Span 151 Civilization and Culture of Latin America

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SPAN 151 Civilization and Culture of Latin America

Professor Euisuk Kim


Office: Mariposa Hall 2033

Phone: 916-278-6652

Office Hours: MWTh: 10 AM-12 PM and by appointment

Textbook: Tradición y cambio: Lecturas sobre la cultura latinoamericana contemporánea

McGraw Hill, 2005, 3rd edition

Course Description: This course studies some of the most important aspects of the cultures of contemporary Spanish-speaking America. It has an interdisciplinary component that seeks to integrate the study of culture with the social and political history of Latin America.

This course will prepare the student to engage with important political, social, and cultural topics in Latin American literature as well as to help develop critical analytical skills to be used in evaluating them. The course will survey Latin American culture through the readings of some of the most relevant poetry, short stories, essays, and interviews from the area and throughout history. Some of the topics to be discussed in the course include the social classes, the ethnicity, the urbanization, the family, the urbanization, the family, the education, the religion, and the cultural critics.

Course Expectations:

Your grade will depend on how well you read and write and incorporate all materials for the course into cohesive analytical arguments. By the end of the course, the student should be able to understand more about the histories and cultures of Latin America in general, as well as to be able to produce a critical comparative analysis of more than one text assigned for the course. Every student is expected to be able to read, write, understand and communicate in Spanish.

Course requirements:

  1. Exams: There will be 2 exams for this course. Exams will cover information from the textbook as well as from student presentations and discussions of current events in class.

  1. Presentation: Each student will be expected to work with a partner to give one 20-minute presentation on a topic chosen from the list provided by the professor. Your presentation should include an informational component, at least one activity for the class to do related to your topic, discussion questions for the class, and a study guide based on your presentation for your classmates to use when studying for exams.

Note: Do not read your presentation to the class (this includes reading straight from Power Points.) Those who simply read will automatically lose ten points from their grade. You may use brief notes to keep you on track, but the notes should be minimal so that you do not fall into the trap of reading. Also, do not cite sources word for word without crediting. Doing so constitutes plagiarism and will result in an automatic zero on the presentation and be reported to the VPAA’s office.

The presentation grade will be determined as follows:

Content: 60%

Class activity/activities (creativity, organization of activity, appropriateness of discussion questions): 10%

Language skills: 30%

  1. Essays: Each student will be expected to write 2 essays. First essay should be at least 2 pages long and the second one 3 pages. In it, you should explain briefly in your own words what your topic is about, and then offer your commentary or opinion on the situation presented. You might discuss why you found the topic interesting, analyze it in relation to the themes that we have been talking about in class, explain whether you think the situation would have been viewed (or occurred) differently in the United States, etc. You are free to comment as you wish. You will be graded on the extent of your analysis, the originality of the ideas, and the linguistic accuracy of your papers.

  1. 6 ON LINE QUIZZES: You will have 6 online quizzes in total but the lowest grade will be dropped. The deadline to take the quiz is NOT by 11 am on Thursday but by 11 am on Tuesday. This is to help student to prepare the class with time. NO MAKE UP EXAM WILL BE PROVIEDED.

  1. Attendance: Only ONE absence is permitted. After two absences the student will receive a grade of WF. In addition, late arrivals will not be permitted to make up the reading quiz. Be on time!

Grade distribution:

Midterm: 15%

Presentation: 10%

6 ON LINE quizzes: 20% (4 X 5= 20)

Essays: 30% (FIRST 10% and SECOND 20%)

Final exam: 15%

Participation: 10%

January 27
Introducción al curso
February 3
Capítulo 2- Las clases sociales

  1. Introducción 28-33

  1. César Vallejo

Un hombre pasa con un pan al hombro 34

  1. Victoria Ocampo

Palabras francesas 43-49

  1. Miriam Lazo Laguna, entrevista (I)

Las clases sociales y la revolución nicaragüense 50
February 10
Capítulo 2- Las clases sociales

  1. Miriam Lazo Laguna, entrevista (II)

El aborto de la revolución nicaragüense 57-69

  1. Miriam Lazo Laguna, entrevista (III)

Epílogo 70-75

  1. Javier Díaz-Albertini

Hacia la cultura del logro 75-82

February 17

Capítulo 3-La etnicidad

  1. Introducción 86-91 -------ON LINE QUIZ 1

  1. Nicolás Guillén

Balada de los dos abuelos 94

  1. Carolina María de Jesús

La favela 97-106


  1. Rosario Castellanos

Balún Canán 112-118

February 24
Capítulo 4-La urbanización

  1. Entrega del ensayo # 1

  1. Introducción 130-138---------ONLINE QUIZ 2

  1. Homero Aridjis

Poema de amor en la Ciudad de México 138

  1. Gustavo Slau G., Andrés Yurjevic M.,

La agricultura urbana, una alternativa productiva para combatir la pobreza.. 140-148

March 2
Capítulo 4-La urbanización

  1. Larissa Adeler de Lomnitz,

Asociaciones formales e informales 149-155

  1. Lourdes Arizpe S.,

El migrante indígena en la Ciudad de México 155-162

  1. Repaso para el examen 1

March 9
Examen 1 (75 minutos)

March 16

Capítuo 5-La familia

  1. Introducción 166-172--------ONLINE QUIZ 3

  1. Gabriela Mistral

Recuerdo de la madre ausente 173-177


March 23

Spring Break
March 30

  1. Domitila Barrios de Chungara

Si me permiten hablar 178-182


  1. Mario Benedetti

La guerra y la paz 183-185
April 6

  1. Judith Ortiz Cofer

Quinceañera 188-194


  1. Capítulo 6: La educación

Introducción 198-203------------ONLINE QUIZ 4

April 13

  1. Entrega del ensayo # 2

  1. Sonya Rendón, entrevista (I)

Nuevo Mundo: un experimento educativo modelo 204-211

  1. Sonya Rendón, entrevista (II) 212-218


April 20

  1. Sonya Rendón, entrevista (III) 219-223


  1. Paulo Freire

Pedagogía del oprimido 226-232

April 27

Capítulo 7: La religión

  1. Introducción 270-275------------------ONLINE QUIZ 5

  1. Camilo Torres Restrespo, entrevista

¿Comunismo en la Iglesia?/ Mensaje a los cristianos 276-279


  1. Victoriano Araya Guillén, entrevista: El protestantismo en América Latina I, II 290-301


May 4

Capítulo 8: La crítica cultural

  1. Introducción 316-319 -----------------------ONLINE QUIZ 6

  1. Marina Silva, entrevista

El desarrollo económico y la justicia social en el Amazonas 336-343

  1. Octavio Paz

Los hijos de la Malinche 348-353

  1. Ibsen Martínez

El petróleo está donde él te encuentre 364-369

May 11
Repaso para el examen #2

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