. Critical approaches are drawn from writings by Giorgio Agamben, Etienne Balibar, Herman Bennett, W.E.B. DuBois, Judith Butler, Frantz Fanon, Barbara Fuchs, Roland Greene, Kim F. Hall, Carina Johnson, Nick Jones, Christina Lee, Maria Lugones, David Nirenberg. This course will be conducted in English. English-language translations of all core readings for the course will be provided. Students are encouraged to draw on materials written in a variety of Romance languages to supplement core readings. Students may prepare their final papers in English, French or Spanish, as well as in additional language with prior approval by the instructor. RL students – this course may be taken for Period 1 or Period 2 credit. Period 3 and Period 4 may
also be given, with approval by the instructor and the RL Director of Graduate Studies.

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 Queer from the South- Rigoletto – CANCELED 
What does ‘queer’ sound like from the point of view of the South? What assumptions about sexuality, identity, and gender does the South challenge? What urgent questions about globalization, mobility and community-making does the South confront the archive of queer theory and queer politics with? This course aims to critique and de-center the canonical queer archive, one that has been built predominantly on North-European and North-Atlantic paradigms. It turns to the Mediterranean and the Souths of the world – the so-called Global Souths – to examine what alternative opportunities may lie there to reinvigorate and expand ‘the queer project’. Drawing on Franco Cassano’s rethinking of the relation between modernity and the South, the course will ask students not to think about the South in the light of ‘queer’, but to think of ‘queer’ in the light of the South.

RL 607: Politicide and Genocide: Testimony and Crimes Against Humanity in Algeria, Ethiopia,
Spain and Guatemala – Herrmann

Genocide is a policy aimed at eradicating the “other” while politicide is a policy designed to eliminate violent threat to the regime elites.  This course explores 20th century atrocities in the context of Colonialism and battles against Leftism and communism in the Romance Language speaking world. Specifically, we will explore case studies of massacres where debates about the distinctions between politicide and genocide still reign.

How have definitions of mass murder been conceived and evolved in the 20th century with regard to state sponsored terror? How do historians, forensic anthropologists, cultural critics, survivors, families of victims, museum curators, filmmakers, and memory activists distinguish between (or confuse) politicide and genocide?

The first week of the course will serve as an introduction to definitions of politicide and genocide. Weeks two-three will consider the case of the Francoist dictatorship and its crimes against humanity. Our primary text will be historian Paul Preston’s controversially titled The Spanish Holocaust. Should the murder of tens of thousands of antifascist militants at the hands of Nationalist henchmen and Franco’s proxies be considered a Holocaust? We will also screen and discuss the acclaimed documentary, Silence of Others (Carracedo 2018) about the judicial claims against the perpetrators of human rights abuses during the Franco regime.

Weeks four-five will turn to Guatemala and the long running controversy regarding Rigoberta Menchú and the uses of testimonio in the context of genocide. Our primary text here will be The Rigoberta Menchu Controversy.  The questions that have arisen around the genocide in Guatemala and the role of oral history in the promotion of knowledge about human rights crimes can help us gain purchase on how oral history and testimony have informed historiography and cultural production about the Francoist dictatorship. We will read I Rigoberta Menchu and screen the documentary trilogy by Pamela Yates that includes: Granito: How to Nail a Dictator.

Weeks six-seven bring us to the war in Algeria. Our primary texts will be Assia Djebar’s feminist novel on the Algerian Revolution, Children of the New World,  and the classic film, The Battle of Algiers The Battle of Algiers (written and directed by Gillo Pontecorvo.

Weeks 8-9 takes us to Africa again, with an exploration of Italian Colonialism in Ethiopia. Our primary texts here will be Tempo di Uccidere (1989, and with a young Nicholas Cage. Time to Die) and the novel, The Short Cut,  from Ennio Flaiano on which the film is based. Together these works make for a complete scholarly set for Italian atrocities in Ethiopia specifically.

Week 10 will be devoted to a round table discussion where students will present their research topics.

Professor Herrmann welcomes students from disciplines across the humanities and social sciences.

To get a sense of the issues we will analyze:

RL 620: Graduate Study in Romance Languages- Enjuto Rangel
This course introduces students to literary theory and to graduate level reading, writing and research in our Romance Languages Department. The topics include: research into and discussion of the “period-based” structure of our program of study; the logic behind our reading list and strategies by which to approach it; documentation that follows the guidelines of the Modern Language Association (MLA); and we will introduce major theoretical approaches and how they are useful in literary studies. We will aim to understand some of the most influential literary and cultural theorists of the twentieth century and in each class we will connect the theoretical readings to one or two literary texts in French, Italian, Portuguese, and/or Spanish. I encourage you to read all texts (theoretical and literary) in the original version, but I will provide translations into English for all the assigned readings. As you will see, many of the theorists that we will study write in French, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese, and not only in English; this exemplifies how contemporary theory is comparative and multilingual in its nature.



RL 407/507: Fascism and Neo-Fascism- Garvin
This course examines Fascism and Neo-Fascism in Southern Europe to investigate how the 20th century past shapes the 21st century present. To study this problem, we will contextualize examples of Fascist culture (art and music) alongside primary documents (propaganda and speeches) and secondary sources (political and cultural theories) so as to understand the fusion of public and private spheres that characterizes totalitarian politics. The thematic arc of our course moves from early 20th-century Fascism in Italy and Spain to 21st-century Neo-Fascism in Italy and France. You will learn how to interpret primary sources and how to craft compassionate arguments. Together, these two skills ultimately prepare you to deliver a convincing case for ethical actions in real world scenarios.

The course is offered in English. Students may do coursework in Italian and French. MA period 4.

RL 407/507 Petrarca and Petrarchism – Lollini
Petrarca’s Canzoniere is the foundational lyric sequence for the Western lyrical discourse through the centuries that has reached European and extra-European authors, such as Walt Whitman and Pablo Neruda. Adopted as a model by medieval and Renaissance poets, this text had a constitutive impact on national languages and literatures, and gender identities. In this course you will analyze the original Italian verses along with classic translations, and rewritings by renowned European French and Spanish Petrarchists. Through close readings and class discussions, you will advance your critical analysis of medieval poetry and explore its persisting relevance for modern literature. You will practice implementing these skills as you will contribute to the Oregon Petrarch Book database with a personalized final project.

The course is offered in English. Students may do coursework in Italian, French, and Spanish. MA period 1 and 2.

RL 410/510: Translation Studies (A Workshop in 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. As we consider translators’ approaches to the promises of and obstacles to cross-cultural communication and understanding, 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. We will pay particular attention to how social, historical, cultural, regional, and generic contexts inform our decisions as translators. 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.