Current Graduate Courses

Fall 2021

SPA 215: Spanish of the U.S.
Agustina Carando
Tuesdays, 4:10-7:00

Drawing from research in language contact, bilingualism, sociolinguistics and education, this course aims at familiarizing students with the features of Spanish spoken in the U.S. context, promoting an understanding of this diverse population and their language practices. Topics include translanguaging and code-switching, the notion of Spanglish, Spanish in contact with English, language attitudes, and pedagogical implications.


SPA 232 Latinx Studies: Agencias, Espacios, Saberes Migrantes

Profesor: Robert McKee Irwin
miércoles 4:10-7:00, Sproul 622
CRN 52987

Este seminario se aproxima al campo de estudios latinos desde la liminalidad que implican los proceso históricos de migración y exclusión en Estados Unidos. Se tratarán las transformaciones ocasionadas por la territorialización (sobre todo en California), y también el desarraigo; las visibilizaciones y las borradoras; las persecuciones y las resiliencias. Algunos conceptos clave: el nepantlismo, las gnosis fronteriza, la autonomía de migración, el rasquachismo, la disimulación, lo “almost latino”, “queer of color critique”. Aparte de lecturas literarias, testimoniales y teóricas, se estudiarán algunas aproximaciones metodológicas a la investigación comprometida a la colaboración comunitaria. Algunxs autores programadxs: Gloria Anzaldúa, Walter Mignolo, Sarah Ahmed, Tomás Ybarra Frausto, Amarela Varela, Sayak Valencia, Gilberto Rosas, Maylei Blackwell, Catherine Ramírez, Nicholas De Genova, José Quiroga, Juana María Rodríguez, Cecilia Menjívar, Raúl Coronado, Douglas Oviedo, Sonia Guiñansaca, Óscar Zeta Acosta, Reyes Tijerino, Octavio Paz, Vicente Pérez Rosales, Teresa Urrea, Ricardo Flores Magón, Chela Sandoval. También se estudiará el archivo y el proyecto de investigación “Humanizando la Deportación” (

 Texto recomendado: Keywords for Latina/o Studies, Deborah Vargas, Lawrence LaFountain Stokes y Nancy Mirabal, eds. (NYU Press)


SPA 274: Topics in Latin American Literature
Prof. Rob Newcomb

Thursdays 4:10-7:00, Sproul 622

The Return of the Caravels: Post-Colonial Literatures of the Portuguese-speaking World
Portugal’s colonial empire was inaugurated in 1415 with the conquest of Ceuta, and was brought to a symbolic close in 1975 with the independence of Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and São Tomé and Príncipe, after years of anti-colonial armed conflict. This grants Portugal the distinction of being both Europe’s oldest and most recent colonizing power. The literary record of Portuguese colonialism, decolonization, and postcolonial reflection is vast, spanning six centuries and several continents. In recent decades, Portugal and its former colonies have witnessed an upsurge in literary production on the colonial period – some of which has been authored by writers who directly participated in the end of the colonial empire, as settlers and/or returnees, army personnel, anti-colonial activists, and so on. In this seminar, we will look to Lusophone literatures to assess the lingering impact of colonialism on Brazil, Lusophone Africa, and Portugal itself. Our primary readings will be complemented by scholarly reflections on postcolonialism and postcolonial studies, in the Lusophone context and more broadly.

This seminar builds on two previous UC Davis Lusophone-themed graduate seminars, “Zonas de contato” and “A World in Motion.” It will be divided into the following thematic units: Colonial ideology (weeks I-II); Decolonial and Postcolonial Brazil (weeks III-IV); Decolonial Lusophone African and Portuguese literatures (weeks V-VII); Postcolonial Lisbon (weeks VIII-X). Our provisional list of primary readings includes Luís de Camões, Santa Rita Durão, Fernando Pessoa, Gilberto Freyre, Gonçalves Dias, José de Alencar, Camilo Castelo Branco, João do Rio, Agostinho Neto, José Luandino Vieira, António Lobo Antunes, Isabela Figueiredo, Yara Monteiro, and Patrícia Lino, plus the film Vitalina Varela (dir. Pedro Costa, 2019).

Class discussions will be conducted primarily in Portuguese or Spanish. Advanced knowledge of Portuguese is not required for participation in this seminar; fluency or advanced knowledge of Spanish is very helpful for reading literary and critical texts written in Portuguese. Students may read texts in Spanish or English translation if necessary, and when available, and may give presentations and write final papers in either Portuguese or Spanish.


SPA 390: Teaching Spanish in College
Prof. Claudia Sanchez-Gutierrez

Winter 2022

SPA 206- Spanish Syntax-Claudia Sanchez-Gutierrez- Canceled

SPA 257- Spanish Literature of the Renaissance & Golden Age: Drama- Nicholas Jones
This graduate seminar will examine the representation of race, gender, sexuality, and power in early modern Spanish drama. Taking a chronological frame, we will cover these themes beginning with medieval Iberian pageantry and ending with the works of Pedro Calderón de la Barca and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. To guide and nuance our class discussions and readings, we will interrogate the staging and performance of race, gender, and sexuality along the lines of: courtly and civic coronations, pageantry, and tournaments; the Renaissance underworld of La Celestina; the short-skit interludes of Lope de Rueda; Lope de Vega and the comedia nueva; African dances and blackface performance; cross-dressing and gender dissidence in Tirso de Molina and Sor Juana; queer readings of Agustín Moreto’s El lindo Don Diego; celebrity and the stardom of actors; clothing, cosmetics, and stage props; and, architecture, urban space and cities. 


SPA 279- Mexican Narrative- Emily Vazquez Enriquez- approved substitute for SPA 201


Spring 2022

SPA 224 - Studies of a Major Writer, Period, or Genre in Spanish Literature-Thenesoya V. Martín De la Nuez

Transoceanic Imaginaries and Hispanic Vulnerable Islands
This seminar aims to explore the relation between cultural production, geography, and the environment as a way to understand the complex role of islands and archipelagos in colonial and neo-colonial Hispanic transnational contexts. From an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective that overlaps Environmental Humanities, Postcolonial and Island Studies, and through a close reading of a heterogeneous corpus of literary texts and contemporary art interventions, films, documentary, literature, and photography, we will examine the impact of Spanish colonial desire in different islands and archipelagos across the Globe —African, Caribbean, Atlantic, Pacific, and Asian. Classes will invite to think about the role of artists and writers as activists (“artivists”), and the impact of climate change and colonial legacies on insular spaces. Topics such as transoceanic insular imaginaries, deforestation, sea-level rising, indigenous ecopoetics, displacement; and concepts such as slow violence, Anthropocene, smallness, archipelagic thinking, isolation and islandeness will be analyzed.

SPA 207 - History of the Spanish Language - Travis Bradley

SPA 281 - Latin American Women Writers - Ana Peluffo- approved substitute for SPA 202