SPAN-499 Seminar: Variation and change in World Spanishes
Fall for 2017-2018
Israel Sanz-Sánchez
This course proposes a revision of the traditional narratives applied to the history of Spanish and the formation of its dialects from the lens of evolutionary linguistics (Croft 2000) and language ecology (Mufwene 2001, 2008). Specifically, rather than as a language which has undergone a series of transformations since its birth in the Iberian Peninsula as the offspring of Latin, as usually assumed, we will explore the notion of ‘Spanish’ as a collection of speaker-based language systems that have been shaped historically by many different forms of multilingual and multidialectal ecological language settings, in a process reminiscent of the genetic adaptation of biological species to environmental triggers. The course will explore the following questions: what changes in language change – do languages and dialects change, or do the communities that speak them change? Are speaker communities free to actuate changes in the language that they speak, or are they constrained by any universal principles of change? If there is no linguistic difference between a ‘dialect’ and a ‘language’, is ‘language change’ different from ‘dialect change’? Are community identities a significant factor in language change? In order to answer these questions, we will embark on a panoramic journey and study how the changing ecology of ‘Spanish’ has resulted in many different combinations of linguistic elements (i.e., many different Spanishes) throughout history. Although the course will be taught in Spanish, we will be making frequent reference to and use of bibliography in other languages (particularly English) when warranted. At least some previous basic coursework in linguistics is required.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Sections:

SPAN-499-01 Lit & Visual Cult in Latin America
Spring for 2017-2018
This course will explore the interplay of changing technologies—especially photography and the plastic arts—in literary representation in Latin America during the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Readings will include theoretical texts on visual culture and representation, the role of photography in the development of literary realism, filmic influence in the historical vanguards (both literature and the plastic arts), and the heightened exchange between film and literature in contemporary literature.

Texts:
1) Gomez de Avellaneda, Gertrudis. Sab Least expensive edition is fine.

2) Cortazar, Julio. Libro de Manuel. least expensive edition

3) Gomez-Pena, Guillermo. Codex espangliensis: from Columbus to the Border Patrol. (San Francisco, City Lights Books, 2000 and later)
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
More information
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